Wednesday, February 27, 2013

How Anne Got Her Groove Back

I'm not sure if I could say with complete confidence that my groove is totally back, but I'm here and I guess I'm okay. During the last year, I lost sight of what blogging is supposed to be. For me, that's fun and a learning environment.

When I started blogging so many years ago, I likened it to my college years. I went to Vermont College  (distance learning where you're on campus for a week/10 days and then go home and continue your study) way back when, when distance learning was a radical thought. (Goddard College had started the idea in the late 80's early 90's and by the time I got to Vermont ('92) it was one of the fastest growing academic institutions on the East coast.) My father thought it was a waste of time and money. My mother said I would never learn anything. Well, you know what, they were both wrong. If I had the opportunity to do it all again I would do it in a heart beat.

Exchanging ideas and philosophies, talking about writing, authors, books, just being in the moment with other people who were BRILLIANT thinkers. Gah, it was life changing. Literally. (If you don't believe me, ask Les Edgerton. He went there too.)

Blogging is a lot like that. We exchange ideas, philosphies, discuss books, we learn from each other, we grow with each other. Some people are better at it than others, and can create these fantastic mind altering posts with thousands of followers, with follow up FB likes and Twitter runs. Then there are some people like me who try to keep up, falter from time to time, but just can't seem to find the right groove.

And just like in college, I get discouraged when I'm not as smart as I think I am or don't get comments, when I think I should. Yeah, we could call it jealousy, but it's not, really, more like disappointment in myself that I SHOULD have what THEY have, and why don't I? I'm smart, I'm likeable, I'm friendly, I can talk the talk and walk the walk like the rest of THEM. Why don't I have a zillion followers? Why don't any of my posts get hashtagged on Twitter?

But you know what, who cares. This last month away, I've thought a lot about what I want from my blog and I've come to the conclusion that deep down inside, I don't want THAT. It's not me. I'm a simple girl. I write romance novels. I have an 8 year old daughter, and two aging parents that I have to take care of. Those are my priorities. Blogging is just something I do because it's supposed to be fun for me.

So I'm not going to be disappointed in myself anymore with the way my blog is going. If you stop by, hey that's great. If you comment, well, hot dog, that's even better. But I've given up trying to kill myself for 80 comments. That's not what this experience is all about for me anymore.

This is supposed to be fun. And so it shall be. I'm going to write posts. I'm going to put them up. If you comment, I'll comment right back at ya. I'll try to get around and see what you're doing. Some weeks, I might make it, others, not so much. But I'm not promising anything, because like it or not, I'm a parent first, writer second, and blogger third. The first two take precedence over everything.

I'm a self-actualized woman. I know who I am and who my friends are. And my friends know that I'll give them the shirt off my back if they need it. My friends know that I'll drop everything for them if they need my opinion, or a critique, or help with a query. Because I can do the same to them. My friends also know that I take my writing seriously and they know when I only stop by once a month instead of every time they blog, it's not a slight against them. They know I'm busy. It doesn't mean I love them any less. I love them even more for their understanding.

So, for all you out there who think I'm dissing you, or I don't care because I've only commented once on your blog in the last 3 weeks, please don't think that way. I'm not. I'm just finding myself a new groove.

Tell me -- How long did it take you to find your groove?

Anne Gallagher (c) 2013


Yvonne Osborne said...

I'm so happy to read this. I'll probably never have even a thousand followers and that's okay. I too, have elderly parents to take care of and lots of novels to write! Blogging sometimes helps the focus and the occasional pat on the back is always nice. Yes, college was life-transforming, especially when I went back for creative writing as an adult. Exchanging ideas about books and writing and all things literary was heaven. I can't go to college forever so I guess blogging is a substitute, if slightly inferior.:) As for finding my's always there but sometimes I slide in and out of the slippery thing, like an ungraded gravel road. Which makes the ride all the more exciting. I'm glad you have your groove back because yo uknow I'm going to have something for you to do later today or tonight!

SA Larsenッ said...

I really enjoyed this post. I can't also completely relate. So glad to hear you're finding your groove again. Me? I'm happy to say we must be drinking the same water. Over the past six months, my family has had loads of health issues from two surgeries, broken bones, physical therapy, autoimmune disease diagnosis, etc... Yeah. It's been a blast. LOL But over the past two weeks, I've finally been plotting, blogging, and finding that writer's groove again. Here's to us both!!!

The Happy Whisk said...

I am glad you're coming back to the fun of blogging. I think it's great fun. But some turn it into work and hey, to each their own. But for me, it's about the fun and connecting with funny bloggers.

They crack me up.

Cheers to you Anne. Keep finding that fun. You rock.

Anne Gallagher said...

Yvonne -- That slippery ungraded gravel road -- yup, that's what it is. But you know, you've got a good set of tires on that ride. I love your 55 Friday's and I'll always read them. I may not comment, but I'll always read them. The way you write poetry is just awe inspiring and I wish I could have some of that. Thanks for stopping by.

Sherie -- Oh gosh, sounds like you've just had your fill of life these last few months. I'm sorry you had to deal with so much, but I'm glad you found your groove again. What doesn't stomp us, makes us stronger. And it sounds to me like you're just chomping at the bit to get out of the gate. Go you!

HW -- Thanks so much for your thoughts. Yes, blogging is supposed to be fun, and I think this time around it may just become that way once again. I hope so.

Em-Musing said...

Glad you got your groove back, and I'll 'Groove with you'...oh wait, that an Isley Brothers lyric. I share your sentiments about not getting many comments and I have to remind myself that I write to hone my story-telling craft. I'll go and check the page views and feel a bit better. I get overwhelmed though with blog hops but know that this is a way of increasing followers.

Maria Zannini said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Maria Zannini said...

I didn't know you knew Les Edgerton. I loved his book, Hooked. I so rarely do reviews but I reviewed it for a large SFF community because I enjoyed it so much.

As for the getting your groove--you go, girl. I figured this out a couple of years ago. The blogging community had gotten to be too much like high school and I had to pull back and find other bloggers who put the reader first.

I suppose that's a natural evolution if you're caught in a blog vacuum. Once I expanded my reach I found all sorts of people who had interesting things to say and had great dialog between commenters. That's what I want.

Summer Ross said...

I don't have a groove. I'm floating in the breeze. I can't be anything else and much like you, while sometimes I have a little green monster, most times- It's my blog and I do what I can when I can.
This is a great post. Thank you for sharing.

J.B. Chicoine said...

Well, you know me--if I have a groove at all, it is very slow and moderately steady. I can't possibly keep up with all the blogs I used to--my life has become so very complicated. Besides, I guess I have always had pretty low expectations for my blogging. I just wanted a way to get my writing out there, even if for a small audience. If I get one comment, my expectations have been exceeded!

Linda G. said...

Glad you got your groove back.

One thing I'm learning about social media--blogs, FB, Twitter, & all the rest--is that you can't do everything and still have time to write books. You can't be everything to everybody, no matter how much you'd like to be. So you have to do what you can, and find peace with the rest. :)

The Happy Whisk said...

I believe it will, for Anne and you are more than welcome.

Cheers and boogie boogie.

February Grace said...

Like with everything else in life, I have had to learn with blogging to just do what I can. To accept my limitations and give it my best despite them. I hope if I post something it might resonate with someone, or make them laugh, or make them think. But at the end of it all, I write what I want to write on my blog and I don't bow to trends or go to extreme lengths others do to try to get followers who most likely never really read it again anyway and only join to try to get you to join their blog back (that gets to me!)

I also read a lot less-- LOT less-- blogs than I used to. But you'll notice that yours is always at the top of my list not to miss.

So I think you're doing something very right indeed :~) Everyone misses you when you're away. What more could a blogger hope for?


Linda Cassidy Lewis said...

It's all relative, isn't it? I look at your blog and wish I had such a successful interaction with readers.

I've lost the fun of blogging this last year too and want to get it back. There's so much seriousness, not to mention isolation, in the writing life that I think we need more fun interaction with others for balance.

I'm glad you found your groove again. Hang loose. :-)

Karen Jones Gowen said...

Glad to hear it! Because yours is one of the few blogs I never miss if I can help it. And there will always be someone with more-- followers, comments, book sales, clothes, money, personality, whatever--which is why blog envy, like all envy, is a dead end street.

Travis Erwin said...

I've certainly struggled with my blogging groove but like you I am trying to rediscover my passion for it by pleasing myself.

Anne Gallagher said...

Em -- I've given up getting followers. I can't do blog-hops anymore. They're just too time consuming. And I prefer quality over quantity any time.

Maria -- Yeah, Les and I finally figured out we were a semester apart. But we had the same professors. And like you said, blogging is sometimes like high school. And I was so not in the "in" crowd. I've found some incredible people too as I reach out farther.

Summer -- But that's what fairies are all about -- floating on the breeze. You do what you have to do. With wings!

Bridget -- There's nothing wrong with slow and steady, and with what you've got going on, you need that. And I know you get more than one comment.

Linda -- Amen, sister. You have to find what works for your own groove and take the rest as it comes.

Bru-- Your candidness on your blog confirms in my heart that you definitely are a "maverick". You're not afraid of anyone or anything. So go you! Keep on doing what you're doing cuz I love it!

Linda -- Don't look at me and see success. I'm just as messed up as the next person. But I know when to let go and give up when I need to. I'm just glad that when I get back I have all you wonderful people here with me.

Karen -- Aw thanks. Blog envy, such a great term. And I'm sure we've all suffered from it from time to time. I just decided I had to let it go. It wasn't serving any purpose.

Michele -- I saw you had left a comment earlier. Where did you go?

DL Hammons said...

I believe a lot of bloggers, especially those of us who have been around awhile, have been through that stage of trying to make our blogs into something that really isn't us...or what we want. The ideal follower is the one who comes back time and again because they care what you have to say...not because they're enticed in some way.

That's why I keep coming back. :)

Elliot Grace said...

...loved reading this post, Anne. You are truly one of a kind, my dear ;)

Whether the groove has returned or not, "Remembering You" proved a teary-fabulous read. Well done!


Susan Flett Swiderski said...

Good for you. Like that old Ricky Nelson song went, "Ya can't please everyone, so you gotta please yourself."

Sounds like you've come to peace with what you want to do and have your priorities straight. That's the best any of us can do.

Me, I'm mostly as happy as a pig in the mud, so I guess that means I've found my groove. I sometimes spend more time on Blogger than I probably should, but I enjoy it, and I don't hold a grudge. So I forgive myself.

By the way, I almost sent you an email last week, but decided not to bug you during your break. But last Friday, my post was about your Rhode Island.

Welcome back.

Sarah Ahiers said...

I can honestly say that blogging got a lot easier for me when i stopped worrying so much about it, and stopped caring about followers and even comments to a lesser extent.

Carolina Valdez Miller said...

You know, I think this is a really important step we all have to go through if we're going to keep blogging. I'm getting there myself. And I'm glad to see you continue on. I figure I'll keep it up as long as it doesn't feel like chore--and I'll do what I can to keep it like feeling like a chore. Otherwise, what's the point, right?

Anne Gallagher said...

Don -- Shucks, Don, you make me blush.

El -- I'm so glad you liked RY. I still cry every time I read it.

Susan -- Ricky Nelson had it right, that's for sure. And I guess that's just about where I am now.

Sarah -- You know, it's the caring thing. Funny, I don't care so much about the blog or the comments, but the PEOPLE I've met and become friends with. That's what drives me crazy about not blogging. And it turn, always makes me come back.

Carolina -- Yeah, that's what it was turning into for me, a chore. And I didn't like it one bit. But I think now that I know when I'll take a break the weight of that is gone.

Michelle Davidson Argyle said...

I went through this last year. I turned off comments for seven months and had to really figure out why the hell my blog is for. I did figure out and I'm in a much, much happier spot now! My blog is My Corner. It's my own little place where if people want to stop by, they will. I discovered I get a lot less comments now, but I don't mind. I've also noticed I get more readers/fans there than I used to, and that's pretty nice knowing it's a spot my fans can go to learn a bit more about me. I feel more real on my blog than anywhere else online and that is priceless!

So happy you're at a good spot with your blog now, Anne! It's different for everyone. *hugs*