So you can read my books

Thursday, February 21, 2013


Blogging has its good points:

It forces you to write regularly and helps you discipline yourself in your craft.

Blogging can also become a dysfunction:

     It can become a people-pleasing addiction that saps you of your creative edge.

     The  writer must beware of and take caution when using this tool for one reason:

          Writing solely for others can cost you your inner
          compass without which you
          find yourself cast adrift on the tides of popular opinion.

Blogging can take a lot of your time and not increase your sales by one book.

     So it’s really important to be clear about what you’re
     trying to accomplish,
     and how much you’re willing to put into it.

Because life is short, and you don’t want to burn time or energy on the wrong thing.

     Isn’t that one of the tenets of most blog discussions?
     One of the most important rules we all agree on,
     now that we’re old enough to know better?

Questions to ask:

     1.) Do you spend hours daily reading and commenting?

     2.) Has blogging become a fun club whose dues are
          never writing your novels?

     3.) When all is said and done, do you read any 
           bloggers who have something to say
           beyond just being clever?

     4.) Are you spending all your time consuming
          versus producing?

          (Avoidance results in zero progress and most
           social media activity is avoidance.
           And if you have no plan,
           maybe you should untether from social media 
           for a while.
           Give yourself a break and experience life.)

     5.) Is there any benefit to just bonding over the

          (Actually there is: oxytocin, a chemical boost that
          can be scientifically measured.)


     1.) Reflect on why you started?

         Have your goals changed?  Most start a writing blog
         to further their novels.

         You convinced yourself that that the late nights
         and weekends spent writing content,
         fixing that broken logo or researching your niche
         will pay off,  soon you'll be free.

     2.) Consider time cannot be replaced.

          Have you lost count the amount of the times
          you’ve let your spouse and kids down
          because you needed to fix a blog, somehow justifying
          it with these words:

         “When I’m successful I’ll have plenty of time and
           plenty of money
         to do what the family want to do,
         right now I need to put the effort in; I’m investing
         in our future”.
     3.) If you have ... STOP AND REFLECT.
          Missing out on your kids growing up,
         neglecting your loved ones simply cannot be replaced
         and no matter how successful you become,
         regardless of how much money you earn
         you won’t be able to get these priceless times back.
     4.) You need to put effort in if you want to create a successful blog
          The trick is to figure out which effort is worth
          making and which isn’t!
          The thing to remember:
          You’re blog will be here tomorrow, your family might not!
     5.) It’s never too late to put it right:
         You’re in the driving seat - only you can decide to
         get organised
         and create a decent work life balance.
     6.) Priorities
          Family first.  Your job second.  
          Your friends third.  Writing fourth.  Your blog fifth.
          The above can change with each person, but you
          get the picture:
          Only you know your life and what is important
          enough to you to sacrifice for.
         What about you? Why are you blogging?
         What do you get from it?
         Are you having second thoughts?


  1. I began blogging to establish a platform for one book. (That it has grown to three is beyond what I ever expected.) I have stayed, not so much for my books, but for the friendships and knowledge.
    Do I spend a lot of time blogging when I could be writing? Sure. But I never even intended to write more than one book. And at this point, I'm not sure what more I would write.
    I have seen my sales rise in direct correlation to what I am doing online. (My publisher even told me, keep doing what I'm doing.)
    Why am I here? I believe our purpose is to help others. I won't sacrifice my real life, but for as long as I can, I will continue to do what I can for my friends here online.

  2. I have been going back and forth to return every day... I have run blank for too long, I find that my life stuff should lead my battle for the life I am trying to have. I find my site is fun, it doesn't hurt anybody and it's the rambling thoughts in my head... and I have mentioned "blank".... my friends are awesome, my comments I receive are good to see... people care. I care, but for how long?

    Where do we go from here, should we be here until we die. Over the several years I found people, lost people... and find I have better friendships in the blog world. I don't want to loose that, ever.

    I am falling behind, thoughts of the last three blogs I have is going to go to two soon, though which one goes and do I suffer the loss of those friends... because I am lazy or life comes first.


  3. This is an important issue, Roland. I keep seeing bloggers say they can't keep up, sorry for not doing this or that, which is worse than not posting, sometimes. No matter how nicely put, it says 'Excuses'.

    Alternatives I see happening: bloggers joining together to increase visibility (a good thing), but the hazard could be that you lose your individuality when part of a group, unless that group is well-known.

    I knew I couldn't keep with the daily blogging, I prefer a different schedule, a few times a month. That way, I can integrate the life issues and still write the novels. I found doing the A to Z last year stressful when the computer gave me problems. The one thing that saved me was scheduling posts. I like to blog about things that often take research on occasion, and leave them up for a time so they can be seen. It works for me.

    What about you, Roland? Are you having second thoughts, too?

  4. I recently realized I was spending hours a day attempting to comment on every blog that I followed at least once a week. Hours a day. It finally occurred to me that this was horribly counter productive. As much as I miss my blogging friends, much of it was a one-sided relationship. Now I do my best to keep connected with those who keep connected with me. And I spend all the extra hours writing!

  5. Decisions, decisions, decisions...sometimes less is more. That may be true with blogging.

  6. I actually do very little blogging, but when I came across this title in my inbox, it spiked my curiosity enough to read through the post...

    Yeah, I agree with everything you said. Since I tend to be a bit OCD, I've had to set very strict limits on just how much time I'll allow myself to spend on blogs--both mine and those I follow. Right now, I post on my own blog only when I have some sort of update about my novels--averaging about once a month. Consequently, I've written more and yes, spent more time with family and other important endeavors.

    I appreciate your validation! :)

  7. Why am I blogging? Because when I joined twitter everybody it seemed had a link to a blog and I didn't. The wrong reason.

    What do I get from it? Meeting nice people such as you.

    Am I having second thoughts? Constantly. But then again, I come and go like nausea anyway so it makes no difference.

    I hope you don't stop blogging, Roland. You may not see me here very often, but I always read posts. Well, nearly always.

  8. Alex:
    You responded to your publisher's request. Most of us started without a publisher. Many of us still do not have publisher.

    Yet, like you, I feel my purpose is to help those I can here. My books are basically a lost cause. But that doesn't mean I am going to give up the dreams of my friends. :-)

    That you did THREE blogs as long as you have is a miracle. My Stetson's off to you, and I support whatever decisions you choose to make. Roland

    I have given up on my dream of having my books do well, but I will still blog to help my friends. And I will still promote my books -- out of sheer stuborness really. :-)

    The A-Z Challenge will truly be a challenge this year as my blood center is doing some down-sizing, and I may have to be looking for another position! Ouch.

    My consuming job as a rare blood courier makes me a lousy visitor of my friends, so I understand!

    Visit those who visit you. Much luck with your new book!! :-)

    We can't be too absent or else our visitors will give up on us though!

    Your family appreciates your decision, too, I know. I always look forward to your visits. John Locke, that snake oil salesman, does only one post a month -- but he is now firmly established!

    Stopping my blog did come to mind, but I am too stubborn to quit. Besides, I think I help sometimes. A little at least.

    And I've come to know great friends like you, too. :-)

  9. Such a valuable post, Roland. You're right, blogging can be a huge time suck, an escape from real life, and an excuse not to write.

    I put my blog on hold for a year because at the time, I couldn't justify the hours away from writing. It wasn't as if I was blogging to establish a platform as I had (and still have) nothing to promote.

    But when I stopped blogging, I realized how much I missed contact with other writers. I discovered the writing organizations to which I belonged didn't want to discuss writing, they wanted to discuss mystery writing, or thriller writing, or romance writing, and discuss it only amongst themselves. Frankly, I think this drawing inward and keeping close to those we perceive to be like us is always a bad idea. It's insular and divisive, the perfect recipe for closed minds, prejudice, and stifling all growth—and I want to grow as a writer.

    The blogosphere is different. Genre doesn't matter. It's about sharing the writing/publishing experience—the ups and downs—in a welcoming, supportive community. It's not what we write but the writing itself that's important. This is why I blog.

    ~VR Barkowski

  10. Thank you, VR:
    Your answer was insightful and illuminating.

    Blogging can be a time suck and an escape from real life.

    I missed you for that year you went away. And like you, I think I would miss my friends if I left. Organizations can be so snarky to those who are not of them.

    You're right. The blogverse seems to dwell more on the in's and out's of writing in general rather than particular genre.

    And it is a welcoming, supportive community. Blogging, done for the right reasons, can be healing. :-)

  11. Ah, yes. The blog question. I have been blogging for a little over two years now. The most I've posted has been twice a week. For quite a while I was focused on getting followers, and then somewhere along the line I just kind of relaxed. I like blogging because I like connecting with people. The stress I did have had everything to do with meeting other people's expectations of what a successful blogger was.

    I do feel bad that I'm not going around and commenting as much, but I know it's short lived. Once I get done with publishing FM, I'll have more time to visit more frequently. Maybe I'll go back to the regularly scheduled two posts a week, maybe not.

    I want you to know I like having you here to visit. I don't always comment when I read posts (because it takes me FOREVER to make a comment coherent) but I always enjoy reading your posts. I'm your fan!

  12. Thanks, Lara:
    I remember when I bloggged for three months straight at the beginning without one comment! Ouch! But I'm stubborn.

    My job as rare blood courier is draining so much of my free time these days that I am not visiting as much as I want.

    I'm so glad you like my posts. Sometimes I feel as if I am playing to an empty house. That you like my cyber-home makes my evening. :-)

  13. HI, Roland,

    VR said it beautifully. You pretty much know why I blog... Yes, I do use it for escape, HOWEVER, I need the "human" contact, even though it is in cyberspace.

    I have few friends in Chicago and I am a VERY SOCIAL and PEOPLE person. Blogging fills in a void and helps with the long, lonely hours I spend.

    I adore writing, but I must have other creative outlets too. Especially since writing doesn't help support me financially.

    I know I should write more, but I can't force it too much. With me, it must flow from my heart and soul.

    Also blogging is a great outlet to test new ideas and post excerpts for constructive feedback from blogger friends. This is also VERY important. I have LEARNED a GREAT deal and met most of my CP'S through blogging.

    This, in itself, is the best reason to keep on blogging!

  14. HI Roland .. what a great post and replies .. I started blogging for I know not what - but I ended up writing 'articles' that my mother and uncle would be interested in and give us an extra conversational thread if we needed one - in old age and sickenss ... so often those strands are needed and ease the long hours by bedsides ...

    Luckily people enjoy my posts and I am very spasmodic ... but it seems to work - I'm lucky.

    Now I need to look further - but I can't see me giving up the blogging - there's too much to learn - which I get from my posts (having to research), but also from the interaction of everyone .. from tips, to books to read, books for advice, giving others that something extra in times of need .. etc etc ..

    Working a schedule for ourselves is essential ... after we've built the blogging base ..

    Cheers Hilary