Why I Don’t Blog

blog backgroundWhen I started Y’s Words back in 2010, it was for the purpose of establishing a writing platform–or at least an online presence as a writer. What I’d hoped would be a platform, however, turned out to be an infinitesimal, near-imaginary toehold despite my attempts to do everything pretty much as was recommended at the time.

Back in the day when I posted three times a week, I learned a few things: 1) the effort did not generate significant book sales; 2) as I’m a slow writer, doing three posts a week imposed a fairly small but constant strain and required me to devote the equivalent of one whole workday per week; and, 3) the posts that got the best response from readers were about my personal life, not writing. (Or, about nothing in particular. For instance, a post in which I shared an old, not-so-funny joke is the one that’s gotten the biggest number of hits. Go figure.)

It’s been several months since my last post, though, so it’s time to do an update. That much is obvious. What I’m less certain of is what I should write about.

2015-07-24 12.30.28No point talking about the weather. Whether or not you like the current weather conditions or look forward to the coming winter or summer (depending on your hemisphere of habitation), there’s no point in my writing about it.

I’ve talked enough about snow, spring flowers, gardening, and that sort of thing in the past. To do so again—especially with nothing new to contribute—would be redundant.

There’s nothing going on in our lives at present worth reporting. This is not necessarily a bad thing, for same-old/same-old can be a comfort. But it doesn’t make for interesting blog posts.

How about writing? I don’t know about you, but I’m bored nearly to tears with writers’ blogs by now. Everything worth saying has already been said a myriad of ways and will be repeated many times in the future. A newcomer to the writing life who wants to learn more about it already has plenty of resources, and I see no reason to add my weak voice to the clamor.

file8431289655927There’s another reason I haven’t been blogging, and I touched on it lightly above: the time factor. No, I’m not the busiest person around, but neither am I looking for things to do; and I have neither time nor energy in inexhaustible supply. As a writer, then—and, as I noted earlier, I’m a slow one—I must choose between writing blog posts and working on my next book. I can’t do both on a regular basis.

To summarize: I don’t blog anymore because 1) I have nothing to say; and 2) it doesn’t seem to be the best use of my time.

But, while I have your attention, let me tell you about my current WIP. (For those writing-newbies, WIP stands for Work in Progress.)

I’m about 82,000 words into my latest novel. It took me a while to get rolling, but now that I’m fully immersed in it, I’m loving it. Love the story, love the world I created for its stage, and love the characters galloping about on it. But I have a problem: it’s getting too long. I’ve already written a novel’s worth, but I still have at least as much to go before the conclusion I envision.

Sometimes my fellow writers will say things like, “My novels are usually only about 50,000 words, but my publisher wants at least 75,000.” Or, “I’m done with my first draft, but I’m 15,000 words short. How can I bulk up the story?” Ha! I never have that problem!

IMG_2017For now—that is, while I’m in the first draft stage—I won’t worry about it. I’ll continue to tell the story as it demands to be told until it’s all put into words. Then I’ll decide whether to make sweeping cuts, or add a little more (if necessary) and turn it into a series.

I can think of good reasons for doing the latter, and, though I’d originally planned for this to be a stand-alone, that’s probably what I’ll end up doing. Here are my thoughts on that, in case you care:

  1. Because I intend to self-publish it, there’s no need to consider a publisher’s requirements. That is, I can do whatever I want.
  2. Especially with titles by little-known authors (that is, me), readers are more apt to pick up a short book than a massive tome. Cost is a big factor here: fat books take more paper and ink and consequently cost more to produce, and the price must reflect that. Time is another consideration. Would I prefer to buy a book, even an inexpensive ebook, that’s going to take me forever to read, or one that’s short and sweet? Unless it’s by an author I already love, I’d opt for a short one.
  3. A short book that’s first in a series can whet a reader’s appetite for more. That way, instead of trying to introduce myself to a reader by selling her one heavy-weight volume, I can tempt her to try a short sweet one; and if she likes it, I have a good chance of selling her the whole series. (In other words, it’s better to sell three books than one.)
  4. If I write the whole story and divide it into three volumes, after publishing the first, I can then release the subsequent titles quickly before reader interest in the first one wanes.

And I’ll bet you’re already bored. See what I mean? I have nothing to say that’s worth blogging about.

00097However, I’m giving some thought to posting the opening of my current WIP—just a little bit—to test the waters and/or generate a little interest, so maybe once I finally publish it, I’ll have three or four people already prepared to hand me their money.

What do you think? Would you like to see the beginning of my current project? Or have you already quit reading this post because honestly, you don’t give a fig?

 

 

 

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10 thoughts on “Why I Don’t Blog

  1. Having nothing to say doesn’t mean you can’t say it well…size doesn’t measure up… My favorite Bible passage is only two words. ” Jesus wept.” I blog twice a month for Inspire A Fire.com one poem and maybe three paragraphs. Discover something to recover your edge of the silver lining of that silk pig’s ear purse you bought from a pickpocket while awaiting references to get through the door of your soulmate’s high school re-Union. And yes send me Page 23 of work in progresso

    1. Thanks for the laugh, Will, and for the encouragement, Pam! Yes, we’re all pretty much in the same foundering boat on the stormy writing sea. But it least we’re in a boat and not over our heads without so much as a life jacket. And it’s good to have such good company as you two!

  2. Y, you are much too self-deprecating. I never find you boring. So stop that. I haven’t written on my blog since last August or September. I think I should go back and start blogging again, but I don’t. I writing a monthly blog on a historical blog at http://www.hhhistory.com with a group of other authors who write historicals. I only have one historical out (Love Finds You in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin) but it’s the book of my heart, set in my hometown. So I write about one of the many mansions that were built on Geneva Lake. It appears on the 4th of each month. I also write once a month for http://www.Novelrocket.com and I find it hard sometimes to come up with a topic.

    It’s important to maintain a presence so I keep on keeping on.

  3. Glad to hear the new novel’s coming along well, and I’d love to see a teaser of it. As for regular blogging as a platform, I kind of think that ship has sailed (says she who’s still blogging three times a week …). But I think the bottom line is, if you enjoy it and the posts keep coming, then blog, but if you don’t, then don’t. Or switch to a newsletter (tell me, so I can sign up) and send it once or twice a year.

    1. Hi, Janet – another one of my favorite people on this crazy writer boat! I like your philosophy on blogging. Especially the “if you don’t, then don’t” part, ha ha. I’ll start posting snippets of my WIP in a week or two.

  4. I’d love to see your new novel too. BTW: fantasy/scifi, where you have to build a world, can hardly be done in less than 500 pages. Just my opinion, though…

  5. I have had these same feelings and struggles for years. It has derailed my writing at times (of course, there were other factors as well). I currently am not writing, though I think about it sometimes.
    I agree with your idea of several short books and I’d love to read a little!

  6. Thanks for stopping by, David and Terri!
    David, I agree it takes time (i.e., many words) to establish a world that’s not familiar with the reader. Writers of contemporary fiction can jump right in with the story without having to lay all the groundwork.
    Terri, I’m sorry you’re not writing at present, but I understand. And you know what? I still find myself thinking about your characters sometimes!

  7. Y, you’re an amazing godly woman with an exhaustive supply of life experiences. I can’t imagine you not having anything to say!
    However, that being said…. You also have wisdom to choose the most effective way to order your own life! I know you’ll choose wisely. 😉

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