Showing posts with label Sylvia Villalobos. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sylvia Villalobos. Show all posts

Friday, August 9, 2013

Sylvia Villalobos: Why Do We Blog?

I’m relatively new to blogging (seven months or so), and still learning about this fascinating world filled with communities and challenges and stories. Great personal stories. As I make my way through the blogosphere, I discover equally interesting places from faraway countries and old neighborhoods. I discover a lot of other things, but will focus on the first-mentioned aspects of blogging.

So, why do we blog?  To share our stories, I would say, but that’s hardly the only reason. Perhaps to promote a product, establish our writing, build a platform, express our creativity, be part of communities.

Some communities are so well organized (and crowded), I can’t bring myself to be commenter number 189. Does the large number of comments affect the blogger’s personal rapport with followers? I don’t know. I’m asking.

What I do know is that not having a blog is a thing of the past.  Since I like to write, I started blogging when I was told no writer is without a blog nowadays. So far so good, but are we blogging because everyone else is or for reasons that will last?

According to most blogs are abandoned soon after creation, with 60-80% abandoned within one month, and many surviving blogs are not regularly updated.  That may mean nothing to the serious blogger, but in the world of data those are large numbers.

On the other hand, the longest running blog, according to, belongs to Rupert Goodwins who started blogging in 1996. Now that’s staying power and dedication -- seventeen years of blogging. I’d like to think staying power is one of the goals. Otherwise, it seems like a lot of work and dedication gone to waste. A long-standing and active blog, it appears, stands on two pillars: great content and persistence. Since blogs are similar to personal journals, as a new blogger I find posts with personal touches most inviting.

For a time I thought blogging was something young people did, another aspect of the social media revolution. It didn’t take long to learn that’s not the case. Some of my favorite posts are written by bloggers transformed by life experiences. Not long ago, I read a post titled Good Girl Disease, by Doreen McGettigan. I think you’ll be moved by this true-life story. I was.

So, what is it that makes you blog?  And what motivates you to blog often?   

About the author: Silvia lives in Los Angeles with her husband and son. Her stories have appeared at Fiction365Red Fez, and Pure Slush.  She is currently working on her mystery novel, Stranger or Friend.   

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Silvia Villalobos: Why is it Important to Set Aside Blocks of Time for Writing

Please welcome today's A-Z Participant expert, Sylvia Villalobos.  Her topic is timely and important for all who are participating in The Challenge, as well as for writers of all genres in general.   I hope her advice helps you like it helped me.

You can find her here:
Name: Silvia Villalobos -- first time A-Z participant - way to go!
Blog: Silvia Writes
Stories published: “An Affair of the Heart” at Fiction365, and “Games” at Red Fez. 

Why is it important to set aside blocks of time for writing

I’m having trouble, sometimes, keeping a writing schedule -- for blog entries or stories. The A-Z challenge is a perfect motivator. Great to keep me on that chair, coming up with something new every day.    

After long breaks from writing, most of what I write centers on what’s already there, old stuff. Not bad, but it doesn’t stimulate my imagination. I add a few words to a WIP or a blog draft, cut and paste, maybe even change a name or two, but that’s not real writing, is it?

When I'm lucky, and inspiration strikes, writing is that process where I let my thoughts guide my fingers on the keyboard, create new sentences and paragraphs, do not move from that chair until I produce something new. Hopefully a whole lot of something new. Editing comes later, but if I don't put something down, I don't have anything to edit. 

Here’s what writing everyday does for me:

1. It improves my writing. The more I write, the easier it gets.
2. Memories clarify themselves -- the more I write, the better I seem to remember things.
3. Keeps the creative part of the brain engaged.
4. I don’t have to endure remorse for not having created anything new.
5. I have a schedule and discipline -- instill that writing discipline.
6. Helps me be more observant. The more I write, the better I connect with the world around me.
7. Master techniques such as description, dialogue, and exposition.
8.  I get comfortable with writing.
9.  Practice, practice, practice.
10. Feels good.

What about you?

Now can the process of everyday writing become counterproductive? Sure, it could turn into a mess if I just type away for fear of not coming up with anything new. I also need to take time off to look for inspiration. That happens when I travel or read a lot. But back to setting aside blocks of time for writing. When two writing friends mentioned the A-Z challenge I thought, that is exactly what I need. What better way to keep motivated? Can't think of one, nor can I think of a better event than the A-Z Blogging Challenge. 
I'm ready. :)

Sylvia, I'm glad you shared your advice with us. The part about not just adding to the work I've already done really spoke to me, as did the discipline of daily writing. I wish you all the best in this year's challenge!