“I like blogging for the social connections, but I just can’t keep up.” I hear this kind of statement quite frequently.
As I mentioned in an earlier post this week, blogging won't establish a true readership for unpublished authors. It can help us begin to get our name “out there.” But for most of us, this web presence happens mostly among the writing community.
Therefore, blogging for unpublished writers becomes more about social connections with other writers. And that’s truly a fabulous blessing. I can attest that my writing journey is much richer because of all of you.
However, once we’ve blogged for a while, we may find our followers and friendships growing to the point that we can't keep up with everyone. We rush through blogs, battling to find time to read and comment on all of them.
We also might begin to struggle with what to write in our posts. Perhaps we've said everything we can think to say, and some days we don't have anything left to share. When that happens, blogging can turn into a chain around the neck that weighs us down.
What should we do when get overwhelmed with blogging?
1. Take a blogging break.
I know several writers who are on break. They wrote a post explaining why and for how long, and then pulled out of the blogging community. Whether the hiatus is for a couple of weeks or a couple of months, it doesn’t really matter. The important thing is that these writers didn’t just one day fall off the face of cyberland. Instead they took the time to explain to their readers why they were taking a break and for approximately how long.
From time to time, we all need a blogging vacation. Some writers participate in the once a month “unplug” week during the third week of each month. Others, like me, pick busy holidays to take a break. We need to give ourselves permission to slow down and back away from time to time.
2. Cut back on blogging.
We all have to find a blogging schedule that works for us individually. For unpublished writers, there’s a myth that the more often we blog, the more traffic we’ll get. I’ve yet to see evidence that supports such a statement.
I personally think increasing blog visitor statistics has to do with a lot of other factors. In fact, if we’re posting every day, but we’re running out of things to say and not able to visit other blogs, we may even see our visitors drop away.
Frequency is somewhat irrelevant, but consistency is important. If we decide to post three times a week, twice, or even once, we’re wise to let our readers know our schedule. Pour our hearts into those few posts we do write. Quality trumps quantity.
3. Put blogging in its proper priority.
No matter where we’re at in our journeys to publication, blogging isn’t as imperative as writing our books and stories. Even though social networking is important to me and I budget blogging into my work schedule, I don’t let it interfere with my daily writing time. Those are sacred hours.
I prioritize my writing time first, then give blogging the leftover time. I never let reading other blogs take away from my scheduled writing time. Some days and weeks that means I may not get to visit friends as much as I’d like, but I’m working at keeping blogging in its proper perspective.
And just what is the proper perspective for blogging? It’s a helpful tool for our writing career, but it’s not going to make or break us. Only crafting a well-written, saleable story has the potential to help us “make it.” If we have to choose where to put our limited energy, why not channel it into something that can truly help our writing careers?
In other words, keep the main thing, the main thing.
What do you think? Have you ever felt overwhelmed with blogging? What have you done to make sure you prioritize writing and keep blogging in its proper place?