The Best Reason to Blog – Part 3

by Jami Gold on November 22, 2012

in Random Musings

Cluster of fall-colored leaves with text: What Are You Thankful For?

Today is Thanksgiving in the U.S. The day we eat too much food, roll our eyes at the antics of our extended family, and think about all the things we’re grateful for. Or in my case, see if I can sneak in my NaNo (National Novel Writing Month) words for the day while everyone else is doing their post-turkey nap in front of the football game.

This Thanksgiving post is now an annual tradition on my blog. Two years ago, I revealed that the best reason for me to blog is all of you. Last year’s post reiterated that point with my gratitude for all the friends I’ve made via blogging and social media. And gee, what a surprise! All of you are still the best reason to blog! *smile*

I know many recent articles across the writing community blogisphere have questioned whether or not blogging is worth it. The cries of “blogging is dead” echo every couple of months. We look at our page view numbers and wonder if the time we spend writing blog posts could be better used on our other writing.

Those are all legitimate concerns. For some people, blogging isn’t worth it. They’re doing it out of obligation rather than an internal desire to express themselves via a blog.

Just as some people are more Twitter-people than Facebook-people or vice versa, some people aren’t blogging-people. Maybe they prefer Tumblr or Pinterest or another way to form connections.

I happen to enjoy the blog-length format, I love sharing things I’ve learned, and I value the real conversations possible in blog comments. When I ask questions at the end of a post, I truly want to know what others think, if they have differing viewpoints, or if they have further insight I hadn’t considered. The ability to have longer discussions about issues in the comments here, or at other blogs, is a big part of blogging’s draw for me.

The important thing—the thing I’m grateful for—is those connections. While I’ve made plenty of friends on Twitter and Facebook too, the relationships here, or on the blogs of others I admire and respect, stand out more in my mind as being just a bit deeper.

But if it weren’t for you, I’d be sitting here typing to myself, and those connections wouldn’t exist. So I’m most grateful to you and the special meaning you bring to my life. Thank you! *hugs internet*

Happy Thanksgiving to my U.S. readers
and Happy Thursday to everyone else. *smile*

Is there anything special you’re grateful for this year? When you think of friends you’ve made online, do some methods of connecting feel deeper to you? Which ones? Have connections you’ve made via Twitter or Facebook spilled over onto blogs or vice versa?

Pin It
21 Comments below - Time to Add your own.

Cindy Dwyer November 22, 2012 at 6:40 am

That’s a very sweet post – and very true! Happy Thanksgiving.

Reply

Jami Gold November 22, 2012 at 8:01 am

Hi Cindy,

And all true. :) Happy Thanksgiving!

Reply

E.B.Pike November 22, 2012 at 10:04 am

Happy Thanksgiving, Jami! I’m hoping I can sneak in a little writing during the post-turkey nap too! :)

Reply

Jami Gold November 22, 2012 at 11:00 am

Hi E.B.,

Sounds like a plan. :) Good luck and Happy Thanksgiving!

Reply

Edith November 22, 2012 at 12:37 pm

Happy Thanksgiving! I’m thankful that I actually completed NaNoWriMo tonight!!! And I can’t believe I did it! xxx

Reply

Jami Gold November 23, 2012 at 8:11 am

Hi Edith,

Woo hoo!!! *tosses confetti* Congratulations on finishing NaNo!

Reply

Edith November 23, 2012 at 11:16 am

Thanks for all your encouragement and support! xxx

Reply

Taurean Watkins November 22, 2012 at 2:30 pm

I’m grateful when I can get lost in a great book I didn’t write.

I had to take a sabbatical from my blog, and I do miss writing it, but apart from non-blog writing getting shafted in part from trying up my blogging, real life outside writing’s been like a soap opera, except there’s no cheesy elevator music, no one does my hair and nails beforehand (Breaking the third wall there…), and I don’t get paid to cry and rage, otherwise I’d be able to afford to go to a national SCBWI writer’s conference, just paying the 79 USD a year for my membership is a BIG investment for my limited funds, I don’t go to the SCBWI conferences because of a lack of will, it’s really a lack of MONEY, and it’s hard to get even my closest writer friends to get that.

Sure, there’s the local events in my state, but I find they don’t have the workshops and panels that would help me with my specific needs, and unlike some other parts of the country, there are only two events a year, and even they require travel expenses that are beyond me. As much as I’m glad I did WriteonCon, there are limits to web-only events, at least that ones that are free, and I never have hundreds of dollars (400+) to rustle up at any one time.

But we’re trying to be grateful here, so I’ll stop here, Jami.

Take Care All,
Taurean

Reply

Jami Gold November 23, 2012 at 8:31 am

Hi Taurean,

“I’m grateful when I can get lost in a great book I didn’t write.”

Love that! :)

And I understand about how sometimes it’s hard to think of what to grateful for. For as much as I don’t talk about the bad (because that’s not me), I wouldn’t want to experience this past year again. Three deaths of those important to me–one of them, I was in charge of figuratively “pulling the plug”–a job loss (that still hasn’t been recovered), an election that showed me sides of friends I didn’t want to know, etc.

So while I prefer to focus on the good things, I’m not dismissive of the bad. I just pass out more *hugs*. I hope you discover and are able to create more options for your life during the next year. :) Thanks for the comment!

Reply

Taurean Watkins November 27, 2012 at 8:38 am

Thanks for replying, Jami. I also don’t like to focus on the negative, much as I come off more angst-ridden than I really am sometimes, but I now realize that in trying to keep myself honest, I don’t give myself a break from being self-critical, and as consequence, I’ve hurt people’s feelings I didn’t intend to and did serious HARM to my personal resolve.

Thankfully, most of my writer friends understand any anger I express is about the problem, NOT them, and have made up with most of the folks I did unfairly exploded to.

This year especially has felt like a constant tug of war between “Being my own best critic” and “Being my own best friend” in LIFE, not just writing, and sadly, the latter doesn’t win out a lot, but I’ll keep trying to change that.

Overall though, 2012 was a hard year for me, much as I wanted it to be my best year, and while I’m not giving up, I took more “breaks” from writing than I frankly wanted to, even if my subconscious was telling me I needed those breaks.

The only reason is because it’s hard to tell if it’s just laziness on my part, or if I REALLY had to stop, do you have that problem, Jami?

If not, do you at least get what I’m saying?

Since you’re not a super pragmatic writer, I’m hoping you do, because most of my writer friends I know from reading their blogs and writing, they just see things more pragmatic than me, even though they bring as much passion to their work as I do.

I’m often the only non-pragmatic in a sea of writers in my tribe I know who are the exact opposite, so for years I thought I looked like a flaky wannabe, but I now know that’s not true.

Still, for me the biggest issue I face now is NOT getting overly tunnel focused on one thing (i.e. Improving my craft to the point where I get more than 1 non-form rejection once in a blue moon) to the point where I can’t emotionally function. It’s hard to give myself a break when the demand/need to make it in this business require a high level of competency, and please understand this is MORE than publishing A book.

I’m trying to launch a CAREER, but as much as writers (Especially successfully self-published writers) harp on thinking long term, most of us can only write ONE book or story at a time, and if it take YEARS to achieve publishable levels of just ONE book, and we can’t sell it, or afford to self-publish professionally, we’re walking away from a lot work, and sometimes I feel writers forget that long-term hopes don’t help short-term frustrations.

But you can’t start any business if you stay stuck at a certain level. That’s why this year was in particular so trying for me. I’m personally at a point where I’m just wondering what’s “Enough!”

I hope that doesn’t sound lazy and horridly selfish, but that’s how I feel, I can’t help it, positive as I try to be. I just can’t put up a front in this regard.

Reply

Jami Gold November 27, 2012 at 10:04 am

Hi Taurean,

“in trying to keep myself honest, I don’t give myself a break from being self-critical … This year especially has felt like a constant tug of war between “Being my own best critic” and “Being my own best friend” in LIFE…”

That is really insightful! Yes, sometimes the drive for being completely honest means that we’re focusing a bit too much on the unhealthy aspects of our lives. But the reality is that we are human. We will make mistakes, we will need breaks, we will do things we’re not proud of. That’s life. And we shouldn’t beat ourselves up for being imperfect. Yes, I’m a perfectionist because I strive for perfection and hate falling short, but I can’t let that hold me back from moving forward.

As far as the laziness vs. needing a break question, maybe analyze how you do after one of these breaks. Are you sluggish? Or are you energized? If you’re energized, then I’d say it doesn’t matter what the cause of the break was–the point is you came back stronger than before. If you’re sluggish, then maybe dig deeper to figure out why. :) Is that thinking pragmatic or not? I don’t know, but it’s what makes sense to me. LOL!

For the career aspect, I will say that as my craft has improved, the drafting, revising, and polishing of later stories has gotten faster. So while our first books take years, later ones do not. So I’m at the point now of figuring I’ll write new story after new story until one breaks through. After that breakthrough, I’ll have a head start in adding to my backlist by bringing those other stories up to snuff. They don’t have to be “wasted.” In the meantime, however, I’m in the same “how long is this waiting game going to last?” place you are. Good luck to us both, right? :) Thanks for the comment!

Reply

Marcy Kennedy November 22, 2012 at 3:50 pm

I’m sneaking in some blog reading and commenting while my husband and his family are watching the Washington-Dallas game. I’m not much of a football fan :)

Like you, I’m extremely thankful for the connections I’ve made and for the people who read my blog. I like Twitter (my favorite) and Facebook, but I don’t feel like I get to know people in either of those places as well as I do when I read their blogs and when they take the time to comment on mine. Whether or not blogging earns me future readers, I wouldn’t want to give it up because I’d miss those interactions.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Reply

Jami Gold November 23, 2012 at 8:33 am

Hi Marcy,

LOL! Yes, I was able to get some words in during the football games. Not as many as I wanted though. :(

“Whether or not blogging earns me future readers, I wouldn’t want to give it up because I’d miss those interactions.”

And that’s exactly what I mean about blogging. :) Thanks for the comment and I hope you had a great Thanksgiving!

Reply

Renay November 22, 2012 at 5:44 pm

Happy Thanksgiving Jami! This year I’m thankful for the life I have. Is it perfect? No. Could some things be better, ie. more money, better health, more time for writing? Yes. I completely get where Taurean is coming from. I too can not afford the writing conventions which I would really like to attend. Still, we are very lucky in that we are able to find time to write, even if it’s just a few minutes here or there.

The website I listed is for my blog which I created with the hopes of reaching readers who like the genre that I write; Paranormal and Supernatural. I try to update it monthly, and each month post a series. The blog is only a few months old, so it’s hard to say how well it is doing in reaching readers.

Your blogs are always a joy to read and I would like to thank you for taking your time to write and publish them. :)

Reply

Jami Gold November 23, 2012 at 8:43 am

Hi Renay,

Yes, things could be better in my life too (as I mentioned to Taurean), but for the pieces that are good, I wouldn’t want to lose most of them in order to improve another area. In other words, the pieces that are good are important to me, and in many cases, more important than the bad aspects of my life.

I like how you say to focus on the little things. We’re able to find time to write–and eventually finish a story. We’re able to find time to read blogs–and improve our craft. We’re able to find time to comment on blogs–and make friends and connections. Sometimes those little things add up to big things. :)

Thanks for the comment and the kind words! I hope you had a great Thanksgiving!

Reply

Catherine Johnson November 23, 2012 at 8:50 am

That’s a lovely post, Jami. I agree relationships are different on each platform and that can work really well. You do get to know people much better through blogging. There just isn’t the time to only use blogging to connect unfortunately. Have a great weekend!

Reply

Jami Gold November 23, 2012 at 8:56 am

Hi Catherine,

Yes, I prefer to know people on multiple platforms actually. Blog comments are great for longer interactions, reading someone’s blog gives us an even better picture of who they are, but things like Twitter and Facebook give us insight into their silly side, or allow us to do quick check-ins with each other. So this isn’t about how one form is better than another–as I think the most well-rounded connections might utilize multiple platforms–but rather about why I value the blogging platform for its strength in encouraging deeper connections. :) Thanks for the comment!

Reply

Teresa Robeson November 23, 2012 at 12:33 pm

Of all the connections I’ve made online, I would have to say that those I made through blogging and blog-reading have been my best and most enduring ones. I like Twitter too, but the connections there are often on a less deep level…still fun, but less deep. YKWIM? ;)

As for Facebook, I closed my account just to get away from some of the “friends” there. It doesn’t work for me. I feel like I don’t connect enough with my real friends, and yet my acquaintances get to know too much about me. FB often just gave me the creeps.

Then, too, there are forums like WANATribe, Verla Kay, etc. I like those well enough, but like Facebook used to, forums can drain my time without giving me nearly as much in return as blogs and Twitter.

This has me wondering: how did I meet you in the first place? I can’t remember for the life of me, but I’m so glad I did! :)

Reply

Jami Gold November 23, 2012 at 9:46 pm

Hi Teresa,

Exactly. I love Twitter, but if that’s our only connection source to a person, it’s harder to have an in-depth friendship. Still possible, but harder. :)

And yes, I know what you mean about Facebook. :) I’ve never cared for it, but I’ve gotten slightly better at knowing how to work it.

You know, I can’t remember how I “met” most people online. LOL! Especially because so many connections do carry over into different platforms. The people I’m friends with, I’m just friends with. I don’t qualify them as a “Twitter friend” or a “blogging friend” or anything. If I remember, I’ll let you know. :) Thanks for the comment!

Reply

What do you think?

21 Comments below - Time to Add your own.

Previous post:

Next post: