Lake Atitlan, Panajachel, Guatemala

“Reading and writing are acts of empathy and faith. Guard that trust carefully — in this rapidly changing business, it’s the only sure thing.” ~Erin Keane
"Never give up. And most importantly, be true to yourself. Write from your heart, in your own voice, and about what you believe in." ~ Louise Brown

"Write something to suit yourself and many people will like it; write something to suit everybody and scarcely anyone will care for it."
~Jesse Stuart

"A writer's job is to take one thing and make it stand for twenty." ~ Virginia Woolf

Monday, January 24, 2011

Amazing how much I get done when not blogging....

There's been longer time between my posts lately. Maybe it's because I have a big moving project going on at my house, maybe because of work, or fatigue, or because I got out of the routine during the holidays and my mom's illness. Maybe because my writing brain has taken hold which shoves aside the blogging brain (a good thing!)

I've noticed a lot online about writers being fed up with social media. Is the honeymoon over? Not as rosy as it all seemed at the beginning of the blogging love affair? There's still work, writing, family pressures-- all this to fit around the time required online to sell more books or to get an agent or to find the perfect publisher. Plus I believe a lot of people might have gotten into it with too high of expectations.

I love blogging and Twitter, so I make an effort to fit it into my schedule. If I didn't enjoy it I wouldn't be here. I like connecting with others whose passion is books. But sometimes life happens and posts get delayed. Or commenting becomes nonexistent. No biggie, the blogosphere isn't going anywhere *hope hope hope* and neither am I.

To those who are feeling conflicted about blogging, two words: balance and enjoyment. Try balancing your responsibilities as effectively as you possibly can, realizing that if you publish a book these days you must promote and this is the fastest, easiest way to do so.

Unless you hate it. That's where enjoyment comes in. Do it if you enjoy it, but if not then find another venue. There's writers who really dislike blogging but adore Facebook and have made it work for them. Same with Twitter, and if there's other effective social media outlets I'd love to hear your experiences with them.

Coming up on Wednesday, an interview with Terry Lynn Johnson, the debut author of DOGSLED DREAMS.


35 comments:

  1. you're so right. I had to set a schedule to find balance, and I don't think I've lost anything for it. It's good to be connected to the writing community however much or little~ :o) <3

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  2. I do love blogging AND I find it is hard to keep up properly or to the standard to which I aspire! So, like you, I try and remember balance. I know if it is going to be effective I have to go out, read and comment on others. I have to be somewhat consistent with my own blogging and tweet my horn about it too! (couldn't resist...sorry) I don't like some activities which I know make for more followers - like blog fests etc... I don't like doing things on my writing blog which aren't so much about writing or at least aren't fairly decent attempts at essays. That includes winning various blog awards, and passing them on, top ten of anythings, gimmicky pictoral stuff etc... I like reading about the media itself and about the future of publishing and reading. I like reading and writing about the art of fiction and somewhat about technique and less about the business - no that's not true. I like reading about the business of writing but not writing about it so much. There.
    Glad to see you when I see you and happy that you have a sane practice!!!

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  3. Jan, I'm the same with blog fests and all that. I can do a little of it but not regularly as they require added commitment that may come at a bad time for me.

    LTM, "It's good to be connected to the writing community however much or little~" brilliant!

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  4. Balance is tough--that's why I only blog twice a week. I finally got a Twitter account, but all I do is follow agents and editors and such. I don't actually Tweet myself, which doesn't do much for my personal networking, but saves me feeling an obligation. Can't wait for Terry Lynn Johnson's interview!

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  5. Since I went to three times a week, it's been much better. I don't do Twitter or Facebook anymore. Sigh! You are so right. It's all about balance and where we need to put our energy and attention.
    karen

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  6. I find I have a hard time with the balance and enjoyment too. But I love connecting, so I'm trying to work harder at it. I'm terrible at the fb and twitter. Maybe later this year I'll learn to love it. =)

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  7. Enjoyment is the key. I love blogging but not really a fan of facebook or twitter so I focus mainly on my blog.

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  8. I have done SO MUCH writing on my WIP since I took a blog hiatus a few weeks ago. Its really lightened my stress levels.

    Like you said, if you don't enjoy it, what's the point. I love blogging, but somedays it's just so much pressure. Being on blogbreak has shown me maybe once a week is all I really need.

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  9. I'm yet to fall out of love with blogging but I can say hand on my heart that so far anyway, blogging so works for me! It keeps me motivated and on my toes. I'm yet to decide whether I'm obsessed, addicted or am really enjoying myself though! LOL! Take care
    x

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  10. I think balance and enjoyment are absolutely the key to this craziness!

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  11. Amen on the balance. I love blogging, and reading my friends' blogs, but it can get time-consuming. I wish I could manufacture more hours! ;)

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  12. Sometimes I get frustrated with social media. That's usually when I am feeling desperate for attention and then it's time to step back and get my head on straight. Mostly, I refuse to let blogging become a stress. I post when I feel I have something to say. I use facebook and twitter as much as I like (hopefully not too much). It's important to keep everything in it's proper place, and writing should be the most important thing.

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  13. I don't think there's ever a reason to stress over blogging. If it's interfereing, cut it. Good for you for taking a break.

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  14. I enjoy blogging and update my blog once or maybe twice a week and try to keep up to date with the ones I follow as much as possible.

    I do use Facebook and Twitter and enjoy them both, but only dip in a couple of times a day and don't often have time to be there for too long.

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  15. Funny, you and I are on the same wavelength today!

    I'm really struggling lately with the blogging thng. It's not writing the posts, it's the returning of comments. I get so stressed when I can't get around to everyone quickly and the comments build up... I *love* that people visit my blog and comment, but I hate that I can't always get back to them promptly. Hopefully going down to three posts per week for the next little while will help me relax a bit!

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  16. I stress about this too, but a while back I realized I wanted to write a good book more than be a great blogger. So, I lost a lot of commenters, but I have honed my skills and that's nice. In a perfect world we'd all be blogging with no problem!

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  17. I wish I could blog less. No I don't! Yes I do.

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  18. You hit the nail on the head, Karen - balance and enjoyment.

    I've really enjoyed blogging but need to keep the posts to 2 or 3 a week. More than that and I'd never have time to work on my WIP.

    Facebook and Twitter are on hold for now. Maybe in the future.

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  19. Wise words, Karen. Balance is very important, as is finding time that is non-blogging related.

    I still love blogging and the blogosphere but I do feel that I need to spend less time doing. It's eating into other time I could be spending doing other stuff that's just as important.

    Jai

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  20. I do like blogging and connecting with others, which is why I stay up too late trying to get around to everyone, or get up too early, or sneak in when I should be somewhere else, doing something else! But once you do get out of the routine it seems suddenly easy to be shy. Also it doesn't help having the Clunkmeister (my home computer) on its last legs! Finding a balance - gosh, I DREAM of that balance!

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  21. I totally understand about needing to find a balance between social media and real life. I don't do Facebook or Twitter, and I've had to cut back on the number of posts, on my blog, in order to work on my cookbook.

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  22. I absolutely love blogging and visiting and commenting.... but I hear what you're saying... it DOES take up a LOT of time...especially time that could be spent writing, or doing other equally important things.

    I used to blog everyday, but I've reduced it to 3 days a week... and even though it's a big help, even that becomes difficult on extremely busy weeks.

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  23. Blogging sure can gobble your writing time. I think Anne Gallagher has the right idea. I take lots of breaks from it myself, and I only look at blogs on certain days. I love it, but working on my fiction is more important to me.

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  24. I love blogging and connecting. It has been a real boost to my writing confidence. I enjoy the comments made on my blog, but again I find it hard to keep up with reading and commenting on blogs. I don't seem to be managing my time very well lately. Sometimes life just gets in the way.

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  25. Good advice Karen. I'm making an effort to read and write blogs just because I enjoy it and not stress so much about a regular posting schedule. Interestingly, I do seem to be blogging just as much as ever ...

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  26. I've been feeling a little down about blogging lately too. Maybe it's the winter blues. I try and blog 3 times a week but lately it's been 1 or 2. I love to write blog posts but lately I'm having trouble thinking of topics. So I'll just comment and enjoy other's posts while I get through the funk :-)

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  27. You used one of my favorite words: Balance.

    Took me a while to learn that it's not always a daily thing - sometimes I have to look at it monthly.

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  28. I'm with you. Balance and enjoyment is where it's at! Happy blogging.

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  29. This is sooooo true! Social media does take time, but I love it. Plus, I learn so much from other writers that it makes spending the time worthwhile.

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  30. Balance is the key to everything. Too bad I don't often seem to find it!

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  31. And just now I signed up for this year's A-Z Challenge in April. Yikes! Am I crazy? Perhaps, but I think it will be a good exercise to post short bits daily rather than to think every post has to be this brilliant essay LOL! Prepare to be undazzled blog followers!

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  32. I love blogging just as much as the day I became addicted. The only difference is that now a days I don't have near as much time to spend commenting like I'd like.

    That full work week will really mess with you when trying to manage everything else.

    I still love it. I wouldn't change my blogging, writing, reading habits for the world. Guess it's worth the frustration sometimes!

    I'm so excited to see you've joined the A-Z Blogging Challenge!!! Looking forward to your posts (do you feel the pressure yet)!?

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  33. It's all about Balance...
    Isn't that true about everything in life? People tend to grab on to things and then obsess over them. I used to post on my blog every day, for long periods of time. Now I post on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. I'm so much happier with that. Guess what? I'm getting lot's of other things done now...

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  34. Hi Karen, was catching up on some blog reading and came across this post. I think you're right; balance and enjoyment are two very key points when it comes to blogging. Social media is a wonderful platform for us writers to shout from (and mostly free!) but like all these things it does involve a time investment. Personally, the enjoyment, contacts and opportunities I get from it are well worth the investment!

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  35. I do get more done when I cut back on the blogging. I miss it though and still feel a teensy bit guilty if I go too many days without making the rounds. I don't mind at all when OTHER bloggers take breaks or cut back, but I can't seem to cut myself the same slack.

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