Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Year-end questioning

I’ll skip right over the holiday itself (bleh) since I’ve already ranted about that a bit and move straight on to New Year’s resolutions. I’ve decided to take the rest of the year off to reevaluate my online presence, specifically:
-Why do I blog?
-Who do I picture as my audience?
-If a blogger posts on the Internet and no one notices, is there a point to all that effort?
-On a related note, how many of the almost seventy blogs by fellow writers that I follow daily truly offer something worthwhile?
-Do I really need to be active on Facebook and Google+ and Twitter and Goodreads and LinkedIn and …? Why?
-What is the respective benefit (if any) of each social media platform?
-How much more time would I have available to actually write if I didn’t spend so much time trying to keep up with all those outlets?

The new year already promises exciting new opportunities. Beginning in January, I’ll be teaching my first college-level class. Yesterday I received an email from a writer friend offering to connect me to a scientist who needs an editor for his most recent book. I’ve been invited to work more closely with the Antioch Writers Workshop, expanding my workfellow duties as we look forward to another great session in July. My third (and most promising) novel is in full draft and ready for rewrites. Looks like I’ll be busy in 2012 as we wait for the Mayan calendar to wind down.

So much of social media comes off as the cliques I avoided (okay, they largely avoided me) in high school. Why do I put so much time and energy into them now? What, if anything, am I doing wrong?

Your thoughts/comments/experiences would be greatly appreciated while I reassess my ’net life. Meanwhile, Happy New Year! I’ll be back in some hopefully improved form in January.

And Happy Solstice – let the sun shine in!


  1. I think the social media platforms can and do serve a purpose - they help to connect you to other writers and help to get your writing out there. So I guess they all have more than one purpose. You are building your platform and you're not doing anything wrong at all. Only you can decide how much time you want to commit to social media. ;-) Congrats on the new work in the new year!

  2. A lot of people (myself included) justify the amount of time we devote to social media as both an investment, and a way to develop a public personna. But the time drain can be substantial, so a careful balance must be maintained. Most of the blogs I visit (your included) is to get a glimpse of what the authors writing process is like and the thoughts that drive it.

  3. I believe blogging has its place. Blogging is almost like a dialogue with myself that I choose to share with the world. I've written blog postings that have helped me figure out a scene or revealed something about the narrative that had not occured to me. I don't spend much time writing blog entries and blogging has become part of my writing routine. As far as the audience I hope to attract....I don't really think much about that. A few of my coworkers, people I never thought would read my blog, let alone enjoy it, have come to me with interesting commentary on some of my posts.

    Writing about what I'm writing is something I've always done. Long before I started blogging, I wrote in the margins of my stories. I would reflect, encourage myself and work to dig beneath the surface of the story. Occasionally, I would talk myself through scenes and ponder the main points of the story. I guess that's why I don't see blogging as something that takes time from actual writing. Even if I were not blogging, I would still be having these reflective conversations with myself and eventually, I would share some of these ideas with someone else. Why not do it in a blog?

    My blog has a very small following but all of the regular readers initially accessed the blog through social media sites. I think social media is just like everything else, it can be used for good or bad purposes. If we spend endless amounts of time on social media sites we are missing the point. I am thinking about self-publishing my novel as an ebook so the Internet and social media sites will be very valuable in promoting my book.

    I always learn something from reading writing blogs. I spend about an hour a day reading about writing, publishing and other topics related to writing. Writing is a job and just like any job that requires self promotion and diligent research, you have to set aside a certain amount of time for writing related activities in addition to actual writing.

  4. You raise some great points. It's hard to balance all the blogging and social networking with the writing, isn't it? But balance is key. I figure I'll keep blogging and networking until it stops being fun. So far it's still fun!

    All the best in the New Year!


  5. Thank you all - like Nancy said, I think I just need to find a better balance to my life. It's something I constantly strive for but never quite obtain.

    Onward to 2012 ~



Your thoughts?