Saturday morning’s idle question

If you’re reader of this blog (by which I mean either Eagles Over the Kennebec, on LJ, or The Blog Without a Name, at sharonleewriter.com), you obviously read at least one author’s blog.

My question to you today is:  Why?

Why do you read writer’s blogs?

. . .and, Special Bonus Question:

Of the author blogs that you do read, which is your favorite — and why?

Have at it.

27 thoughts on “Saturday morning’s idle question”

  1. For the cats.

    And habit. One day you start and then you get it on your blog roll and it is interesting. you get to know the people, you become interested in their story and you want to know what happens next.

    I have quit reading writer blogs if they interfered with my ability to enjoy their writing.

  2. I read writers’ blogs if a) they blog mostly about their books or b) they routinely write about other subjects in which I have an interest.

    If “none of the above,” I haven’t the time to include their day-to-day ramblings in my daily schedule even if I really love their books.

  3. I love author blogs and websites. I read them mostly for info on the next book and when it will arrive or the author’s backlist (if it’s an author new to me). When authors close down their websites or go on Facebook (which is the same outcome for me) I really mist all the info that was on the website.

  4. Mainly to find out when your new books and/or stories are coming out. Actually I don’t read anyone else’s. I’m very fond of New England (though I have never had the chance to live there) so I enjoy reading about Maine: the library, the cats, etc. Also sometimes for references to books I have or haven’t read. I am the only other person besides yourselves (and my daughter) that I know that has read all of Georgette Heyer, so I figure we must have something to say to each other.*lol*

  5. I started reading yours on LJ and it became a way to keep up to date with what you and Steve are up to as well as getting little snippets of your work in advance of the next book. Now, I read the FB posts of about a dozen authors for the same reasons.
    I find that when I am away from my computer for a few days, I miss my on-line friends in the same way I miss my physical world friends when we are apart. These exchanges, for me, are very much like a conversation. This is especially so when the author asks specific questions of their readership audience.
    I am hungry for the snippets, but more importantly, reading your posts is like keeping up with old friends. I don’t know ALL of the authors I follow, but the ones I do know personally, I consider to be friends in varying degrees (I’m not certain that they feel the same way) Obviously, the ones I have actually WORKED with and for, are dearer to me.
    I love hearing about the details of your days with the CATS, your struggles with certain characters, how you incorporate modern life around the glamorous life of best selling authors, and the SNIPPETS.
    Thank you, SO MUCH, for sharing all that with us.

  6. It’s fun. I read you, Robin McKinley, Elizabeth Moon, Seanan McGuire, occasionally Patricia Briggs – and now I’m going to read Patricia Wrede, I didn’t know about hers. All authors whose work I enjoy, and who I find I like when you’re writing (relatively) casually as well. It’s nice to know what’s going on – in your lives and in the way of upcoming books; I enjoy snippets, too. Why not read, as long as it’s here? The books are better, and if it was a choice between blog posts and books I’d prefer (as would the authors!) to get books – but as long as the blog’s not a burden, I’m delighted to read it.

  7. Of book authors, I read only your blog, because you never fail to write something I want to read. Be it about cats, books, carousels or whatever. I appreciate glimpses into your thoughts as the overwhelming right-wing stuff out there drags me down. I read your blog because I know it won’t make me hate humanity.

    I also read Joe Mallozzi’s blogs. He writes for tv and graphic novels. I don’t like his graphic novels, I am not wild about all of his episodes on tv. But his articles are highly entertaining, wild and I do mean wild, varieties of food info. It’s the only blog I read daily, and it’s often long. And I love the community of his readers who have been there for years.

    My fave? No idea. I can see you on Facebook, so I’d survive without your blog. But I’d miss it more than his.

  8. Why do you read them?
    To find out more about what’s in the pipeline for authors I like.
    To see what cons/signings might be near me.
    Authors’ life things, from foreign translations covers to cats to a kid’s impression of a story.
    Get a feel for an author id new to me with samples and the blog.
    The occasional cause message. (abuse culture, unrealistic art, writer beware)
    Interesting things to share (1-2 at a time, not to overwhelm the above list). Includes suggested reads.
    .. And research as I’m hoping to shift from fanfic to original and having a blog is touted as an integral part of that now. I’m more leery of the TB & Twit because I’ve already been hit with less pleasant side of the one, but blogs can cover everything in more depth.

    Interesting and entertaining gets a blog many bonus points

    Your Special Bonus Question:

    Of the author blogs that you do read, which is your favorite — and why?

    I read a handful that I check on a daily basis just to get my fix. Jim C Hines is my favorite because he covers all the items on the list.

  9. I really just read you and Steve’s at the moment I would hate to miss anything in the Liaden universe! Frankly I don’t have the computer time I once did since our family increased. The wee human is a little obsessed with keyboards. But honestly, you are very entertaining to read and I need that. Thank you!

  10. I read FB posts by: you, Tanya Huff, CJ Cheryh, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Sarah A. Hoyte, Michael Z. Williamson, Cedar Sanderson (I think that’s all, :-)). I get unusual info, a _dim_ look into their minds, and even useful information. Besides, I like getting to, sort of, getting to know the ones I don’t know personally that well. Now, get back to writing more Liaden Universe books. 🙂

  11. I read authors’ blogs because they’re well written and the authors are frequently friends of mine. More, I usually learn something.

    I don’t have a favorite. I don’t read blogs regularly because I could easily spend my entire day reading blogs, and I have other things to do!

    I read yours, Jeff Carver’s, Suzanne McMinn’s (about farming mostly),and asst. others about cooking and DIY home stuff, irregurlarly.

  12. I recently started reading your blog because:

    I really like the Liaden books and you say things about them here
    Your writing is interesting and hearing about what you care about and share publicly is interesting
    You post pictures and bit of tales about your cats

    I have read a few authors blogs, on and off: Neil Gaiman, Will Shetrerly, and others I can’t think of now. My reasons for reading those blogs are similar to my reason for reading your blog.

  13. I am afraid I have to echo what everyone else has said, in that I read writer’s blogs only if I am a fan of their work, and even then, only if I am seeking more information on upcoming work, or gossip about what is going on in the publishing world, or other things of interest to bibliophiles and science fiction/fantasy fans. I love John Scalzi’s “Whatever” because it is clever and fulfills all of the above criteria, with an extra helping of wit and sarcasm and oh, yeah, the Mallet of Loving Correction, with which the mighty Scalzi smashes internet trolls, much to the joy of everyone who is not a troll. I read Jacqueline Carey’s blog posts, Devon Monk, Jacqueline Winspear, Linnea Sinclair and Neil Gaiman’s blogs, along with a few other writers, but I usually read them sporatically, when they post a link on Facebook, because I don’t have time to read through all those posts every day, and still make time for my own 4 blogs.

  14. I enjoy the “hints” Sharon and Steve drop on upcoming and just published works, and I like the comments and speculations of other Liaden fans.

  15. I read several author blogs, time permitting:

    Yours
    Tanya Huff
    Seanan McGuire
    Michelle Sagara
    Elizabeth Moon
    Tammy Pierce
    Elizabeth Bear
    Steven Piziks
    Jim Hetley
    Doris Egan
    C.E. Murphy

    Most of these folks are on LiveJournal. A few have multiple blogs.

    Why? In general, when I read something I like, I like to know more about the person writing it, as well as see what else he or she has written. Facebook and Twitter are okay for casual thoughts and exchanges, but many authors tend to put more thought into their blog posts. Michelle Sagara, for example, writes beautiful pieces about raising an autistic son. She also addresses social issues.

    I like how Elizabeth Moon separates her blogs, putting a sampling of everything into Live Journal, but having a separate blog for a more in-depth look at her wildlife management and prairie restoration efforts on her land, and a third to discuss autism issues.

    I like Seanan’s blogs because, well, Seanan… 😀

    Doris Egan, Tammy Pierce and Tanya Huff don’t write all that often, but I really enjoy it when they do.

    I honestly can’t pick a favorite – they’re too diverse.

    It helps that you and Steve shotgun Facebook notices when there’s an update to your blog pages, because I’m on FB almost every day, while I only bring up LJ once in a while.

  16. I read no author blogs on a consistent basis, so cannot be of much help to you. I only recently started visiting your blog because your series is so twisty. I was looking for info about books, characters, plot threads, etc.

    I like blogs with clear titles for each post, so I can find the info I want when searching archives. I find your post titles vague sometimes.

    It’s nice to learn a bit about the author, but frankly, IMO, the author should stay primarily well hidden, behind the wizard’s curtain, so as not to bleed through in her characters…

  17. I read your blog because I like to hear what is going on in your life, house, family and mind. I sort of think of you and Steve as acquaintances that live across the county and like my family this is how I keep up with you. Sure hope this does not make me am stalker!

  18. I only follow those that I can catch via Facebook any more, because that’s what I have time to check, and that’s where I keep up with my friends and family. I subscribe to multiple authors’ FB feeds, and in most cases I do so just to keep up with their work. The exceptions are you and Steve, Kevin Hearne, C.J. Cherryh, and David Brin. Each of you write “real” entries which I find engaging on their own. Hearne is always a hoot. Cherry’s posts range all over the place, and provoke a lot of discussion. Brin’s posts often get into serious science or very political issues – I don’t even TRY to follow the threads, but his commentary and the links are fascinating. I really, really miss Suzette Haden Elgin’s LiveJournal posts, but I no longer have time for LJ and I’m not disciplined enough to ONLY check for what she writes. If I were to try, then at a minimum I’d have to look in on Elizabeth Bear, which would lead to Sarah Monette, then…

    I engage with your blog more than anyone else’s, and yours is the only BLOG that I go to read off FB. I’ve been reading your work longer than any of the others, and certainly engaging with you and Steve through your mailing lists and so on longer than any other author, so I feel like I “know” you to some extent. I think about y’all and the cats. I was so worried over Socks, and very sad that Whiskers didn’t fit in.

  19. I tend to read Ilona Andrew’s blog. She tends to post snippets of upcoming books. Her Inkeeper Chronicle was also fantastic. She would post a chapter twice a week until she finished the story.

  20. I don’t follow blogs much anymore. Full time day job, full time writing at night. Doesn’t leave much time for other stuff. However, when I did, Eagles Over the Kennebec took pride of place, followed by Steve’s blog, with a distant third belonging to C J Cherryh.

  21. The usual motivation for starting to read author blogs is to be sure I won’t miss upcoming works of people that I just automatically read. Then I get sucked into the life of the blog community (cats, travels, somebody else’s troubles etc.). Blog-reading usually happens during my lunch half-hour at work as the pleasant prequel to dealing with the Augean stables of my home email inbox. At the moment I am following you, CJ Cherryh, and to a lesser degree Patricia Briggs, Lois McMaster Bujold and Hugh Warwick (UK natural history esp hedgehogs)
    I think my favorite blog at the moment is CJ Cherryh’s because you get a real sense of a community of supportive, diverse, and pleasantly eccentric people and the discussion goes all over the place, though in very civilized fashion. However your blog has the advantage of being easy to comment upon. To post with CJ you have to go through the registration process, which sounds more intimidating than it likely is, but I haven’t found the time nor the burning need to contribute yet, so I’m still at the lurking stage.

  22. I read a few authors blogs. I like hearing about how books are coming along, if any appearances are coming up, and about various pets. I’m currently living in a (figurative) shoebox and don’t have a vehicle, so I don’t think it would be responsible for me to have a pet, but I miss the puppies my family had. And I’ve never had a cat, so it’s pretty neat to hear about the life of cats.

    One blog (John Scalzi’s Whatever) often has news-y updates or opinions on happenings in the publishing world, and stuff. I like reading that more than I like checking newsmap, because I care about approximately 90% of what is written on Whatever, whereas I really don’t care about the sports news or entertainment news listed on newsmap. Or most of the business news, either. (newsmap.jp gives a scaled, color coded graphic of what news stories are most popular in a particular country at that particular time, with links to the stories)

    I had to stop following one author’s blog because he posted so infrequently, and the only things he ever seemed to post about lately was, ‘hey, give money to this thing I care about!’. A little of that is fine, don’t get me wrong, and it’s good for authors to care and be socially responsible or whatever, but when that’s the only content…well, I get advertised at enough, thanks, and frustration is not the intended purpose of my blog reading.

    A favorite is hard…John Scalzi updates a lot, which I enjoy. Ilona Andrews often has fun bonus content (her what-if twitter conversations are really hilarious), and pictures of pets, too. Jenny Lawson and Wil Wheaton and Allie of Hyperbole and a Half are pretty open about mental health issues (which I think you’ve touched on a time or two–with the Spoon theory?), which I’ve been appreciating lately.

    And yes, not having to register to comment is a really nice feature. I hate passwords and logins and honestly, I never remember them anyway.

  23. I read authors’ blogs to learn about the author…to get a better feel for what it takes for that person to produce the books I like (I don’t read writer blogs if I don’t like the writer’s work.) I like blogs that reveal the person (not every wart and wrinkle, necessarily–keeping the private stuff private is fine, I didn’t want to see that embarrassing picture of the writer or know the details of that bout of food poisoning anyway.)

    The worst thing about reading blogs (any blogs) is what a temptation they are when I’m stuck and having trouble with a book or story. I can hang out in a friend’s circle of friends and pretend I’m doing something Useful while actually goofing off. I have to go on blog diets, steadily reducing the “waistline” of time spent on not-actual-work-writing whenever the work threatens to fall behind.

    Writing blog posts can also be an evasion of writing on the book, so I have to ration those, too, when deadlines loom. Cutting myself off of blogging or reading blogs for 48 hours usually increases productivity on the book. Sometimes amazingly–apparently I have a limit of how many words I can write a day, and if half or more are blog posts or comments to someone else’s blog post…well…it’s not surprising the book slows down.

  24. In my case to get a glimpse at what the writer is currently working as well as getting to know how the writer thinks. I tend to be all over the place as far as what I will read or look at…

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