Wednesday, October 8, 2014

The Blogging Quandry

Last week I had lunch with a friend who knows social media in and out. Over salads (because that's what women of our age eat at lunch) she told me I HAVE to keep blogging.

"But it's so time-consuming. Isn't Twitter just as effective I asked?"

"Nope, you've gotta keep up with the blog."

She was so definitive that I spent the week thinking about why I've been shying away from blogging and whether there's a fix for the things that have pushed me away from it. Here are the issues I came up with.

1. Time suck.

Blogging is a HUGE commitment. Writing the piece. Editing it. Visiting your friend's blogs. Reading. Commenting. Tweeting links. I used to manage this by putting a time limit on myself. After an hour of social media I was done. Maybe I should go back to that.

2. The Promotional Posts.

Okay, here it is. I love supporting other writers, but I have little to say about blog posts that are perpetually tuned to the all-promotion-all-the-time channel. I know it's supportive to stop by and say, "Hey, great cover!!" but sometimes I feel like I'm commenting on random baby photos. Of course your kid is cute, but as writers, is this the best use of anyone's time? Isn't there some other way to build a supportive community? These aren't rhetorical questions. I really don't know. What do the rest of you think?

3. Voice.

My blog has a chatty feel. It's me-lite with a focus on daily events, writing and whatever happens to strike my fancy. My books are dark. They delve into places that aren't comfortable. I love those topics and that kind of writing. Sometimes I worry my cocktail party conversation style writing for this blog will dilute my fiction voice. Or maybe it's good to not cling to one voice or style like a blankie. Again, I don't really know and would love to hear your thoughts on the subject.

So there they are. My three big blogging issues.

The one thing I know for certain is I miss my cyber-friends when I go away. The people who produce interesting and quality content that makes me certain we would never run out of things to say in real know who you are! I miss you!!

So maybe that's my answer. Blogging is part social media and part building substantial connections that I treasure as much as I do my life and blood friends.

What do you think? Do you struggle with any of the above issues and if so, how have you resolved them?


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

We miss you!
That's why I've limited the promotional stuff on my blog and don't do cover reveals or post the exact same thing as everyone else.
As to voice - not sure on that one. My blog is a place of news and entertainment, which does partially translate to what I write. But I think it's all right if they are different.

Weaver said...

I feel ya. It's that connection to people I've found and learned to love that keeps me going.

And I get the whole promotion thing. That's why I changed it to only one day a week when I share stuff. Regular followers who aren't interested in that kind of thing can stay away on Friday. Another good reason to list the blog schedule.

btw, I like your conversational tone.

ilima said...

I struggle with this so much. A part of me wants to give it up, but I just can't. I wish I had oodles of time to visit everyone's blogs, and I feel guilty that I can't. Not sure how to fix this. Just know I feel ya.

Crystal Collier said...

I think we all struggle. I had to cut my blogging back to one day a week, mostly. (Right now would be the exception.) It's kept me sane and set limits on my blogging time. Am I getting more writing done around it? No, but I blame that on life right now. Sometimes life gets crazy enough we do have to take a break.

Stephanie Faris said...

AMEN to #2! I try to do very little promoting of other authors to keep it mostly content. This week I ended up with two promotional posts but there are many, many weeks when I have none. You can skip over the blogs that do only promotion and just focus on ones that have a combination or that do all content. The all-content ones can be tough, though, because when you need help promoting something, they might not be able to help you!

Joanne Noragon said...

You sound back to the daily crunch of things.
I cannot imagine a more exhausting or time consuming occupation than writing.
Time--I limit my blogging time. Promotional Posts--N/A. Voice--I only have one, fortunately for my sanity.
Well, that was a lot of help, I'm sure.

Dianne K. Salerni said...

I used to have a schedule -- write my posts on the weekend, visit blogs over coffee before work. Now that I'm no longer teaching, it's kind of a free-for-all! Random writing all day long ...

I try to get around, but if I don't have a comment to make about a post, I just move on and don't sweat it. Hopefully I'll have something to say next time around.

Morgan said...

THIS HAS SO BEEN ON MY MIND!!!!! Yes, Johanna. Yes. All great points. I suppose for me, blogging right now is more of a therapeutic thing… I've cut down quite a bit, but only post when I need to release emotions/words out to friends like you who can offer advice and support. But I do feel like blogosphere is changing… it's not the same as it was even a year ago. :)

Beylit said...

I have been having my own struggles with blogging lately though time-suck is the only one that overlaps with your list. I think limiting yourself to a certain amount of time is a good plan that way you get something accomplished without any feelings of guilt for spending so much time in the social media realm.
I for one will say I miss you when you aren't blogging. I always get excited when I log in and see you made a new post, so selfishly I do hope that you don't stay away too long. said...

Hi, Johanna,

I, for one of many, would miss you if you left. All of the above resonates for me. We do it for the connections. I wouldn't worry about your voice being different here than in your books. Different voices in different forums represent the multi-faceted woman and writer that you are. As far as the time suck, ugh, that's why I gotta get off of facebook.

Hope you're having a nice weekend and that you stay right here where you belong. Smiles.

Julie Flanders said...

I've been struggling with the same issues and wish I had answers! Due to family health problems I haven't blogged much the past few months and I do miss the people I've come to know and enjoy, but I still can't seem to get back into any kind of rhythm with the blog.

I think lots of people are feeling the same way about the promotional posts. I love to help spread the word about books and authors but I'm not sure how much impact any of it has anymore. I often feel like we are all just preaching to the choir.