Wednesday 3 April 2024

IWSG April 2024

Time for our monthly meeting of the Insecure Writer's Support Group! Hosted as ever by Alex J. Cavanaugh, the aim of the group is to offer a safe space where writers can share doubts and insecurities without fear of being judged. This month's co-hosts are Janet AlcornT. Powell ColtrinNatalie Aguirre and Pat Garcia.

Let's turn to this month's IWSG question, which is leading us down memory lane: How long have you been blogging? (Or on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram?) What do you like about it and how has it changed?

I've been blogging since October 2011, so I guess that makes me some kind of veteran, I suppose? In those days, the received wisdom was that if you were a writer, you had to blog. I still think that's true, and I'd always recommend it as a good way to flex your writing muscles and establish a writing habit. Now, the overwhelming message is that a writer has to be on TikTok, Instagram, or any one of several newer contenders that seem to spring up all the time. (I've been trying BlueSky but have yet to really find a groove on there.) All of these have their merits as well as their drawbacks. But I have always been more comfortable with longer form text rather than snippets and videos. Blogging gave us endless opportunities to take part in blog hops, writing challenges, contests and get invaluable feedback from peers. It seemed like you could do a different challenge every month if you wanted. Now most of these have fallen by the wayside, leaving just the old warhorses such as our esteemed IWSG and the excellent A-Z Challenge to stand as sentinels. (Who is doing A-Z this year? I keep meaning to get back involved - maybe next time.) I'm glad these are still going because I still don't think there's another community that offers connections like blogging can. In terms of how it's changed, I think many newer authors still probably write posts as a section on their website but I'm not sure how involved they are with the community at large. It doesn't have the same importance attached. The other platforms are perhaps more reader-facing, but for the camaraderie and support of other writers (which we all need), blogging can't be beaten. I'm really glad IWSG is still here because it keeps my blog alive!

I really enjoyed last week's IWSGPit. Although I missed out on getting industry likes, I did get some brilliant responses and feedback on my pitches and made new connections, which is certainly a boost. Today I'm trying my hand at #QuestPit, which is new to me, but seems like a lot of fun. If you'd like to find out more and get involved, there are details to be found here.

How do you feel about the state of blogging today? Read more answers as always at the list here. Are you taking part in #QuestPit?