Writing Life

The Value of Guest Blogging

I’ve had a productive week for guest blogging. On Monday, Sarah Foil and I swapped posts, and I had a post go live on Assignment Online–the publication of my MFA program. Then on Thursday, I had a post go live on Writers Helping Writers, which was voted one of the top 101 Best Websites for Writers by Writer’s Digest in 2016. I set up another guest blog post for February that I have to start work on next week.

So I thought now would be a great opportunity to talk to you about the benefits of guest blogging.


Some Sites Pay You

I won’t lie; it’s nice when you can be paid for a contribution. Not all sites do, and this isn’t even the biggest benefit, but it’s nice to get some money thrown your way. That said, I’m not in a position where I can pay guest bloggers right now, so I certainly don’t expect it.

I listed this benefit first because I wanted to mention it, and get it out of the way. As I said, it’s really not the biggest benefit out there.

You Get to Know Other Bloggers

Blogging can seem like a lonely endeavor. We sit in our offices, rooms, dens, and kitchens and write, hoping someone will enjoy reading it. It’s a lot like fiction writing. If you don’t find a way to create community, it can be lonesome.

Guest blogging gives you the opportunity to connect with others who like doing what you do. Community is so important, even for those of us with introverted tendencies. (I’m an extroverted introvert, which is fun and confusing, but basically I like community but recharge on my own.)

Writing is also highly reliant on who you know, just like any other industry. Expanding your professional network is a wise move if you plan to make a career of writing.

You Get Clips

Guest blogging is a great way to get your name out there in bios and bylines. I wanted to have more clips about the craft and process of writing, so this year I made it my goal to seek out those opportunities that would allow me to start building that area of my portfolio.

You Build Your Own Blog’s Community

If you have the opportunity to link back to your own site or your own blog, then guest blogging can be a great move because it helps audiences of other sites discover your site. (To everyone who has recently discovered this site, thank you for reading!)

As a blogger, building community is one of my main goals. In order to do that, I need to attract readers. Sure, I can just post blogs and hope people will find them who will find them interesting, but I have a much stronger chance of attracting the right audience by going out and letting readers know I exist. Guest blogging is just one way to do this.

Other Benefits

It’s fun to guest blog. You feel like a bit of a super star for a day because someone else has decided to feature your work. It’s enthralling! There are loads of other benefits too, depending on who you are and what your goals are.

I’d love to know what you get out of guest blogging. And, if you’d like to swap posts, please feel free to contact me.

MFA, Writing Life

Writing Goals: 2018


Happy New Year! Lots of people make resolutions at this time of year; not me. Resolutions are too easy to break. Usually, I go with them for about two weeks and then I skip a day or two–and then it’s over. Instead, I prefer to come up with goals for the year.

I have my own personal goals, but I’m going to share my writing goals, as this is (mostly) a writing blog.

MFA Thesis

As my primary writing endeavor, this will take prime focus. If I write a chapter a week, I can finish a rough draft of my thesis novel by May 27, 2018. That’s my goal.

After residency (which is in less than a week, woohoo!), I’ll be living in New Hampshire for the semester so that I don’t have to drive three hours to campus in potentially inclement weather. I found a sublet situation with a friend from my MFA program, so I’m looking forward to some productive writing sessions.

The good news is this: While I will still be working as a freelancer, I will be able to get by with meeting my required quotas because of student loan disbursements, my tax refund, and the TA stipend.

So I’ve decided I will treat this time like a working writing retreat. It’s a great opportunity to get my rough draft hammered out. I’ll be in New Hampshire through April, which leaves a month to go of drafting when I get home, but I’m confident I’ll be able to keep up with my goal.

Short Stories

I’m still working on my goal of writing one short story each month. I missed last month by a couple of days, but as I was away for a week with family–and it was rather difficult to write over the holiday with much going on–I’m not going to beat myself up over it. I should have December’s short story drafted by the end of today, and out for submission by the end of this week.

This month’s short story is one that’s already written and critiqued; it’s just a matter of addressing its weak points and playing up its strengths before finding it a home by the end of the month.

Writing Contests

I will participate in writing contests this year. Last year, I gave myself a $50 budget for the year; I might bump that up to $100 this year but I haven’t decided.

Either way, I will enter some contests–paid and free–in hopes of getting my writing out there. It’d be cool to place in one of them; I came close a few years ago when I got an honorable mention in the WOW-Women on Writing Flash Fiction contest in winter 2015.

Writing About Writing

I also want to pitch articles about the craft of writing this year. I pitched two last year. The one in November was accepted and I haven’t heard yet about my pitch I sent in December.

These articles can be to magazines, anthologies, or blogs–I’m not picky. Last year I pitched two; this year I want to pitch four articles.

This Blog

Finally, but not least important, is this blog. With school and my TA work, blogging daily just isn’t possible. But I’m aiming for three blog posts per week, with one of those three being a writing prompt.

What are your goals?

I’d love to know what your goals are–writing, reading, or otherwise. Share in the comments for some accountability (not that I’ll hassle you about meeting your goals).


We interrupt your regularly scheduled programming…

Update: I have removed this survey from the sidebar as it is two weeks old, but you’re welcome to answer it in this post. I will still take your answers into account.

I was going to do a post about a book, but I feel it’s important to call to your attention a one-question reader survey. If you’d take a moment to answer the survey below or in the sidebar on this blog, I’d truly appreciate your feedback. As I’m building out my platform, I thought rather than blog about what I think you might want to read, I would go ahead and ask. I’ll leave the survey open for a week or so, and continue posting each day on the topics in my editorial calendar until then.

Thank you for your participation!