Blog Archives

Writing Instead of Blogging

futureWe know it’s been awhile since our last post. Where have we been? Writing. Books, that is, not blog posts.

We were originally committed to writing one blog per week, and we did for a few years. Then we noticed how much time it took to prepare a blog post. Time to think of a topic. Time to write it and rewrite it. We began to ask if blogging was worth all the time we were spending on it.

We occasionally cheated and posted memes or book covers. Then we stopped posting every week. The time between posts grew longer. Soon, the habit of writing a post was gone. Yes, blogging is a habit, as is writing. If you don’t commit to doing it on a regular schedule it simply will not get done.

As the work on our current novel wound down, we thought of our languishing blog. We talked of our preciously rationed time and had discussions about whether time spent writing was better than time spent blogging. After all, the point is to write a few novels, which, ironically, are about time. Was our time better spent thinking of plots or engaging blog topics? Were we novelists or bloggers? Could we be both and still have time to make dinner, feed the cats, and clean the house?

The final decision was tenuous compromise between writing and blogging. We probably won’t be posting weekly, but we will be posting more often. Our hiatus from blogging has given us a small but renewed flame for writing new posts. The weary cries of  “what will we write about this week?” and “but we’ve already written about that!” will, we hope, be stifled.

On the plus side, our seventh book in the Time’s Edge series is being published this December. We may not have been blogging but we’ve been writing books like crazy. So apologies to those who wondered where we were and raised eyebrows to those who didn’t notice.   😉

Too Much Book Promotion, Not Enough Writing

BalanceOh, the time suck of promoting a book. Facebook. Pinterest. Twitter. Amazon. Etc., etc. etc… Everyone knows the players.

The amount of information on the Internet is infinite. The craving for new information is insatiable. The chances of readers finding a particular author’s information is infinitesimal.  (Like all those “I” words?)

Trying to keep up with the changes in Amazon’s algorithms, the constantly shifting rules of all the social media platforms, the newest must-be-there-or-be-square sites is overwhelming. (Bet you thought we were going to say impossible.) All the social media management sites on the Internet do not seem to reduce the time drain of maintaining a social media presence.

The sad truth is we now spend more time promoting than writing.

We’ve read many articles on how to reduce the amount of time spent on social media. We’ve tried management tools such as hootsuite and pingraphy. And they help. A little. However, there is no getting around the fact that even management sites require data input. An entire day can be spent setting up one month’s worth of scheduled tweets, posts and blogs, and no management software can take the place of the genuine interaction that is necessary when responding to comments and messages. Also, different platforms require different input. It would be counter-productive to simply post identical information across all sites. We have followed authors who do that and the constant repetition made us decide to unfollow  pretty quickly.

The really worrisome thing is that we have a sneaking feeling that all this time is wasted time. We have not seen a significant correlation between all our social media efforts and sales. Repins, retweets, and shares by the dozens do not seem to turn followers into readers. There are so many authors out there doing the same thing that our additions to the clamor seem like peeing in the ocean. Who is going to notice?

We could have blogged about “How to Successfully Promote Your Book in 10 Easy Steps”.  A quick Google search would have provided us with plenty of material.  But like the self-help books that try to show the path to enlightenment or the you-can-be-a-millionaire-too titles, the method that works for one person does not work for everyone, or even most folks. After all, how many blogs do we all need saying: Have a Facebook/Pinterest/Twitter/Tumblr page? Post regularly! Interact! Connect! Use a call for action! Be visual! We all know how the game is played by now.

We’re going to keep plugging away at it. We are also going to try to write more and promote less. Just as soon as we get this blog posted.

A Must-Share Post

Top Ten Ways to Annoy Gifted Children. We couldn’t agree more. Check out this right-on-the-money blog from giftedguru.com

5 Good Blogs About Writing

Over the past few years we’ve read some great blogs that offer excellent advice for writers. Here are some that are worth checking out:

1. Creativity? Train Your Brain to Be an Idea-Generating Machine.  by Cheryl Craigie

2. Why You Shouldn’t Follow Trends by Nathan Bransford

3. George Orwell’s 5 Rules for Effective Writing by Erin Falconer

4. Writing Exercise: Switching Points of View by Jodi Cleghorn

5. Want Some Advice? Ignore Any Advice by Russell Smith

The Usual Chaos

Last winter, as a blizzard approached, we planned to stay inside, all nice and cozy, and write.  (See How to Write a Book During a Blizzard for details of that fiasco.) Now, as Hurricane Irene nears, we have once again resolved to spend our time writing. This time, we had plenty of warning. We have already gone shopping, the lawn furniture is safely inside, batteries have been purchased, cell phones and laptops charged. Nothing left to do but plot, edit and write. Right?

Well, first we have to check our email because we won’t be able to do that once we lose power. And we’d better take a look at our Facebook page, too. Oh, look a new friend! And a few people have liked our new book trailer. Wait! That’s not the new one. Yes, it is. No, it’s not! Hmm. Maybe you’re right. We’d better upload the new one. (Upload, upload, upload, why is it taking so long?!)

Now Twitter. A bunch of new followers. Better follow back. Some mentions. (TY, TY, TY). A retweet! (TY!). Need to tweet about the new trailer. Hey, that’s a good one! Retweet! And some hurricane info. Retweet that, too. Start scrolling. Interesting… Yada, yada, yada, Hey, that one’s cool! Hmmm, let’s click on that link… Look, some new tweets have come in! Oops! Have we really been on for an hour?

Enough! We’re supposed to be writing. But wait! We haven’t written a blog this week! Can’t we just skip one week? Just once? No! (Horrified look.) Think of something. (Silence.) Well? (More silence.) Well… Umm… (Extended silence.) Are you sure we couldn’t just skip… NO!!

So here we sit writing a blog about how hard it is to find time to write. (Or how easy it is to be distracted from writing. Take your pick.) And now that we’ve finished, we are going to work on our next book.

Right after we take a nap.

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