I know I have been absent for a while. I admit, it has been partly by necessity but also partly by choice, as I’ve just needed some time to adjust to (positive) life changes and find a new groove, a new routine.
I HAVE been writing fiction (or rather, editing for my second edition of the Herezoth Trilogy.) Just not blogging. I figure, the New Year is a good time to start blogging again, or at least to try to blog once a week. So, that will be my goal.
I had been thinking a bit of blogging as an “all or nothing” deal. You know, if I can’t give it the time and dedication I’d like, and that I used to be able to, it wasn’t worth doing.
But that’s just not the case. It’s not the case at all. So, in honor of 2015, here are 15 reasons I will GET BACK TO BLOGGING this New Year:
1. DON’T WORRY ABOUT “THE THINGS THAT DRIVE STATS.”
Buzz words, a skim-worthy layout…. those things are all good. But when you have limited time to write, you sometimes have to make do with the time that you have. I had been thinking, “If I can’t blog the way I used to what’s the point?”
That’s just silly! Sometimes, content has to matter more than layout. Sometimes, just getting something out there–something that is therapeutic for you to write, something that might help your readers–is the important thing. Not “how likely is my title or first paragraph to drive traffic.”
If you don’t have time to worry about that stuff, DON’T. Simple, right? It’s most important to be writing!
2. DON’T WORRY IF YOU HAVE DELAY A POST OR DAY OR TWO.
It’s better to keep to a strict, manageable schedule: whatever “manageable” means for you. But sometimes that isn’t possible. Life is crazy. Readers will understand if you have to delay sometimes. Or if you have to miss a post. Better that than not posting at all.
3. IT’S MORE ABOUT THE PEOPLE THAN THE CONTENT.
It’s important to aim for the best content you can give, of course. To be insightful, thoughtful, personal…. interesting. But once you’ve established a blog over the course of two or three years, you get to know your readers. And those readers overshadow any pride you take in your content and posts.
Honestly, I just miss you guys. I miss your advice. Your comments. Your personalities. Your support. Even though I’ve never met you guys, there are SO many people who comment regularly and strike up conversations with me via the blog. And I miss that.
You guys are worth coming back for. Even a short, simple “this is what happened this week, or this is what’s on my mind” post is fine every now and then as a post. That will open the door to communication, which is why blogging is all about.
4. WRITING IS LONELY. BLOGGING IS COMMUNITY.
“It’s not good for man to be alone.” And that goes for writers. We writers are all human. And writing can get overwhelming when we try to go it completely alone. Editing my trilogy on top of the new job…. it gets overwhelming.
Again, blogging is about the community you build and maintain. At least, that’s what blogging is about for me.
5. SHORT POSTS ARE OFTEN EXTREMELY EFFECTIVE.
Time limits to write are time limits, but you know what? Short posts are no worse than long posts. In fact, they often are better. Readers have limited time too. If you want people to read an entire post, your chances are better they’ll do that if the post is shorter. And….
6. EVERY POST BUILDS AND MAINTAIN TRAFFIC.
Unless you are spewing hate, or writing nonsense, or just being incomprehensibly boring on a regular basis, every post is a positive thing. Some will be more entertaining, more useful, than others. But every post has its point and purpose in building your blog and your readership.
7. WRITING HELPS YOU SORT THROUGH YOUR ISSUES AND IDEAS.
I am an introvert. A lot of writers are introverts: one of the qualities that can point to an introvert, according to Susan Cain’s book “Quiet,” is that introverts often (not always, of course) express themselves best in writing.
Well, blogging is writing. Blogging can be a wonderfully creative, productive, and therapeutic outlet for an introvert to solve problems and make decisions: even if a post gets little to no readership.
8. IF TIME IS AN ISSUE, YOU CAN SET TIME LIMITS FOR WRITING A POST.
It may not be ideal, but it’s an option! If you want to publish weekly, say, and you can only devote an hour to writing a post, you can write for an hour, get down what you get down, and post.
You can even slice that hour apart, to make sure your post is polished enough to be readable and useful to others.
For instance: Spend forty minutes on content. Whatever you can get, you get. Then spend ten minutes polishing, editing, and making what you have as “shiny” as you can. Then maybe spend ten more minutes getting pictures and formatting.
Then you publish what you have. This is a great idea to take time-related stress and guilt out of the picture. You have an hour. DO WHAT YOU CAN. And that is enough, I promise!
9. BLOGGING DOES IMPROVE MY FICTION.
Writing a blog is different than writing fiction. Which means it stretches an author’s writing skills. Her ability to use words. And stretching is growth.
1o. BLOGGING, I FEEL, MAKES ME THINK DIFFERENTLY THAN I DO ELSEWHERE.
I’m not claiming–in any way–that is scientifically true. That blogging makes people work on different wavelengths for a while.
But I do think that blogging makes me think about things I wouldn’t otherwise bother with. It helps me learn HOW to criticize and how to analyze my life and my work in ways I otherwise wouldn’t. Blogging stretches not just my writing skills, but teaches me to notice new things and make new connections.
For me, that’s the personal. “selfish” benefit of blogging.
11. RESPONDING TO EVERY COMMENT IS IDEAL, BUT NOT ANY KIND OF REQUIREMENT.
Introverts tend to be very sensitive people. We feel things deeply and personally and react to things deeply.
I have always felt very strongly that I should try to respond to comments in a personal way. And I will keep doing that, as much as I can.
But you know what? If I don’t have the time, every day, to log on and do that, the world will keep going. People aren’t going to have me (or you!) for that, if it’s something that just has to be.
Life is about doing what you can with what you are given. We aren’t God. And we can’t work miracles. We have limits, and we have to keep within them. Doing what we are able to do, with the situation we have, is all any of us can ask of others… as well as of ourselves.
12. CONSIDER BLOGGING AN INTEGRAL PART OF THE WORK OF WRITING FICTION.
You may not, but I write fiction. I am an independent author as well as a teacher and as well as having other interests. Sometimes I’m tempted to devote ALL my “writer self” time into working on my fiction. But then, how will I have an audience to introduce my new editions to? How I will have support to keep writing when writing gets tough?
Blogging, for authors at least, isn’t only about “blogging.” Honestly, I love connecting with people, and I don’t expect anyone who comes here to buy my work. I’m not owed that. I don’t care that much if my stats on the blog are great but the sales are slow. I have another job; I don’t depend on sales to live.
Still, I like to think I’m exposing people to the knowledge that my work is out there. On some level, blogging has to be about business and marketing. That’s just being honest. The indie market is saturated.
13. I’M A WORRIER. I DON’T WORRY WHEN I’M BLOGGING.
This is a personal thing, so it may not apply to you at all, but I am a worrier and an anxious person. I tend to waste a lot of time planning for the worst and trying to control the future.
That’s not productive, it’s not healthy, and it doesn’t lend itself to happiness. You know what does make me happy? Blogging. Putting aside worry-especially worry about things I can’t control–to live in the moment and enjoy life for the tremendous gift that it is.
Making myself blog again will be a healthy step in that direction. So here’s to a better me in 2015!
14. ROUTINE CAN BE HEALTHY.
Blogging can become part–perhaps a first part–of a routine that can lead us to a sense of pattern and control that isn’t overdone, but is healthy and supports being productive.
Personally, my life kind of blew up in 2014, in all kinds of (mostly good) ways. SO much changed, and I have experienced and grown so much, that I hardly feel like the same person I was this time last year. That has NEVER happened to me before. Not even when I went off to college. Or moved to Chicago for grad school.
For me, I think coming back to blogging will be a healthy way to cope with change, to reconnect with my roots, and to make sure I don’t let the positive aspects of the person I used to be get pushed away as more positive things develop.
15. BLOGGING, AND/OR READING BLOGS, CAN BE A REWARD AFTER A TOUGH DAY.
The good thing about blogging is that it takes energy of a sort, but not necessarily the precision and focus that editing a work for publication does when you expect people to pay for the product.
Blogging is fun. It is productive. It helps put me in touch with who I am and some of the reasons I feel God made me the way He did. That has all the makings of a healthy reward after a long day at work or even a long day at play!