My Story as A Creative Writing Blogger
I started blogging once a week the better part of three years ago. Before then I had several failed attempts. Come October 2018, I started fresh, joined an online group and began posting flash fiction stories. At first, there was no direction, just a clean-looking blog with micro-stories. Whatever the photo prompt inspired I posted regardless of genre. Shy, I held back on the quirky flash I am known for in real life. You know the good stuff, swearing and smut. Something about the short form triggers me to unleash my stupid. Like normal people, the risk of facing trolls held me back. PS. Don’t feed the trolls!
Organic Development: The Muse, The Persona
Over time, I released the stick from my butt and gained the confidence to share the stupid online. The Muse was born. One prompt picture (10 months in) inspired nothing but a bickering conversation in my head. The self exchange amused me and was all I could pull from the image, so I wrote the first muse story and shared my first quirky story. I surrendered to the notion, “readers are going to think I’m nuts” and braced myself. Feedback was encouraging. The Muse cemented her presence and became a feature, a dominating force, a saviour when my mind draws a blank. A reader, or few, requested The Muse start her own blog. Entertaining suggestion, but The Muse refuses to play on demand. For now, I’ll share the space, even if some readers like her better.
Revamp and Branding
This week, I’ve had the nudge to revamp the blog. Sometimes you just know when it’s time to refresh. My theme wasn’t being supported anymore. The newness inspires me to consider rebranding. No one can spell “Tannille” for bleep’s sake — Thanks Mum! (Fun fact: in my draft, I spelt my own name with 3 “Ls” as if to prove the point, haha)
It’s taken me over 130 posts to reach this point. And three flash fiction exclusive story worlds later; Conversations with The Muse (aka bickering with The Muse), Gods vs 21st Century (classic mythological gods navigate the modern world), and The Fairy Express (naughty fairies for naughty adults). Each flash fiction story series comprises quirky standalone tales and creates a common theme throughout the blog. There are also random stories, some quirky and some of the earlier posts are dark. COVID hit the world in early 2020 and shaped the stories I write. The pandemic forced me to consider what I wanted from my blog with all the misery in the world. My feeling; the world needs a laugh or escapism. The soul craves to feel good, no matter how brief. I don’t need to be adding to the universal collection of sad stories.
Note: I live in Australia and for the most part COVID is contained, very lucky. No judgment towards writers who need the emotional outlet. My decision is a branding choice. Another fun fact: in contrast, my novel worlds are dark and brooding, blended with humour.
A blog needs ferment to develop its unique personality. To reach that point, it takes posting on a regular basis. Webpage design skills will be learned along the way, so don’t fret if nothing is perfect, content is the goal. Think of it as editing; stories written, no matter how terrible, can be reshaped and played with while editing, so it’s best to write crap and have words to work with than nothing. The magic of editing. A blog can’t transform unless there are posts to work with (and yes smarty pants content need to be edited and polished before airing to the world).
Growing an audience for most of us takes time. That’s a good thing because the time provides space to learn technical skills and find the blog’s personality without the pestering fear of embarrassing ourselves (you can delete whatever you want before loads of people read). It’s better to have fans who like your writing than “followers”. “Followers” do not equate to readers (according to many writers in the online writing community). Post regularly, join a flash fiction blogging group (or write quality posts that can be searched on Goggle), and engage. This sound advice I need to apply to The Writing Asylum as I find my way for Blog Number 2.
Oh, and have FUN!