Recently WRITEtoDONE held a contest for the top ten blogs for writers. What caught my eye in the email announcing the winners was the criteria:

  1. Initial qualification: A site must have been nominated more than once by multiple individuals. If someone nominated more than one blog, only the first nomination was counted. Valid nominations needed to include the URL and give a reason why the nominated blog should be considered.
  2. Contest criteria: In order to be considered, a blog needed to be a writing blog. In order to qualify, at least 5 out of the 10 posts written prior 22 November 2011 (when the call for nominations went out) needed to be about writing and not not about freelancing, business, publishing, etc.
  3. Blog-based analysis: Factors taken into account  included: Frequency of posts: the blogging frequency accounted for 15% of the total score; Reader involvement: comment numbers per posts accounted for 15% of the total score. The number of nominations accounted for 15% of the total score. These three blog-based factors make up 45% of the final score.
  4. Quality of posts: Educational, useful, engaging, and discussion-creating posts were rated higher than self-promotional posts. The quality of posts accounts for 55% of the final score.

So this means if one intends to have a writing blog, then one should write about writing. That makes me wonder, how many unique scenarios are there, really, about the process of writing? We struggle, bleed, expose, avoid, sleep, mow the lawn, weep, do yoga, read books, sit for hours in front of an empty screen, attend workshops, wander around the house muttering to ourselves, wander the streets with an electronic device close to our mouths to catch that brilliant thought, sit in cafes writing anything at all just to keep the pen moving, write crap, write jaw-dropping prose, wake in the middle of the night and jot down that string of dialogue, or turn over in our sleep promising we’ll remember it in the morning, we go to writing circles, critiquing groups, join writers’ organizations and attend meetings, listen to other more successful writers talk about how they do it, submit our work to agents and publishers, enter contests, maintain our blogs… And sometimes, we get a request, an offer, an acceptance. That’s the stuff of writing blogs. That and the how-to advice and helpful hints.

Writers reading other writers blogs can take heart that their struggles and insecurities are shared, and that with perseverance and dedication success can be achieved.  But many of us who write these blogs tell stories as well as relay the agony and ecstasy of writing. We write. And that, it seems, would disqualify us from this contest. It just seems that there is pressure enough in the writing of what one writes without adding the pressure of keeping within the confines of these criteria.

I did enjoy browsing through these sites, however, and am now “following” a few of them. Expanding the writing community does provide a relief from writers’ isolation.

Here are the sites for the twenty finalists:

Here are the 20 finalists in alphabetical order

Artist’s Road
Bookshelf Muse
Courage2 Create
Creative Penn
Ghost Writer Dad
Jane Friedman
Jeff Goins Writer
Men with Pens
The Other Side
Pen & Prosper
Renegade Writer
Romance University
Story Fix
Terrible minds
Victoria Mixon
Word Play
Write Practice
Writer’s Inner Journey
writing Happiness