Five years ago someone asked me, “Do you want to be an author or a blogger?”
I scratched my head and wondered why I couldn’t be both.
Balance is something I struggle for all the time. I take a few steps on the slackline and feel in control just to plummet face first in the grass. “I can’t do it all.” I said that to my husband, Danny, a few weeks ago and he laughed. He knows how hard I work. Blogging while writing books and screenplays, promoting through social media, pitching, and querying, are all a struggle of priorities. I just love to write.
With requests made for my book, I set aside my new manuscript to polish the old. I wanted The Foreboding to shine brighter before sending it out on a wing and many prayers with hope that an agent or editor would see value in my work and want to represent it. But ideas for my new one have cried out from recesses of my tiny cranium and I had to work on it too. Blogging became a low priority. It threw me off balance.
I can’t imagine life without my blog. I already write in a vacuum alone with my thoughts most of the time. Blogging is where I practice. It’s where I get instant gratification in views and comments and feedback. It’s where I “see” and meet up with my writing friends. It’s my hollow in the woods where I let crazy ideas flow and I share my life adventures.
Therein lies the conundrum, the paradox, the tangled cat’s cradle that trips me up and tosses me off balance.
If blog posts are like paper to the flame, books are the mighty oak. I’m still waiting for the gratification of feeling the weight of my first novel in my hands. It will happen. In the meantime, I stoke the fire with kindling and fan the flames, and breathe life into my words until they crackle and burn. I watch the word count rise up until…. Sorry. I got carried away….
Any writing is like breathing. It’s all good practice and something I have to do.
Last weekend I met someone online who gets thousands of views a day on her blog through social media. Seduced by the thought of going viral, I downloaded her tips and tricks. I assumed she held back. She didn’t, but the list was dang long. It would take a huge time commitment promoting, editing photos, and writing generic or shocking posts to get views and shares. And there is still a ton of luck involved. That’s when I hit a wall.
“Nope. Not doing it. It’s not my goal to be a professional blogger.” Don’t get me wrong. I would love to get thousands of views here every day. Most writers want to be read. “Look at me! Look at me!” It’s what we do when sharing posts on Twitter and Facebook. If I didn’t want people to read my work, I’d write in Dear Diary.
But spending even more time blogging is not why I started writing. I have much longer stories to tell. They require many hours and self-discipline.
And so I’ll continue to seek balance on this unstable line between blogger and author, even though it’s an ephemeral, momentary mirage. It will never be perfect. I’ll rise up to the line and I’ll flail. I’ll fail. I’ll fall. I’ll face plant and it will hurt. But I’ll brush myself off. I’ll take a deep breath.
I’ll rise up to the line to try again.
Do you find it hard to balance your time with blogging? Where are you seeking balance?
Click for more of my life adventures!
Ops’ Kayaking those mountains was a bit rough going’ Lol. I meant up Rivers and Lakes. 🙂
That might be part of my problem. I get a lot more done when I’m exhausted. I felt really grounded after Wanderlust. Meditation took me down a few feet since I tend to levitate with all my high energy. 🙂
I find the balance hard as well. I have not written much in September due to work being crazy busy and renovating the house. Where do I find the time to write let alone read and try to catch up with my friends in the blogsphere. I find that my blog gives me a creative outlet though to write it out and if I want to publish what I write I can or place it in the trash can. It feels good to release and let go at times – find my center again for my whole well being. I am itching to get back out and photograph too – been way too long.
Happy Creating – Happy Week – Enjoy 🙂
There is a huge benefit to blogging, but like most things, it takes a lot of time. Real life adventure should always take precedence over writing about it and it sounds like you’re in the middle of one! Good luck with your renovation. We are almost finished with our place in the mountains after gutting it. Thank God!
Hmmm…something to think about..
Blogging is a commitment to a community whereas book writing is solitary. They’re both time-consuming!
Are you writing a book?
I blog because it’s a direct, authentic way to connect with readers. Plus I like the idea of not being filtered by an editor or a publisher. I don’t think that I have the patience to write a book, which like you said, is primarily a solitary pursuit. Although friends who are published authors tell me that many of blog posts are book ready, so maybe I’m missing the boat. I dunno. Like you said, it’s all about balance… and paddling your own canoe!
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I like, “I blog because it’s a direct, authentic way to connect with readers.” That’s exactly why most of us blog. I don’t think I would get that from magazine articles. The first time I wrote a feature for the newspaper, there were so many trolls, I never looked again.
The blog to book thing is a completely different animal. I have friends who have published them with success. My Boob Reports will be a book someday. It has occurred to me that I should write posts that would serve as chapters, but I’m not that analytical about it. I just write what’s on my mind and I’ll keep on paddling!!
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All the lines stringing up everywhere are so good to see – we always had ropes or chains to balance across as kids (low hanging tree branches made shaky handholds.) It was great fun, kept us busy, and probably had some educationa;/character building components. People right now really do need to rediscover childlike fun.
Blogging, writing, the real world all difficult to balance. It does provide a social community – and support for writing and other stuff. Going cold turkey and stopping would be difficult (even though time crunch makes it hard and there’s the guilt of not “return visiting”)
What seems really difficult for writers/ published writers is that blogs/social media seem to be mandated almost by agents and publishers (who smugly shift publicity onto writers’ shoulders a great deal now – cost effective). The situation reminds me of the old fairy tale of “The Red Shoes” or that movie/book about ballet dancers “I’m dancing as fast as I can” Burnout and depression could be a real possibility for authors. That balance has to be found
I started blodding just to be able to write freely as I feel like it after years of rigid AP forms, closely examining every little word and phrase for possible meanings, connotations, connections, and emotions in research writing/editing and website content. Blogging on WP is likw running in a field of wild flowers.
In order to write, you ahve to write a lot and frequently – blogging is a way to practice to prime the pump. (and it’s a fun place with lots of helps and hints for later)
Take to the air and balance, Wild Rider. Write on.
I’m not sure how much blogging translates to book sales unless it’s non-fiction, but I hope someday to find out!
It all takes time. I wrote a post today. I thought I could limit my time, but some just require more of the precious stuff. It is great practice, so I’ll continue.
AP forms? Whatever they are, they sound tedious!
I’ll keep stepping up. Thanks Phil!
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Oh my God I am so happy you wrote this and I found it today! I am still new to WordPress and not brilliant…getting there, with the blogs workings. I’ve joined so many of you and wondered if anyone wrote. Until today when I found the “reader” and that all the amazing artist and writers are in that cabinet.
I have been asking myself the same thing, “blog daily or focus it all in my books?” I love blogging, sort of addicted actually. However, my writing has taken a back seat. I feel that blogging has improved my writing and is building muscles…and it’s sucking up all my energy. I will continue but I’ve already cut down to 5 days. Thank you for this and I love the way you write. I’d also love to have your skinny figure!
The reader is the best for catching up with others.
Five days is a lot of blogging. I’m going for once or twice a week since October is a hectic month for me. Something has to ride in the backseat. I have my eyes set on the publishing prize, so I’ll continue driving ahead!
Thanks for stopping by!
What I’ve discovered, is that there are many people who read my posts who do not click ‘like’, because they don’t want attention for having read or liked a post with certain subject matter. I’ve also found there were others who simply clicked like and didn’t read it at all. And, I would not have known that if they hadn’t made a comment after only reading the headline..lol And like you said, it takes enormous amounts of time and coming up with ‘shock’ posts and headlines on the social sewer to get all that attention. If you’ve ever heard of Examiner.com, they no longer exist because they heavily promoted those methods, (along with conspiracy theories), over and above content quality of articles. But, WordPress is still here. 😉
Who says that what you’re doing right now isn’t just exactly right for you? You love to write and you’re writing, and you’re quite good at it. I love photography. My passion is getting beautiful nature shots with my “good” camera and lenses. But I carry a point and shoot in my purse for everyday photo ops (it has a great zoom). And there’s the cell phone camera too. I use them all, and when I can, I use my best one. But sometimes life is such that it’s all I can do to whip out the cell phone. No matter what, I still love to take pictures and always will. Keep doing what you’re doing until it doesn’t work for you any more. Then make a shift. Repeat.
Thanks so much! I do enjoy it.
That is so true! I’m in Wisconsin visiting my mom and have really put writing on the back burner. And so it goes!
Photography is a passion of mine too. I had hoped fall color would be at its peak here in the land of cheese and happy people, but it’s still a week away. I’ve still taken a few photos!
Great advice… 🙂
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Reblogged this on DREAM BIG DREAM OFTEN and commented:
This post on Susie Lindau’s Wild Ride provides great perspective into the mind and thoughts on blogging! Read it!
I understand what you are going through – in a different way. I have put writing a book on hold because I feel I need to work on creating a site for Invisible Illness – a place to help break the stigma, ask/answer questions and provide a “safe haven” for people who suffer to hang out. But I am tied down with technical issues and a can’t seem to get past it to work on content. But I have my blog to fall back on which is always a good thing.
Computers can be so frustrating! Good luck with your new site. It sounds like it will help a lot of people. Maybe a computer geek could help you. It does take time.
Something has to give. I looked back and in 2012, I blogged 130 posts. This year I’m at 70, but I have a finished book. I couldn’t have accomplished that if I still blogged that often. It’s all about prioritizing. I keep as many balls in the air as I can handle while still being a participant in life outside the keyboard. 🙂