Can you write a book on a blog? This was the question I asked myself when I was trying to find the motivation to keep writing my novel.
And guess what?
For the most part, I discovered that writing a book on a blog is not recommended.
But hey, just because it’s not recommended doesn’t mean I can’t do it, so I asked myself, why shouldn’t I share my novel as I write it?
Well, there are a lot of reasons.
One, it’s harder to edit, move parts around, and just generally let your novel evolve if you’re sharing it as you write it. Not to mention, almost every writer probably knows this, but first drafts tend to suck… Plusssssssss, aren’t you kind of giving your story away for free if you’re sharing it before you publish it?
Yup, yup, and yup.
So why in the world have I decided to share my novel as I write it?
I’m going to break it down for you and, hopefully, this post will inspire some of my fellow aspiring authors to step outside the box of conventional novel-writing practices.
If you would like to read my novel, you can check it out here.
If you’re not interested in novel writing, but you are interested in freelance writing, check out some of these articles:
- How To Land Your First Client As A New Freelance Writer
- Why Beginner Freelance Writers Should Try Upwork
- 6 Common Misconceptions Most People Have About Freelance Writing
Here’s why I decided to share my novel as I write it:
Before going any further, it’s first important for me to note that my book is not currently on my blog.
As of right now, my novel lives on Wattpad (an app that allows people to share and read stories).
However, due to some technical issues that some readers have had with Wattpad, I do plan on moving my novel onto my blog ASAP.
I should also point out that this post is specifically written for those who write fiction. I’m sure similar ideas could be applied to non-fiction writing, but just so we’re all on the same page, my book is fictional.
Okay, now that we have that out of the way…
My top reasons for sharing my novel online:
1. Helps me stay motivated
This is probably the main reason I decided to start blogging my book.
As someone who works for herself, so much of my work is done on my own, and while this is still true with my novel, sharing my writing with people was something I craved.
I mean, sure, I have a blog that I share with people, but fiction writing has always been my true passion.
Sharing my novel in this serial format of once per week chapters helps keep me motivated because I know people are reading it. Even if it’s largely friends and family, knowing there are other people’s eyes on it other than my own, challenges me to keep writing and not let writer’s block get the best of me.
1. Keeps me accountable
In that same vein, the audience keeps me motivated to write, while also ensuring I have some accountability.
Because I know each week I’ve made a “promise” to release a chapter, I’m much more inclined to write at the end of the day even when I don’t want to.
3. Provides feedback
I wouldn’t say I get a ton of feedback when I release chapters. The people who are reading aren’t there to edit my book, BUT hearing any kind of feedback (even if it’s just a simple “loved that chapter”) is the motivation I need to keep going with it.
It should be pretty clear that the main reason I decided to share my novel as I write is because I need the motivation to keep going.
Novel writing is a very solitary experience, and when you’re sitting staring at a blank screen day-in and day-out, not knowing if this novel will ever see the light of day, you can feel hugely discouraged.
I know I did.
That’s why I made sure, in some capacity, this novel will be seen.
While I do have every intention of publishing, even if, for whatever reason, I wasn’t able to, this novel wouldn’t all be for nothing, and that alone is enough to keep me going.
How do I blog my book?
I mean, this probably seems pretty obvious: you share novel chapters just as you would blog posts.
Yes, but if you plan on blogging your book as you write it, I think they’re a couple of things you need to get straight first. Or, at least, these are things I had to recognize prior to blogging my book.
1. Perfectionism has no place here
But seriously, if you’re going to share a novel as you write it, you really have to let go of the idea of perfectionism.
While no piece of writing probably ever feels perfect to you, this is even more important when sharing as you write. You can’t spend hours making a chapter perfect before sharing it, or your story just won’t progress. You’ll get tired of it, you’ll be wasting time, and there’s a strong possibility you’ll give up on the project entirely if you sit around trying to get it perfect before showing anyone.
2. Don’t get too attached to people’s opinions/thoughts/feelings
I know having other people read your work is part of the appeal of sharing a novel as you write, but it’s also important to remember that this is your novel.
This means even if you have to change something and it complicates the reading process for this initial audience, or there’s a plot twist that you have to go back and switch up, remember, the point above: perfectionism has no place here.
Unless your book effortlessly flows out of you, you’re going to have plot holes and parts that you want to go back and switch, and sometimes you might have to sacrifice the initial audience who is reading your first draft.
Don’t forget: Your initial audience is likely composed largely of friends, family, and your biggest “fans.” This isn’t your final product, and chances are, this audience will forgive you if it’s not perfect.
In fact, you should make it abundantly clear to them that you know this draft isn’t perfect. It’s not supposed to be.
3. Stay consistent
If you’re going to share your novel with people, it’s important to remain consistent with it or there’s a good chance you’ll lose interest both yourself and from your readers.
For instance, when I first started blogging my novel, I was sharing new chapters 3 times per week. I’m now down to once a week, and I took a rather long (unexpected) break from it during the holidays. Since then, I’ve seen a drop off in people reading because I wasn’t consistent.
I would recommend learning from my mistake and only sharing once a week, or even once every two weeks. Whatever works for you, but be consistent about it.
4. Don’t let setbacks stop you
While I do maintain that being consistent is important, it’s also just as important to recognize that you’re probably going to have a week or two where you don’t have a chapter ready to go.
I mean, sure, in an ideal world, we would have all our chapters ready each week, but as writers, that’s also probably unrealistic. Setbacks happen.
The key here is not to let one or two (or multiple, in my case) bad weeks completely deter you from continuing.
I took off probably 4 weeks, but is that stopping me from continuing with it now? Nope.
5. Set small goals
Pretty much any piece of writing advice will tell you this, but a consistent writing routine really is key when it comes to writing a novel, regardless if you choose to share it chapter by chapter or not.
When you fall off from your writing routine, the story tends to get lost, you forget details, and you’re more susceptible to not writing for weeks, or even months.
When you challenge yourself to write everyday (even if it’s as little as 500 words), you continue to move the story forward.
6. Get ahead of yourself
You want to get ahead of yourself when sharing your novel on your blog, meaning you should have multiple chapters done prior to the release of the current chapter.
For instance, when I first decided to share my novel online, I probably had 8 or so chapters already written, which made sharing each chapter a piece of cake.
Just keep in mind, if you set up an ambitious share schedule like I did (3x week), you’re going to run out of chapters quicker and then might be more likely to take a long break from writing/reading (again, speaking from experience here).
Would I recommend blogging a novel?
I’m still in the process of sharing my novel online, so while I can’t say with certainty that I think this is a good idea, I do think it’s something that more aspiring authors should consider.
I mean, if you already have an audience who’s interested in what you do, doing this wouldn’t make sense, because you can likely get sales without this tactic.
But if you want to build an audience while also keeping yourself motivated to keep writing your novel, this idea might be worth considering.
Remember: you’re still an author in the beginning stages of your career. Just because you’re sharing your novel with a small audience now, doesn’t mean that the same novel can’t reach a wider audience later.
Start small and let things progress organically.
For me, that’s been the best approach for writing my novel.
Would you ever share your novel on your blog as you wrote it? What are your thoughts on blogging a novel?
If you would like to read my novel, you can find it here