How Having a Blog Can Make You a Better Writer by Jordan Marie McCaw

#HorrorOasis #BlogSwap

Yes, Blogging Helps!

When I started my blog Recount & Reveal in 2018, I was doing it more out of necessity than desire. Little did I know it would help me develop a healthy writing pattern that keeps me going today.

My pursuit in writing began when I was a teenager, but only a few years ago did I re-search what that truly meant. Armed with a copy of the most recent Writer’s Market, I read about the importance of having a blog or author website to establish your own readership. It was time for me to start my own blog, but I didn’t want to write about just anything. For my blog I write about spooky and bizarre history events and folklore. Every once in awhile I will do a Q&A with a fellow horror enthusiast, author, or podcaster.

Like most of the people I have interviewed for Recount & Reveal, I’m a horror enthusiast as well. From movies to books to campfire stories, I can’t get enough of the genre. Not only do I love the creepy and horrific, but I also simply enjoy stories. The topic for my blog became clear once I realized this about myself. Write about the weird, the scary, and the ancient stories we continue to modernize and spread around today.

I didn’t expect this at the time I started Recount & Reveal, but my blog would establish a healthy writing pattern in my life. Writing isn’t always easy for me. I often have to force myself to sit before the keyboard and get to work. Starting is the hardest part, and it’s my least favorite part of the process. Once my fingers start typing, however, all the fears and laziness melt away.

I release a new post on my blog every other week on Wednesday. One of the easiest yet at the same time hardest things that go into running a blog is consistency. If you believe you can release something new every week, then go for it. I need a little extra time to research and know exactly what I want to write about. Sometimes I write about a specific creature in folklore like a Domovoy, or I write about an event in history like the missing Amber Room. Each post is drasti-cally different than the last, and often I’m learning the stories for the first time. Therefore, releas-ing a post every other week gives me time to research, write, and edit.

The extra time also allows me to write fiction. I knew if I released a post every week, I would give myself hardly enough time to write anything else. The original purpose of Recount & Reveal was to establish a readership that would hopefully also read my fiction. I will always pre-fer writing about fiction than about the topics I cover in R&R, but that in no way means I don’t enjoy writing for my blog.

The stories I’ve covered in R&R have inspired several fictional stories. The constant re-search keeps me hungry for more history and folklore. The hungrier I become, the more fiction I write. It’s a beautiful cycle that allows my audience to read along to what I’m currently interest-ed in. If you take a look at R&R, you’ll see I’m interested in many different things. Keeping the theme of my blog broad allows me to not feel too limited or bogged down with rules I’ve set up for myself. If the topic interests me and if I believe it will interest my readers, I will write about it.

Keeping on a consistent schedule also keeps me writing. Like I said earlier, writing can feel like the hardest thing in the world for me. I have an idea for a story, but I have no idea how to start it. When I’m stuck on my fiction, I get to write about history. I love writing about stories that have been told for centuries, especially ones many people don’t know about. I had no idea how powerful djinn were until I researched them. I had never heard of the Alaska Triangle, the Wendigo, or the countless mysteries surrounding men in black.

I’ve gained a consistent readership in the few years R&R has been around that has hum-bled and excited me. I started my blog as a home for my writing. I started it because I was told any professional writer should, but I now write for my blog because I love stories. My love for stories has never changed, and I doubt it ever will. What I write about for R&R and what I write about for fiction are in relationship with one another.

Whatever you’re interested in writing about, be it horror or nonfiction or science fiction, consider starting a blog about what is most compelling to you. You’ll find yourself growing not just in your writing, but growing also as a fan in whatever genre first grabbed your attention. You can make it as methodical or free form as you want it to be—just make sure you’re getting just as much out of it as you’re putting into it.

Bio: Jordan Marie McCaw works at Blackstone Publishing in Southern Oregon. She also writes a blog titled Recount & Reveal about bizarre historical events, interned at Dark Regions Press, and was an entertainment freelance writer and editor for several journalistic publications along the West Coast. She is a member of the Horror Writers Association and her fiction has ap-peared in Blood Moon Rising, Showbear Family Circus, BoneSaw Horror, Teleport Magazine, Sirens Call, and the podcast Chilling Tales for Dark Nights.

Categories: women in horror, Writing and Publishing, Writing TipsTags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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