Monday, August 12, 2013

To blog or not to blog

I've probably written this kind of post in the past. But after spending a week at a writer's conference and hearing once again how important social media is to the writer, I have to stand back and think about it.

I used to blog faithfully. I enjoyed the followers and comments. Then I took a long break. Disaster for a blogger but I had moved to a new area and felt I couldn't write anymore. I needed that time off because soon I started writing again.

I think I'm closer to a book contract than ever in my life. Reason being because I've written so many books and hope that maybe I've improved over the past seven years. Sure, it might not happen for a few more years but at least I'm getting requests for fulls.

That being the case, I go back to social media. Do I need to keep blogging if I get a book published? Probably yes even though I love Facebook, Twitter now and then and try to keep up with everyone I have met online or in person over the years. Unfortunately, many of the writers I know who used to blog don't anymore. I started in 2006. I think it reached its peak a few years ago or maybe I did with it. Not sure.

I also tend to go back and forth about topics: writing about writing or writing about this strange journey God has me on. I'm not sure which one is more worthy of a post. My solution recently has been to write what comes to my heart and let it go wherever. If one person reads it--great. If more, okay, I'll take that.

So there it is. To blog or not to blog. To blog for what purpose? To blog because I have something to say or to blog for public appeal.

I would love to know where you are with this social media.

15 comments:

Lin Floyd said...

blogging, twittering and facebooking seem important for marketing though I don't sell many books that way. In fact have only sold one of my new books this past month despite great effort and it was from Linkedin. After over 500 new contacts, I got one review and one purchase...too slow to get rich! lol...

Joanne Sher said...

I love to blog. But you knew that already. What to blog about? That's my current struggle. Doesn't help that my writing focus seems to be changing too - or that it's summer still (my kids don't go back for three weeks).

I do some social media (facebook, twitter) - but not as "well" as I know I should, or even as well as I know I can. Have lots of re-evaluating to do in a LOT of areas, it seems.

And that was probably NO help to you whatsoever LOL. But it may have helped me! ;) Hang in there, sweetie!

Janet Johnson said...

I think we've all hit that point. But this past summer I had the chance to actually meet IN PERSON some of the people I "met" through blogging. People I love and whose friendship I'll treasure forever. So I keep blogging. Because it may not reach a ton of people, but it's definitely changed my life for the better. Good luck on your journey! :)

Karen Jones Gowen said...

I am exactly where you are I think. So many writers who blogged passionately and faithfully have dropped out or just post sporadically. I'm still deciding what to do myself so I can't say I have answers. It's an evolving process.

Heidi Willis said...

I'm in the same position. I stopped blogging regularly when I went back to school, and then it's become really difficult getting back into it. I don't have the time and energy to find new blogging friends, and blogging is much more than just putting up a post. You really do need to be social for it to work.

I do it sporadically now, just to flex my writing muscles and get my social fix, but the vast majority of my time is on actually writing the book and stories - which is, after all, the reason I began blogging in the first place.

Jennifer Shirk said...

Yeah, a lot of people have stopped blogging and that makes me sad, because that's kind of where it all started and I love all the friendships I've made thru it. But I think blogging still has some value even if it's not done three times a week.

Carmen said...

Hi Terri! :)
I'm thinking about closing down my blog(s). Social media can be a mixed blessing. There's a lot of work involved and there's very little return. In your case, I can see where the decision would be harder. I'm more about making things and we're a dime a dozen these days. I have quite a few followers and I feel kind of bad about that, so I'm still thinking about it! I do enjoy checking out Pinterest and FB, but not too much more than that. I enjoy reading your blog and your insights. :)

Carol Garvin said...

I've always thought it's important to choose the form of social media that provides the most benefit. But everyone's interpretation of what constitutes benefit seems to be different.

I like the opportunity for self-expression, for creative writing and interaction with cyber friends, so the benefit of blogging for me is personal satisfaction. I'm not an expert on writing, nor do I have a book to sell, so my posts tend to reflect my own take on the writing life and other random musings. If anything, my "theme" can only be called miscellaneous! And by itself that probably wouldn't be enough to make it worthwhile if I didn't enjoy it so much.

I agree with Heidi that blogging has to be more than just posting. But then that's also true for FB and Twitter. You have to build reciprocal online relationships by regularly interacting with others on their sites... and it takes time. I consistently blogged three days a week for five years and recently found I was spending more time blogging than on my other "serious" writing. So I've cut it down to twice a week and found that works well for me, and I still write whatever happens to occur to me. Hopefully you'll find a comfortable schedule, too.

Karen Lange said...

I think your blog is a reflection of you and I enjoy it as it is. If you decide to keep blogging, I will keep reading! :) And if not, I totally understand. I really do.

I have toyed with taking a break, but now that the book is due out soon, don't think I should. I have a love-hate relationship with social media. I am not a super social person naturally, and so jumping in to everything is hard for me. I love connecting and meeting others through it all (you and I would probably never have met otherwise:). The friends I've gained have been amazing (again, you figure into this!). I guess part of what I don't like about social media is that I somehow feel compelled to be someone I am not, and of course, there's the time factor too. So I struggle to have the right balance. Praying for wisdom on how to be the right kind of social for me. :)

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

I'm not the one to ask. I quit blogging about every other day;). Seriously, lots to consider. I'm excited to hear that you're getting closer to a book deal. I really want this for you!

Robin @ Be Still and Know said...

I took a few months off from my blog, sometime I just don't have anything to say.

I do follow my favorite author on FB, she is very active with her posts, and she also maintains a blog. But her blog is usually only about her writing. She used her FB page for more personal things...

My personal opinion. I think that when you get published the powers that be will advise you on what venues you need to maintain.

Those of us that have been reading your blog for a while will continue top stop by when you toss something out there.

I do know that now that I have started blogging again I get very little traffic or comments.

I do think that blogging is very much about give and take. You gotta read and comment on other blogs to get folks to read and comment on your blog. I am not sure I have the time or the energy to spend that kind of time blog hopping.

I also think there is simply a value in getting the stuff that rattles around in your head out on the page.

Sometime I will just make an entry into my personal journal but then other time I will be prompted to work up a post...

Can't wait to read your first published book :)

Blessings
R


Linda Hoye said...

I've been blogging regularly for five years. A few months ago I cut down to one post/week from posting three times a week. It's a good discipline for me and I enjoy the interaction, I've been hearing conflicting things about the need for and value of maintaining a blog for writers though so it's an individual decision. It works for me!

Beth K. Vogt said...

Whatever you blog about ... be passionate about it. That's what will fuel you to blog ... and that's what will draw your readers: your passion.
I don't think it's so much that blogging is dying or dead ... it's that it is changing. Yes, some people are no longer blogging or are blogging less ... but I also see new blogs starting up too.

Lynda R Young said...

As long as you have *some* social media presence, you don't have to have all of it. Because you FB and Twitter, you probably don't need to blog as well, unless you want to and enjoy it.

Gaia said...

That's what happened to me. I stopped for a year to reflect. Figured the same thing you did. But problem now is time.. work work work, hardly had time to be inspired to start writing.