Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Am I Getting Ahead Of Myself?

Probably, cause I tend to do that every once in a while. Oh, who am I kidding...I tend to do it a lot.

I know many of you participated in the WriteOnCon conference last week and heard much of what I'm about to say. But, for those of you who didn't, this info may be useful.

We've all heard conflicting opinions about the importance of having a web presence even before publication. It was a hot topic at the conference, and from what I can tell, still up for debate. Some agents feel it is of huge ginormous (is that a word?) importance. Others feel it is insignificant at the pre-signing stage. The one thing they all agree on is that after taking on a client, they expect said client to develop a web presence if they have not already done so.

The way I figure, I may be getting ahead of myself, but I'm still getting ahead, right? Maybe it doesn't matter today, but in the long run, this part of my journey will already be on its way.

That being said, I think David Weisman made a good point about my blogging activity here. I did burn out. And, it was because I thought way too hard about what to post. I set myself up for failure when I insisted that every post be a meaningful one about writing with a corresponding shoe to boot (no pun intended).

Bottom line is this...I was so intent on enlightening all of you with my brilliance (and trust me, I'm BRILLIANT!) that I quit having fun. So, no more. I'm here. I'm going to have fun. And if I'm getting ahead of myself, so be it. At least I'm having a good time, right? Just don't expect any more brilliant posts. And definitely DO NOT expect any kind of regular schedule. I've decided to approach blogging like I do the rest of my life...whatever happens, happens.

I know I've been flippant here, but in all seriousness, how do you view blogging? Is it another task in your already too full to-do list? Is it your method of socializing? Or is it a means to a desirable end? Regardless of what it is to you, when it stops being fun, it stops being useful.

(Oh, and Blogger, I still can't see my followers. Do you think you could help me out? You know, so I can have fun!)


The Book Nut said...

I have been blogging for almost a year now and at first I was all worried about having good posts and making sure I posted regularly. I also worried a lot about getting followers. But it didn't take me long to realize it didn't really matter! Once I started blogging purely for the fun of it and being happy with the few loyal followers I had, it did become a lot more fun!

Now, this summer has been really hectic and I am behind on my posts. However, when I say "behind on my posts" that doesn't mean that I am sitting here thinking "oh boy, I really need to get some posting done but I just don't feel like it." Not at all, it means I'm thinking "I sure wish I had a little more time because I am really looking forward to writing some of these posts!" Blogging is a fun and relaxing thing I do when I can, and that is how I intend to keep it! :)

So in my opinion, you are right on track! And don't think of it as "getting ahead of yourself" just think of yourself as being your own advance scouting party, checking out the lay of the land before you bring the rest of you along! :)

J.B. Chicoine said...

I started my writing blog simply to connect with other writers and hopefully to improve my writing. It wasn’t until after I’d blogged for a few months that I became aware of the building a platform/web presence concept. I’ve always struggled to post anything that would be of benefit to anyone else, though I do try and keep my blog somewhat active. I don’t have a posting schedule, I simply post when I have something to say. I tend to burn out easily, and so, knowing that about myself going in, I simply don’t pressure myself.

I’ve always been impressed with the content of your posts, Susan, and at the same time I wondered how long you could keep up that pace. I’ve seen a lot of other heavy-hitting bloggers fall behind also. Life catches up. At any rate, I don’t think you or I are getting ahead of ourselves with having a blog and maintaining it, because we have the goal of being published. When we finally have a contract or decide to publish independently, it will be stressful enough as it is, without having also to worry about establishing a web presence. Now, that’s BRILLIANT!

Melissa Hurst said...

I agree with everything you said 100%! I got burned out on blogging, too, so that's why I stepped back. It was supposed to be for a month, but that month stretched on throughout the summer. I was forcing myself to post stuff even though I didn't really have anything to say back then. But the break has been good and now I'm enjoying posting again. I really missed interacting with my blog buddies. I'm glad you're back, too! I always enjoy your posts. :D

Carolyn V said...

I got burned out over the summer (which is why I took a break). But as I looked at all my published friends (who are getting published as I watch on the sidelines), I realized that only half of them have blogs. It was a big eye opener to me. So having a blog is okay, but writing must be more important.

Patti said...

I'm taking a quick break from my blogging break to comment and say I'm so glad your back blogging.

I had this discussion with a friend of mine who has published three books and I told her I was concerned about blogging and the time it was taking and she said, "having a blog never sold a book, good writing does."

Eileen Astels Watson said...

I do it for the social aspect, but when I need to step away for family, etc., I do. So glad you're back, though, Susan!

Sherrie Petersen said...

I decided to only post once a week over the summer and I'm going to continue with just weekly posts for a while. I was spending way too much time online and losing sight of everything else that was important. I enjoy blogging. I've learned a lot from it and made a lot of great writer friends so I don't want to give it up completely. Trying to find balance has always been my challenge.

Cathy said...

It was interesting to hear that platform was a topic of conversation at Write-On Con. I had already decided to stop blogging (and wrote a post about it) until I'm very close to signing a contract. I truly do not have time to blog. I almost don't have time to write at all, but I did get permission from my employer to reduce my hours to 32/week, plus commute. It should be a big help, time-wise.

But I still love reading others' blogs. That part, I'm not giving up! I love your brilliance. :)

Laura Pauling said...

I think that approach is fine! you can always beef it up when you have a book coming out. I partly use my blog work out my own understanding of things and process what I'm learning. But I could see cutting back. You have the platform here and you def. don't want to get burned out!

Tere Kirkland said...

So glad to have you back, Susan! I still can't believe how many shoe posts you managed to write.

But I also got pretty burned out trying to write meaningful posts every single day. So I went down to once a week. I give major props to anyone who blogs daily and still has fresh material.

As far as platforms go, I like the idea of having a place to interact with my blogger/writing buddies that also shows my readers that I am human, and that I'm still out there learning from my mistakes. At least, that's what you'd think from all my posts about how I did something stupid and turned it into a writing analogy. ;)

Diane said...

Keep it fun and make it you. Can't wait to get to know YOU even more. :O)

KC said...

I love that you are changing it up! For me, i started to blog just for fun..then it became therapuetic, then i wanted more structure in my life so i have set days/topics i blog on. I'm liking the structure so dream is to be a one said i can't dream lol!

Leah Rubin said...

You are so right. I started out posting at least three times a week, then as life caught up with me, I found I had to modify my plans. For many months I've mostly been posting once a week, and even that's subject to change. There are so many other things that have to be done!

Kathi Oram Peterson said...

Sounds like it was a wonderful conference. And I understand having too much to do and your plate's too full. Been there, still doing that. Your post helped a lot.


Jayne said...

Susan- I hear ya! When blogging becomes simply a job, then it's sure to feel tedious. I started my blog to force discipline--and it's helped me write a lot more than I otherwise would have. But I do set posting goals which often make me feel anxious and overburdened.
Three weeks off helped. I try not to fret about content, and I write only for me. That may sound selfish but if I tried to write to please others it would be a disaster!
It's so good to have you back here. ;)

Carol Riggs said...

Ah, good, your Followers are back. I hate it when Blogger does that on occasion, and they disappear for a few days. Makes me nervous. And you don't have to be brilliant for us to hang out and be bloggerly buddies! We'll love ya anyway. :)

Me, I just write whatever I feel like on my blog. And I never look at the stats to analyze which posts are most popular, etc. I don't really care. ;o)

Shannon O'Donnell said...

I usually take the majority of the summer off to spend with my family. I used to pressure myself to write only meaningful (brilliant) posts, but now I just try to have fun--like you! :-)

Suzanne Casamento said...

I think you've got the right idea. Blogging should be fun and not taken too seriously. I can see how that would take the fun out of it.

Since I have to come up with a question every day, blogging has actually made me a little bit more thoughtful. Whenever someone asks something insightful or whenever something weird happens to me (a lot!) I jot it down and make sure I create something out of it. Before my blog, I might have let all those nuances slip by.

Glad to have you back!

Corey Schwartz said...

I'm totally with you on this. I never had a blogging schedule (because the second I feel like I HAVE to do something, I no longer have any motivation to do it) MY posting has dropped from 3-5 times a week to barely once a week, but I do it when I feel like it! So, it never becomes an obligation.

Kelsey (Dominique) Ridge said...

I had a period of time (more than a month) when I didn't post ANYTHING. It didn't feel like a burnout so much as a back-burnering of my blog. Sometimes things just have to fall to the bottom of the priority list.

Nancy said...

Yes "ginormous" is a word. I heard it on a commercial so it has to be real. My daughter said it years ago. She's allways ahead of the curve, like with wearing flip-flops all the time and having the "messy bun."

I have trouble keeping up with my blog, too. I love to do it, but I wish I wasn't so busy.

I think that you should do it when you want to. That's how it's going to have to be with me now.

Dawn Simon said...

It's true: you hear different things about the importance of a blog. I only post once a week, though I used to post more often. It's the right amount for me. I took a big blog break last fall because I needed to focus all my energy on my manuscript while I was doing some serious rewrites.

By the way, you ARE brilliant! :)

Ronald L. Smith said...

I've sometimes wondered how you and some others can be such prolific bloggers. I really admire that.

I've always been sporadic at best, only posting when weeks have gone by and I realize I need to post...something...anything.

Hopefully, when I get an agent I'll create a Facebook page and Twitter account. (I have both already but never use them.)

So to answer your question, I think it's important, but for me, writing the best book I can is what really matters.

I do like the awesome community of YA writers on the web. It's a great support system.

Kathryn Magendie said...

You squished some words out of my brain *laugh* - I just read a blog "about blogging" after reading about fifty-galleven other blogs about "how to blog" and my head swam! I, like you, just thought, "I'm going to have fun . . . dang it!"

It's difficult for me sometimes. I have books published - I have some sort of "web presence" - heck I googled myself and went "dang!" compared to when I googled myself a couple years ago. But, on my social networking sites, like my blog, I sometimes feel the pressure to "be the author" and create this "brand" (so tired of that word - I guess because I don't know if I have one *laugh*)- ungh.... I read all these "how to" articles on websites and blogs and only became more confused!

So, yes, time to relax a little. I am who I am. I'm never ever going to hit people over the head about my books - I'm not a brilliant blogger . . . while my facebook and twitter "followers/friends" are growing, my blog has pretty much stayed the same for a while now - but, I'm doing the best I can. :-D

I like your blog - whatever you do, I'll be here to read it.

MrsBlogAlot said...

Hi Susan! I think blogging is about fun and honesty. Both of which were very present in this post. Pressure is not invited to the party. Blog when it feels right. Kind of like sex... except nothing like it.

We can talk about rambling next. Apparently, I'm excellent at it.

Jennifer Shirk said...

Hi, Susan! I missed you. I needed to take a break from blogging because I had so many things going on, I didn't have time to write or even read blogs. But it's good to be back now.
I view it as more socializing, but that's me. Every blog is different. :-)

And I think you're BRILLIANT.

Danyelle L. said...

Great thoughts! Blogging is important to me, because it's a means of connecting to people. However. My family will always come first, as will my own writing. Some days, that means blogging doesn't happen, other days it does. Once I let go of worrying about the numbers and being the Best! Blogger! Ever!, I didn't feel quite so burdened down from Blogging.

During those times when I can't do return visits (no energy, time, etc.) I do feel guilty, but am working on letting go of that guilt too. :D Best of luck to you!

Abby Annis said...

Of course you're BRILLIANT. Good to have you back! :)

I've written this post at least fifty times in my head, but you were much nicer about it than I would've been. ;) I think a web presence is important, but I've had to let go of a lot of it. There just aren't enough hours in the day for all my distractions. I figure, I've built the foundation, so it'll be there when I need it in the future. Until then, what's the point in all the pressure? :)

Great post!

Robyn Campbell said...

Well, first of all, your first day back, I commented. It was lovely, thought provoking and BLOGGER SAW FIT TO DESTROY IT! So blogger is on my bad list. Yup, I have a bad list. I don't understand what happened, but I repeatedly commented that day and blogger repeatedly would not let me. Grrrrr So I have what is commonly known as BLOGGER BURNOUT!

That said, YAY! I'm so glad you're back. As you know, I missed you terribly. It just isn't the same without you here. *squeezing you*

And my posting is erratic. I know I have to or should stick to a schedule, but writing and farm life won't let me. I get where you're coming from. Relieve the pressure. Write the books that will make us famous. That's important. What's the point of a web presence if we have no book to sell?

And brilliant! Of course you are. I missed you. <3

Name: Holly Bowne said...

In answer to the questions at the end of your post: YES.

Yes, it's another task in my already too-full to-do list. And yes, it's a wonderful method of socializing and connecting with other readers, writers and moms.

It's so much fun!! I always learn something. But it can be a chore as well. And I have yet to figure out the perfect balance of how to handle it along with the rest of my life. There. All cleared up?