Wednesday, May 9, 2012

What is it About Blogging?

Good Morning. I don't know about you guys, I'm sure you've all felt this way at some point or another, or maybe not.

What is it about blogging?

Let me just say this right now, up front -- I LOVE BLOGGING. I think it's the coolest thing I've ever learned how to do since I found the Styles and Formatting tab on my computer. The interaction, the people, the news, gossip, comments, sharing...I love it all. It's like going back to college for me every single day. Hanging out in the lounge until all hours of the day and night, just talking books and writers and publishing. It's such a great time!

But then why does it suck so bad when I just don't want to do it anymore? And it's not that I don't want to do it, I just don't FEEL like doing it. I just don't feel like going around to all the posts, leaving comments, finding new friends, ideas, threads to chase and ponder. But when I don't, I feel guilty. Oh. So. Guilty.

I mean, I love you guys. When I'm on hiatus, I mope around, I can't concentrate, I feel like I'm going to miss something (and have on several occasions), and then when I come back everything's great for like two weeks, but then I start to feel bummed out again.

Is it the time suck? Or is it the guilt? I know I should be writing instead of blogging. But then if I don't blog, my friends don't come around anymore. And if my friends don't come around, then I feel guilty, so I blog and comment, but that takes time away from my writing. Such a bitchious circle. (No that was not a typo.)

I know several friends who've stopped blogging altogether. Do I want to do that? NO!
I've run the gamut from 5 days to 2 days back up to 3 days down to 1 day.
I've taken hiatus (hiati?) I've switched to Google Reader, come back to Blogger, and gone back to Reader.

I just don't know what it is. I can't live with it, I can't live without it.

How about you? Do any of you ever feel this way? Or is it just me?


Ted Cross said...

I feel very similarly. When I moved last summer I got out of the habit and didn't blog much, and it made me depressed because I seemed to lose almost all of the folks who followed me. It made me realize that very few actually care at all about what I have to say...yet I still want to say things.

Christine Danek said...

Totally with you. I love doing it, but for me, it's the time. I really don't have it anymore. Plus, I've exhausted many topics and am beginning to feel like I'm repeating myself.

Jen Daiker said...


It kills me how guilty I feel when I don't comment or spend time chatting with people.

It just kills you.

You love it so much and yet you don't have time. I've done my best to cope. Sometimes it just sucks.

Yvonne Osborne said...

You are not alone. What IS it about Blogging? I'm totally with you! I have nothing else to say. You've said it for me. Thank you.

Anne Gallagher said...

Ted -- I think you hit the nail right on the proverbial head -- it's the things we want to say. We put out thoughts and ideas out there to see if there are like minded people with an opinion either similar or contrary to what we espouse. No one likes to talk to themselves. And hey, kudos to you for being in the movie!!

Christine -- Oh, I know what you mean. How many times can we cover the same topics month after month, year after year, before we go totally bonkers.

Jen -- YOU ARE NOT THE ONLY ONE. I think it's the guilt. When we all started, it was such fun, but then we all found our niche and friends, and got our heads into a good place with our writing, and realized, blogging is fun, but writing is so much more important. And then along comes publication, and bam, it's a totally new world, and something has to give.

Yvonne -- Glad I could be a spokesperson for you.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I definitely feel the same way. I've become a blogging junkie. (okay, now that's just depressing).

I'm not sure if I would feel guilty if I stopped, but it wouldn't feel right either.

Anne Gallagher said...

Stina -- That's the rub. It feels so wrong when I stop, but when I go back to it, it's like a chore and not fun anymore. I wish I could find the right compromise.

Rick Daley said...

I'm with you, my interest in posting is separate from my interest in reading, which is separate from my interest in commenting. All three wax and wane more often than the moon.

jbchicoine said...

Anne, I share your sentiments, though I've never been a power blogger with a schedule. When something strikes me and I want to share, I do. I've met all my fabulous writing friends and crit partners through blogging and for that I am ever so grateful--but--who needs any extra guilt in life?! Blogging should not induce guilt! When it does, it's counter-productive and sucks precious resources.

There is a lot written on the blogs about how blogs on writing don't necessarily sell books to your target audience (readers as opposed to writers). What's interesting is finding out who sticks around when you post only occasionally and comment sporadically. You'll still have a nucleus of support, and your time will be freed up to find your long-term reading audience.

There. That's my big thought for the day...

Judith Mercado said...

I could no more stop blogging (mine and others) than to stop eating. Like eating, though, I can indulge occasionally, diet perennially, and learn my limits, but I cannot stop eating.

Cynthia Chapman Willis said...

Misery loves company! I was nodding my head and muttering "yes, exactly" as I read your post. I, too, love blogging. I treasure all the wonderful people I've "met" who have become bloggy friends and all the information I've gathered. But the time it takes--that's the killer. There are never enough hours to visit all the blogs I love.

By the way, can I use "bitchious circle"? Love it. : )

February Grace said...

Lately I've been wondering if there is a point to my blogging any longer.

I've been doing it for two years at the blog I have now (I blogged for two years outside the writing arena previously too so I've done a LOT of blogging.)

Reason being, everyone seems so burned out that no one is visiting much anymore. I have a tight core of good friends who do still stop by (you included Anne) and that's the reason it's still there now. But lately I have been wondering if it's not just time to finish setting up my book's blog (basically just a website in blog format it won't be written on often- just there should readers look for me) and focus on just popping by Twitter. I am regretfully still even considering putting up a Pinterest board for my book because people say that's the way the future is going.

I don't know. I've had times where my health forced me to take hiatus for awhile and I did miss it, maybe I'm just tired right now. But it seems like there's little point in continuing on with a medium if so few people are going to hear/see/read it. I still haven't made up my mind what I'll do yet.


Laurel Garver said...

I know what you mean totally. I feel like I hit my blogging peak in 2010 and it's been hard to maintain since then. I sometimes wonder if it's just easier to maintain enthusiasm when it's all fairly new--both using the platform and learning the publishing landscape.

Yesterday Jody Hedlund had a post about why not to quit blogging:

Creepy Query Girl said...

I think we all have the blogging ups and downs (at least I know I do). The number one rule for me? NO GUILT! If I can't make it- or don't feel like making it, I'm not going to feel guilty about it. As much as I love it for all the reasons you mentioned, it isn't and can't be a number one priority in my life. Guilt over that is pointless. So I just enjoy the moments I can- ride the highs and stick with it as well as I can through the lows.

Writer Pat Newcombe said...

Blogging is definitely a big investment in time and sometimes other things simply have to take priority. I think the biggest help is sticking to a routine you can easily cope with. For me it is blogging just twice a week and reading around each time I blog myself. I also make a point of reading the blogs of those who post on my own blog as I know how pushed we can all be sometimes and I want to show my appreciation that they took the time to comment.

Matthew MacNish said...

I have no idea what to say. I can't stop blogging, because I'm addicted to it, but I have no doubt it takes time away from my writing, without actually accomplishing much.

In some ways, I just wish I could find an agent, or get published, because then I would have a legitimate reason to stop. As is, it's hard to justify either way.

Linda G. said...

I think it's easy to get addicted to the instant feedback you get with blogging. You write something, you get comments.

The hard part about writing books is that you have to wait a long time to see if they "worked."

The ticket is, I think, balance. Don't feel guilty about taking a break from time to time. It's restorative, and your friends will find you again when get back. That's what RSS feeds are for. :)

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

A lot of the best agents tell writers to set up a blog to establish a "platform" of sorts. The irony, at least for me, is that now, after blogging for a while, the wagon is trying to pull the horse. Instead of being a means to an end, blogging is becoming an end unto itself. Time that should be spent on "real writing" is now spent on Blogger. Doing research for my blog posts, writing and editing them, visiting and commenting on other blogs ... instead of researching and writing and visiting my own bleeping book.

So, YES, it is a problem. When I spend all that time on Blogger, I feel guilty for not finishing the editing on my book. But if I don't keep up with Blogger, I feel guilty about THAT. ARRRRGH! I truly admire the writers who have managed to strike a happy medium, and in spite of a strong presence on Blogger, are still finding time to churn out multiple books. (Like you!)

D.G. Hudson said...

I like blogging, but I do post less often than many. You have to find a comfort level in blogging, where it's not a chore.

I don't mind doing the blogfests on occasion, but right now I'm blogfested-out. Isn't it vacation time? Some socializing is good for us, too much is diverting.

I'm back to revisions and editing, and am working on a suspense in progress.

Good luck working it out, Anne...
Let me know when Sean Bean shows up, ok?

Johanna Garth said...

So interesting to read everyone's comments and know that we all feel similarly.

Talli Roland said...

I go through phases. Sometimes I love it, but sometimes... for me, it's not the writing of the posts, but the commenting. I'd love to just visit blogs sometimes and not constantly worry if people think I'm being an idiot for not returning comments promptly. I do think that Twitter and FB will someday eclipse blogs.

Laura Pauling said...

I'm with Talli. I don't mind the posting and I read a lot of blogs but don't have time to comment on them all!

Anne Gallagher said...

Wow, this is quite overwhelming! I never thought this little ranty post would get so many comments.

Rick -- I love to read posts, and more often than not, don't leave a comment, but then, when something is really interesting, I have to.

Bridget -- I never blogged to find readers, I don't think. I think it was more to find like-minded writers to share and grow with. You're right, blogging does not sell books. And guilt should be banished.

Judith -- I like that analogy. I guess I really need to watch what I eat then.

Cynthia -- There's never enough time. That's the main problem I think. And yes, bitchious circle is yours.

Bru -- I hear you, Bru. I think some of us are just burned out. We've already run the scope of what we need to say, now it's just time to get back to the business at hand. And primarily that is the business of writing. We'll see how much longer I last.

Laurel -- That's so true. I think we've (all of us who started in the last few years) hit our peak, and now, like Rick said, it's waning. I read Jody's article, which is why I had to post this.

Katie -- You have a good head on your shoulders. No guilt. I also think it has to do with lifestyle. Ours our vastly different. But no less equal. Blogging is what it is.

Pat -- That's what I've been doing, blogging and commenting when I post, but it's still a huge time suck. Reading alone, takes about 3 hours, never mind commenting. I think I need to really figure out a good schedule and stick with it.

Anne Gallagher said...

Matthew -- I used to be addicted to it, but now, not so much. And yes, let me tell you, once you're published, you'll be in pursuit of other things, blogging being low on the list of priorities.

Linda -- Yeah, the comments. I had none this morning, then four, then all of a sudden it was like wow, all these people are talking to ME. This is the part of blogging I love. The instant feedback like you said.

Susan -- I hear you. You just have to figure out what's more important, blogging or writing. Either that or just write not so spectacular posts. LOL. (Your posts are so great.) There's got to be an easier way.

D.G. -- I think therein lies my problem. My comfort level has shifted. Again. Writing is the most important thing now, so I guess I'll just see what happens. Sean will be around, I'm hoping, dear God, by next week. We'll see.

Johanna -- I know. I had no idea there would be so many of us.

Talli -- I hear you. I could read blogs all day long. It's the guilt I feel if I don't leave a comment. And I think blogging is phasing itself out more and more. There are some diehards, naturally, who will never give it up, but I think it's a lost art.

Laura -- It's so hard to comment, especially after you've published. You really have to commit to a writing schedule.

Thanks again, every one, for taking the time out of your busy schedule's and sharing your opinions with me.

Stephanie Thornton said...

Blogging does take a lot of time, but I think it's worth it. That said, I did have to scale back from 5 posts a week, down to 3, and now I'm down to about one a week.

But I've met some amazing people blogging--it's a great community of writers around these parts!

Rula Sinara said...

You're definitely not alone. I love blogging, but it does take time, thought and energy. So does everything in life from parenting to maintaining friendships (offline). In 'real' life, when you need down time, you don't go to the latest party, or answer the phone or whatever. I think it's the same with blogging. You don't have to abandon it entirely, but take a blogcation when needed. I was religious about posting days in the beginning, but now and again I miss a post because I just can't. I'm exhausted or I have family or writing priorities or I can't think of a worthwhile post. But I always come back :) Like everyone here, I'd miss my friends!

BTW, bitchious is a great word LOL!

Lydia Kang said...

I have totally felt this. Recently, I've been blogging much less and sometimes not for a week at a time. I think this is a normal evolution of blogging. You start; you get excited and uplifted by the followers and community, and then at some point, it starts to feel like work.

I've decided I'd rather keep the joy in blogging than keep to a strict schedule, so I blog when I really want to now (at the most, twice a week) and don't when I don't feel like it. And you know what? Magically, I have more time to write! Who'da thunk?

Theresa Milstein said...

That's how A to Z made me feel after. I was burned. I do better when I post once a week and try to visit 10+ blogs a day. That's doable. If I do more, then it's cutting into other things I need to do.

My advice: don't overdo it.

Anne Gallagher said...

I love the people I've met, which is the main reason I don't want to give it up quite yet.

Anne Gallagher said...

Thanks Rula. Bitchious is a great word, isn't it. I made it up myself.

I just got off blogcation. Perhaps that's my problem. I'm just overwhelmed. We'll see how the next few weeks go.

Anne Gallagher said...

Yeah, I promised myself when it stops being fun, I'll stop doing it. The problem is some days it IS fun, some days not so much. I need to find my happy medium once again.

Anne Gallagher said...

I've just got to really get on Google Reader again and make lists. I used to do that before and it seemed to work for me when I compartmentalized. But then I was afraid I would miss something, so I switched back to the blogroll.