Do Blog Posts Need to be Witty and Insightful?

I don’t know if anyone’s noticed, but I’ve skipped a few weeks here on the blog. Mainly, I didn’t have anything much to report on the writing front, and just didn’t feel like it. I’ve read many times and in many places that to draw readers to our blogs, we need to have a catchy title, and content that either makes them laugh or ponder or at least is highly entertaining, and lately, I just don’t have that in me.

Actually, I just don’t have that in me most of the time when it comes to the blog. Not that I don’t like blogging–hey, I’ve been at it for three years this time–but I believe we have a limited capacity for coming up with witty, clever and insightful, and mine is pretty low. What little there is, I try to put into my fiction.

I gave it some thought, and came to a realization: as much as I like the blogs that make some keen observation on life, or point out something that could become a problem (a recent topic has been the over-proliferation of political correctness), I also enjoy blogs like Kait Nolan’s and Stacy McKitrick’s, where they write about what’s been going on in their life the past week, what they’ve been reading, and what they’ve struggled with to get to the writing–or the great bursts of productivity they’ve had. It gives readers a glimpse of who they are, and shows us that writers are just ordinary people like everyone else who have to deal with broken pipes and sick pets and take fun vacations and read. So, lacking anything witty or insightful at the moment, I’ll go with the ordinary for my past three weeks.

1. The week of May 11 was Birthday Week here in the Powell household. Not only was that Mother’s Day (which we actually celebrated a week later), my birthday and my husband’s birthday, which are two days apart, both fall in that week. It was also the daughter’s last week of school, which meant moving her out of her dorm and back home for the summer. We topped off the week with a family cookout to celebrate all of the above.

Isis 12 weeks2. Isis has been growing like crazy, and like puppies should be, continues to be very active and playful and ornery! She was less than 10 pounds when we got her at the end of April, and now weighs well over 20. She loves to steal shoes, socks, bathroom rugs, and anything else she finds on the floor, so requires constant supervision, much like a toddler. In addition to housebreaking, we’ve been informally working on things like “sit” and “shake,” but my husband begins more intensive training this week.

3. We sold my Harley on my birthday. It was a tough decision to come to, but made the most sense, as I rode it all of three times last summer. Between my headaches, job, writing, and other responsibilities, I just don’t have time, and never could get into riding just for the hell of it (i.e., without having a destination and purpose). The Harley was also too big for me–I had to have the shocks adjusted all the way down, and wear heeled boots just to be able to flat-foot stand on it, and I was never 100% comfortable on it. It was fun for the few years I had it, but sometimes you just have to realize when something isn’t working for you and move on. We sold it to a young woman who was much taller than I, and who will hopefully enjoy it for many years.

4. I had some testing done for my fatigue to see if it’s due to hormonal imbalances, which according to a lot of stuff I’ve read, is quite common at my age. The results will take up to three weeks to get back. In the meantime, the vitamins and supplements I started a couple months ago are helping. I’m still tired most of the time, but seldom at the debilitating level I was for a while there.

Alienated5. I have made some slow progress on my novel–and yes, it’s now nudging firmly toward novel territory. More changes have occurred to me as I wind toward the end that will make it a better story–but will also make it longer. My progress mostly stalled out over these past few weeks–I’ve gotten maybe a couple thousand words down in that whole time–but today I figured out a few things that should help. Wish me luck!

What I read this week: Alienated, by Melissa Landers, who is one of my OVRWA chapter buddies. Fantastic YA sci-fi about a student exchange program that goes horribly wrong–and about young people from Earth and the other planet who have a lot of  their ideas about each other challenged as friendship–and more–develops. Highly recommend!

ROW80Logo175ROW80 Update: As noted above, the writing is going slowly, but I did manage to format two ebooks for one of my copyeditors, and they came out great! So for this week, I want to get my writing back on track, get the ending planned out, and get 1,000 words down on that.

What about you–do you like “ordinary” blogs, or do you gravitate more to the witty, insightful ones? Do you find it hard to write the latter, week after week? How was your May? Please share–I’d love to hear from you!

Jennette Marie Powell writes stories about ordinary people in ordinary places, who do extraordinary things and learn that those ordinary places are anything but. In her Saturn Society novels, unwilling time travelers do what they must to make things right... and change more than they expect. You can find her books at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Kobo, iTunes, and more.

15 Responses to \

  1. Writing blog posts can harder than writing a book, lol.
    I’m glad the vitamins and supplements are helping at least some. Your puppy is getting so big. 🙂
    Here’s to a great week of writing and Happy belated birthday!

  2. Hi, Jennette – boy do I hear you. Writing witty, entertaining, even factual blog posts takes an enormous amount of time and energy. And I haven’t had any to spare in the past mumbly-mumble months. I learned my fatigue was due to anemia. It took a while, but getting the right combination of vitamins helped me. I hope you find a solution to your fatigue.
    A belated, Happy Birthday to you. You’ve had quite the month of celebrations and activities and while they are good things, they can wreak havoc on one’s writing time. And remember, thinking about the story and its ending is as important as writing. Good writing this week!

  3. Glad to see you’re back. I was wondering what happened. Glad to hear it was generally good stuff, and I hope you had a good rest.

    I like blogs that are a hodgepodge of things. Personal stuff, combined with insights and utter silliness. Jenny Hansen’s is a good one, as is Kristen Lamb’s. A lot of blogs I was following seemed to be all about “Here’s my latest book,” others were just too serious, still others were deep conversations about how bad life is. I like the blogs that do a little bit of everything. No one’s life can be polka dots and rainbows all the time, but tell us something good that’s happening, willya? 🙂 (Not you personally…)

  4. Good question–I’m not sure why I read the blogs I read!
    For sure I’m drawn to funny and inspiring, but sometimes it’s simply a voice that I just identify with in some way. 🙂 I hope you can solve your fatigue issues. Being exhausted all the time makes it impossible just to feel human!
    Hope your week is a good one!

  5. LOL SJ, you’re right – I tell people I write fiction because it’s so much more interesting than I am!

    Lynette, I think the doc checked me for anemia and that wasn’t the case for me. Haven’t seen you for a while – glad to see you here and that you’re okay!

    John, a mix of challenges and good things is definitely enjoyable. That’s one thing I like in your blogs!

    Coleen, I’m not sure what draws me to all the blogs I read either, but I know your lovely photos always make me smile!

  6. Thank you for mentioning me. That was quite a surprise! I’m glad you enjoy my posts. Unfortunately, even “ordinary” blogs aren’t easy. I struggle with every post I write (my life isn’t really that exciting). Well… for the exception of Wednesdays’. I had to make ONE day easy and sharing what I read is EASY.

    But I do enjoy “ordinary” blogs. Makes me feel like I know the person as a person, not know the person for what they know. Does that make sense? And if the blogger is only posting book and cover releases (their own or someone elses) without offering any kind of personal comment, why should I bother to stay? I visit and read blogs because I want to connect with the author, so I try my best to connect with my readers. Can’t say I’m a success at it, but hey, everything takes time. Gotta wait for those fans to come visiting (you know, once I GET fans — haha!).

    I still have to get my copy of Alienated. I’ve been wanting to read that since Melissa spoke about it. Hopefully, I’ll get my copy at the Lori Foster RAGT (that’s if Melissa will be there!).

    Oh, and you should post more pictures of your new “baby.” She’s so darn cute!

    Good luck with your writing project. Look forward to reading the next book.

  7. Welcome back Jennette – I was wondering where you’ve been.

    It sounds like you’ve been very busy, which no doubt accounts for the constant fatigue. Hormonal imbalances can really mess with the body, as I’m experiencing right now as well. In fact my blog post today deals with a similar topic – insomnia. That sucks, too.

    I love the picture of the puppy. It looks like you’re going to have a gorgeous dog in the future (instead of an adorable puppy).

    Good to see you back with positive goals.

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

  8. Stacy, that’s why I like your blogs – they show me “you,” not just your books (though I love those, too!)

    Patricia, insomnia goes with all this crap for me too. It’s gotten a little better, but not enough. Thanks for the sweet words on Isis! 🙂

  9. Isis is an emerging beauty. I can’t believe how much she’s grown.

    Jennette, you’ve got a lot going on: a birthday month, your daughter’s return for the summer, selling the Harley, all the medical tests, writing + the day job. Whew!

    I like all sorts of blogs. The witty ones are fun, but I like the slice-of-ordinary-life ones as well. Remember when we took Kristen Lamb’s course and she said we’d develop our blogging voices by blogging? My blogging voice is ordinary, but that’s okay because I write about ordinary people in tough-for-them situations. Hmm, now Im thinking of a heroine who sells her Harley on her birthday. Do you have dibs on that one?

  10. I am so glad to have found your blog again! I wasn’t getting the posts in my email and I wondered what had happened, but couldn’t figure it out. I’m sure glad to be back! What I like about the blogs I read is really the voice of the writer. It doesn’t matter so much what they blog about, but the writing voice itself that I connect with. I have actually stopped reading many writing blogs, because they start to sound the same after awhile. But, to connect with a writer and hear about their lives is like meeting a friend for coffee. That never gets old. 🙂

  11. I’m with you. I’ve also struggled to come up with blog post topics as of late. Maybe it’s something in the stars or the planetary alignment. I try to brainstorm topics, but I must be going through a drought instead. I try to tell myself it happens. At least with ROW80, we have the check-ins to post.

    I enjoy blogs that are more personal in addition to more informative ones. I like a good blog post on the ins and outs of writing, but I also enjoy knowing how the people I’ve connected with online are doing. So the personal/writing update stuff works for me.

    Your puppy does look like she’s getting big. Any guesses how much she’ll weigh when she’s fully grown? She looks like a Rottweiler, so I’m guessing she’ll be a big dog when she grows up. 🙂

  12. Pat, we can’t believe how fast Isis has grown either! Be my guest on writing the heroine who sells her Harley–even if I wrote it, they would be very different stories! And you know I enjoy your blog!

    Emma, so glad to hear from you! You’re right, a lot of it’s about the writer’s voice. I love your down-to-earth, sensible “epiphanies.” Come to think, the commenters here write the kinds of blogs I enjoy!

    Denise, the ROW80 check-ins help a lot! I do like the blend of personal and writing–after all, it’s all intertwined. And yes, Isis is a Rottweiler–judging by her parents, we think she’ll be around 100 lbs. when grown!

  13. Well Jennette, I for one missed you! Sorry it took me so long to get here this week. I wasn’t feeling good. I hear ya on the blogging thang. I think some people could blog about their neighbor taking a pee in the bushes and it would be interesting, you know? When you’re tired with a headache, you just want to get through your day. You don’t have the extra energy to put out content. But who says we have to be the entertainment of the week? I’ll tell you what I miss. And that is My Town Mondays!!! What happened to it? I know Dayton, Ohio is a good size town. There’s got to be something happening there. Was it a rainy spring? Did you receive too much snow? How did your daughter do with her first year at college? What drew you to love riding Harleys? Was this something you and your hubby liked to do together? Have you always loved motorcycles? Have you taken a drive somewhere in your Camaro? Isis is gotten huge. What kind of training are you enrolling him in? LOL! Did I give you any ideas? Just trying to help. Missed you!!! ((Hugs))

  14. Love birthday weeks/months. How fun! Happy belated birthday, my friend.

    Blogging never comes easy to people like us. I think it’s important to be real – true to who we are. I’m taking a class with Melissa Cutler through the San Diego RWA to help with this and all aspects of social media. It just started and only runs two weeks (I think). You might like it. Check it out if you want to. Our first assignment touched a bit on what you talked about, what to blog about – sorta.

    Sorry to hear your health has been less than par. I hope the doc can figure that out soon and you can get back to feeling up and peppy. Then you can crank the books out. Be golden. Which, by the way, glad to hear you made progress on your story and it’s talking to you.

    Love the cover of the YA you read. May need to check that out. Sounds delish!

    Big hugs. Hope you feel better soon.

  15. Karen, thanks so much! And good to know you enjoy My Town Monday. I’ll have to come up with something for another one soon. It’s one of those things that take more time and work, but I do enjoy it once I get to it!

    Debra, thanks! I think you’re right – it comes much more naturally to me to just lurk on other people’s blogs. I might check that workshop out to see if she offers it again, since I’m doing another one right now. You should definitely check out Alienated – its really good!