How I utilise the Internet to develop, write and share my stories
As interesting subjects tend to stick around in my head, I've been thinking about the post I wrote last week on the subject as to whether blogging was dying.
And the thing is, the act of blogging now is not just a blog. Blogging is Instagram photos, a busy Twitter feed, a Pinterest board full of interesting and inspiring articles or captivating images. Or a lively Facebook page or group. It's a whole online story.
As I wrote before "the number of different platforms can make for an interesting online experience for the reader."
But it's also an interesting and exciting online experience for the writer/blogger/creative (I'm just going to say 'writer' from now on!)
Each platform gives the opportunity for the writer to develop and build on storytelling skills. To practice their writing. To discover and develop their writing voice. To learn to edit and to cut out superfluous words. It's an incredible opportunity.
For example, I do the following:
- I use my blog to write posts like this one. To sketch out ideas and develop my thoughts.
- I use my main Instagram feed to push my creativity and storytelling in different ways. To create an image of something that has come to my attention (often seasonal) and use the caption to create a small story with a beginning, middle and end. This YouTube film shares how I create my Instagram pictures.
- I use the Instagram Story function to create mini-films. Funnily enough making short films has helped develop my editing skills with my writing. (This is a short film on how I create my mini-films.)
- I also use the Instagram Story function to tell the story of my chicken and duck family. The ups and downs. The challenges certain weather provides. The changes in the seasons. And because there is limited space I think carefully (most of the time!) about the words I use and how I structure my sentences.
- I use Twitter to develop conversations around my blog posts. When I asked if there was ageism in blogging there was a huge conversation on twitter about it. It was fascinating and I'm still collating the responses. This is leading to further blog posts to continue the conversation.
- I use Pinterest to share articles on creativity, productivity, blogging as well as recipes and inspirational images. I see it as a magazine of my interests. (My tips for using Pinterest are here.)
- I use my newsletter to, again, develop my storytelling skills and write about what has happened outside in my field this month. Plus, I share books I've read, blogs I've read, films I've watched and Podcasts I've listened to. My March 2018 newsletter is here if you'd like a peek.
- I have a Facebook page for A Bookish Baker but I mainly use this platform for the group function. I've a private group for my Sowing Stories e-course students where I hope to inspire and encourage them with my words and actions.
Now, that's not to say I use them all everyday. My newsletter goes out once a month, I blog a couple of times a week and use the others as and when. At the moment I'm feeling no motivation to work on my main Instagram main feed pictures but I am still creating for Instagram Stories most days.
The advice out there, for the writer and blogger, is that relying on just one platform can be a dangerous game. I've said that myself. So utilising these different platforms and creating different stories for each one makes so much sense from that perspective.
It also makes sense in terms of developing different creative muscles and not getting stale.
And it helps when your inspirations have flatlined in one area but not another. When you don't feel like writing you might feel like filming. When you don't feel like filming you might be inspired to create a beautiful flatlay for Instagram.
And all of it comes together to formulate your overall online story. And when you find a reader that loves your work they can have a fine old time reading your blog posts, scrolling through your Instagram or Twitter feeds, following you on Pinterest. And on each platform they're gaining something slightly different but something that is still you.
And did I mention you're pushing yourself creatively?
Introducing the Sowing Stories Newsletter
I am fascinated by the blogging and creative online world. Writing on the internet has given me confidence, pushed me creatively, encouraged me to learn and develop different skills as well as giving me some fabulous opportunities. I love it and each week I'm excited to see which direction I'll go in next.
I also love to read blogs and 'study' (for want of a better word!) and write about how the Internet is evolving and how people are using it for their own creativity - in the hope it'll inspire similar people like you as well as myself.
As part of this I'll be collating all the interesting snippets into a regular newsletter. [This will be different and separate to my A Bookish Baker monthly letter.] My Sowing Stories Newsletter will share everything I've found about blogging and online creativity in a weekly or fortnightly email (depending on how much there is going on online!) I'll also be sharing tips about blogging creatively which will include Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and other platforms.
By signing up to the Sowing Stories Newsletter you'll also be the first to hear when my next Sowing Stories e-course will launch and you'll have access to early bird pricing. Although - let me stress here - there will be no pressure to buy the course - it's not going to be one of those mailing lists. If you just want to hear the blogging news then that is brilliant and lovely and I'm thrilled for you to sign up just for that.
To receive the Sowing Stories Newsletter just fill in your details below: