The more I write posts here on this site and on my other two sites (here and here), the more I find that I’m invited to speak about my passions: travel, writing and birding. I had another request yesterday to talk about Australian birds but I had to turn it down due to a lecturing commitment.
Today I had the delight and privilege of talking about blogging. I was the guest lecturer at the university where I already lecture, Tabor Adelaide. This was where I completed my Master of Arts in Creative Writing recently (read about that course here).
As regular readers of this site would know, I’ve been blogging now for almost 7 years. Over that time I’ve learned a few things about blogging and enjoy many of the benefits of this writing genre. One of the unexpected spin-offs of blogging has been speaking to various community groups. During my lecture I highlighted some of the other unexpected benefits:
Unexpected benefits of blogging
- Having my photographs published in some unexpected places.
- Earning some income from my photographs.
- Seeing my poems, stories and articles published in some quite unexpected places.
- Building a sense of community amongst readers of my sites.
- The many comments on my articles from people all over the world.
Other benefits of blogging
These benefits are in addition to the better known benefits of blogging:
- Improving my writing skills; the more your write, the better you get at it.
- Feedback from readers in the way of comments.
- The creation of some income.
- The opening up of various opportunities.
The last few weeks have been very busy. Our daughter Rose, a teacher in one of our rural high schools, has taken up a teaching position in a school in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia for the rest of this year. My wife and I have been busy helping her to get ready for this big adventure as well as tidying her house and garden ready for a house sitter while she is away. It’s been an exhausting few weeks but now she is safely in her new environment and quickly adapting to life in a strange culture.
Good writing skills run in the family as she has reactivated her blog to help family and friends share in her adventure. Her site is called Rose’s Travel Jottings (click to access). I’d recommend a visit every few days, especially as she adds photos. And later in the year we are planning to visit her and then the three of us will travel several other countries together. Stayed tuned for our adventure too.
Good reading – and good writing.
I would guess that writers are mostly introverted people, happy to sit in their office tapping away at their computer creating stories, novels, poems, articles and whatever. Many shy away from the spotlight of public speaking. I believe that this is a narrow view of the writer’s life, one that is potentially limiting to their success as writers.
Writers need to be public speakers
As much as some writers might want to run from this suggestion, in order to promote one’s work the writer today needs to e a good public speaker. I have done considerable public speaking in other areas but very little in relation to my writing. Over the last 5 years I have had many opportunities to speak about Australian birds as a direct result of another blog of mine, Trevor’s Birding.
Prepare to be a good speaker
Joanna Penn on her blog The Creative Penn has written an excellent article on this very topic. Her article How to prepare for public speaking covers the topic really well. I recommend that you flip over there and have a read – or listen to her video. Excellent stuff.
I am currently taking a short break from my writing.
I am on a much needed holiday visiting my son and daughter in law in Sydney. It is also a great opportunity to get to know my grandson a little better too, and at 19 months he is cuteness personified – and that’s a completely unbiased opinion of course!
One of the things I did before leaving home last week was to write and pre-post a series of articles to appear on my other two blogs (see the side bar for the links to them). These will be appearing every few days while I am away, so I don’t have to worry and can relax. Unfortunately I didn’t get to write a complete series for this blog. I just ran out of time.
I tend to write blog posts in spurts, sometimes writing 5 to 10 or more in the one day and scheduling them to appear at later dates on a regular basis. In this way I get into a rhythm with my writing, totally focussed on the blog and the needs of readers. After I have several weeks’ worth of posts scheduled I can then get on with other writing – like my novel – and focus solely on that. Some people can attend to many different tasks in the one day. Others like the variety but I think I write best when I am totally focussed on the one task. I tend to be more productive that way.