Shelley Widhalm

The Confident Blogger

In 52: A Writer's Life, Shelley Widhalm, Writing on September 1, 2013 at 11:30 am

I wanted to take a step back from blogging about the writing process to reflect on why I blog and what blogging has to offer a writer.

In June 2008, I started blogging to build a platform, taking the advice of my writers’ magazines that having a Website and blogging are important prior to and after publication.

Blogging and platform-building are part of branding yourself, establishing an identity for you as a writer. I write under the moniker, “Shell’s Ink,” while Zoey the Dachshund, my four-legged, furry co-blogger, writes as “Zoey’s Paw.”

Blogging every week about writing – from elements of writing to the life of a writer – has made me evaluate my own writing processes, putting into words what I normally take for granted, such as how I write, rewrite, edit, revise and come up with ideas. I no longer just do but analyze what I’m doing and why, adding depth to the process.

I increase and reconfirm my knowledge about writing by studying writing. I conduct online research and review my notes, magazine clippings and books about writing, taking notes to gather material for my blog of the week. I write on a variety of topics from the elements of writing, or plot, character and setting, to the steps of writing from rough draft to revision.
As a result, I’m clearer about what I need to do when I write, making sure I include all of the story elements, while also thinking about the plot and character arcs. I am more cognizant of every step of the process of writing, editing and revising.

Blogging has:

• Taught me a new style of writing that is different from writing novels and short stories, news and feature articles, and essays.
• Helped me search out ideas and subjects for my blogs, expanding my understanding of and knowledge about the concepts and vocabulary involved in writing, such as “word echo,” “heroic journey” and “pacing.”
• Made me a better writer, because I write every week, fine-tuning my skills.

Zoey’s blog can be found at

Next week’s post will be about “The Fearful Writer,” or the fear of not improving and succeeding as a writer.

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