It’s possibly a little over dramatic, but today is the day I stop blogging. Maybe forever, maybe just for a while. Sme friends have been kind enough to ask why, so here goes.
A couple of years ago, I was blogging under the banner “The Great Canadian Adventure.” Here was me and my family doing something brave and unusual, throwing all our possessions into a container and moving to a different continent. We were leaving behind family and friends, and blogging seemed a good way to keep everyone updated on our progress and news.
But after a year or more, it wasn’t so important. We were skyping, we were on Facebook, and folks had adjusted to us not turning up to visit. Some had even been out to visit us. I went to a seminar on blogging and how it was an essential tool for the modern writer and took a long look at my own blog. Did it do the job? I bought Kristen Lamb’s book, “We Are Not Alone” and put some of her ideas into proctice. I took her online course, making a bunch of great friends along the way, and yes, I raised the visitor stats on my blog too.
And over the last year I have checked those stats with an obsessive fervour, worrying about making my daily, weekly and monthly quota, trying to find the mystic subject that would ignite the net and get me Freshly Pressed. Should I add video clips? Should I link more per page? Am I mentioning my e-book enough?
On the other side of the Atlantic, one of my writing partners was being just as obsessive about our sales. He sends me regular updates on a spreadsheet, which showed that, while they were still healthy, in most cases sales were falling. We were selling less, despite my impressive readership. The fabled “Word of mouth” recommendation I had been chasing has not materialised.
That’s not to say I don’t believe what Kristen has been teaching. I KNOW that her methods work, that a platform is essential for an author, certainly more so now than ever. It may be entirely my fault, but the blog has not improved my situation. In fact, it may have made it worse.
Since we hooked up with our publisher all those years ago, TLC Creative have maintained a healthy market share. We produce a new panto each year, and I added to the stock of one act plays on a semi-regular basis. Sketches appeared more often than not, and we’ve even come up with a couple of full-length pieces. But not this year.
This year the only writing I have managed has been the scenes I was tasked with for our pantomime. They were late, the latest I’ve ever produced work for TLC, and far from writing more than I was asked, I scraped the bare minimum.
Since I finished my full length play “Merely Players” over a year ago, I have not written a single thing. Other than my blog.
Some of you may be sitting at your computers saying “Well, that’s just writer’s block, everyone gets that.”
I would agree, except it’s not that I haven’t had ideas. I have. I’ve had quite a few ideas trot through my brain, but I have not given them the time that I have dedicated to chasing another ten views on my blog, and that has to be wrong. The blog is supposed to be a way of connecting with people so they can be interested in what I write. It’s not supposed to BE all I write.
So the logical thing, the obvious thing, the right thing to do is stop blogging. Stop pouring my available writing time into building castles online and go back to building worlds on other people’s stages. People still find me, and the people who have been in touch most recently did not come to me via my blog. They found the TLC website and contacted me through that.
I’ll still follow with interest the blogs of my friends, and I’ll still use my wordpress id to comment and encourage. But perhaps some time away from staring at the visitor stats will allow me to make some new, imaginary friends and write about their adventures.
After all, it’s what I get paid for.
I feel bad that I just found you but I can totally relate. I’ve been trying to work my schedule so the fiction writing comes first and I try to write multiple blogs at a time then schedule them for the dates I need. But it’s a challenge and the fiction writing has to come first.
Best wishes in whatever path you choose.
Thanks Raelyn! You’re very welcome to wander through my older posts and comment there too, you know. I’ll be stopping by your blog as before – I’m stopping posting, not reading!
We’ll miss you! But in your heart you know what’s the best thing to do, and you’re doing it. That must be admired and supported. Best of luck and I hope we’ll be seeing you around!
Thanks! It wasn’t a fun decision, and I won’t know it’s right until I churn out a dazzling play, but I’ve got to give it a go, or I’ll never know. Like I said to Raelyn (above), I’ll still be doing the rounds of everyone else’s blogs….
I don’t blame you one bit but I’ll miss you. Did you see the bit John Mayer said about blogging? You’re not in the minority by any means.
You have to do what’s right for you and if you decide you want to try again. We’ll be here. Take care Damian.
Oh no! I didn’t realise I was jumping on a bandwagon! I thought I was being a rebel!
Thanks for your kind words and support, Angela, not just here but in the past too. I hope my personal gloom isn’t infectious, and you continue to grow your own work. I’ll keep dropping by!
I know you’re saying it’s the end but I’m still giving you this award: http://wp.me/pJqgY-lU
I totally understand! I have only been blogging a short 6 months but I already have days when I wonder what my true point is. What is the goal? I am planning to scale back the frequency I post at and I already stopped messing around on twitter every night. That was a huge time suck!
When/if you do post something again I’ll be here to read! 🙂
Can’t believe you;ve only been blogging six months! I love your blog – mainly because it makes me glad I never had boys! Mrs Dim and I are both revising the things we do that draw time away from real life. I hope you find the best balance for your and your troupe.
Of course. I’ll miss your posts, but I’m glad you’re doing what you think is right. Good luck Damian.
I commend you for making tough decisions and the right choices for you and your life and your career at this time. You’ve shown a lot of perspective in your decision and I understand why this would be a smart move. I too haven’t written much at all since I started blogging. I’m trying out a different scheduling system for the moment, and we’ll see how it goes. I’m glad you’ll still be checking in with us now and again so please tell us how you’re doing. We’ll miss you. Happy writing, Damian!
Well, poop. 😦
I’ll definitely miss your posts — but I’ll be looking forward to hearing about that brilliant play in the not-so-distant future.
Keep in touch, Damian … you really are a gifted writer, and I’ve absolutely enjoyed your perspectives (through your blog and comments on mine!).
Thanks Mikalee – I’ll still be commenting and dropping by, so you don’t get rid of me that easy! As for the brilliant play…we’ll see. In the meantime, feel free to read some of my other brilliant plays over at http://www.lazybeescripts.co.uk
I am glad I came across this, before I rushed into putting so much effort into creating my new blog. I have so much other stuff going on that I don’t want to suffer from my lack of attention. Thanks for sharing and good luck with your plays. If you check my url in a couple of days, look for my writing tips article, guaranteed to make you laugh…
Thanks Robb, I’ll check that out. I think it’s worth making sure you have some product to sell before setting out on your blog journey, otherwise you end up with a pretty storefront and nothing on the shelves. But a blog is a good use of time. I just haven’t been striking the right balance this year…..
I think as a writer, you do what you have to do and writing comes before blogging in my opinion. This is probably why my blog has not taken off despite studying up on Kristen Lamb’s tips. Applying what I learned about social media is a different thing than just learning about it. To me, my priority is writing my novels. Blogging second and then the rest of social media. I say take a brake. We’ll be here when you get back.
Thanks TL. I think social media works differently for differently for different people. I have faith in Kristen’s methods, but I’m fairly sure I didn’t apply them dilligently. However, the fact that I haven’t produced any of my own work in the meantime suggests very strongly I should be concentrating on that for a while. I’ll see you when I get back!
It’s a tough balancing act. My blogging has tapered a lot over the summer – in a steady stream since taking Kristen’s class, actually, whatever that means. (and clearly it’s taking me a bit to get around to everyone else’s blogs too)
Sorry to see you go, but not if it means you’re doing the writing that matters now…and wishing you the best in all your endeavors – especially if it means your funny self will be back here sooner.
Have you read Steven Pressfield’s WAR OF ART – an interesting read for all artists…made a big difference in how I looked at my stumbling blocks when it comes to writing.
Well that’s a shame, I’ve enjoyed following your thoughts and adventures! Quite understand though, although a blog and web presence can be a useful shop window. Don’t beat yourself about the sales, either. Although up on last year, my sales are nowhere near where I had hoped they would be – a sign that everyone (including drama groups) are feeling the pinch?
I’ve been trying to write an actual fictional novel with little success, so I feel your torment.
What I am trying to do instead is transfer my posts into a full-length book. That process is slooow, since I have no idea what I’m doing! I also don’t want to pay a self-publisher a small fortune.
So hopefully this makes you feel better, my friend!
There’s plenty of advice about self-publishing out there in internetland, and someone so adept at spotting the D-bags in life should be able to negotiate the streams of….well, let’s calll it “less than worthwhile advice”, although it rhymes with “fullspit”.
My writing has picked up a little, and I’ve just been handed a reason to fire up the blog again, even if it’s a one-off for the time being. Let’s see what I can muster…..