I used to think of a blog as a place to toss around thoughts, to sharpen ideas, and to establish my own voice and style. While I think those are true things, and I have certainly done all of them, there is another dimension to blogging that I feel I’ve neglected.
It’s no secret that many blogs have been converted to books, whether it’s the Post Secret blog or the now-famous Julie and Julia project. I know a lot of writers are afraid that their ideas could be stolen on web sites, and that’s something well worth considering, but for those us in this blogging thing up to our elbows, it’s time to dig a little deeper into the ways a blog could one day become a book:
Review Relevant Books
I need to focus on reading the most relevant books for my areas of interest and to that end I’m working on only reviewing books on my theology blog that relate directly to projects I’m working on or would be on my pleasure reading list. In fact, I’m calling my posts reflections on books rather than an in-depth review. I’ve spent too much time reviewing books on my theology blog that didn’t quite relate to what I need to be working on.
Invest Time in a Series of Blog Posts
For the ideas that may develop into a book or ebook in the future, I plan to take the time to map out the posts, plan them a bit, write a few outlines or drafts, and then get moving on the posts. Sometimes my ideas are too scattered, but if I want to turn those ideas into books one day, crafting some solid rough drafts in a series of blog posts may create enough material and momentum to carry the project forward.
Edit, Revise, and Consider Feedback
Of course my future book or ebook projects won’t move beyond the blog without taking the next step of editing and expanding my ideas. The one key advantage of blogging through some rough drafts of my ideas is the instant feedback readers have provided. I plan to continue gathering key information about my audience and the limitations of my knowledge or topic, helping to refocus or change directions if necessary down the line.