I recognize the irony of writing a blog post to talk about how I'm going to be blogging less.
But...I'm going to write this anyway, despite the self-consciousness inherent in public proclamations. It's uncomfortable, but I'll deal.
"And From Here Onward, I Will Be Doing Thus And So"
Yeah, whatever. Just get on with it already. And I will get on with my revised approach to blogging just as soon as I take a couple minutes to explain why.
I've been blogging more-or-less consistently for six years, and overall, it's fun. I like it. I mean, some days it's like pulling teeth, but capturing my thoughts on a subject and condensing them to 500 - 1000 words is a good exercise.
And when people read and respond, it's golden!
So why do I want to do less of something I obviously enjoy? Because I'm primarily a fiction writer, not a blogger, and if I'm going to be writing 500 - 1000 words on a regular basis, I'd like to be working on books, not blog posts.
There are only so many hours in a day.
Blogging was my way of easing myself into writing fiction. Back in 2009 - 2010 I had a couple of blogs I posted to infrequently, and as far as I could tell, no one read them but me. They got me writing, and more importantly, they got me used to the idea that others might read my writing, so they served their purpose.
My first novella was published in 2012, and to help promote it I took a blogging class with Kristen Lamb. I learned a ton from her and made some long-standing friends in that class. Kristen teaches her students to build their audience by blogging regularly about the things they're passionate about. Over the last few years I've tried to follow that model, but it's a challenge.
At the end of last year, my blogging energy was low, but I renewed my commitment by developing a business plan (jump HERE to check it out). I started posting to my blogger site several times a week as part of my strategy to broaden my social media reach. In addition, I'm part of two group blogs, here with the RelentlessWriters and with the SpellboundScribes so I had plenty of opportunity to throw my words up on the interwebs and let people know I'm here.
Since I'm passionate about all things writing, I did opinion pieces, discussed craft, wrote book reviews, and serialized a couple short stories. My blog was linked to Triberr, and when I published a post there'd be 30-40 other bloggers who'd tweet the link. So yay! My brand was getting out there, but despite some success, again my enthusiasm sputtered.
Actually, the sputtering started after King Stud came out. See, I love that book, and I'm absolutely pleased and excited by everyone who bought a copy. It's just that there weren't very many of you. The reviews were solid, the cover art rocks, and I was blogging my butt off to support it, but not getting a whole lot of return.
I had a new publisher, Evernight, and the authors' group enthusiastically supports each other, so I started posting new release promos from other authors. As much as I love spreading the news when my friends have new releases, I started to feel like my blog was mostly about advertising, and not about ME.
And really, it's all about ME.
Maybe? Yeah, no. It's not all about me, but when it came down to it, I felt like my efforts were contributing a lot of noise without saying very much. At the same time, I've noticed that the writers I admire most only blog when they have something to say. They don't apologize for posting infrequently, either. Their best posts are framed as "this caught my attention and this is what I think about it". And then they write something really good.
|Sorry I forgot my blog again!|
For the next few months, at least, I'm only going to blog when I have something to say, and I'm not going to feel bad about it. I'm going to focus on writing and improving my craft. I'll honor my group blog commitments, and I'll blog to support my upcoming releases, but I've disconnected from Triberr and I'm not going to stack promo posts.
I do feel a little guilty (eldest child of an Irish-Catholic family and all) but overall I'm relieved. I've got two upcoming releases - Home for the Holidays, a benefit anthology supporting the Ali Forney Center for homeless LGBTQ youth in NYC, and The Secret of Obedience, an m/m novella that'll be out at the end of the month from Evernight so I'll be busy with promotion and working on my next project.
I also recently started a mailing list, figuring that would be a way of letting interested people know what Liv Rancourt is up to. Jump HERE if you'd like to sign up. (No spam, I promise! Just excerpts and freebies and giveaways!) Again, it's about flexibility. I'm going to keep trying new ideas till I find something that clicks.
What works for you? Blogging? Facebook? Twitter? Leave me a comment so I can steal your ideas. (lol!)