Saturday, June 18, 2011

thoughts on blogging (and writing)

This past week I participated in the Writing and Illustrating For Young Readers event. 40 hours of small group critiques and afternoon classes.

The lead up was terrifying (other people are going to read my writing and tell me what's wrong?!?!) The actual experience was exciting, fun, intense, extremely helpful, and exhausting. I read hundreds of pages to critique for writers in my group and my group offered a lot of insight into my novel that is sure to improve my writing and my story. Afternoon classes with Holly Black and Katheen Duey and Martine Leavitt completely blew my mind. They are brilliant.

I am still exhausted (and rather cranky) (especially since I had to work today) but very excited to dig back into my novel and make it better.

In that context, I've been thinking about this blog. I've actually been thinking about this blog a lot since I first started it (one year ago July 1!). (When did that happen?).

Part of me really wants to get involved in the blogging community. I want to participate in book memes, readreadreadread, write amazing book reviews and insightful blog posts, sponsor contests, do author interviews, comment on other bloggers posts, participate in readathons, be active on twitter, (get free books). The list goes on (and on).

But ultimately, I don't. I might for a week or two, but then I let other things take precedence, and I stop. I have quite a few followers (actual readers, not so many) and I feel this guilt when I'm not blogging regularly, or when I'm not visiting or commenting on other blogs (or commenting on comments from my own blog), or reading like I want to, or ignoring my twitter account (for months at a time).

I sorta feel like I'm not holding up my promise as a book blogger. Seriously, it stresses me out.

I started a book blog because I love reading, I love book blogs (not necessarily commenting on them) and because I wanted to be a part of the conversation. I wanted my book opinions out there on the web (and people to care what my opinion was).

After this week I admit to myself and the world (which is rather scary) that I want to finish a complete book, one that someone else could (and would choose to) read. And giving my all to the blogger world just isn't going to happen. Even if I didn't want to focus on writing a readable novel, it wouldn't happen (at least not well).

I have decided I am okay with that. This is me giving permission to myself to:
  • Take weeks off from blogging if I choose (WITHOUT GUILT).
  • Not comment on other book blogs or even read them if I don't want to or don't have time. 
  • Post reviews, and only reviews, even if it does make my blog boring.
  • Not be upset or embarrassed or disappointed when no one reads (or comments) on my posts. 
I've thought seriously about deleting this blog. Erasing this endeavor since I'm obviously not doing such a good job at it. But that would just be stupid. Even if no one cares but me, that's still one person.

I love books. I love talking books. I love writing book reviews.  I love book blogging (even if I don't do it well). So the blog stays. Just without the stress.

the end


Kelly said...

Oh my goodness. Thank you for posting this. You just described EXACTLY how I feel about my blog and writing. I'm also working on a novel, and everything you said in this post is exactly how I've been feeling lately. I'm glad I'm not the only one who feels this way. Don't feel bad for anything you choose to do (or not do) with your blog--it's your blog, for you, so you should always be able to make it what you want. Good luck with your novel! :)

Crystal Cook said...

I like your blog. :) It's one of the few book blogs that I actually read because I think your opinion of books is sort of in line with the kind of books I like to read. I never comment, but I do read it. :)

And i didn't know that you write, I do too. Good luck with your book!

resugo said...

Thank you for your comments! You both made my day. And you're right, it is my blog and I can do what I want. That just doesn't translate to blog readers. I've decided I'm okay with that.

I definitely need some luck with my novel, so thanks!

garrett said...

I'm the worst commenter ever, but I read blogs. I like your blog. I'm probably going to even enter that contest for 9 books. :)