So you can read my books

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


Is it time to swing into the saddle and ride off into the sunset?

My friend, Terry Stonecrop, said goodbye to her blog in such a fashion :

She did more writing on her novel in the month she was away from her blog than ever before.

It hurt to think I was going to see much less of her cyber-wise. Yet, I could see her reasoning.

Last week Nathan Bransford asked, "Is Blog Fatigue On The Rise?"

He admitted to having Blog Fatigue himself.

The Rainy Day Wanderer has left blogging for two months now :

V R Barkowski has recently written some posts which indicate she is mulling the same topic over :

It got me to thinking and researching :

1.) The average lifespan of a blog seems to be about 2-3 years, with posting frequency going down after about 18 months on most. And the growth rate has dropped 16% in one year.

Several studies indicate that most blogs are abandoned soon after creation (with 60% to 80% abandoned within one month, depending on whose figures you choose to believe) and that few are regularly updated.

The Perseus report noted above indicates that 66.0% of surveyed blogs had not been updated in two months, "representing 2.72 million blogs that have been either permanently or temporarily abandoned".

2.) Twitter is the new rage to fritter your time away from your novel.

Twitter can consume your time. Work, real social interactions and rest can all suffer if you are constantly tweeting and following other tweets. You can check Twitter updates from your phone and send messages from anywhere.

In theory, many people use this as an escape from their own surroundings, paying more attention to Twitter updates, rather than reading that pertinent work email or writing that unfinished novel sitting on their desk.

It is a dangerous pastime.

If you pose the wrong image or comment online, you may be passed up for a promotion, considered undesirable for hire or, even, denied disability benefits for having too much fun.

3.) What do you think?

Is blogging dying? Is it worth the time away from your novel and research?

Is blogging any help to your chances of being published in today's unstable publishing environment?

Is Twitter the new forum to gain an agent's eye?

Or are we just singing to the choir, even on Twitter?



  1. I must admit that i have gone over to the Darkside and joined Tumblr which is blogging for the lazy but because of it's ease I had been consistently posting for 18 months and still enjoying it.

  2. Roland are you thinking of leaving as well? I hope not.

    Pamela Jo

  3. I don't think blogging is dying at all. I think it just goes in waves. People will leave and new people will start. It's blog evolution :o) I have no intention of leaving, because if it weren't for my blog, I would miss out on meeting so many wonderful writers like yourself. I think some bloggers just over do it in the beginning and wear themselves out. Just like everything in life, you need to do it moderation.

  4. Hi Roland .. I won't be stopping blogging and I've never been organised about it. However I've met some wonderful people and have learnt that I can write .. probably not a novel - but I can use my skills elsewhere. I love imparting knowledge or ideas on historically connected aspects ..

    Just love what I do .. and it's a way of advertising .. Twitter is to ephemeral, as I guess Tumblr is too - though all technologies have their advantages and are dependent on your market.

    Cheers - I couldn't post 5+ times a week anymore .. Hilary

  5. I don't think blogging is going away so much as the number of bloggers are plateauing. Yes, it does take time away from the novel, but I'd like to think, for all the work and love I put in it, that my blog establishes an online presence where I can connect with my readers (all two of them). It is through blogging and blogfests/blog hops that I have discovered some awesome new writers, so I have no intention of stopping anytime soon. Taking breaks to keep from burning out, yes, but not ever stopping for good.

    Thanks for purchasing THE DOLL, Roland! Do let me know what you think, good or bad!

  6. I've read a lot of these posts lately, but I don't think blogging, as a whole, is dying. People stop blogging, and others take their place. It's an ongoing thing. The main thing is, blog if you enjoy it, stop if you don't.

    By the way, I finally joined Twitter. I'm following a whole three people right now, and have no real idea of what I'm doing :-)

  7. I think people overextend themselves, but all it requires is a little pacing. If you're blogging seven days a week obviusly it's goint to end up feeling like a chore at times, especially if there's no renumeration and your own writing is suffering. I don't think every blogger is giving up just because a few people are feeling burnt out. It's a bit melodramatic to think that means the end of blogs.

    Moody Writing

  8. As most things in life, moderation is the key--Aristotle's Golden Mean. Find the middle ground and live there. Right now I'm overextended because I'm involved in two blog writing contests. I won't do that again (so I say)and will be glad when they're over. But otherwise I'm on fairly stable ground with blogging and writing.

  9. Heartbeatoz :
    I am still cyber-illiterate in so many ways. I have never heard of Tumblr until you mentioned it. LOL. But I am still glad you drop by and read. Come back soon.

    There's Just Life :
    It has crossed my mind. If I had a secretary for my blog, like Neil Gaiman does for his, I would probably be here longer! :)

    Jessica :
    John Locke writes on a average a post a month. Now, that's moderation! But then he has nine books out in the same time as well!

    Statistics do show a decline in new blogs and in the frequency of posting in existing ones. Fads come and go. Anybody remember My Space?

    Hilary :
    Like you I enjoy blogging. I will probably blog until life gets too crazy for me to continue ... which, considering my strange luck, could be any time! LOL.

    J C :
    You're right. Where else could we meet so many like-minded, same goal folks? Like Richard, I have become in two many blogfests, and they are nibbling huge chunks of my time -- which is too limited as it is!

    Sarah :
    As long as good friends like you continue to drop in and chat, my cyber-door will be open. Welcome to Twitter. I don't twitter much myself. But Victor Standish twitters me occasionally -- usually with a snarky comment!

    Mooderino :
    I was just raising the same point others have made to see what the climate is out there in cyberland. You're right, of course. Moderation is the key. I've missed your comments.

    Richard :
    I quoted you in an earlier reply. Like you, I joined in three blogfests. They take a sizable chunk out of my limited free time. One demands I use nonsense words. You can be amusing without resorting to nonsense words -- guess that is just the former English teacher in me! :-) Thanks for visiting and staying to chat. It means a lot, Roland

  10. I know that my posts have definitely slowed over the last 4 or 5 month for many reasons. I've thought about stopping but I don't think I'm there yet.

    If anything, it may just go back to being what it was for me in the very beginning - Me, talking out loud, not expecting anyone to listen. I used to do the same thing with pen and paper when I was a lot younger. It helps me work things out, even if what I'm writing is not that profound.

    If you leave us, Roland, we will miss you.

  11. Wendy :
    Like you I started out like a radio DJ, just talking out to the black of the cyber-void about what interested or bothered me. I went months without a single comment I believe.

    My fault. I was a novice, not knowing how to connect to like-minded cyber-souls. Now, I feel part of a community. It feels good.

    I would miss you, too, should you leave our community. You are, after all, my co-pilot in my books. If the populace catch you, they may burn you at the stake for that! LOL. Darn those villagers with their torches and pitchforks anyway. Thanks for visiting and staying to talk, Roland

  12. I really don't think any of the other social media have the same depth. I get that some people try it and can't sustain it--it isn't for everybody. Man, over at LinkedIn there is a WORLD of people who simply don't get it--they think 'if I write, they will come'--yeah, good luck with that.

    I think those of us for whom it sticks need that 2-3 year HEAVY push to build, but maybe then need to diversify, so can cut back a little. That said, i REALLY don't think we should give it up entirely. Its flavor changes if we make it big, but at that point, helping out newbies is wonderful.

  13. Hart :
    You are so very right. With people, you have to touch them, help them, relate to them -- if you want the same courtesy.

    Of course, you don't always get it, but if you don't give compassion and help, you certainly will not receive it.

    Blogs are our cyber-homes. If we make them friendly and fun, folks will return. If we become grasping salesmen, we will only turn them off. No return visits there!

    Thanks for visiting my cyber home. Roland

  14. Blogging can connect you to the writing community in a way nothing else can. I think it's just a matter of finding what you can do for the community and bringing that out on your blog. Is it time consuming? Yes, definitely, and in the long run it isn't for everyone. I think the bottom line is, if you aren't getting anything out of it, you shouldn't be doing it. I for one hope you don't stop blogging though because I would miss your lovely excerpts and your sharp wit. :)

  15. Hi,

    The truth is all social networking platforms are tempters of fate. Unable to resist the lure much like Hansel & Gretel on seeing a candy house, we venture forth to the glitz and glory of a blog. There upon we stick flashy gadgets and posters and banners and end up looking like a shopping mall! ;)

    No, seriously, if you enjoy it do it. If you hate it, chuck it! I hate Twitter and the mindless drivel thereupon. Do I really want to know who's just gotten out of bed, what they had for breakfast, and whether they had a good crap first thing.

    I have sworn if I'm ever caught using a cellphone or Blackberry to access Twitter, Facebook etc., I can be shot on sight.

    Twitter is a moron's toy!!! Get a life, or better still have a f*ck! At least that way you'll stay fit and your arse won't be the size of a bus.

    Did I just say that?

    I did. I'm off to write...

    Don't go Roland. Without you blog life would be like no sun, no wind, no rain: a wilderness. :(


  16. I can only speak for myself, but I don't think blogging will help our chances hugely in getting published in today's unstable market. The likes of, JK Rowling, never had a blog before she embarked on the publishing trail. She was too busy writing.

    I would imagine, agents are too busy reading queries etc .. to surf the net also. They're only interested in our final product. The novel itself.

    As for twitter, I find it quite news worthy, however, saying that, you will never see me tweeting useless nonsense. If anything, I try to help others by re-tweeting. I also don't spend a lot of time on there. Contrary to what you may think :)

    Apart from your good-self, I have stopped reading a lot of blogs I used to follow. Their posts are just too long, and my eyes glaze over. I don't have the time.

    Anyway, getting to the point, my blog will always be second. Life and writing my novel, my first priority.

    Will tweet this for you :) Haha!

  17. I've seen this debated here and there, and I've also noticed fewer really interesting & thoughtful posts, too many blogfests and contests (just not what I'm into right now), and as a result I have to do a lot of scrolling to find posts that I want to read and comment on. Yours was definitely one of those today. And I even read all the comments and agreed with what everyone else said.

    It takes an awful lot of work and effort to build a blog, but not as much to maintain it. I wouldn't want to give mine up then decide I should go back to it and end up having to do all that work all over again!

    I think people get bored of it like they do of anything, and as so many have mentioned it isn't for everybody and it won't make us rich. May not even get us published.

  18. Heather :
    I believe you are right. We all have something unique to bring to the blogging table.

    I was a creative writing teacher for a time, so I and my helpful (and not so helpful) ghosts try to give a boost to those who might be struggling out there.

    And I have no plans to go anywhere soon. But working full time tends to blunt this old sharp wit!! And I would miss you as well ... along with VR should she decide to step back from blogging.

    Francine :
    Alas I fell victim to the pretty cats, globes, full moons (not from werewolves!), and my book trailers.

    I enjoy my friends. I don't enjoy, of course, putting my heart into a post and seeing zero comments. But every post can't be a gem in the eyes of the beholders, right?

    Twitter is just to check in on what fans of Stephen King or THE WALKING DEAD or some other interesting topic might have to say. When they start trying to sell me AVON, I back off!

    But mostly, I am with you, Francine. There's not enough space to say anything of substance.

    And yes, I think a good many lonely people wander the tweets, hoping to connect. Sad. And your way of saying made the ghost of Mark Twain chuckle.

    I get weary some days, but friends like you keep me here. Thanks, Roland

    Wendy Quillfeather :
    Thanks for tweeting this post. See, Francine? There is a use for Twitter sometimes! LOL. Love your sense of humor.

    Yes, life first. The novel second. A date with Olivia Wilde third. Just checking to see if your eyes were glazing over. :-) Thanks for being such a good friend.

    Your autographed photo of Alexander Skarsgard (Eric Northman) is in the mails, winging its way to NZ.

    See, friends? If you buy LEGEND and post a review, good things could come to you!!

    KarenG :
    You're right. Getting a blog going is like pushing a stalled car. After you've got the momentum going, you really hate to stop!

    Blogging might not get us published, but I think it helps us not feel quite so alone and prone to give up on our dreams.

    The ghost of Mark Twain just nodded. He was and is a great believer in having a dream to set your sails for. Thanks so much for such an insightful comment.

    I try to make each post worth the effort of reading and entertaining.

    Tomorrow, you will get to see life through the undead eyes of the Victorian ghoul, Alice Wentworth. Her thought patterns are not those of the modern living.

    Thank all of you for such great comments!! Your grateful friend, Roland

  19. I know my posts have slowed a bit as I write and edit, and I'm planning a blogger break soon; but I love the blogging world, and I know I won't stay gone for more than a month to take care of some personal business.

    No, I doubt blogging will get me publishied, but I've met so many wonderful writers on-line, and they have inspired me to be a better writer.

    I've been blogging a couple years now, and I've seen bloggers, and topics come and go and come again. All social circles are cyclic - IMO.


  20. I think it ebbs and flows both between bloggers and within your own blog. Life happens in a distracting way. I was encouraged to try blogging a couple of years ago - finally tried it and love writing and meeting such interesting people. I doubt I'll ever earn anything from it. The person who encouraged me wrote a few posts and got bored, I don't think you know if it'll work for you till you try it.

  21. Doona :
    We will miss you when you take your blogvacation. Every social interaction format evolves, grows, or becomes stagnant and dies. We will see about blogging. Publishers thought that print would be king forever. So did the dinosaurs about their reign. All things in nature change ... but sometimes, as with my LAST SHAMAN, we can use that change for our benefit! Thanks for visiting and staying to chat. Roland

    Sue :
    Like Forest's box of chocolates, you never know what you will find in blogging from day to week to month!

    And you're right again :
    Life is a harsh mistress. Sometimes hurricanes come and we have to deal with them. I am always happy to see you here in my cyber-home, Roland