Wednesday, April 9, 2014

A New (or Old) Approach To The Blog

I spent most of the day composing this post.  This is ironic since it's mostly an announcement that I'm not going to do that any more. (Or at least not for the next 25 weeks.)

Hi, my name is Camille and I have a blogging problem.

And it has got to the point where I'm not even blogging very well any more.  (Rather like the "drinking problem" Robert Hays' character in Airplane had.)

The truth is I've been letting the cart get ahead of the horse lately.

I blog partly to support my writing, but it's so easy to blog that I let it develop and grow ahead of the rest of my career.  Plus the immediate feedback (comments, views, retweets, pins) makes it distracting.  Then, just as the blog gets on a roll, I realize "oh wait, I need to hold back on this until I've got some more books out."  And I interrupt the blog to go back to work.  So I'm not doing either well.

I've been writing full time for 18 months, but I never really settled into a good schedule. I realize that the blog is part of the reason.  I made an effort to pull back on my writing career so I could restart that... but the blog kept leaping into the vacuum.

What I need to do is a blog reset.  Not a hiatus, not a vacation or a change in schedule. A reset.

So, for the next 25 weeks or so, I'm going back to the original concept of this blog:

1.) The blog will take the form of a daily writing journal.  That is, it will be a daily report on my writing progress, with a little colorful commentary on my adventures in writing and the things that interfere with it.

2.) The posts must be off-the-cuff.  No planning or composing ahead.  I may allow myself to do more "think ahead" commentaries on Mondays (written Sunday night).  But only if I find it isn't interfering with my writing.

3.) If I get a great idea for a regular blog post, I will write it down and file it for later.  (Either use it when I go back to regular blogging, or for a guest post or blog tour.)

4.) I will sometimes miss a day or two or five. The goal is not to post every day but to use the blog to intensify my focus on my writing for a while.

5.) This will last for twenty-five weeks, until the end of September. (Approximately 175 days.) At that point, I'll have to decide whether to keep it up or go back to regular blogging or do something in between, or to run screaming into the night.

I've known I should do this, but I've avoided it, for reasons I won't go into because I can't remember them and even if they seem really important to me, they really don't matter.  I need to do this now -- and keep doing it.

I have announced big changes in the blog many times recently, and it seems like the New Blog Order usually lasts about two weeks.

However, that's where item #2 comes in.

See, in the past, when I put the blog on hiatus, I'd get an idea for a post and I'd write it, but because the blog was just sitting there, empty, I'd be overcome with a need to post it.  And the next thing you know I'd be back to full time posting again. And if I put the blog on a schedule, I'd find myself pulling myself away from writing to meet the deadline.

By insisting that all posts be off-the-cuff posts, and about how the writing day went, that makes it a part of the writing routine, rather than a distraction from it.

I'll be starting tonight, even though the day is mostly gone. We'll see how it works.

See you in the funny papers.


Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Think this is a great plan for you! I know you've commented in the past that blogging, etc., is taking too much time. There's definitely a point where blogging stops complementing the writing are starts impeding it.

David Michael said...

Not sure if you noticed, but I essentially hammered my blog. Changed it into a simple author site, listing my available titles.

I realized I had been blogging in various ways for 6+ years and had never settled on a style or topic--or attracted much of a readership. So I decided to just do away with it completely. It's been oddly freeing. =)

I'm in the process of a near-total reboot of my approach to writing and indie publishing, and the decision on the blog proved to be one of the first steps in that. That is, once I had made that decision, making other decisions became both easier and more obvious.

I don't miss the blog much. After all, I still have my personal journal. =)


Lee McAulay said...

I've slowed right down to once a week, more or less on a Wednesday.
Update posts when I have news (not much since I'm editing very slowly), short articles spurred by things I've encountered elsewhere, and snippets - sometimes even just online reminders to myself.
Not filling my blog with my own spam...
Good luck, you know where we are when you need us!

The Daring Novelist said...

Thanks all!

Yes, I've noticed a number of people who have cut back or rebooted their blogging and style. We're all inventing this as we go along.

My problem is that blogging is absorbing, and if I wanted to do it more than full-time I could. And yes, I could get an audience, but people don't pay for blogging. (And my interests don't lend themselves to advertising for home refinancing and weight loss.)

Kathy Holmes said...

I just found your blog today and I love this idea - it sounds like what I do all the time.

The Daring Novelist said...

Thanks, Kathy. Welcome to the blog.

And yeah, this is what I used to do with the blog. It's a natural thing to do -- but it doesn't make for an exciting blog.