Monday, February 15, 2016

The Blogging Condundrum

I fell into blogging just by sheer luck. Way back when, when Monster was in "play-school" (or Pre-K I guess is what they call it), a mommy told me that as a writer I should start a blog. I asked, "What is that?" I had no idea, having come into computer life very late. She said I would benefit from it as a writer.

Seven years later, here I am. It seems odd to me that I've been in the blogosphere for that long. Mind you, I'm not prolific. I don't share the secrets of the ages, I don't expound on glorious new ideas or even generally have anything important to say. I guess, I basically use it as a diary of sorts and perhaps share my opinions.

I do like to blog. I have friends here in this virtual world that I like to keep up with. I learn things. I have discussions about writing that I can't have anywhere in the "real world". The problem is, and I hate to admit it, for some time now I just don't want to do it anymore.  

I'm a writer. It's my job. Lucky for me, it's also my passion. I would rather spend fourteen hours a day in my made-up world than do anything else. Blogging hurts my bottom line of hours that I can actually write. I liken it to Pinterest. I went on there to pin one picture last Sunday and I ended up spending four hours looking through a billion pins. Blogging is the same thing. I scroll through my feed, check out a post, follow a comment to another post, then end up lost in space. 

Four hours to me is twenty pages. And it's bad enough I lose all track of time when I'm writing that I forget to feed the Monster. (How many times have I heard "I'm hungry. Are you going to make me dinner?") 

As a single parent and a single income earner, every monthly check depends on how many books I sell. More books = more pay. However, if I don't talk about my books no one knows I've written one. Where does one talk about one's books? On the blogs.

For the last few years, I've also been very active at Monster's school volunteering. It's a part-time job. Literally. With no pay. Talk about cutting into writing time. So, in order to make up the time I've lost writing, something else has to go, and that equals blogging. 

I hate the idea of giving it up for good. I really do. I hate the idea of losing friends. And you may say, well, just blog once a month, or only when you have something important to say. Or get on a schedule. Yeah, we all know what happens to schedules in my world. The best laid plans...

Over the course of the last seven years, I've seen very prolific bloggers leave. I always wonder what happened to them. Did they get famous and just don't have the time? Did something happen in their personal life? Did they move their blog to FaceBook? Did they just give up? I don't want to be one of those people. I don't want people wondering "Whatever happened to Anne?"

I've had this discussion several times over the last few weeks with other friends on the blogs. It seems for those of us who have been here for a long time, the allure has faded. We have nothing to say. Or rather, does what we say matter? I haven't had a new blogger join my little group in almost three years. Does that mean I don't want any? No. It just means communication is done differently these days. Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, God knows what else is around the corner. I can't keep up with the blog. How can I keep up with anything else?

I don't really know why I wrote this post. It's on my mind. It's my opinion. I don't need advice. No matter what you say about the blogging conundrum, believe me, I've heard it before. 

Tell me -- How do you feel about blogging? Are you ready to chuck it? Have you found something else to occupy your time? Do you have a schedule? Do you love your blog?

Anne Gallagher (c) 2016

15 comments:

Jo said...

Oh Anne, I hope we don't lose you completely. Your posts are always so inspiring to an emerging writer. I love blogging and try to post every day. Since leaving my exotic life in East Africa (think Kilimanjaro, Serengeti Park and Great Rift Valley), I've blogged about my life in South Africa, family, pets and friends. And it works for me. I don't think I've had a new friend for a while now but I blog so that I have a record to write about. May it all go well with you. Blessings Jo

Stacy McKitrick said...

I like to blog. I like the fact my blog is also seen on my Amazon and Goodreads pages. It's just a free way for me to be seen. Do I blog about anything important? No. I just try to have fun with it and I try to keep them short.

I tend to write my blog when I've burned out (or just need a break from) writing my book. It kind of rejuvenates me, I guess. Gets my brain working a different way. My brain needs all the help it can get, too. Haha!

Author R. Mac Wheeler said...

If you don't know why you wrote it...maybe you should't have.

But then...it's cheaper than psychoanalysis, huh?

Bish Denham said...

Sure, I get tired of blogging sometimes and when I do, I take a vacation. I do have a schedule, of sorts. I post once a week on Monday, so Monday is the day I visit around and leave comments. I don't do much visiting, if any, the rest of week. I try to get my post written during the week, but I usually do it on Sunday. I have a little book calendar and have written in what I want to post about for most of the year. These regular posts are gladly usurped if I join a hop, or support a fellow author with their news.

Liza said...

Yea, I'm feeling the seven-year-itch, too. God knows though, for some reason, I can't stop. Not the least of which is I'd miss you guys if I left. So, I'm hanging in there.

Maria Zannini said...

Today I shut down my old blog and started a new one.

I remember feeling blogging had lost its allure but in my case it was more about the topic than the platform. Now that I have a new direction everything is new again.

Anne Gallagher said...

Jo -- Thanks so much for your input. I think that's what I'm trying to do, albeit badly, trying to be of service to new writers -- showing them my failures, and successes. And like you, trying to keep a record of my writing life. At least that's what I *think* I'm doing.

Stacey -- That's my biggest conundrum. It's just not fun for me anymore. It's more like work and I have enough of that in my life right now. We'll see if I can make it fun again.

Mac -- Cheaper than psychoanalysis yes.

Bish -- I used to do just Mondays, but then that got away from me as well. I think if it weren't for the school job, I'd be happier. Working on ways to get rid of that.

Liza -- That seems to be my problem. I'd miss too many people. I keep thinking one day I'll get to meet all of my friends in real life. But if I'm not here, how will you find me?

Maria -- I saw your new place. It looks great. I thought that if I started something new it would rejuvenate me, but it just turned out to be more work. I've got to figure something out. Maybe a vacation would work. Then I would be rejuvenated.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Every once in a while, I resent how much time blogging can take up. There are days I feel no enthusiasm for it. But being involved in IWSG keeps it fresh for me. Finding guests brings me new people. I've cut back from three posts per week to two and that helps too. I still think a writer needs a blog or website but I'm only one little opinion in a big world.

Anne Gallagher said...

Susan -- Yes, I agree, every writer does need some sort of online presence, more than just Twitter or Pinterest or Instagram, which is why I stick with it, albeit begrudgingly. I suppose if I cut back on how much time I spend at school it would make a difference in my blogging. Thanks.

Karen Jones Gowen said...

I go through this regularly and have found it easier just to post every month or so whenever I feel like it than to go through the anxiety that would surely come from giving it up. I can't imagine ever deleting my blog. It gets way more visits than my author website does, and besides the more about my books out there for someone to find, the better. Also, I've noticed whenever I do a post about a particular book the sales and rankings improve on it. This surprises me since I figure anyone who follows me has already got my books if they are interested. But one time one of my sons said he was Googling some random subject and my blog showed up as a source. He never goes to my blog so it's not like it was a remembered feed on his computer. These kinds of things have convinced me that even though I get bored with it at times, I'll just adjust accordingly and keep at it. I hope you do too. I'd miss you if you left!

Anne Gallagher said...

Karen -- Isn't it funny how the blog posts we think are so fabulous don't garner hits, but the random stuff we post come up in a Google search. I have tried the once a month blog, and it works to some advantage (dispelling the anxiety) but then I feel like a slacker because I haven't posted regularly. I'm finding it hard to find a happy medium. Thanks for chiming in.

Denise Covey said...

I adore blogging and know it eats into writing time but it's still writing, networking, encouraging, learning.

Ann Best said...

I don't know that I'll visit "old" friends more than twice a month. I just came back to blogging as I've set up a Wordpress, and Denise approached me for a guest post that showed up yesterday.

On Wordpress I finally figured out the basics. Wordpress is SO not easy for me. It's for affiliate marketing via a wonderful website I found that I paid the fee for (like a university course) to learn how to set up a website, use keywords, do SEO, etc. etc. I'll also promote my memoir on my site, and almost all of the posts (1500+ words for SEs), will be somewhat personal as that is the thing I like and do best.

But you don't need all that. You've done very well with your fantastic self-published books.

And you still have your sweet "monster" and I still have my disabled daughter. Hope life is treating you well!

Ann @ http://anncarbinebest.com

Sarah Ahiers said...

my feelings are pretty similar to yours. I'm still going because at this point it's a habit and with books coming out I think it's a good idea, still, but I never thought my blog would be a forever thing. And I'd love to sunset it at some point, but probably not for a few more years, I think

Me said...

The thing about the blogging world is that it's so supportive. There are so many great people out there. And they can become such great friends.