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