Monday, September 5, 2011

Is blogging wasting your time?

I get a lot of bloggers who lately have said they’re exhausted, overworked, and unaware if they’re making their mark in the blogging world. Some question if it’s worth taking time away from their writing.

For my view it’s all in how you perceive blogging. When you read others posts do you feel your taking time away from something you could be doing? Or, are you learning something? I have certain bloggers that teach me things and others that lighten the mood. I believe the balance is necessary for me. I love the perfect mix of learning something and having a little fun.

Agents and publishers now want writers who have a great following. They want someone who blogs, understands the online world. With e-books at an all-time high they want to make sure that your name online is being heard.

So what happens when you aren’t having fun?

Then they don’t like the platform anymore. The key is to have fun, if you’re not enjoying yourself no one who stops by your blog will! I blog because I love it! Going a day without blogging would kill. Now, I’m not able to comment every day, but I’ve been blogging Monday thru Friday for the past year and a half… and none of my posts have been duplicated.

So when a writer asks if blogging wastes time you want to ask yourself just a few questions.

1. Why do you blog?

2. What do you get out of blogging?

3. What kind of writer are you looking to be?

My answers:

1. Because I adore it (people and all).

2. Tools it takes to become a great writer, brilliant writer buddies, a great platform.

3. One with strong values, wonderful friends, and a whole lot of fun. Oh, and to sell my books.

Why do you blog? Are you one that second guesses? Do you need a cheerleader on your side (yes, I’m available)?

51 comments:

Rain Laaman said...

I need a cheerleader!
I enjoy blogging, but I do feel the internet just takes over. http://rainlaaman.blogspot.com/2011/08/new-and-improved-pictures.html

It's hard for me to multitask when writing is involved.

Creepy Query Girl said...

Blogging has given me a much needed sense of community and helped me get through some of the hardest times querying. I love learning new things, discovering new people and having fun too.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I've learned more about writing from the blogging community that I've learned from writing courses. And for free. And everyone's so supportive. I couldn't imagine life without it.

Clarissa Draper said...

I'm with you on all of the above! Even though it is hard, I've come to love the help support the community gives. I think the writer needs to set boundaries though, I think they need to make sure they stick to a schedule.

Genie of the Shell said...

I think it's hilarious how often people blog about how it's pointless to blog, post on Facebook about how Facebook is a waste of time, tweet about how much they hate Twitter... etc. I find it interesting that people feel so socially obligated to use social media even if they don't understand its utility for themselves.

But you offer a nice, simple way to clarify things. To answer your questions:

1. I blog because it's a great outlet, a way to bounce ideas off people, and a fun way to learn.

2. I have learned a lot from blogs about the craft and business of writing, and I've connected with other great writers. I've benefited from witnessing their personal journeys and had wonderful writing support from them. I've also been inspired by others' stories, true and fictional.

3. I am looking to be a writer who is connected to a community of writers who support and inspire each other. I also want to be savvy at craft and sales.

When blogging serves my purposes, I love it. And when it feels like a useless obligation... I *try* to work on something else instead of logging in to post about how blogging is wasting my time. :) But I do get that absurd feeling that Blogger is a pet I'm neglecting or something if I don't post for a long time.

li said...

It is easy to let yourself be overwhelmed. I love blogging, and the connections I've made; I've learned a lot, and I've found that when I have a question or problem, I can "put out the call" and someone will always respond with an answer, or point me to someone else who can help. When I feel pressured - well, it's because I pressure myself. I'm learning to take breaks, balance my work load, and accept the fact that sometimes blogging has to take a backseat to other projects. Life is too short to lie in bed worrying about it.

Gail said...

My blogging IS my writing.

I would like to write a book or something worthy of publishing but I fear I don't have that in me.

Diana Mieczan said...

I really loved reading this post and I totally agree that blogging is all about fun. As long as you enjoy it...it's fantastic! Have a great Monday, sunshine.

Lindsay N. Currie said...

Blogging is fun and such a good way to keep your finger on the pulse of what's going on in publishing!

BECKY said...

Hi Jen! I ditto your reasons!

Joseph Eastwood said...

I love blogging, and I'm also doing daily posts, it's been really fun, for the 5 days which I've been doing them for. I'm a writer and it's a passion, I think it shows through what I post and what I write :D

-Joseph

p.s I could also use a cheerleader or two ;) http://josepheastwoodxd.blogspot.com/

lynnrush said...

Love this post. I love blogging. I get to meet so many people. See so many interesting things. And yes, learn tons!!

Sure, I could always use a cheerleader! Come on over any time!!

:)

salarsenッ said...

There's no question that I blog to learn, share, and gain amazing writer friends. It truly is a blast!!

Dianne K. Salerni said...

Blogging has resulted in a whole new world of friends -- people with similar interests whom I would never have met otherwise. Yes, occasionally I sigh when blogging takes up time that I would rather spend on my WIP. But I never regret the time I spend on the blogs, and everyone needs a break from their nagging characters, right?

It has got to be significant that when I found out about my book deal last month, the first people I contacted (besides my husband and children) were the critique partners I met through blogging!

Sitting Behind Homeplate said...

You hit the hammer right on the nail and that is why I stopped blogging. I really started hating the time it took so now I only read a few blogs for fun and fill my free time (which isn't much) with things I enjoy. But on a side note, I has a few blogs I enjoyed and were funny but deep down I'm not a writer so blogging really wasn't the best idea for me. lol

Keep blogging!
Connie

Ann said...

I love blogging. I wish I had enough time to get around and read all the wonderful blogs I am following, but alas there aren't enough hours in the day. My blogger friends give me great support and encouragement. It is a wonderful community; I would be lost without it.

Bish Denham said...

I do enjoy blogging, and I'm continually amazed at the support and friendship that exists. But because I'm such a slow reader/writer it takes up quite a bit of time which is why I only post on Monday and Thursday and visit around on Monday.

Gina said...

I love blogging. I love the people I've "met", and I love interaction with others who love reading and writing as much as I do. I try to stick to a M & W posting schedule, but if things get crazy, I know the world isn't going to end if I don't post. Writing should always be fun, first and foremost!

Read my books; lose ten pounds! said...

I enjoy getting feed back and having a place to not only promote my own things but see what others are premoting.

Suze said...

'For my view it’s all in how you perceive blogging. When you read others posts do you feel your taking time away from something you could be doing?'

I don't watch television and I don't surf the Internet a ton. Blogging is something I choose to do as both a stimulation and a diversion. I feel my life has been enriched by the blogs I read and follow.

julie fedderson said...

I blog to keep the creative juices going, to learn new things and connect with other people. I've found so many amazing people on line that have inspired me or showed me something new, from literature to art to just day to day living. For me, it's an extension of my existing social network, only in the virtual world.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I started to build a platform and promote my first book, but I continue because of the friends I've made online. And I enjoy it! I get to talk about all the stuff I enjoy and others seem to enjoy it with me. I learn from my friends and enjoy visiting their sites. Someone commented on my guest post last week that visiting fifty-plus blogs a day was weird and shallow. I don't think so. Those people are my friends and I want to know what's going on in their lives and keep up with them.

Anna said...

I TOTALLY needed this post! I'm feeling tired with blogging because I'm barely finding enough time to write fiction, let along a blog post. But then again, I'm spending time reading blogs right now ... instead of writing! We make time for what we want to do; I just need to make time for blogs (others and my own). Thank you!!

Lisa Gail Green said...

I couldn't agree more!!! I blog because I really do get something out of it and I love the people I interact with online. But I only do what I'm able.

Donna said...

I could always use a cheerleader, lol. Seriously, I love blogging. I meet some awesome writers and non-writers alike. I learn so much from everyone.

Theresa Milstein said...

You make excellent points in this post. Blogging should be fun. But let's face it, blogging is work too. Like everything else there's a balance. And it's not for everyone. If you'd rather participate in smaller snippets, then do Twitter, Facebook, and other manageable social media.

E.R. King said...

The truth is I may achieve something from the blogging world that will help build my writing career, but that's not why I do it. I blog to be a part of a writing community, to stay in touch with the newest industry info, and to share my own writing experiences. Blogging to be build a platform shouldn't be the only motivation or they won't have fun. Great post, Jen!

Abby said...

This is great. I love to blog, but I hit my slumps like everyone else. Your blog is always a fun one to read! Good advice. :)

Peggy Eddleman said...

I love to blog way more than I ever thought I would. I had a personal blog for 3 1/2 years before I created my writing blog, so I thought I knew what I was getting into. But I really had NO IDEA how great it would be to connect with other writers in a way that you only can when you blog yourself. There are times when it gets discouraging, of course, but it's not something I could ever go without now that I've experienced it.

Jessie Humphries said...

I started blogging because I felt like I had to, and I resented it. But now I find myself looking forward to the daily interaction I feel with those I have come to know as friends. (From states, countries, and what feels like worlds away).

Lyla said...

Thanks for commenting on my Campaigner Challenge Entry, Jen! I'm a new follower and yes, I need a cheerleader! :)

1.Blogging usually helps me when I'm stuck on a writing rut (it allows me to get my fingers moving and my creative juices flowing) and also allows me to share about what I learn about the whole process.

2. By blogging, I get great support from writers in all different states of writing (drafting, editing, querying, and submitting) and also get to meet all sorts of interesting people from all around the world.

3. I'm looking to be a writer that can create books that people will love. If someone reads my writing and says, "Oh my gosh, I couldn't stop reading it!" then my life would be complete.

RaShelle Workman said...

Jen - Great reasons to blog. It IS a lot of fun. =D

Jolene Perry said...

I do the blogging thing for the same reasons you do :D

I write posts ahead of time so the weeks that I'm not "feeling it" I can post things that I really wanted to talk about earlier. Works good.

Your blog is SUCH a happy place :D

Bethe77 said...

I started blogging to express myself and do a little journaling and just get back into the forum of writing once again. Had no idea what was going to take place and what a wonderful adventure it was going to turn into. I love it and the peiople I have meet. Im growing in ways I never dreamed.
What could be better?
Blessings

Francesca Zappia said...

I got stressed out about blogging at first, because I had no clue how you were supposed to network and get traffic and make people want to come back and keep reading your posts. And then I realized that it took two things:

1.) Dedication. If you stop posting, then of course no one's going to come back.

And 2.) The golden rule of blogging--if you want people to read your posts, go read theirs. Get involved. Be friendly and supportive. And the blogging community will give back in return. ^_^

Melissa Pearl said...

Great post :)
Thanks for the reminder. Blogging is definitely worth it!

Angela Orlowski-Peart said...

Blogging to me is about connecting and learning from others. I admit I spend way too much time on Twitter, my blog, Facebook and Google+ that sometimes my WIP doesn't get enough attention. I'm still learning how to balance it all and everyday I'm getting better and better at it. I love to blog, read other's posts and commenting on them. You can call it a hobby, just like scrapbooking or quilting for others. I have my blogging :-) It's very rewarding.

A.J. Mullarky said...

1. Honestly, I want to build up a following. But also I enjoy it. I can't keep a diary and really it helps knowing someone will read it!

2. It makes me feel professional, like a proper writer. I learn so much from other people's blogs.

3. I want to be the kind with a handful (at least, and hopefully) of dedicated fans who really look forward to my books coming out.

:)

Tameri Etherton said...

I'm new to blogging and at first was so intimidated by it. Then I took Kristen Lamb's blogging workshop online and met so many fabulous people!

Talk about others helping others, these folks were AWESOME! Yes, caps were needed for that.

See that Angela Orlowski-Peart up there? She was in my blogging group and tweeted about this post. I might not have found it without her and I love that about the online community. We're here to help each other and to learn. Making friends is a bonus for me.

A.L. Sonnichsen said...

This post was exactly what I needed to read. Thanks, Jen! Sometimes I get down on myself because my blog posts aren't often about writing. I just blog about whatever is in my head at the moment. That's the only way I can blog, and I do it for community and fun. I have to. If I gave myself more "work" to do, I'd go crazy. ;)

Amy

Elana Johnson said...

The key to social networking is doing what you like, and can maintain. When I'm burned out on blogging, I take a break.

Julianna said...

I've been blogging for two years, and for me, it was a friend I needed when I felt I didn't have one. Eventually I started posting on FB and found out that people relate. People relate to my feelings, or are just interested in reading about them at times. That makes me feel good. :)
I blog because it is like writing to a pen pal, and I blog because it challenges me to keep it real without giving anyone too much reality. ;)

Emy Shin said...

I blogged about this some days ago. For me, blogging can be very draining. However, I adore it and the interactions I've found with other bloggers. So I'm trying my best to balance things, and to not feel guilty if I cannot blog.

Jeremy Bates said...

popping over from karen's bbq... hope im not too late! brought some JD and steak! concerning ur post, i really wish i had someone to help out with blogging... its not a waste of time, its a time killer!

Cheree said...

I often feel overworked and burnt out, but that's mainly because I'm trying to keep up with work and uni, but I would never think about stopping blogging. You just have to do what you love and know that it will always improve your writing. Fantastic post.

Samantha Vérant said...

If I didn't blog I wouldn't meet awesome people...like you! Yes, I take breaks, and then I jump back in!

dtrasler.com said...

Glad you asked the question. I'm a successful playwright - I'm published, my plays are performed, I earn money from them. But, to try and raise my profile and bring in work (rather than chasing around to find it) I went to a social media seminar and started serious blogging (Proper platform, considered content, active commenting, cultivating contacts etc etc) After more than a year (and huge improvements in readership) I looked at the variables. Sales were exactly where they had been before. I had produced no new work at all. All my energy went into blogging, into stressing about producing useful and interesting content for a blog that was designed to sell material I wasn't writing anymore.

I enjoyed blogging from time to time, having something to say and somewhere to say it. But making it par tof the business, making it something I HAD to do stole the joy. I've been blog-free for a month now. I've started writing plays again, and I'm happier.

Stephsco said...

I've learned a ton about the publishing industry from writer and agent blogs. What I didn't expect was to love all the book review blogs and to actively post my own! I'm more motivated to read so I can keep up with all the great books coming out, and reviewing helps me summarze my thoughts on what makes a good story, what works and what doesn't.

Caitlin said...

I've been blogging for less than a year, so I'm still at a point where it's a lot of fun and has yet to become overwhelming or exhausting. Although, I do fear that I jumped in a bit late in the game.

I enjoy reading other's blogs. If I don't feel like I learn anything from them (or at least get a good laugh or two) I just don't go.

But you know, I'd never turn down a cheerleader!

Joanna Aislinn said...

So glad I came across this blog. I plan on looking around and coming back again. Your posts look really interesting and fun. Oh, and BTW, you make very good points re: staying the route of blogging. I enjoy it too. Just hate when my day job gets in the way of it and my writing as a whole.

Christy (Love of Books) said...

Hi Jen! Thank you for stopping by my blog. I was looking over your blog, and you crack me up. Glad to be a new follower!