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Wednesday, April 3, 2013

IWSG: Insecurity is thrown under the bus & C is for Positivity

Aloha,


It’s time for another episode of Insecure Writers Support Group, hosted by the one and only Alex Cavanaugh.
As this is A-Z month, (I remember, way back in the '00s, we used to call this one "April", ah the good ol' days) so as things are a little different this month, I'm not here to share an insecurity, but rather a positive.

A couple of weeks ago, I decided to power down on my regular scheduled posts for one main reason: My blog was eating its young.

I imagine most of us have limited time to write/blog. For me, I write Sunday to Thursday from about 9 p.m. to midnight with Friday and Saturday off.

I like to post about three times a week, so I start with fifteen hours a week, and each post takes on average three hours, which leaves six hours a week for "real" writing.

Not bad, you might say... and generally I would agree, but hang on, Twitter takes thirty minutes, email sucks another hour of my life that I shall never regain. Then, guest post prep/updates take another thirty minutes... now I'm down to four hours a week.

Still good, I hear you say, especially as I'm "only" doing edits for the memoir I wrote.



Papa, it's been 15 mins, you're stuck with me.
I'll sleep better, promise :)





Now, add in the intangibles like various children not being able to sleep, not wanting to sleep or Papa falling asleep in front of the keyboard... and all of a sudden it's late Thursday evening and I've done zero "real" writing.

All. Week. Long.










The good news is that in the past couple of weeks things have completely flipped. I'm up to date on my guest post commitments, I have no posting schedule and my blogging stress levels are below catatonic levels.

I'm having so much fun here in the dark that I wanted to come back to the light and share the news:

It's OK to step back from blogging and focus on why most of us are here in the first place: To write a kickin' great book that will be read by at least dozens of family members :)

Sure, I miss not doing A-Z, but I miss more that my book is not already sitting on your shelf - and it ain't ever gonna get there until it's polished, "locked" and published, God willing :)

Good luck to everyone doing A-Z and see you in May :)


44 comments:

Dani said...

It's nice to step back every once in a while. Change is good -- except trying to exchange your children. But that is a hilarious picture. Sometimes I'd like to switch out my 13 yr old daughter every once in while.
Dani @ Entertaining Interests
#warriorminion

S.P. Bowers said...

I'm glad to know I'm not the only one that falls asleep in front of the computer.

Annalisa Crawford said...

I'm not going to count how many hours I've written this week! Even without taking part in the A-Z, I'm still reading all the posts. Stepping back might be something I need to do, especially as I've created a deadline for my novel/short short collection.

Donna K. Weaver said...

I know the feeling. I backed off from blogging three times a week (scheduled posts anyway) so I could have more time for writing. That was kind of the point in creating the blog anyway, right? As a platform should I ever be published? Well, now I am. I do miss visiting more blogs, but something had to go.

Miranda Hardy said...

I take blogging breaks often, but I always come back to warm welcomes. It's important to make time for writing and other things.

Melanie Schulz said...

I've never heard anyone say on their death bed that they wished they would have blogged more.

Melissa said...

I recently reached the same conclusion. I'm hiding out on hiatus, too.
Write on... :)

Rachel Schieffelbein said...

Aww! You hit on exactly what I posted today! I'm totally feeling guilty for being out of the blogging loop. :(
Thanks for the great post!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Mark - just had a month off - and I did get some stuff done .. but found some wonderful information for blog posts and wrote four long involved ones!

Still enjoy that break .. write well, get on and write .. I said .. get on with it -

See you around the Maypole .. cheers Hilary

Tyrean Martinson said...

I get that. I'm planning on stepping back a bit in June, just to finish the second draft of my second book. Blogging, twitter, social networking can be really positive and engaging, but it also can steal away the time needed to write.
Go, write, love on your family, and get that book on our shelves!

Al Diaz said...

You make me both laugh and cry. Blog I can handle. Social media (Facebook-Twitter) I cannot. I cringe at the clock each time I try to read those, so now I check them once a week and only those I'm addressed directly. I've thrown the towel there.

Nicole said...

Great attitude, Mark! Can't wait to see the finished product. :)

Mark Means said...

Absolutely nothing wrong with stepping back to get some real writing done. I touched on that, as well, in my IWSG post.

Hang loose! :)

Rena said...

Exactly. In fact, I dropped A to Z so that I could focus on writing a novel in april instead (I added up how much I commented on a to z stuff last year and it was 50,000 words!!!). So yeah, gotta keep focused.

Good luck.

Sheena-kay Graham said...

Enjoy your break Mark. See you in May.

M.J. Fifield said...

I'm certain you'll end up with more readers than just the dozens of family members. =)

Enjoy your break!

Amy Jarecki said...

I don't have much time for blogging either, but fortunately I got all my A-Z blogs scheduled ahead of time. Do what you can, I always say!

Rekha Seshadri said...

Welcome to the ex A-Z participants group. Maybe we should start a meme in may aimed at those who skipped the challenge this year.
My excuse, the soaring temps and scrambling to make money in a tough world.
My IWSG is as controversial as it can be and I may lose a few friends...but then have already lost many with my infrequent blogging.

I am in the same boat as you. As a freelancer working from home, I make a very bad boss and employee unless deadlines are on the horizon. :)

Congrats on the award. Though I don't read memoirs, I'll make an exception for you.
BTW, your lists of titles are impressive.

Shell Flower said...

I often wonder how so many bloggers do it, and I can always relate when people get burned out on blogging. You gotta get that book spiffed up so we can all read it. Writing is #1, wait, #2 since the kids really should come first, and blogging just has to go to the back burner sometimes. I don't know how you do it with young children. I count my lucky stars that I was totally computer-free until my son was about 7 and didn't start writing again until he was about 15. He would have been sadly neglected otherwise.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Believe me, I am scheduling a break when this is over! I won't even scare you with the hours I put into blogging...

Samantha May said...

After A-Z I will definitely be on a break of some sort!

Good for you for knowing when to take a step back.

Julie Luek said...

I've been reading a lot of similar sentiment on other blogs too. In fact, read a great post the other day about whether blogging is truly a good time choice, especially for fiction writers. All interesting. At any rate, the important things are, of course, family, your book, time to replenish-- those are the biggies.

Morgan said...

Yes, yes, yes! You're doing what's right, Mark. You keep at it. We're all rooting for you and stoked to see you succeed. Really. And you're an EXTREMELY talented writer and I can't wait for Don's story to be read the way it needs to.

:D

Dianne K. Salerni said...

Last fall, I cut back my blogging from 3x a week to twice a week. It wasn't TIME so much as concentration. I didn't have enough brain cells left to produce 3 blog posts a week!

I love blogging and all the people I have met through blogging. But you can only slice a person so thin before ... you know, you get too wispy to keep going.

sydneyaaliyah.com said...

My blog was eating its young.

Made me laugh out loud. I know exactly what you mean.

Julia King said...

I used to post 3-4 times a week, then it went down to 3 to 2 and now it is at once a week. I needed more time for life, writing, etc... Prioritizing is the key word. I think this is something I will be learning for the rest of my life.
To get me back into the spirit of blogging, I've taken on the A-Z challenge. I'm having fun with it.
Enjoy your April!

Melissa Bradley said...

I used to try and post as often as I could, but I've had to shut it down to Mondays and Fridays, the challenge being the exception. There really is a whole lot out there to keep us from our writing. ;)

C. Lee McKenzie said...

Me too! Have to slow down and look around at the world I'm in, not the world within. I'm doing the A-Z, but just. Hope I can make it through, but if I don't I'll be fine or I'll hurl myself into my pit of alligators. :-)

Melissa Sugar said...

It is important to take a step back from time to time and focus on other aspects of our lives. I have been doing it, as well, in a mad effort to get my full manuscript out to the three agents who requested it. I've been living a crazy, sleep deprived life for the last two months. I feel like I am neglecting my family, even though they purport to understand my need to tune them out. Best of luck to you and do what you need to-keep the balance in your life. Remember, if we spend all of our time blogging, commenting, tweeting and focused on other social media, at the expense of actually getting that book written and neglecting our family, then we have defeated our purpose and ultimate goals.

Elizabeth Seckman said...

I'm going to have to get to the WIP too. Way behind on my timeline. Sigh.

Kirsten said...

For a while I was trying to juggle a 3-5 x post per week blog commitment (Not A Scenic Route, but the now defunct Write A Book with Me) as well as critiques, and writing a new WIP, all while revising my current WIP. It was a mess, and I didn't get nearly enough sleep!
A wise forum moderator at Holly Lisle's Boot Camp counseled me to take a good look at all the things I'm doing and ask myself, "Does it feed me? Or do I feed it?" The answers to those questions really helped me to decide what is most important to my writing--as well as in my real life. Now, one post a week at A Scenic Route makes me happy, and my readers seem okay with it too.
Keep at that memoir! I can't wait to see it on the bookshelves, both virtual and bricks-and-mortar, and say that I knew you when. ;)

E.J. Wesley said...

Such a tough balance, Mark. I'm trying to work three blogs now and I'm not sure how to make it work. Cloning is all I could come up with, and I think that's still illegal here in the US... or is it? -_O

Carrie Butler said...

Good for you! I plan on taking June off from blogging. Going straight from the Strength tour to A-Z was a little overly ambitious... lol

DL Hammons said...

Book trumps blog every time! :)

Sabrina A. Fish said...

I know exactly what you mean, friend. I also declined the fabulous A to Z Challenge this year. Between the trophy company, my kiddo, and my writing...well, blogging just had to take a back seat. I try to post at least every other Monday. *shrug*

Good luck and way to go on getting that MS polished! I have no doubt it is super fabulous!

Maryann Miller said...

You are certainly not alone in facing tough choices. It is so energizing to be social and trade guest blogs and visit blogs and write our own blogs, but not good when that takes all our energy.

I'm doing the A to Z Challenge because it is fun and I get to meet a lot of new friends, but I am seriously thinking of curtailing my blogging a bit more in coming months. I, too, have a book I'm trying to write. I'd say finish, but I don't have enough done to warrant that.

Tammy Theriault said...

WOW, you time manage way better than me. oh, yes, please send me some of that bread!!! throw it my way, and the baby, he's soooo cute!! i will take both :D

Deanie Humphrys-Dunne said...

Taking a brief break from time to time will refresh you. Everyone needs that at some point. We'll look forward to when you're blogging again. Anyone who'd like to stop by my blog can go to: www.dhdunne.blogspot.com.

Gina Gao said...

I totally hear you on this post! I just don't have the time during the day when I should be writing, so I have to write at night. It totally knocks me out.


www.modernworld4.blogspot.com

Melanie Fowler said...

We'll always be here Mark. You can pick and choose what blog hops and things you do.

You know that I've cut back. I just couldn't do it with kids, life, and real writing. I stepped back and finished my book. It's ok to step back and I think that's the most important thing for people to understand.

Way to get getting some editing done, and play with your kids.

d' zaro said...

Extraordinary .. you are a disciplined .. share time with so detailed ..

I am from Indonesia, I introduce ... I follow you. please, follow me back, thanks

Mary Aalgaard said...

Those little darlings always look at us with the big, sad eyes so we'll forgive them for not sleeping, for puking on us, and making us tired beyond belief. Then, poof, they grow up, and we miss'em.

Play off the Page

~Sia McKye~ said...

Oh, I hear you on this. And you make a valid point--why are we blogging? What was our goal and purpose when we began? Something we have to consider. It's so damn easy to get sucked into obligatory and it's a big time suck.

I'm not advocating we ignore our blogger friends but we also have to juggle family, work, our blog, and writing. Plus, I have a ranch with work that needs to be done.

If one tries to do it all, join every blogfest--when do we have time personal writing projects? Or time to spend more than sound bytes with family?

My family has to come first and always has.

I do enjoy reading the articles from my blogging friends and I love seeing their creativity. But I have to stagger my time. I can't read my whole blog list every post and every day--if I did, it would be a full time job with no pay. I don't have that luxury.

So, you're right. You need to ask some hard questions as to your original goals.

Glad you're finding time to get your book polished. Sometimes the polishing takes more concentrated effort than the initial writing.

Kelley Lynn said...

Love this:

"It's OK to step back from blogging and focus on why most of us are here in the first place: To write a kickin' great book that will be read by at least dozens of family members."

Couldn't agree with you more. Sometimes we have to take a step back. But... I find that I miss my writer friends so much that I do find the time. It may not be on a regular basis though. Good luck!

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