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Thursday, March 21, 2013

Shireen Jeejeebhoy – Why Blogging Is Important

6:30 AM Posted by Unknown , No comments

Why Blogging Is Important

by Shireen Jeejeebhoy

I began blogging because I needed an outlet to write and a place to practice as I had just relearnt how to write after a brain injury. At first, blogging began as a way to write anything. There were some topics off limits because I was in the middle of an insurance lawsuit due to the car crash in which I had sustained my brain injury. But that still left many topics for me to write on. I would write on pesky raccoons or adventures on the TTC, Toronto’s public transit system, which for a person with a brain injury can be pretty difficult to navigate.

Over time, politics became the dominant theme on my blog. And so when it was time for me to start a website for my books, I created not only a website but a new blog too. I then had two blogs: one for my non-writing blatherings, and one on my book Lifeliner. After my lawsuit finally ended, I added brain injury and health-related topics to my website blog. A social worker suggested I do that because I had been unable to talk about my injury during the long years of battling insurance companies. It worked; it also let me share what I’d learnt. Occasionally someone would leave a comment on how I’d helped them, and sharing my experiences became the dominant reason.

The problem with blogging is keeping going. I’ve had to take a hiatus from my first blog; but I had already found myself flagging anyway. It’s not that I didn’t have things to write about — every day brought something new to opine on — but I was getting tired. Everyone tires of the daily or weekly blog, and it helps a lot to take time off. But tell your readers you are, don’t just disappear, and tell them when you plan on returning too. Your readers may not be commenting on your blog, and it may feel like you’re shouting into the void and no one hears, but check your stats, and you’ll see plenty of people are finding you. And lastly, whenever you plan on returning, add a couple of weeks (or in my case, should’ve added months), and that’s probably when you’ll return.

Many writers stick to blogging about their books or about writing. But readers couldn’t care less about writing, and there’s only so much you can write about your books before you bore them. Ask yourself what you’re interested in, what topics are related to your books, and blog on that. When you’re engaged in what you’re writing, your readers will be too.

And so blogging is important as an outlet, a way to express and thus empower yourself, a way to practice your writing, and a different way to engage with your readers. It takes time to build up a readership, unless you’re already well known. Be patient, take vacations regularly to keep your interest high over the long term, and it’ll be a rewarding experience.

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Genre – Medical Memoir

Rating – PG13

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