Blog Monkey, Blog Beneficiary

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It’s been a tad over three months now since I first opened my WordPress blogging account. Although my original goal was to have a quiet, nondescript place where I’d post writing snippets and get feedback, it hasn’t quite worked out that way.

For starters, I’ve only posted a teaser once. While some people seem to get fueled by talking about their work-in-progress, I’ve discovered I’m the opposite.  Talking about writing, for me, undermines the urgency of the act.

Then there’s the fact that my blog has taken on a life of its own. It’s become a self-rolling snowball; a citrus-themed monster that wreaks havoc with my day-timer; a mesh through which I filter every single life experience. It’s also my very dear companion.

As illustrated just last weekend.  There I was, endless hours on my hands as my son played in a Chaotic card tournament.  I had no Internet, no other commitments, and, purposefully, no one else’s fiction to read. I could have been making headway on my work-in-progress. But did I take advantage of the time? Noooo. Instead I was rubbing my hands together in glee, chortling over the rich material before me, wondering if you guys would find it nearly as entertaining as I. Oy. Blogging has warped me. More than I was previously, anyway.

So, I thought it would be interesting to have a conversation about blogging. For those of you who don’t yet blog, what do you see that makes you hesitate? For those that have succumbed to the blogosphere, how it has changed you? What are your pro-blogging arguments, the cons? And if you could begin anew, what would you do differently? In short, where are you on the blog monkey/blog beneficiary spectrum?

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9 thoughts on “Blog Monkey, Blog Beneficiary

  1. Hi, Jan! I just noticed your Tweet about your blog post… so, here I am. Which just goes to show how “tapped in” I am at times. I’ve only been blogging consistently for a couple months now, and it’s definitely a beast that has taken over my life. Ostensibly, I started with three different blogs for three different purposes.

    The first began tentatively in April – in order to chronicle my adventures in publishing. Only, it didn’t take long for me to realize that my novel was way too hefty (in length) for today’s agents and editors, so now it’s become something else, a place to talk about beta reading, novel-related inspirations, and other writers’ blogs.

    The second blog, begun on July 1st, is the only one that I get paid for – and it’s all about travel.

    The third, “Laura’s Simple Pleasures,” is the one that has become a true beast. Since late July, I’ve maintained it six times a week, and while I do love sharing my thoughts and photos with all my online pals, I’m beginning to realize just how big a time commitment it is. My husband thinks I’m crazy for blogging so often, especially when other things – like revising my novel and spending time with him – are suffering. But, on the other hand, I appreciate the deadline of having to write nearly every day, the joy of musing about all the things I love (which is a lot!), and the pleasure of conversing with others.

    Blogging has made me feel more connected with other writers – I feel less alone than I did earlier in the year, and I’ve learned so much about the publishing industry. But, if I could start over again, I might not have promised to blog six times a week. So, I think I’m somewhere in the middle of the monkey-beneficiary spectrum.

  2. Whoa, Laura! Six times a week??? Three blogs? Holy smokes, woman, that’s some ambitious schedule you’ve set up for yourself.

    My own personal commitment is a minimum of three weekly posts, and I find that time-consuming enough. Part of it has been the huge learning curve, of course. I had to learn some CSS, determine the ins-and-outs of WordPress, settle on a theme… My hope is that now those are done, I can focus in on the content.

    Time issues aside, my pros are distinctly similar to yours. I never anticipated that blogging would connect me to others. Nor that it would feel creative and crazy and freeing. I love the immediate feedback and the short-term deadlines too. When you’re working on three 110,000-word behemoths, that counts for a lot.

  3. My nickname in HS was Horsemonkey, but I digress…

    Just mentioned the whole blogging thing to my wife last night and she laughed b/c she shares my opinion that blogging/tweeting/facebooking is overrated, though I did eventually get her to see some of the pros… but damn, this takes lots of time…

    And I’m also one who’s not a huge ‘this is what I’m working on’ sort of thing… though I may eventually hoe that fallow field.

  4. Yes, please do email me your thoughts, Jan! I value your opinion – and, at this stage, need all the help I can get… though I HAVE received some decent feedback recently that will help me trim the fat from my ms… if I can just muster the courage to do it.

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