Blog growing pains—excuse the mess!

I’ve been thinking about the purpose and direction of this blog lately. When I started this, I was in the early stages of writing my novel The Brevity of Roses, and blogging became a way to journal my progress. After the novel was written I moved on to blogging about editing and editing and editing, which progressed to querying, querying, querying, and finally to self-publishing. So now what?

For the last several months, I’ve been on a roller coaster of indecision not only about what to work on next, but whether I should write anything more at all. I’ve decided both now. I can’t quit writing—I’ve had migraines the last two days and still managed to get 1,200 words written. And I know which novel needs to be on the front burner, but I think it’s too early to talk about that book much, so that leaves me floundering blogwise.

This photo has nothing to do with the post, but I like it.

I keep promising myself—and you—that I’ll write posts of substance, but I don’t. I’m not confident in giving writing advice, partly because I’m not a teacher, but mostly because I still have much to learn myself. I can’t tell you how to write a winning query letter, scintillating synopsis, or can’t fail cover blurb because I don’t know how. I can’t give you book promotion and marketing advice because I’m even less qualified in that.

I’m just a woman—wife, mother, and grandmother—who sits here at this computer hour after hour struggling to transform my imagination into words. I lead a boring life. The most exciting thing I’ve done in the last week was set up a Pinterest account. Oh yes, and I had to wash off the butt of an aging poodle with digestive problems. (See the kind of stuff I’m likely to say here?)

Maybe I should ask you for ideas. But then, if you have an idea you’d blog about it yourself, wouldn’t you? I wrote a post once volunteering to answer any question you asked me, but that was not one of my more successful posts. The always-guaranteed-to-spark-discussion topics of politics and religion are out, and I’m a lousy book and movie critic. So what does that leave me to talk about?

I guess it doesn’t matter anyway. I hear blogging is dead, so I don’t expect many people actually read my posts. Maybe I’m off the hook. I can just talk to myself here and no one will be the wiser. Years from now, when I’m a famous author, I’ll be able to publish my blog posts as a memoir—or something. ROTFLMAO

38 thoughts on “Blog growing pains—excuse the mess!

  1. Blogging isn’t dead! Haven’t you heard? They recently invented a blog-resuscitation device — a BRD, if you prefer. We’re back, baby!

    This post was really funny, and I know exactly how you feel. Well, not the wife, mother, grandmother part, but the rest of it 🙂 Keep posting – I for one will be reading from now on.

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  2. Blogging is dead? I just discovered it. I hope not. I think maybe early adopters have moved on and out, but there are people like me and others that want to hear what you have to say. There are new writers who are just finding their voices that would like to hear from you what publishing is all about..what your experience has been like. Your journey is helpful to us is all I am saying. It does matter what you say and many of us are trying to figure it all out.

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      1. No, you fresh thing, you make perfect sense. That’s why I follow you..of course I’m insane…but like minds think alike, lol. I think all artists, especially emerging ones, need to find communities where they can hover and learn. Many of us are not yet comfortable to start our own blogs, but can kind of watch and see what it is all about. Your blog is one such place.

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  3. I don’t think blogging is dead, although I agree it doesn’t have the mass draw and appeal that it once did. Also, summer stats always seem to take a dive into the abyss.

    As for as what kind of content the average reader is searching out – IT BEATS ME!

    I don’t know what kind of advice to give, or even if you are seeking any, but I can share my experience.

    As you know I’ve tried several times to have a blog that explored topics of conversation, but I found that unless I was willing to tackle those tricky trigger points that tend to set people at odds with one another, I was always limited in readership and extended discussion. I finally found peace (and blogging sanity,) by using my blog as a means to express myself through my chosen craft. Eventually this turned into a few like minded virtual friends finding one another and we developed into our own small tribal community. I believe you blogged about this rising trend last year. The article you shared had something to do with the tribal mentality of online communities, and how most communities averaged 50 or so members at most. My point is this. I think that is what you’ve already done here, developed a community of like minded people that like to hang out and share experiences and ideas.

    Compare that to my example and see if you find any similarities.

    I mainly write poetry. (Although I do write fiction – poorly.) Rarely do I have a participating follower who is not also a poet. For this reason I only post poetry, with the occasional explanation. My blog is sort of like a coffee shop. Most people stop by, to grab a cup of joe (today’s poem), pause for a moment to reflect, and then head on off to work. OR. For the caffeine (poetry) addict the next coffee shop.

    I grown to love the simplicity of it and given over to the idea that I can’t lead a horse to my molecule of water when I’m stranded in the middle of an ocean.

    Once in a while – when I’ve written something that strikes one of those universal cords – I see a slight rise in the number of people who comment. But the average day is simply average and unless I’m suddenly the recipient of a Pulitzer, or named Poet Laureate, I doubt that this trend will ever change.

    Do you understand what I’m trying to say?

    I’m sorry my comment turned into a lengthy one. I talk too much! But you know that already. 😉

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    1. I live for “lengthy” comments like yours, K. 🙂

      For once, this post wasn’t meant to be a whine and beg for more followers or more comments from followers. I can’t complain about the lack of comments because though I do read a ton of blogs, I rarely comment anymore. Sometimes that’s for lack of time. Often it’s because by the time I get around to reading the posts, they’re a week old, and all the other comments say anything I would have said … and usually better.

      But yeah, if I win a Pulitzer, I’ll expect to see my stats shoot through the roof. For the most part, I’ve never understood why anyone takes the time to read my posts, so if they continue, I can only count myself blessed.

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      1. I totally understand! It’s not always possible to comment in a timely manner.

        I’m fairly inconsistent with my comments and it’s not that I’m being intentionally neglectful. Rather it is a result of my lifestyle. Since I’m free to live an unscheduled existence, I don’t really have a set time or day for reading and commenting on blogs. I tried to set a schedule a few time and the result bored me to tears. So, just as you, I don’t always get around to it when some of my favorite blogs have fresh submissions. On those days mum is the word.

        BTW – I’m tickled that you like my looonnnnggg comments. 😀

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  4. The photo – that’s something my brother-in-law would like. It’s in his painting style.

    Hmmm … I haven’t received the memo that blogging is dead. May be it’s hung up in my nonexistent Twitter/FB/G+ pages. 🙂

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  5. Linda, blogging like everything else we do in life, is a process. Sometimes we feel like it sometimes we don’t. Or was that the cola nut commercial?
    At some point we all need to take a break; I still try to do a weekly post but when it does not happen I am not beating myself over it. Instead, I go spend some time with my grandchildren and during down times I take time to read what you and others post. Keep it up!

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    1. I didn’t mean I was going to stop blogging, Marcia. I was just admitting that I know I’m not putting up Grade AA content, so I understand if you all move on to someone more exciting. 🙂 Blogging is not my career, it’s just my way of saying hello across the garden fence.

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  6. I think you have a lovely blog. Always interesting and fun to read.
    Have you thought of hosting other bloggers or authors? You could interview someone different once day a week, every week. That might mix it up a little bit for you and your readers. I would love to know more about your other followers who also blog and it would same me from have to do my homework and searching those people out myself. 🙂 Just a thought.

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      1. Ahhh…sure. 🙂
        I’ve been thinking of doing that sort of thing too. I’m just waiting to get my real website up first. In the mean time, I’ve been browsing for interesting questions.

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  7. You know what? I’m with you. I don’t give writing or networking advice either. As you know, I do love to tell everybody about a great film, book or cd. I love sports, but rarely discuss due to this not being the demographic for it. I also shy away from talking about my family too much. I post once a week, and I do the best I can to shake things up, update readers on my writing and whatever else might come up.
    Just do the best you can, my friend.

    -Jimmy

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    1. I think I’ve just gotten lazy over time, Jimmy. I’ve never seen myself as a BLOGGER, just a writer who blogs, but I feel a sense of obligation to those that take time to read these posts, and I don’t think I’m fulfilling that too well. At least not right now. I need to try harder, I guess—or find a focus. If only I could tap dance. 😉

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  8. I’m still reading your blogs and loving them! In my mind you are famous already. If you can write 1200 words with a migraine – you are my hero. BTW – LOVE the picture.

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  9. I love the picture.
    I so enjoy your sharing of writing experiences and all the comments. This is the modern form of a quilting bee. It’s just satisfying to talk to and with others, or eves drop, and then return to the rest of my own ordinary life. We’ll always need a way to do that. You are good at it.

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  10. I read your posts – I’m not always able to come by and comment — this new novel is KILLING ME! ungh — I DETEST admitting that — for I rarely have a novel wrangle me to the floor – usually we dance together quite fluidly — lawdy.

    On my blog I just decided to have fun – and once I gave myself permission to do that, things became easier 😀

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    1. Well, I can only say the last novel and I danced together fluidly, Kat, but I understand what you mean when you say your new one is killing you. 😦 I hope you breakthrough soon. And without resorting to vodka. 😉

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  11. Great, blogging is dead you say? You should have told me before now…I can relax and not worry about what the heck I’m going to blog about. Yeah, I think we’re all had those times. Myself, I’ve just been too darn busy to worry about it. Somedays I wish I had a few extra hours.

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    1. It was probably the creators of the “next best social media platform” that started the blogging is dead rumor, Laura. 🙂 Mine has slowed, but I still need a place to talk, so I’m not closing shop yet. But you know, it seems like my days have gotten shorter too. Hmmm.

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  12. Hi Linda,
    I enjoy blogging, even though I get few comments from readers. I know my followers are increasing (very slowly) in number but the comments are not. But, having said that … I am a follower of several blogs, but the way my life is now I seldom get to visit most of them, and I leave comments as much as people leave them on mine. Not good. Then along comes Summer when it all takes a dip anyway, and not in the pool.
    I want you to know that I (finally!) just finished reading your novel The Brevity of Roses. Oh My Gosh! (really enjoyed it) I will be writing a review and posting it on my blog sometime this month, just so you know. 🙂

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    1. I enjoy it too, Lynn, though sometimes I feel self-conscious about it. You know, sort of like that embarrassment when you think you’re part of the conversation in a room full of people, and you start speaking, but then you suddenly realize no one is listening to you? Or maybe that only happens to me. :O

      Thank you for telling me you enjoyed reading Brevity. You made my day … or probably several days! 😀

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