First Things First, and then we’ll go for a ride, Pixel Monkey

Pregnant's dream

This year has brought a lot of changes into my life, and a whole diaperload of changes is still waiting to drop on top of me. 😉

As a result, this year I’ve slowed down with my blogging and I’m currently heading for an inevitable hiatus. A partial hiatus, where I’ll only blog sporadically to revive the tiny atrophied part of my brain that’s responsible for socializing. No organized schedule or topics or anything (that seems to never work for me), just the pain-induced spasms of a laboring writer. *ha ha ha, snort*

I couldn’t stop blogging altogether, you know. I LOVE talking about this multi-headed schizophrenic Hydra called Fiction Writing, about science-fiction and the hundreds of strange ingredients we have to mince and boil together in order to create this wondrous concoction, and about my often violent experiences as I try to feed this broth to the Hydra through a straw.

The good part of having blogged less, though, is that I managed to turn my writing up a notch, not so much quantity-wise as quality-wise, or at least, content-wise.

My decision to cut back on blogging also had something to do with my mutating definition of what the true job of a writer is, and what I really want to get out of it. Fact is, the many definitions and expectations floating out there do not fit what I want, and contribute absolutely zero to my happiness. My job as a writer—the way I’ve come to see it—is to create good stories and share them with others so I can learn how to create even better stories. Not try to emulate a product vending corporation and become an ad-sponsored internet traffic drain.

Write a damn good story, send it into the world, then WRITE THE NEXT GOOD STORY.

Blogging is just a reflection of that.

Blogging is a way to communicate, to find additional creative expression, to tell good stories, not to push a brand or a product, not to fish little page-clicking money-spitting fishies out of the waters. If our stories are good, we have fulfilled our destinies as writers. If our stories suck or don’t even see the light of day because we’re busy tweeting and commenting and link-sharing in a global back-patting pity party, we have failed as writers, and no amount of electronic traffic can ever make up for that.

Tell good stories and pour your heart out, on the page as well as on the blog.

Entertain people, inspire them, feed them useful information or make them think, make them happy or angry or tap their foot anxiously under the desk. At least be yourself down to the marrow and follow your true convictions in everything you do and say. Then all your efforts are added to your storytelling efforts, not detracted. Then your online presence makes you a better writer, a better person, and helps you fulfill your potential, instead of getting you lost and stranded on Spam Platform island.

Turn off the goddamn traffic statistic and start to swim!

When I began blogging I was all big-eyed and eager to fulfill all of those expectations and check off all of those “musts” that writers must do when they brand themselves and build their platform. *gag* As time passed and I learned to trust my own opinion, I realized the true benefit of blogging for me was in exercising my courage and honesty and oratory skills (’cause yeah, blogging feels like standing in a public square blabbering out your opinions), and in the people I met who helped me grow and kept me going. It also taught me humility and the importance of having the right priorities.

But what good does any of that do if I don’t write fiction? If my stories never meet the world? If I invest in all these additional things which are additional and make no freaking sense without the thing which they are additional to, meaning my writing?

Hence, I’m spending my limited capacity on my novel first. All the networking and blogging in the world has no purpose for me if I’m not A WRITER FIRST.

I will finish revising my novel and send it out into the world. Then I will make the time and use my energy to write the next brand new story. And while my life settles into a new rhythm around my new bundle of joy (and the baby, of course ;)), I’ll be blogging about my Hydra caretaking experiences and the way my little brain engine is oiled in the process. No schedule, no premeditated agenda, no strategic placement of traffic baits, and definitely no sacrificing of writing capacity in the service of anything else.

So even if my posts might be scarce for a while, I won’t fall into a deep dark manhole. I’ll still be around, writing science-fiction and changing diapers. Talk to me any time if you feel like it, and I will talk back. *grin*

And now to you.

Why did you start to blog? Is the reason you’re blogging now a different one?

Have you ever taken or considered a hiatus? What for?

And if you reeeaaally think about it, has blogging helped you become a better writer, or kept you from writing more?

8 Replies to “First Things First, and then we’ll go for a ride, Pixel Monkey”

  1. I started blogging (a chemistry blog) years ago just to get back into chemistry again, something my job at the time wasn’t providing me. Then, when I realized I enjoyed writing fiction, I dropped that blog and moved on to writing about my journey through the writing world. I’ve met many other writers that way, some of whom have turned into CPs, but I’m only posting once or twice a week now, because if I don’t spend my time on my story, I’ll never get it finished.

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    1. Sounds like blogging’s paid out for you, Ken. Which is great! Hope you’ll continue to get the most out of it.

      I initially blogged three times a week, then twice, then one, and now—due to circumstances—about once every two weeks. But that’s going to change back as soon as I’m able to invest more time in it again. 🙂

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  2. As you know, I just hit my 8 year anniversary as a blogger. And in that time, the amount of posts I crank out has gone up and down and all around. I probably posted two-three times a week too for awhile. But I now only post on Mondays.

    I just don’t have the time. When I started blogging, I had only one child. Now I have 3. And of course, more responsibilities with the job (which includes lots of travel). So blogging has taken a back seat for sure.

    And a hiatus every once in a while is so necessary.

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    1. Exactly, Jay! Blogging is an organic thing, a living thing, it needs to adapt to our rhythm. Sometimes we can blog more, and get more out of it, sometimes we need to back away for a while to mind other things. Your blog is a good example of an enduring thing despite—or precisely because of—its flexibility. 🙂

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  3. Cheering you on and wishing you the best as you reorganize your life and priorities. I blog, primarily to hone my writing skills in a fairly non-threatening venue, or at least that was my original intention. It can easily take on a life of its own with its on goals and, as you said, numbers game. Blech. I don’t like that.

    I have cut back on how often I blog and, honestly, how often I get out and read blogs. It’s just too time consuming sometimes. But it’s also opened doors I never imagined.

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    1. Balancing the pros and cons of blogging can sometimes get really tough. I love making contact with other writers, meeting new people and getting to know their opinions on things, but at the same time, plowing through the hundreds of interesting blogs in my near vicinity sucks much more time from my schedule than I can sometimes afford.

      Thanks for the cheers, Julie! I hope I’ll be fit again soon. 🙂

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  4. CONGRATULATIONS!!! If I understand you…you’re pregnant. What a ride you’re starting…that never finishes as long as you and the “blessed one” take breath. I’m still heaving.

    But I can’t tell you how much I enjoy your blogs…well, maybe I can but it all sounds so lame when I say it because I genuinely get a kick out of reading your rants. I will miss my Monday smile.

    Having said that, I’m having blogging fatigue, twitter fatigue, and facebook fatigue myself. I feel that authors have to connect with the public out there somehow, to let them know we have awesome books, but it’s a lot of time for little return, particularly for the self publisher.

    But I do keep writing and will have the next one, Touching Crystal, out in November. (fingers crossed)

    And to answer your question…I blog because I want to connect and share the science fiction books that I have enjoyed so much over the ages. I’m always looking for a really good scifi to read and want to get a dialog going through my blog.

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    1. Thanks for the congrats, Sheron! It’s an exciting (and tiring) time for me, for sure. 😀

      The social media & blogging fatigue seems to be making the rounds for quite a few authors I’m following, indie and traditional alike. Everyone’s powering down after the self-marketing craze that raged last year. Of course there are still some who blog every day and seem to be present everywhere, but they’ve become rare unicorns nowadays.

      I hope to blog more again as soon as I find the time & energy, maybe even revamp my blog and such (yay for new technology!) but I try not to focus on that now, and take it one step at a time. The will and drive are there, though. So next year there’ll be more coming from me. 🙂

      Thanks so much for the support and the kind words. I really enjoy your blog and the book reviews, especially since I’ve read far less than you and it helps me find the occasional “to read” gem.

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