To Write or to Blog: That is the Question

I started my blog last summer; almost a year to the day after the Restless Writers’ blog was launched. Dipping my toe in the blogging pool through this one gave me the confidence to strike out on my own. As an aspiring fiction writer, I knew that branding myself online (alas, it’s much less kinky than it sounds) was essential.

I contemplated daily posts but quickly realized I could never keep up such a schedule (finding time to brush my teeth every day is pushing it). I decided that Monday, Wednesday and Friday would be my days to post, in addition to a weekly post on this site, as well as continuing to revise my WIP, not to mention the corporate writing I do part-time from home.

After a few weeks of my grandma and friends reading my posts, I was Freshly Pressed and had close to six thousand views in one day. Suddenly the pressure was on and blogging took over my life: it wasn’t just a place to put down the stories that were too long for a Facebook post – it was my calling card for agents, potential employers and ex-boyfriends.

Perfectly crafting every blog post became my focus, plus I discovered that I really loved creating short stories about my ridiculous family. I put off sending queries. I had no new ideas for my next WIP. I dogged it at the day job. I simply didn’t have the energy to write.

I recently took the advice of Rachel in the OC (aka my Fairy Blogmother) who recommends posting twice a week and keeping them fewer than five hundred words – enough to give people what they want while avoiding blogger burnout. My blog is my portfolio and I can’t risk an agent (not to mention ex-boyfriend) dropping by only to read a sub-standard post.

The results have been immediate: I’m working on a middle grade idea that has me crazy excited; I’m getting to bed before midnight; and I have more time to exercise. I realize that this last point has little to do with writing, but it’s helping to combat another side effect of too much time online: excessive blogger butt.

How do you balance a blog, other writing and life in general? To the comments!

LD

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7 Comments

Filed under Blogging, Inspiration, Life and stuff, Motivation, Trials and Tribulations

7 responses to “To Write or to Blog: That is the Question

  1. Balance? Isn’t that something for gymnasts?

    Actually, blogging gives me balance, even if it’s a bit off kilter. I work full time and blogging makes me write and forces me to lower my standards a bit so I actually will click “publish”. I’m not doing as much other writing as I’d like to do, but I suspect I’d do less without blogging. I thrive on structure and being busy.

    That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.

    (Please note the lack of ellipses in this comment. I’m trying).

  2. OK,

    Should I even talk to you ever again?

    How could you NOT toot your own horn about this.

    You and your secret life.

    I found it, I’m subscribed, and over time, the wounds may heal.

  3. I know what you mean! At first I was ambitious enough to think surely I could post every day (uhm, no) and then it became 3 times a week for a long time until recently, when faced with a near burnout, I cut it down to twice a week and it has worked quite well.

    However, I also started another blog for “my other self” – the one that doesn’t go into details about my personal life so I could actually use this new blog as my writing/blogging portfolio – and now I’m back to having to balance my time between blogging and blogging but for two different places. You’d think I’d have learned my lesson by now but no….

    • I know exactly what you mean! I cut back on my blog, but still do this one and I also write for another blog with my writing job. Obviously, we just need to write and I suppose that too much of a good thing is better than too little…unless you burn out or die from blogger butt 😀

  4. Still trying to figure out the balance thing. Thought I do still have a tendency to come up with great writing ideas when I’m not at the computer, and great blogging ideas when I’m trying to write. So. . . yeah. Still working on it.

  5. At least you’re writing – the most important thing!

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