I started blogging just over a year ago and I thought today was the right time to look back on the journey and see how far I’ve come, consider if I’ve achieved any of my goals - or not  - and hopefully pass on whatever useful tips I’ve learnt. 

So what lessons have I learnt? Well, to start with blogging takes time, effort and determination.

When you blog you’re speaking directly to your reader, so for me, this has been an invaluable exercise helping me develop a more conversational, chatty writing voice. This wasn’t a goal when I began, but it became one, and I’m still working on it. Friendly and intelligent is a good tone to aim for - you don't want to talk down to readers. Sprinkling a little humour here and there lightens the mood, and makes the reading experience more enjoyable.

Content needs to be interesting, varied and relevant – easy goals to formulate, but difficult to achieve.  And it goes without saying you correct any typos/grammar/spelling errors. Pondering what to write for the next post when you only write about one subject can be tricky – I think it must be the same as with those master plots – it’s how you do it that counts. I’m not sure if finding topics gets easier or not as time passes.

Presentation should be as eye-catching as possible, but beware of the various issues involved if you’re making title/template/url changes ‘cos otherwise you hit a real steep learning curve. Reading others’ blogs will give a fair idea of what people are doing, shows improvements you can make, as well as letting you know where your weaknesses are. Yes, words such as ‘RSS feed’ still sound like a foreign language – and I've promised myself that when I finish editing this book, I’ll spare an hour of two to figure out some of these things. I have high hopes of making some serious improvements in this area. 

Reciprocating with people kind enough to read and comment on your posts is - according to every ‘how to blog’ I’ve ever read - an absolute must. I find it one of the most rewarding aspects of blogging – it shows people read what you’ve written. And even like it. Making connections with supportive readers and other writers on similar journeys provides much needed encouragement – something writers always appreciate.

The trouble is there’s always this gap between theory and practice; between your ideals and reality.  I have a to-do list of goals for my blog, because I want to keep it fresh for readers and stay enthused, so  I'm going to work hard in the coming year to close that gap. 

Writing Update 

I’m having fun writing a more plot/action oriented story. By the time my plucky heroine has reached chapter 12 (now edited), she’s been attacked by a supernatural being, kidnapped and knocked down by a car. Oh, and I should mention her aunt’s in hospital with an undiagnosable disease, and her best friend has been turned into a supernatural. So no letting up on the challenges she must face. Note to self: check I've not ended every chapter with the poor thing unconscious.

Thirteen more chapters to go, and I hope to have this edit finished by the end of March.
I’m considering checking out Wattpad as I’ve heard good things about getting feedback etc., – difficulty for me is the same old problem – fitting it in with the writing, the blogging, the time spent on social media – oh, yes, let's not forget family, friends, and life!

Today’s Haiku
she scribbles pauses
to stare out of the window
chasing wayward dreams  

Useful Links:

If you’re feeling down and would like to practice a bit of positive thinking, check out this link.
http://100HappyDays.com You can also post on Twitter #100HappyDays, Facebook or Instagram.  

Thanks for visiting my blog, and please do leave a comment. 
Join me on Twitter at: teagankearney@modhaiku 

To all story lovers out there, good reading, and to those of you who write, good writing.

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