Friday, September 4, 2020

Why Blog?

 Post by Doris McCraw

writing as Angela Raines

Why Blog?
For most of us, we are more than half-way through the year. I like to take the time and take stock of where I am in my plans and goals. This Holiday weekend, with all the events, family, and COVID make it even more important. Things change, and yet remain the same.
Perhaps you’ve asked yourselves these same questions. Am I on target in our writing? How about that ‘blessed’ thing called marketing? How does blogging, and the time it takes, fit into all that? Why blog if no one reads or comments on what I’ve taken the time to think, research and write about? I rethink this every year, asking myself the same thing, why blog? After all I have so many other things that are important. Well, perhaps that is true, but as I explain below, I find it important.
For me the answer is a bit complex. I’ll break it down into three sections. 1. Marketing 2. Research and 3. Name recognition, (the one that’s a bit tricky for me.)
1. Marketing:
If we write stories, be they short, flash or full length, we want people to read them. Even with non-fiction we want the information to get to those who might enjoy what we’ve researched and written.
For someone like me, who writes slow, there can be a long time between the various stories. Added to that, I write in two historical genres: Western and Medieval. I love both equally. You add to that the poetry I occasionally write, along with non-fiction work, and it gets busy. Facebook can only do so much, as well as emails. Plus, how do you expand your readership. To me, blogging is one of those ways.
I realize not everyone will like what I write, despite my desire that they do. At the same time, finding those readers who will like my work, is a challenge. It helps to use all the options at my disposal, and blogging is one of those for me.
Photo property of the author
2. Research:
This is probably the primary reason I blog. I want to share the research I have done with others. History and the people who made it are a compulsion with me. To tell the stories of the people and places from history is something I want to do. I don’t want those pieces from the past to be lost. The nice thing about blogs, especially with the tags, your posts are available via searches almost forever.
For over ten years I’ve researched the story of a Colorado criminal. I told his story at the Pikes Peak Library History Symposium presentation on June 9 of 2018. It is my hope to complete the story of the whole family. A very telling piece of history and the time in which they lived.
The other research that’s important for me to share is the story of the early women doctors in Colorado. While ‘Doc Susie’ is a part of that story, it has been slanted her way for far to long. There were so many others who did as much if not more than she. Between blog posts and articles I've begun to balance that scale. For those who may be interested, the article in Saddlebag Dispatches can be read here: Dr. Quinn, Doc Susie and the Reality of Colorado Women Doctors
The stories of the doctors and so many others need to be preserved for future generations. When you feel like you can’t do something, just take a look at what those who preceded you did. It sometimes helps when put into that perspective.
 3. Name Recognition:
Since I write fiction under a pen name: Angela Raines, it is important I share that information on my posts. When you add my online name, Renawomyn, it gets a bit tricky.
At the same time, my non-fiction work is important. I simply do not want readers of romance to pick up a book with my real name expecting a sweet story and they are reading about juvenile delinquents, early criminals or lynchings. By using pen names I hope to avoid that problem. Of course the reverse could also be true. Can you imagine buying one of my books about the trials and tribulations of early women doctors, and find your reading a story about a medieval woman and the man she loves?
In the end, whether anyone reads or comments on my blog posts, I have things I want to say. Yes, it hurts when no one seems to care, but in the long run, it’s the future I write for. So, here’s to the future and to the readers who want to know what I have to share.

Doris Gardner-McCraw -
Author, Speaker, Historian-specializing in
Colorado and Women's History
Western Writers of America,
Colorado Author League,
Women Writing the West

Angela Raines - author: Telling Stories Where Love & History Meet


  1. Your reasons for blogging are spot on and I understand, as do many, the frustration of thinking no one is listening. I took last year off from blogging and was stunned when I posted again and so many people wrote me emails saying they missed my blog presence. I only bring that up to say, more people are reading than leave comments.

    1. David, you are so correct. I thank you for your kind words and response. Doris