Sometimes I’ll start to write a blog post I find particularly amusing—an anecdote, a dialogue, my thoughts, etc., and then I don’t publish it. I’ll even do something similar when I go to leave comments on your blogs—I get about fifteen sentences into my comment when I decide to scrap what I’ve just written and leave something a little smaller and less...lively. There’s a number of reasons for this. But more often than not, it’s because my comments/posts were too passionate. I figure if I’m that passionate about a topic, it’s worth blogging instead of commenting, but sometimes, my passionate thoughts don’t even make it to the blog.
There are a number of reasons for this. My opinion may be too controversial for the kind of blog I’ve set up or require more time than I have to do justice to the way I feel about it. But just as likely, I decide not to publish a blog post (or comment or tweet, etc.) because I’d rather sell the idea.
Okay, let me explain.
If I want to sell my writing, I must think about what it takes to sell my writing.
Sometimes I start to write (an anecdote, emotion, thought, etc.) about something I experienced, and then I think WTF am I doing? That little story is a gem worth saving for a
tweet Facebook status blog post book.
All writers who want to publish should be able to recognize the potential marketability of their words, right? Unfortunately, this has made me a bit skittish—not in leaving comments, but in leaving lengthy ones with substance (same goes for tweets and Facebook). There have been times where I thought, man that comment I left on Jane Smith’s blog was way clever—it would’ve been an awesome line for one of my characters. Is that vain? I don’t know. I don’t think so. It’s just…business thinking. As for blog posts, can’t tell you how many I’ve written up and not published. Sometimes it’s for the initial reasons I mentioned (or lame reasons, like it’s boring or too long), but other times…my writerly instincts kick in.
It’s kind of the sucky thing about being a writer. I mean, an actor can have a blog or Facebook without feeling like he’s giving away his acting for free when he could be using it in a movie. While it makes sense to give away some writing for free, if you want to make a career of writing, it’s in your interest to reserve your best ideas to sell, no?
So, yeah, sometimes I know I’m holding back on you guys. I like to think that someday you’ll read my stories and see a greater part of what’s in my head, but until then, what to do? I guess I’ll be as thoughtful and amusing and informative as possible without being, I don’t know, overly clever or marketable.
How do you draw the line between a blog post that will appeal to as many as possible and an idea/thought/anecdote/line you reserve to use in your writing? Do you draw a line?