Okay. I’m listening.

I love this blog. In fact, I love it a little too much.

That thought surfaced several times in the past few months, but in the last few days I looked at the ugly truth of it.

Blogging, while providing a great outlet to hone my writing skills, sometimes serves as a distraction for me.

Just when I decide to sit down and face that novel again, I realize I’m due for a post, whether it’s Wednesday or the weekend.

I made a commitment, I tell myself, and if anything, I follow through.

Sure, I follow through, on shot-in-the-arm kind of writing. But, the bigger projects sit on the sidelines, waiting. And, the longer they sit, the more difficult it becomes to bring them back into focus.

Several posts by other writers shed light on the importance of keeping my blogging in balance with my outside writing.

In Lisa Rivero’s recent post, she writes about the “place of stillness,” as described by Jonathan Franzen in an article in Time Magazine. Franzen’s words were inspiration enough, but it’s the quote Lisa uses to open her post that grabbed me:

“You have to protect your writing time. You have to protect it to the death.” – William Goldman

That got me thinking. Where am I devoting the majority of my writing time, and how can I redirect it towards more important projects?

A post from Michelle Davidson Argyle offers one suggestion, “slow blogging,” and highlights an essay from Anne R. Allen. In Allen’s essay, she discusses the dangers of blogging too often and the pros of blogging less often. Allen mentions writer/translator Lee Robertson, who shared his philosophy, “A blog is like frosting on top of the cake.” Then, Allen quotes Miss Snark:

…There’s a lot to be said for sitting down with your ownself and writing. Nothing, literally NOTHING replaces that. Focus. You’re wasting time.”

Someone, or something, was nudging me to pay attention, and finally I started listening. I’d been wondering how I might shake things up on this blog, set some new goals, and now it was clear.

Blog less, write more.

I still love the Wednesday Word challenge, so I won’t give that up. But, I will stretch out the schedule of those writing exercises. Every other Wednesday, I’ll still face off with Wordsmith.org and his logophilian self. Then, on alternate Wednesdays, you can look for a post on all things writing: author interviews, book reviews, essays on the craft of writing itself.

That means, posting once a week.

And, the other days of the week? Well, considering I just sent in my check for a writing class on Flash Fiction and a Roundtable critique for longer works (like a novel-in-progress…*ahem*), I’ll be writing.

And, reading.

And, I will NOT be obsessing about rising or falling stats or how many bloggers “like” my weekly posts (WordPress sure makes it easy to become gluttons for punishment).*

Where do you spend the majority of your writing time, and is the Universe directing you towards change?

____________________________________________
* I might obsess a little, but it’ll be my dirty little secret.

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18 responses to “Okay. I’m listening.

  1. I definitely have faced this, and I’ve slowed my blogging as well. I also don’t comment on as many blogs as I used to. I just can’t do it all and when I try, my writing does suffer. My hope is that people will understand, and that my content will still continue to help others. :)

    Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse

  2. I am new to blogging so I have probably overdone it. I posted once a day or more and commented faithfully on the blogs of others. When interruptions came, which life serves up intermittently without warning, I responded to the challenges at hand and let go of the blog. The blog is shrinking. Well, so, it must shrink until I am ready to forge ahead. I think it will survive. I have put commenting before posting, maybe not a sound decision. This is just how I’m wired.

    Christi, I think you have forged a workable plan.

    • Carol, I think blogs wax and wane as we, the authors, find our direction (or balance our time). And, in turn, blogs come into their own. Thanks for your encouragement. I’m excited to see how my writing here changes and grows even though I’ll be posting less often — hopefully the writing will become more rich in the process.

  3. Also guilty! Writing about writing isn’t quite, well, writing is it?! And this blinking multi tasking we’re all so good at somehow becomes multi not-tasking. You make some good points. No point having a sparkling shop front if you haven’t stocked the warehouse.
    S’pose that means me as well then. Thought so..

  4. Thanks for the shout-out, Christi. I’m glad my post spoke to you. It seems to have hit a nerve with a lot of writers. The Goldman quote is perfect. I’m going to type it out and tape it to my door. Stop by my blog sometime at SLOW BLOGGERS RULE!

  5. I thought I made that link live, but instead it seems to have disappeared. My blog is at http://annerallen.blogspot. com

  6. This is exactly what I thought back in April! I blogged (and visited blogs) far too many hours of the week, and for someone who wanted to see herself as a writer of some kind, I wrote far too little.

    I have become better, so now I try to spend my best hours on my teaching job + my writing (and now and then with my family), and let the blog wait until later in the day. I am not perfect, but I am sure I have spent twice as much time on writing since then.

    So good luck to you on going through the same process!

  7. Hi Christi, I thought it was time I dropped in for a visit!

    I understand exactly what you are saying. I struggle with this in my own writing life and often feel that blogging takes me away from other writing. Sometimes, we do get cuaght up in the stats. I’m in awe of people who can blog every day or even three or four times a few. I like your once a week rule, and think I should adopt some sort of rule myself that will give me more time to devote to writing fiction.

  8. I write in the evening and through the night, sometimes to the wee hours. Don’t get distracted by phone calls or anyone knocking on the door, or appointments. And yes, I need to make time to sleep in for those late nights.

    Sometimes I write a number of blog posts and put them in my “queue” dating them ahead of time so they will post in the future. That way I’m not interrupting myself from my “real” writing.

    • Elizabeth, Sometimes I manage late night hours, and I love that time for it’s quiet and low distractions. But, yes, there’s always the question of sleep :)
      And, once in a while I have a burst of ideas and can queue up an extra post for later. That is a nice feeling.

      Thanks for your comment. It’s a good reminder to keep in mind — ways I can write with the least number of interruptions.

  9. Pingback: Blog Roundup and Weekend Reading « Lisa Rivero

  10. I thought about replying to this post so much that I think I’d convinced myself I’d already done it! :-O

    Christi, you are so wise. I’m also trying to figure out how to support other bloggers with comments, reading, and subscriptions without sacrificing the time I need to write. It’s a continual work in progress. ;)

    Soooo looking forward to meeting you in person.

    • Thanks, Lisa. You must have been reading my mind lately – reading, commenting, & supporting other writers is another layer of the writer’s life to keep in the mix and to keep in balance.

      We’re “works in progress”…I like that.

      And, I’m looking forward to our coffee date as well :)

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