Friday, December 9, 2011

The Blogger Blues: Why Blog?

I started this blog back in September with a real desire to beat dabbling and to start writing every day.  AND...I am very happy to report that I have been able to accomplish this, for the most part (plus or minus a day here or there).  So why do I feel like a failure?

Let me back up...

In September I embarked on a journey to become a writer...and therefore, make writing a part of my daily routine.  To do so, I became involved in a variety of different activities to ensure that I would do this. 

First, I enrolled in a weekly writing class.  Homework assignments certainly kept me busy.  I have also enrolled for next semester to ensure that this momentum continues.  Check!

Secondly, I started a Critique Group through SCBWI which meets monthly.  This group has provided a certain accountability (needing to have a manuscript ready to be critiqued each meeting) and inspiration for future projects.  Check!

Thirdly, in November I set out to participate in PiBoIdMo 2011 (Picture Book Idea Month) and took the following oath:
I solemnly swear to faithfully execute
the PiBoIdMo 30-ideas-in-30-days challenge,
and to the best of my ability,
parlay my ideas into picture book manuscripts.

The result...I was a WINNER!  And now in my arsenal I have 30 ideas for which to embark on the next challenge 12 x 12 in 2012 (12 manuscripts in 12 months of 2012) starting in January.  Check!

Bottomline, since September I have 2 completed manuscripts, 1 semi-completed manuscript, 30 ideas, a Critique Group that meets monthly, another class starting at the end of January, registration for the SCBWI Winter Conference in NYC, and the 12 x 12 in 2012 challenge, as well.  PLUS I sent my first query letter to an agent.  All of this in 3 months of hard work!  Does this sound like failure to anyone? 

Well, to my perfectionist mind, I have failed to do one thing.  I have not been consistent in blogging. 

In September, to document my ups and downs with this "Writing Daily" challenge, I decided to start a blog.  In fact, every where I turned there were articles about how EVERY writer should blog.  Blog, blog, blog! order to follow the fold, I started The Write Routine.

With only a few followers, I found myself getting discouraged.  Why was I blogging? 

And with the onslaught of so many other ways to meet my challenge...blogging became a hassle that I didn't have time for.  So again...why was I blogging?

I hope to make this blog a priority in the new year. In fact, I would go as far as to make a resolution. However, the last thing I want at the end of March is to look back on all that I accomplished in 3 months and feel like I failed in this area. One thing I do know, I will not blog in the place of writing new manuscripts, revising manuscripts, or sending out queries. That, my friends, is a fact!

The truth is, I do feel compelled to create a blog and have this online presence.  I would love to see this blog become something.  But I still come back to the question of why?  Why blog?  Do writers need to blog?  How do writers find time?  How do you keep blogging for taking over other writing projects?  Any advice or anecdotes would be appreciated.

In the meantime, Happy Writing!


  1. Blogging about what I've learned about becoming a children's author has been very useful to me, because when I write about something, I learn about it far better than if I just read it. That's why I recap conferences I've attended. I go through my notes and write them up. It's a learning process for me. And, if someone else can benefit from the info, it's just an added bonus. So I have to say blogging is selfish on my part! I learn better with it. It also keeps me in a writing mode. During PiBoIdMo I revised a requested project and I wrote a new manuscript that is now on submission. It's a very productive thing for me!

    P.S. I would follow your blog but I don't use Google connect. Do you have an email option or feed?

  2. First of all, congratulations on your immense success in your writing goals thus far! You have accomplished far more in those 3 months than many accomplish in a year, so definitely don't sell yourself short.

    Blogging is one of those famous two-edged swords. Yes, it does help you build your platform as a writer, but on the other hand, it can easily steal from your writing time (and reading time).

    I am going to try (TRY) to keep to a general schedule of just 3 blog posts a week in the coming year, and try to tame the tiger of blogging so that I have enough time for my writing, because building a platform is not much use without having a book or books to promote on that platform.

    Perhaps you can set a schedule of one or two blogposts a week, so that you can hopefully have the best of both worlds.

    All the best to you as you go forth and write! (See you in 12 x 12!)


  3. Congratulations on getting so much done in just a few short months. It's quite impressive! I started blogging a little over a year ago, and I am still struggling with how much to do it, as it truly can take up so much of your time...time that you could be devoting to writing manuscripts, and well as time you could be spending with family, etc. When I started blogging, I told myself I would just try to blog once a week. Sometimes I've stuck to that, and sometimes I haven't, and it has worked out ok. I keep doing it because I blog about two things I am passionate about (picture books and dance) and because it helps me keep current on what picture books are being published (as I'm always in the book store or library looking for books to review). It is a journey, though, and I feel like it does evolve over time, even if you aren't quite sure in the beginning where it is going to take you. Good luck!

  4. I think you have to blog because you enjoy it, not because you think you're supposed to. If you want to have followers, you need some kind of dependable routine so they know when to check for your posts, but it doesn't have to be overload. Once a week is fine! Or even less often if you prefer, as long as you're consistent, people will get the hang of it.

    You are so right not to let blogging interfere with your actual writing, though. That is a very hard balance to find and keep. My writing suffers, and for the coming year, I need to find a better balance!

  5. I think blogging is personal and a journey and will look different for each of us. I also think you have to enjoy it or I wouldn't do it. At this point, about ten months in, I am still enjoying it but trying to find balance with the writing. I am very impressed with what you have achieved since September. 2-3 MS is awesome!

    I read this helpful post yesterday on this subject on Jody Hedlund's site.

  6. I find blogging like an online journal for myself :) and if something happens to me, then for my family to have. I am hoping to keep up with my own better in 2012 :)
    Great post!
    Denise of Ingleside, PEI

  7. I blog because it provides a place to just practice writing. Every day, as much as I can. It gives me focus, and energy, and defines what I am thinking.

    I've been blogging for a while, on different sites, and my current site has few followers too. but I am sticking with it because I love it, and want to keep creating what makes me happy. We all blog for different reasons, but if you do it to collect followers, the interest may not last.

    But I am here, as are all these other commenters, reading your words! Come on over and say hi on my site as well. The sharing of bloggy thoughts is where the fun happens :)

  8. Wow... I think you and I are the same person! I, too, find myself wondering why I blog. But the truth is, we writers need to do just that. We WRITE. And I don't think it matters what we say (PB&J recipe, anyone?), but it matters that we do it.

    My blog isn't exactly interesting (though I get complimented every now and again), and I'm TERRIBLE at keeping up with it. BUT, I do it because it keeps my fingers on my keyboard, and my brain activated.

    You, my dear, are an excellent writer. I'm hooked, and it seems you have a nice following! Yes, online presence is fantastic. Yes, it's fantabulous to get your name out there. But you're right when you say that submissions are #1 priority.

    Be encouraged!! You're doing great, and I really look forward to reading more of your stuff, and venturing through 12x12 with you this year.

  9. I'm amazed at how much you've accomplished once you set your mind to it. Congratulations, Marcie! You are an inspiration. I will need to take it a bit slower, since I am home educating our two teenagers, but there will be opportunity two years hence. "Everything in its time..." I eagerly anticipate it!

  10. I feel like you have been reading my mind. I so have to get into a routine of blogging. I have been erractic over the last few months mainly because of one reason or another, trip away, not been well, or on challenges that seem to take over. Next year I must be more consistant. Great post btw.