Many writers starting out try to blog and write a book at the same time. They end up doing neither one well. Or they try to write a book before they’re ready.
Then they end up with something not suitable for publication, waste a lot of time, and endure much frustration. That assumes they finish the book. But they’re more apt to give up before they finish—because they’re not yet ready to write a book.
Unless you’ve done a lot of writing—say about one million words—and invested about 10,000 hours honing your skill (see “10,000 Hours”), I recommend you start with blogging or writing short articles, essays, or flash fiction.
Blogging (and short pieces) offer several advantages:
- Blog posts are quick and easy to write.
- Blogging is a great way to hone our writing skills and find our voice.
- Feedback is fast.
- Errors are easy to fix.
- Bloggers develop a habit of writing regularly, even when they don’t feel like it.
- Blogging according to a schedule—which is what all bloggers should do—trains us to meet deadlines.
- Blogging prepares us to write longer pieces.
There are many other benefits associated with blogging, but these outcomes are some of the key ones, which is why I recommend starting out with blogging or writing other short pieces. Save the book for later (see “Work Up to Writing a Book”).
Peter Lyle DeHaan is an author, blogger, and publisher with over 30 years of writing and publishing experience. Check out his book Successful Author FAQs for insider tips and insights.