Writer by day, ballroom dancer and choreographer by night, Colby has a tendency to turn every hobby she has into a job, thus ensuring that she is a perpetual workaholic. In addition to her 9,502 regular jobs, she is also a contributing columnist for M Food and Culture magazine and is a proud member of International Thriller Writers and Sisters in Crime.
She is actively involved in local theatres as a choreographer as well as sometimes indulges her prima donna side by taking the stage as an actress. She lives in Georgia with her family, two mutts, and an array of cats that, if she were a bit older, would qualify her immediately for crazy cat lady status.
Her debut thriller, Chain of Command, is about a reporter who discovers the simultaneous assassinations of the President and Vice President may have been a plot to rocket the very first woman—the Speaker of the House—into the presidency. Chain of Command is now available, and the second book in her McKenzie McClendon series, The Trade, is due for publication by Stairway Press in June 2013.
How to Write a Crappy Blog by Colby Marshall
As writers, it’s a trend that we all feel the need to keep up a blog. Especially when you’re headed towards publication, it’s a good way to interact with readers and give them a little extra insight into your world. And yet, after a while, blogging can become not only a chore, but it can become downright difficult to continue if you can’t think of a topic, are sick, tired…life gets in the way. This leads to—gasp—the crappy blog.
You all know what I’m talking about, I’m sure. It starts with that blog post you read where the person posting first begins to go downhill. Usually, once begun, the trend doesn’t stop. I’m here today to warn you of this terrifying slippery slope, and since I’m as tired as an eighteen wheeler (cue the groans), I’m well-equipped to present to you today a lesson on How to Write a Crappy Blog.
Step one: Begin with vague reference to how your day was long and how exhausted you are (CHECK!). If you are so obliged, fill in certain details about how you didn’t sleep well the night before/have developed gout/had a fight with your little brother’s ill-tempered therapist about how you are positive your constant insults to him as a child did not cause him to become the unpleasant pessimistic weasel that he is today.
Step two: Apologize for not feeling like writing a good blog, because we all know the best thing to do to keep your audience’s attention is to tell them that you are, for some reason, writing even though you have nothing to write/don’t feel like writing. I think readers really respond to a post about nothing. It’s more popular than Wilford Brimley’s thighs.
Step three: Promise to write something profound tomorrow, then step back and wait with baited breath for your readers to refresh their screens every five seconds the following day as they anxiously await your triumphant return.
For writers who keep blogs, this trap is all too common, but fortunately, with a little care and a promise to yourself that you will never fall into this habit, you can make sure that you keep truckin’ even when the going gets tough, your head hurts, and you don’t have a thing to say except how if your cat wakes you up one more time, you’re going to soon have a brand new fur coat. How, you ask? The best way I know is that on days you do have a lot to say, go ahead and push a few extra blog posts out of your brain to save for a rainy day. That way, on those tough days, you can open your ready to go folder, copy, and paste instead of typing those dreaded words, “I’m too tired.”
And if all else fails and you ARE too tired, just stay off the blog all together. They say, “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all,” and while I’m sure they meant not to say anything mean, I’m sure it goes for uninteresting blog posts, too.
So, ‘fess up, bloggers…are you guilty of this blogging sin? What do you think if you read this type of “too tired” post from bloggers you follow? Do you have any tricks to keep you going when it feels like you can’t go anymore?
Colby, I think you’ve called me out. Yes, I’ve been guilty of writing a crappy, I-feel-awful, blog post when I should have stayed off the computer and planted myself in a comfy chair with a cup of tea and a good book (like Chain of Command).
When we hope to attract our readers to our blogs, however, it’s wise to resist the temptation to vent and rant and whine. Take out a notebook and journal it instead…for your eyes only.
Chain of Command is now available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Sony, iBooks, Kobo, other major e-readers, directly from the publisher at StairwayPress.com (free shipping), or in select independent bookstores.