We Blog


As many of you reading this will already know, a host of ERWA regular contributors began blogging in earnest this year on the ERWA blog. I’m one of the bloggers and honoured to be writing in the company of such erotica luminaries. It’s always good to be in the company of writers. It’s actually great to be in the company of great writers.

When I’m not writing for ERWA, or writing erotic fiction, I teach creative writing classes in the UK and we occasionally talk about blogging in those classes. Some of the many questions I’m asked include, ‘What can you say in a blog?‘ and ‘How does a blog differ from an article?‘ and ‘Why bother writing a blog when you’re supposed to be writing fiction?

Well, to answer those questions here, I think I’ll tackle them in reverse order:

Why bother writing a blog when you’re supposed to be writing fiction?

Perhaps there is an element of displacement activity in blog writing. At the moment I’m supposed to be reviewing three books, writing two novels, and working on four short stories. All of these works are fiction and I make time for them on a regular basis.

But I also contribute regularly to two blogs and it helps me to keep my writing focused. I can use blogging as a chance to collate my thoughts. I can also use blogging as a chance to sound ideas from colleagues and readers.

Writing regular blog entries provides me with deadlines. These deadlines keep me secure in the knowledge that my writing is needed somewhere, and that helps to instil a sense of discipline and worth into my productiveness.

How does a blog differ from an article?

Blogs differ from articles in several ways. Primarily the tone is usually more informal and secondly, there is often a strong element of interaction between the blogger and the reader.

I can read a blog today and I can comment on it and feel fairly confident that the author will know my thoughts on their writing. I can agree wholeheartedly or I can offer an alternative opinion.

As a writer, knowing I can receive opinions from readers on such short notice is invaluable. As a reader, knowing I can give my opinion in response to an author’s writing makes me feel as though my thoughts are respected.

What can you say in a blog?

Blogs can be used to discuss anything the blogger wants to discuss. I have to admit, I pondered long and hard before deciding how I would like to contribute to the ERWA blog. Eventually I decided I would be most comfortable blogging about creative writing exercises.

As a creative writing lecturer I find exercises to be immensely valuable and I love to see how other writers approach these different exercises.

Also, as a writer, I find I’m growing to enjoy creative writing exercises more and more because they can offer prompts to corners of my imagination that I hadn’t previously been able to explore. The chance to look at things in a new light, or to tackle a writing idea from a new angle, is always helpful for keeping writing fresh.

But blog entries aren’t only limited to writing exercises. On the ERWA blog we’re getting thought-provoking pieces from a broad range of writers and it’s well-worth checking out. If you aren’t already subscribed to the ERWA blog feeds, I urge you to rush there now and demand regular updates.

You won’t be disappointed.

Ashley Lister
February 2012

“The Write Stuff” © 2012 Ashley Lister. All rights reserved.

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