Monday, November 14, 2011

I Quit Blogging

for the month of June. Remember that?

I was in the middle of moving 850 miles due north, and my life was insane. I wasn't sure how much access to the Internet I'd have, etc.

So a few weeks ago, several bleeps were posting about how blogging was getting them down. They were working hard, building up followers and whatnot. And they were frustrated.

There's not enough time to read all the blogs. There's not enough time to make meaningful comments. Some people still write pages and pages for a single post.

And some people still have word-verify on for comments... (*cough*Turn it off*cough*please.)

You all know my story. I started blogging because Janet Reid said to. Now I have an agent (I got through a blog) who is not Janet Reid, and she says for me to do what I want. It's not that important to my writing career at this point.

But I'll tell you a little secret... Blogging is that important to my writing career.

Writing's a tough gig. It's slow and it's isolating. It can make you unbelievably happy, and then it can make you just that sad.

In this blogging community, there's a group who've been at it for almost two years. A mere blink in publishing time.

We've been through all the trials and tribulations. We've been rejected again and again. We've become betas and critters and helped each other shine. We've landed agents or indy contracts.

We've scored awe-inspiring book deals. We've given up on traditional publishing and done it ourselves. We've launched books that landed in the Top 50 (or less) on the paid Amazon charts (whoot, Jessica!--link). We've gotten crappy feedback or mean reviews from "friends."

I could go on, but my point is, every time something like that happens, this community comes together virtually to rub a back, dry a tear, do a high-five, take part in chart rushes, blog tours, and release parties...

Remember how in times of presidential elections, they like to say, "It's the economy, stupid"?

Blogging is about the relationships, (not)stupid!

At least that's how it's turned out for me. You can look over there and see I don't have a zillion followers. But I've got many, many friends.

When I'm losing it with this writing thing, I've got at least two I can email on the spot. Writers who've been through it. Who are struggling, getting rejected, dusting themselves off, and going at it again.

Because as my good friend Matt (link) once told me about this time last year, "The only way to guarantee you won't make it is to quit."

So why are you still blogging?

Have a great week, reader- and writer-friends. Til Thursday~ <3




49 comments:

Laura Pauling said...

Totally with you. I'm blogging for the friendships and the support, the tribe. Not just to get ahead.

But also to have a professional place where readers can find me. I'm not concerned about numbers in a frantic way either. Seems silly to be.

Sarah said...

What a perfectly timed post. I've really struggled with this over the past few months, as my writing projects have crowded out everything else. I miss people in the blogosphere! I'm not concerned about numbers or anything, just staying connected--because it's nice (more than nice) to give and receive support when it's needed.

Miranda Hardy said...

Yes, I'm like you. Blogging for the connections and the information available.

Clarissa Draper said...

I'm with you. Blogging is difficult and I don't always have the time to visit all the blogs. Especially if I have many comments per post. However, the friendships with those who share my angst is priceless. This post will echo true for many.

vic caswell (aspiring-x) said...

boo-yeah!
said perfectly! :)

Pat Hatt said...

Being a nut helps too..haha...but yeah I did it as a joke at first, then met some fun people. The more I go at it the more they seem to arise. It is just a fun community that can pick you up when you are down, not that the cat ever lets things bother him..haha

And yeah I agree, turn off those stupid WV things and some blogs need to lose some widgets and such, sooooo slow loading.

Old Kitty said...

Awww I like my word verification.. *ducking from a million pies being thrown in my direction*. LOL!!!!!

But seriously - I blog cos it's fun and I like that I blog silly things too - and read a most eclectic array of blogging stuff! And also to reassure the folks who gave me Charlie that he's doing ok!

Take care
x

DEZMOND said...

I've noticed that a lot of our blogging writers are getting published these days! That's a good news isn't it?

Susan Kaye Quinn said...

I'm blogging so I can meet cool people like you! :) #totallymeanthat

LTM said...

@Laura--Right! I never thought about it, but it is like the tribe. Great support, great friends. :o) <3

Talli Roland said...

LOVE this. I've considered so many times why I spend loads of time blogging. It's not about selling books, because while blogging can help, it's not going to get your book onto the NY Times list - or even Amazon, for a sustained period of time. Only getting into the 'general public' will do that. Like you, I blog because writing is so solitary, and I treasure the friendships I made and the journey we've all been on together.

Amy Jarecki said...

Hi LTM - I left a comment on Liz Fichera's blog, but I thought you might be interested that one of the judges in the St. George Book Festival came up to me and told me how much he enjoyed reading Koicto. He looked to be in his seventies. I think it is a book that transcends all ages.

And why do I blog? Because an agent told me to :-) Have a wonderful week!

Amy

Stephen Tremp said...

I blog, therefore I am. I have to. I'm addicted. I love the social aspect the most about blogging. Promoting my books is secondary.

Jessica Bell said...

hahaha! YES!!!!!!!!! There truly is NO other reason why I'm doing this other than the wonderful friendships I get to make. Seriously. I was SO lucky to have been able to achieve what I did last week. But you know what? Without YOU, there wouldn't have even been a last week. I probably wouldn't even be published. Because it's people like you that make me want to succeed. LOVE YOU TO DEATH AND ALL THE OTHER PEOPLE (WHO KNOW WHO THEY ARE) TOO!!!

Lydia Kang said...

I don't think my agent or my editor knew I was blogging until after they signed me. Seriously.

So I do it for the community. I love the community.

LTM said...

@Amy--Hey! Thanks for hopping over here. Well, that does it then. Got this one in my "cart." It sounds really cool. And was it Janet Reid? The voice that launched a thousand blogs... LOL! <3

Joshua said...

"Blogging is about the relationships."

Couldn't have said it better. Plus, I use my blog to talk about all the nerd stuff The Wife doesn't care about. She reads it, but she'll never talk about it because she finds it boring. So, I turn to the people who will appreciate it.

Matthew MacNish said...

Aw, thanks, m'lady.

I'm proud to be your friend.

And I keep saying I need to cut back on blogging, but I. Can't. Stop.

Elle Strauss said...

So well said, Leigh. The followers numbers really is a vanity thing, because let's face it, probably only 10%, if that, of my blog "followers" actually read my blog regularly. And I'm okay with that. Blogging truly has become a place to meet people and make friends, and I think I would have died as a writer in these last two years if I didn't have them. (And that means you, too :)

Hart Johnson said...

I agree 110%. Relationships. People who are trying to reach readers directly through blogging can probably find a more efficient route, but I haven't found one better and strengthening the fiber of writing friendships. I have times I can't get around as much as I want, but i KNOW this is the army--the group of people who have my back. You're one of 'em chica-and I'm here for you, too.

Roland D. Yeomans said...

Like VR, I have seriously considered walking away into the sunset. But then it occurred to me that in my life while I have won, and I have lost -- I have never quit. Did I really want to start a bad habit?

Once you start to quit, it becomes a part of you.

You have given great reasons to keep on blogging : friendship, lights beside you in the dark pursuit of publication & high sales, and feeling not quite so alone in what is an essentially lonely profession.

As always a thought-provoking, uplifting post, Roland

Roland D. Yeomans said...

Blogger keeps knocking me off your followers list. Like I said, I don't quit. I became a "new" follower yet again! LOL, Roland

Kelly Polark said...

I absolutely agree. The best part of blogging is interacting with such supportive people with similar interests.
I have cut down on posts due to lack of time, but I would really miss everyone if I quit completely.

Myne Whitman said...

Great post! For me, it's also about community and having each other's back.

Bish Denham said...

I definitely can't keep up anymore, reading and commenting on everyone's blog. AND! I have acquired/made friends, something I didn't start out or intend to do. A dream is to one day be able to meet them in person.

Carolyn Abiad said...

My heart skipped a beat when I red your title!

Even in my NaNo haze, I keep blogging, and commenting, because I might go insane otherwise.

Which door to the real world? Some direction please!

Liz Fichera said...

This is a wonderful post. I can totally relate. Admittedly, a couple of years ago I went into blogging and social media, practically kicking and screaming. As I've made friends and gotten to know people, I wouldn't trade it for anything. Who better to understand what you're going through than other writers? :)

Tracy Jo said...

Leigh! You scared me. ;-) I looked at my blog roll and saw the title of this post and thought you were quitting. SO...there you go, blogging IS about the relationships. I started to practice my writing, to raise awareness...I am staying because of the people. Awesome post!

M Pax said...

The relationships. There's no better way to network. Yes, it's time consuming, but any type of real effort to market is.

I've met so many awesome people online. The best contacts have been through blogs.

I'd not get the push I've gotten without you guys. Blogging is fab. :)

Jennie Bailey said...

I formed my crit group through blogging. It's definitely the relationships. I don't kill myself and my followers only creep up, but I'm okay with that. I wouldn't give this up for the world! It's such a great fellowship and community. The journey is not so lonely with friends by your side to celebrate with you, cry with you, hold your hand to get through the scared times. You would tell me if I still had word verify on, right? I'm not sure how to turn it off, but I think I remember doing that. Friends don't let friends word verify, after all...right?

LTM said...

@Liz--No kidding, right? That's exactly how it's been for me. And you're so right about the support from other writers. Can't be beat! :o) <3

Tracy said...

Well, as you did, I've taken a break but I miss the people. I also decided that I NEED a forum regardless of whether people read them or not, I need it for me! To express, to decipher, to muddle my way thorugh...I just need it!
great post...

Carolina Valdez Miller said...

Lovely post, my dear. So true. So many of my writing friends have come from blogging. I think I tend to talk to them less and less through blogging comments, though, and rely more heavily on email and texting and such. But I still enjoy reading posts when I can. It's what drew me to them to begin with. Thank goodness for writing friends!

Ginger said...

Your post was spot on. Blogging is all about relationships. It is tiring atimes. physically. mentally even. but it is worth the sacrifice.

Blogging relationships have definitely made me a better writer if not person.

erica and christy said...

We're still blogging. I haven't been around much at all these past couple of months, but I still cherish the friendships and connections I've made and plan to continue to build on those relationships as soon as time allows me to visit everyone more. The support and info-sharing that takes place in our blogosphere is irreplacable. I couldn't write and improve without any of you. christy

LisaAnn said...

Love this post. What a great way to look at blogging, and I definitely agree. Friends are way better than followers. :)

Theresa Milstein said...

I blog for similar reasons. Life does get in the way, there are too many blogs to follow, but it's part of a writer's life now. If some writers don't want to participate, fine. But they're missing out. I'd rather do the blogging time to get all I do out of it.

When I'm busy, I comment more and post less.

~Nicole Ducleroir~ said...

I blog to interact with the writing community and draw inspiration from those amazing authors. We're all at different stages of our journeys, so there's always someone to cheer on who's just starting out, someone who understands where I am right now, and someone who's celebrating successes that I hope to achieve one day. I've tried to stop blogging, to accommodate my life better at some moment, but I always come back. I need it. Great post, Leigh!

walk2write said...

I'm still blogging because it keeps the creative juices flowing. The old brain needs a kick-start now and then, and I usually find one by reading blogs here and there, all kinds, not just about writing. And then there's the encouraging aspect of it from reading posts like this one.

Laurel Garver said...

I'm creeping up on 2 1/2 years now and, like you, have needed to take breaks now and then. I initally started blogging because a conference speaker recommended it, and I'd had a largely good experience keeping a personal blog from 2001-06. I had no idea what an enormous pool of support, ideas and tips I was wading into by joining the writer blogger world! It's been a fun ride and a way to feel like I belong. Too few people IRL understand what a tough journey this is.

LTM said...

@Ginger--Very true. I've learned so much from reading other writers' experiences. Not to mention that's how I found my critters. It's all good. :o) <3

Janet Johnson said...

Amen, sister! I am in this thing for all the great people I've "met." I just can't do it otherwise. Too many other time commitments.

Thanks goodness for friends who understand the craziness of writing. Who'll listen when I talk about voices in my head, and not immediately call the crazy house.

What a great post. :)

Jennifer Shirk said...

The support here is tremendous too. I feel if I quit blogging something would definitely be missing. And who would listen to me ramble then? LOL

Jajá said...

I am Brazilian and I am following your blog, you can follow me too?

www.jaylsonbatysta.blogspot.com

abraço!

Anita Grace Howard said...

Sadly, I'm not, very often. Heh. But yes, all of the aforementioned reasons! Especially the friendships. No one can lead you through the writer-blues better than another writer who's already lived it, or is living it right there with you. Great post as always, Miss Leigh. :)

DL Hammons said...

I came back for lots and lots of reasons...the community being one of them...but I think there's one reason that rises to the top of the list. Until I obtain some measure of writing success (via publication or contest awards), the recoginition I get her on the blogs is all I have that makes me feel like a writer. Pure and simple. :)

Pk Hrezo said...

I've been waiting to post on this very same thing (coming soon) and for the same reason. It started out as being about platform.. but now it's all changed. I do it because of the friends and network of support. Blogging doesn't mean your book will sell, so we can't do it for that reason. But I've made so many awesome friends who I genuinely care about (like you) and that is so much more important than selling books!

LTM said...

@Anita G.--it's understandable that your blogging will change when you're prep'ing for publication. But fellow writers understand, and they are so supportive. Good stuff. :o) <3

@PK--yay! you, too, honay! It might help sell books, but it will for sure keep you sane while you're creating them. :o) <3

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

LTM, I'm still blogging because of the awesome relationships here. It's given so much to me and I've tried my best to give back. We need the support and the friendships. (And it was my involvement here in the blogging world that helped launch MY book onto the Amazon Bestseller list two months ago! If I'd not been active, hosting blogfests and the Insecure Writer's Support Group and supporting others, it never would've happened.)