Friday, May 21, 2010

What do you like in a blog?

I read a few blogs here and there. I used to read more, but then my free time got squished to a smaller block and I had to cut some out.
Right now I read industry blogs, and the blogs of some of the friends of Drunk Writers, and that's pretty much it.

But here's what I enjoy and don't enjoy reading in other people's blogs.

I love reading about another writer's process, and their challenges, because so much of it is universal and at the same time so personal. Every writer struggles and sweats and obsesses over the details, and that justifies my own neurosis.

I love reading about the process of publishing, because again there are similarites and differences to every published author's experience.

I love any blog that tells me something I didn't know about writing, or research. Eileen listed a couple on her blog on Tuesday that are terrific.

I love debates on movies and TV shows. Tell me what you love, and what you hate and explain why, because in my experience, writers do this best, and I love those debates, whether in person or through a blog. Right now I desperately want to see Iron Man 2 to see whether I fall into Stephanie's camp, or Maureen's.

And especially, let's hear about the triumphs, because they need to be celebrated, whether it's a sale, finishing a book, a great review, or a great page count.

I do not want to hear about cats, or dogs, or hampsters, racoons, whatever, unless the story is sidesplittingly funny. I have a cat, I like him just fine, there ends my cat story.

Celebrate the triumps, but don't wallow in them. A great review is fantastic, but posting every review, every piece of positive fan mail, it gets a little dull, and that's what websites are for.

No industry gossip, please. Just the facts, m'am. I've seen message boards go crazy over gossip that was never substantiated.

I love how blogs keep us in touch with writers we've met at conferences, or through email. It's another way of communicating and keeping close to this incredible writing community we are so lucky to have.

And, True Blood coming soon, and the trailers make it look great. Stephanie, your boyfriend is coming. I have decided Maureen and I are going to have a cage match over who gets Damon from Vampire Diaries.


Maureen McGowan said...

Interesting post. I love the same things you love.
But I also like some of the personal posts on blogs, as long as the writer is funny or interesting. I feel like I've built some real friendships through getting to know people through their blogs. But these friendships might be oddly one-sided with me cast as the weirdo stalker. LOL.

PS. Loved your cat story. Very sentimental.

PPS. Damon is mine.

Leah Braemel said...

I use Google Reader and scan the titles/first lines to determine if the blog will get read. This one attracted my attention because it's been on my mind lately as to whether blogging is dying out.

I couldn't care less about television or movie debates, I seldom watch TV and never go out to the movies, but wait for them to come on to DVD. So I don't ever read those posts.

I read some publishing ones, but usually agents or editors. Authors processes? Well, everyone writes differently and the only thing I get from them is we all struggle at times (and believe it's good to know that I'm not the only one with desk imprints on my forehead.)

I've never bought a book from a review, and I've bought books based on other people's recommendations that haven't done anything for me, so I don't tend to spend a lot of time reading reviews.

From there, it's weird things that attract my attention that don't fit in any category. Plus a lot of it depends upon my state of mind and how much time I have when I'm surfing.

Karen W said...

I read blogs to experience someone else's life vicariously. I read Chickens in the Road because I so wish I lived on that farm with Suzanne. I read Pioneer Woman because she lives on a ranch, so ditto. Plus she takes amazing photographs and is a pretty good cook.

I read Doctor Grump and Wendi Aarons because they're hilarious (plus again, both blog about their life and I love learning about how someone else slogs through the day). Same with You Can't Fix Stupid.

I don't read a lot of writers' blogs - this one excepted - because I'm subscribed to so many writing loops and I get quite enough writing stuff there. This one is occasionaly personal and funny, even if I have no idea about the actors or shows you mention most of the time.

And I love the book references. I just started The Forest of Hands and Teeth and am already in awe. I want to write a book like that (and like Hunger Games!) Someday.

Eileen said...

I, too, love your cat story. The drama of it really touched me. :-)

I like a strong opinion, something I can either agree or disagree with. I like a glimpse into someone else's every day life. I also like it when they make me laugh hard enough to snort Diet Coke up my nose.

Chevy Stevens said...

I like reading a couple of writer's blogs, and a few humour blogs. And I like reading about dogs and cats!

Sinead M said...

Karen, excited to hear what you have to say about Forest. it's always exciting to discover new and great books.

I've started an Ilona Andrews, and Eileen, it's wonderful. Amazing world building. Thanks for the recommendation.

Molly O'Keefe said...

ugh - somedays I can't even get to our blog until 10 pm! But when I have a chance to blog surf - I like industry blogs because it's a glimpse behind the curtian. And I like writing blogs - but only by the authors whose writing I love.

And Pioneer woman because it's just so good.

Karen W said...

Sinead, I finished The Forest of Hands and Teeth and despite its unrelenting grimness, I could not put it down.

However, I have A LOT of questions about the world building and I want more details. Plus I wanted to know what happened to the others that she left on the path.

The ending wasn't what I hoped for either, but it was exactly right for the book.

Awesome writing. Thanks for recommending it. It's rare these days that I can find books like that.

Sinead M said...

Karen, I had the same reactions. I read it all, but I had some frustration with unanswered questions, and the ending as well.

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