When Bloggers Stop Blogging: Break or Break Up?
By Theresa Milstein on November 10, 2010
“A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit.” Richard Bach
Have you noticed the disappearing bloggers phenomenon?
They start off all eager, posting and commenting and following. Then (the writers especially) start complaining about how much time blogging takes. There’s often a post to strategize how to best utilize their time. For some, school gets in the way. Then there are those who take off for a couple of months or the summer or to work on a WIP.
And never come back.
I’ve noticed this with writers. They begin writing, bright-eyed and bushy tailed. The writers complete a rough draft and think, "That wasn’t so bad." Then they join a writing group or take a workshop or find a critique buddy. They submit pages. They’re told their manuscripts aren’t as awesomesauce as they thought.
They back off.
Do they take the feedback (after some time spent in a fetal position under a table) and work to make their manuscript better?
Some stop writing.
And that’s a shame because it takes more than a first attempt at a rough draft for most mere mortals to become published. Others take a deep breath and work on it some more. Many, many times. They query. Most receive many, many rejections.
Some more stop writing after that.
Then there are the other ones who write something else. Writing is a process. Each word we put down makes us better. Each word we take away makes us better. We write by measuring words. There is so much to take into account with every word we put down on paper, let alone every sentence. Every page. Every chapter.
It takes a lot to stomach the life of a writer. The business is designed to shout: “NO!”
But we have to keep at it.
Back to the bloggers: I wonder where they go. Have they stopped writing? Have they given up on making connections? Forgoing platform? Or has life gotten in the way?
To me, blogging and writing go hand-in-hand. It’s a balance. We blog to learn; lean. Blogging has provided information and opportunities I never would’ve obtained otherwise. But we can blog instead of writing. If we started blogging because we write and then stop writing, something is wrong. It’s time to reprioritize.
It happened to me. I was posting nearly everyday, and it was zapping my writing energy. When I slowed to three days a week, I began editing my WIP in earnest. Now I’ve been putting energy into writing something new and blogging a little less.
If writers stop blogging because they’ve given up on writing, then they’ve lost the support system that can keep them going.
Then there are those who land the agent or the contract. They blog. But they don’t comment on other blogs. They don’t even comment on the comments they receive. I’m sure they’re busy and with hoards of people reaching out to them, they don’t have the need to reach out. To me, they’re losing the part that’s special about blogging. It’s all become about platform instead of a relationship for some writers.
Elana Johnson seems to be able to do it all. She doesn’t post or comment everyday, but she makes an effort to be in touch by either responding to comments on her blog or leaving thoughtful comments on other blogs. She has an agent and a book (Possession) coming out next year. And Elana is writing another book. She is part of the Query Tracker Blog Team and The League of Extraordinary Writers. And is a co-founder of Write On Con. How does she keep up? Who knows? Maybe she has ten nannies and an intern named Fred who writes her comments. (I have no evidence of this, but you never know.)
Blogging hasn’t been around all that long. Will it go the way of MySpace? What will happen with Twitter? Facebook? Or will blogging continue to be strong, continuing to displace the more traditional forms of book promotion?
Personally, I miss bloggers when they disappear. I’ll realize I haven’t heard from a person in awhile. And I’ll find their blog, disappointed when the last post was months ago. If they’re writers, I wonder if they’ve taken a break from writing or left to immerse themselves in writing. If they disappear from the blogosphere, they don’t have to answer to anyone. If so, will they return to writing?
Not everyone can do it for the long haul. Not everyone is meant to.
If you are still in it, send me an e-mail. Leave a comment.
I’m still here.
P.S. This month is NaNoWriMo. Boy is it quiet ‘round the blogosphere.
Have you taken some time off from blogging? If so, why? What made you return?
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