If you read one of my more recent posts, When It’s Time to Make those Tough Decisions, you may recall that I have recently taken a hard look at what I’ve been spending my writing time doing, and had concluded that I need to cut a whole bunch of starchy, superfluous “stuff” from my plate. Translation: I dove too deep into the freelance content writing. I was good at it, sure. But I dreaded doing it as much as I dread going for blood work (or some equally distasteful activity … like bone re-setting or dental surgery). Because so much of my time was focused on content writing, I was not spending enough time on my books and my blog.
How did I pigeonhole myself into that one?? I mean, I never set out to be a content writer in the first place, if I’m being honest.
After much soul-searching, I refocused my efforts, and began pumping out my own blog posts. But now that I’ve started this again, I’m wondering if I’ve perhaps misdirected my refocused efforts. You see, for whatever reason, the blog posts I’ve been writing are feeling a lot like the content writing I just swore I’d back away from. It’s gotten to the point where I actually dread writing my own blog posts.
I just can’t win!
In the beginning, I struggled with what my blog should be. I don’t mind saying it. I even wrote a post called Struggling With My Niche … What IS My Niche? In that respect, I suspect I am like a lot of other authors out there, not sure what their blogs should be, or why they are keeping at them, other than a general notion that “blogging helps.” As I got deeper into my own blogging, however, and as I experimented with different topics and themes, I began to learn what drove traffic and what didn’t. Naturally, I began to tailor my blog content, gearing it towards those topics which tended to be popular.
Here’s the kicker: that popular content that gets lots of traffic and comments and shares and likes … well, I freakin’ hate doing it. Or at least I hate doing it on a mass scale (as mass as a staff of one can manage, that is). In anticipating what my audience wanted and writing towards that … I forgot to write for me. And that’s a huge part of what blogging for authors really should be.
How did I manage to stray so far away from that one?
Let me take a minute and go another direction here. One of the posts which was not my typical content marketing, social media, career building for authors type posts was called 5 Novels that Inspire Me as a Writer. It surprised me how much interaction this post earned, how many page hits generated, and social media shares it resulted in. And you know what? It was a heck of a lot of fun to write!
So while I am re-evaluating my writing time and my writing goals, I’m returning to my root reasons for blogging. Simply put, I like to interact with all you wonderful people, and I am so much more than the books I write. Really, I am!
I read a ton
I coach U10 co-ed soccer
I’m on the board of directors at our local hockey league
I play bluegrass music at top volume in my car
I’m addicted to bacon and eggs
I have a cat that’s twenty-two pounds and blind in one eye
I’m a certified lifeguard but am terrified of lakes
I am all these things and more. I have lots to share. Some of that is the knowledge I’ve gleaned on my writing journey about career building, social media and marketing for authors, true. And I like writing about marketing for authors. But just like I’m many things, my blog should be many things, too.
When I first had this idea that I needed to revamp my blog, I did a Google search to see what kind of author blogs were out there. Luckily, my search turned up several listicles with “The Best Author Blogs.” Many of them, quite surprisingly, were nothing more than simple, amusing updates. Wil Wheaton’s blog, for example, had its latest entry about what he’s been doing lately and how he’s been feeling.
I’ve been reminded that, as authors, our blogs are a chance to showcase ourselves. We spend so much time creating worlds and lives and stories and characters, and sometimes we forget that we are characters, too. Our stories deserve to be told as much as our characters stories do. I think to truly get back to enjoying blogging, I need to take the time to muse and to update, and not just to give advice on career building and writing and marketing. I like those things too, but they’re only a part of what my blog is about.
You know what? Writing and authorship is a journey. Well, right now I am in the middle of my own journey. I’m okay with accepting the fact that I don’t have it perfect yet. I mean, really, who does? But I feel good about having come to this conclusion about my own blog, and I’m excited to see what becomes of it.
Here’s to musings!
What about you? Do you feel stuck in your blog? Have you lost your will to post, or are you not quite sure how to begin the whole blogging process? Or have you figured it out, and do you have any words of wisdom?