Hello again, Readers!
It’s been a long time away, and I have so many things to share with you! For starters, yes, that title is a reference to the masterful Joyce Carol Oates and her beautiful work, “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” Has my time away been like 15-year-old Connie’s journey in the story? Golly, no. But it has been a time of discovery in all things writing, and since Joyce Carol Oates’s talent is incredibly admirable to me, I would say that my time away has inspired me to dive headlong into my writing. (And if you are unfamiliar with Ms. Oates, check her out!)
So, what have I been doing for the last six weeks while I broke away from this blog?
Here’s a quick list. I…
- Finished editing a novel-length side project
- Edited three short stories
- Researched markets for six short stories and submitted three others
- Cleaned up my website
- Started tinkering with ideas for the novel I’ll be starting in February
- Received super exciting news about a short story I wrote (the official news comes out in May/June; I’m leaving you hanging, sorry!)
- Read oodles of stories and books, and I mean oodles—a book of short stories, a few stand-alone shorts, a literary novel, an amazing dark fantasy novel, and two YA novels, all of which were great examples of solid writing (which in turn makes me a better writer), and
- Researched and read a lot of blog articles about fiction authors maintaining blogs, such as these three thoughtful posts by Joel Friedlander, Rachelle Gardner, and Jody Hedlund.
This last bullet point actually led me to some deep thinking about the whole blogging process. I’ve missed posting regularly, but mostly I’ve missed you, my readers! On the other hand, I found in the last six weeks that I was not only less stressed, but I was extraordinarily productive with all my writing plans. When my alarm blared at 4:45 so that I could squeeze my 30 to 45 minutes of writing in before work, I was actually less likely to sleep through it, chuck it across the room, or even allow Sienna Cat to fight with it and bat it off the nightstand (she’s apparently not into the noise). I also found myself coming home more excited to tack on more time, often spending at least an hour, if not two, on something writerly before I fell into a deep, idea-rich slumber.
Another thing I noticed was that, while I’m enjoying reading the blogs that I follow, a lot of posts reflect similar information. That is, an idea, or topic, gets addressed by many of us at some point, often in a short window of time. Most of the time it’s not intentional, but all of the time, it’s inevitable—take for example the three articles I read in a six-week window on authors blogging, and if you google the topic, you’ll find many more. The good news is that this provides interesting perspective and commentary from each author, but the bad is that the whole point of blogging, or one’s “platform,” is to showcase something special and uniquely you.
This put me at a bit of a crossroads. The creative boon is the key piece—I am, after all, a writer, and the only way to be a writer (and eventually get published) is to be a writer and write—and the burst I’ve had in the last six weeks has been amazing. I do enjoy blogging, but for different reasons—namely, connecting with and hearing comments and thoughts from you, my readers. Clearly, some sort of compromise was in order. Would I quit blogging forever? Ha. NO. Would I give up all the writing creativity? Double ha. HECK NO. But…
What I need to do is write.
That said, I’ve decided to scale back my blogging a bit. From here forward, I’ll be posting the second and fourth Wednesday of every month. I hope in this way I will (a) still be able to connect with you, providing fresh, informative posts, and (b) be able to continue working on my writing at the productive pace I’ve experienced since the beginning of December. It was a tough decision, I’m not going to lie, but a necessary one.
Knowing that many of my readers are also writers, I’m curious what all of you think about the burning to write or blog question.Do you find blogging takes away from your writing? Do you love blogging so much/enough that it doesn’t matter? And also, why do you blog?
Please share your thoughts below, I’d love to know!
January 16th, 2013 at 6:47 am
Speaking of bloggers writing about the same general topics at the same general time–I’m going to be doing precisely the same thing. Not having my computer for awhile made me slow down and readjust….will post about it sometime this week–probably 🙂
January 16th, 2013 at 10:16 am
Looking forward to it, Jessica! I still can’t believe you lost your laptop–yikes! Readjustment is always good, though, and I’m curious to see what you discovered in the time away!
January 16th, 2013 at 7:03 am
I only try to blog once a week–whether that be a book review, a bit about the creative process, or something more pop culture related. I let the topic take me where I’d like, and when I have a lot of “blogging energy” I try to do several posts all at once. That way I can be free for a month at a time. I like having a blog so that I have a “home” for my writing, and a place to chat with my friends, but my passion is writing novels, not blog posts. I think when you do what’s right for you as a blogger, the content is better in every instance.
January 16th, 2013 at 10:18 am
I agree, Melanie, and thank you for commenting. It’s a definite home–but we have to find a good balance. I keep saying I’m going to write several at once, but never do. If I get back on a weekly schedule as opposed to a biweekly one someday, perhaps I’ll give it a whirl! Thanks for sharing your thoughts. 🙂
January 16th, 2013 at 7:14 am
Yes, blogging definitely takes away from my writing, but right now I feel it is setting up followers with hopes of selling my book….I wish there was more time in the day to do both! 🙂
January 16th, 2013 at 10:21 am
If only we could freeze time! I enjoy the encouraging following as well, but want more “product” that people can look forward to finding out there…hence more writing time. Thank you for commenting and sharing your thoughts, and lots of luck (and time) with your blogging and book! 🙂
January 16th, 2013 at 8:34 am
A good man’s got to know his limitations. .and sometimes, less is more- no? Write-on Eva, it will be great to see some books by you!
January 16th, 2013 at 10:22 am
Thanks Sue! Great words of wisdom that always hold true, you’re right–now to the keyboard I go! 🙂
January 16th, 2013 at 9:36 am
[…] Where Am I Going, Where Have I Been? […]
January 16th, 2013 at 10:21 pm
Wow! You’ve been a busy woman. 🙂
Yes, lol. Blogging takes away some of my writing time.
I blog to share what I’ve learned and continue to learn, and to share my self publishing journey with others.
I’m in the middle of an extensive revision myself. Just came up for a breather, and to update my blog.
See you after revisions are finished. 🙂
January 17th, 2013 at 12:34 pm
And a good post it was! Glad to hear you’re cruising along on the writing (and blogging), and best of luck on your revisions, Catrina!
January 17th, 2013 at 5:09 pm
It is funny that I just posted about how I was experiencing better results by writing in the morning, and on a work lunch; that activity level has produced bright spots at night where I just need to write.
Glad to hear that your productivity has increased, we all understand the decision. Good luck with it. Don’t be afraid to stop in for quick visits and short posts just to get it out of the system if you have to, but otherwise just stick to what you are doing; it’s obviousy working.
January 19th, 2013 at 9:57 am
Mornings are the best! I’m glad you have found a good time for yourself as well, Nathan. Thank you for the encouragement, and I will definitely continue to pop in! Thanks for visiting and commenting. 🙂
January 20th, 2013 at 8:17 am
I’m starting to wonder if you’re right! I guess you just have to go with what’s right for you. I’ll miss seeing your posts more often though!
January 22nd, 2013 at 6:33 pm
Ah, thanks, Katie! 🙂 I think it is definitely a personal thing. For me, the time has been extraordinary. I do miss blogging (re: connecting) more, but I’m feeling extremely positive and productive, so it’s what I need for now. I’m sure in time it will change, but there you have it… Keep up your great posts, because I’m still enjoying reading them!