The conclusion: Not to Blog. It isn’t a huge surprise that I’ve been going through what I’m calling my existential writing crisis. Let’s face it, a blog is simply another form of writing.
I began writing a weekly blog almost 4 years ago, shortly after my debut novel came out. I’ve written 177 blogs and this will be the 178th. Honestly, it was a way to market my novels (or so I was told). People talk about giving something to your readers in newsletters, a blog is something free to read. I thought that was enough, that it was a nice gift. I don’t think the blog did what it was intended to do. In the beginning, it was fun, so I kept writing despite the data suggesting it wasn’t meeting the original intent.
Four years later, I have 147 followers. I have fewer followers than the number of blogs I’ve written. I know, kinda pathetic. Granted in 2017 I had 9,776 views for the 52 blogs I put out that year and 5,149 visitors. Now….here are the depressing stats: In those 52 blogs I wrote in 2017, I had 176 likes and 174 comments. So, I had to ask myself, why spend the hours each week thinking up a topic, writing on said topic and an outrageous amount of time picking out pictures (that are probably not legal to use anyway)? I couldn’t come up with a good answer. Would anyone besides a handful (yes literally a handful) even know I stopped writing a weekly blog? The resounding answer that kept pounding in my head was…NO.
Then I read with rapt interest a comment about a reader who had, reader’s block. Shit…I never even heard of that before, but apparently, others have experienced this as well. Writer’s block I know well, but this was a whole new fascinating concept to me. I’ve never, ever, not been in the mood to read. The concept is so foreign to me. That was the nail in the coffin for me. Writers need readers. It is just that simple. In lesfic especially, there seem to be a lot more writers than readers. Simple economics, really, too much supply and not enough demand. Words offered for free are no longer considered gifts worthy of putting the effort into reading. Too many offer that option. Readers are bobbing in a sea of books trying to decide which one to latch onto.
There have been times when my weekly blog has been effortless. The words have almost written themselves and flown from my fingers so fast, I almost couldn’t keep up. Other times, I’ve had to claw my way from the well to eke out a weekly blog, blood dripping from my fingers with the effort it took to write the damn thing. No more. I simply cannot do it. The world will not stop spinning if I stop writing. I’m not creating world peace for shit’s sake, only a few laughs and temporary moments of entertainment for a tiny number of people. People are busy and have a whole lot to choose from. The market is not only flooded with books, it’s flooded with blogs. As a former colleague used to say, “the juice isn’t worth the squeeze.”
Maybe I will resume someday, if and only if I have something to say and think I’m adding to the world. I sort of like the notion of creating a legacy as a fellow writer I admire recently said. If this isn’t simply a long vacation from blogging, I want to express to all 147 of you how much I appreciate you hanging in there with me over the years. I hope I made your days brighter. I’ve cherished every single comment, like and encouragement! Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Just because I always include links, I’ll do that one last time, because I hate breaking tradition.
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20 thoughts on “To Blog or Not to Blog”
If it’s a choice between your books and your blogs, I chose your books. Thanks for making the effort for so long. Don’t let Danna talk you back into it. lol
LikeLiked by 1 person
Well….not exactly an either or decision….
I must say, my Friday’s will never be the same. Most bloggers blog boring stuff. You, Annette put a lot of time and effort in coming up with stuff that is funny, interesting, and quirky. Just like the stories you write which is why I like both. I do get it though. Writer’s block, reader’s block ( or burn out) the benefits that one used to get out of doing something no longer has the allure it once had. I will miss not reading your fun, outragous, quirky, blogs. So a salute to you Annette ( one warrior to another) for bringing smiles and laughter to my Fridays these past years. Be Well.
I’m sorry to hear you won’t be blogging anymore. I’m one of those followers. You’ve covered (and uncovered) some interesting topics over the last year and a half or so that I’ve been following. I feel like I’ve learned quite a bit about you. I’ve actually had conversations with other authors about your posts.
In all honesty, I don’t have a lot of followers on my own blog that I’ve been doing for a few years now. I have less than you have, as a matter of fact. About half of what you have. The number of ‘followers’ aren’t the driver for me to maintain it. They aren’t the only readers. I pin my posts on Pinterest. I share them on social media. ‘Evergreen’ ones are shared monthly on Twitter and on my Facebook fan page (that far less people ever see than my blog…don’t get me started). Many of the new posts get dozens of hits within a couple of days. Some of those older posts get dozens and even hundreds of hits in a month, especially the ones about the lesfic author list I maintain. Those posts have topped 1,000 page views more than once since I wrote the first one nearly two years ago.
With a little work at search engine optimization (SEO), my blog pulls readers in who may go on to look at some of my books, or not and many, many who enjoy the posts about the books of all of my author friends, posts about lesfic sales and about cool giveaways (that I may or may not even be involved in). It’s a conduit to get them to sign up for my newsletter too and lots of readers do. I don’t get a lot of comments either – other than spammers – but the ones I do get often make my day.
If it’s truly a burden, don’t do it. If you’re just feeling frustrated because you think no one is reading, think again. They are reading. They’re smiling and laughing and taking the ride right along with you whether they subscribe or comment or not.
I suggest you take a good look at your stats. Maybe look at your process too. If the stats are there, maybe keep going but streamline the process. The pictures are cute but they aren’t all necessary. One or two per post are all you really need to make a statement.
You’re a good writer with unique thoughts to share. I’d hate to see you give it up over a number.
Thanks Anne. I do feel the wonderful support of so many…just a bit overwhelming for me right now and decided it was time to take a major step back from all forms of writing. It could be a temporary attitude readjustment or permanent, but essential for me at this juncture in my life
All though I know what you are saying. Your blogs will be missed by me on each Friday. I know I have only left a comment a few times but I did love your blogs. I hope you have a great weekend with Jody. Relax and enjoy. ❤️✌️
Of course you have had a front row seat to everything and I do know your support was always there and very much cherished
Perhaps, dear one, you would consider a monthly blog, or a ‘whenever I’m in the bloody mood’ blog? Farewell leaves such an emptiness, sort of like a leading character suddenly dying. You reach up and touch your cheek to feel what’s on it…
If course I understand fully. Take the best care of yourself that you can. Ill still be reading your words!
Thank you for your friendship and support. I’ve always appreciated that from you
I am sorry to see you end the blog but can absolutely understand your reasons. As one of your avid followers I will continue to read everything you put out for us to read. You have such a gift for writing and have very much enjoyed your blog. You really do deserve a break from it because you do have a “day” job and you do have a life apart from writing. Let us hear from you from time to time and I will be more than fine with that. Thanks for providing me many laughs in the past from your blogs. Now go and get some rest and relaxation!
Thanks. And who knows…maybe I’ll do random blogs if a really juicy topic smacks me in the face and insists on being written
I’m just sorry that I did not find your blog earlier…I have enjoyed them and will miss them. I get it though!!
Aw thanks for finding me and saying you enjoyed reading the blogs
“To everything there is a season….” It’s good to change things up from time to time. Maybe you can spend your free time writing more books, playing on FB, talking with your wife, playing with your cats, eating cookies (or ice cream….or both), or (fill in the blank) _______________. I applaud you for the self-examination and coming to a hard decision, be at peace. ~Sharlie
I think you underestimate your legacy, Annette. Sometimes it isn’t the words but the effort. Bring heard in a river of noise can sometimes be hard, but don’t doubt your gift for wordsmithing.
Thanks…just need a break maybe before I begin to loathe not only marketing, but writing!
Oops, that’s being. LOL
I’ll miss your blog, but I can understand. I stopped most of my blogging because I needed to focus more on my books. While I still blog occasionally, it’s mostly to post a free story or teaser, though I still don’t know if it does any good for sales. LOL
Thanks for reading!