Friday, June 14, 2013

A Blogging Journey

      I write short fiction, essays, and poetry. I've "apprenticed" for a number of years––taking classes, reading, studying, writing, and revising. I become more polished and build more confidence with every passing day. I feel satisfied.
     With desktop and nightstand topped with the latest Writer's Market, Poet's Market, and writers' magazines, I consume all the know-how before sending my work out into the world. It takes time.
     I belong to a writing group that meets twice a month. More time. The buzz is social media, and not just one site but several. I push the buzz away, but the buzz keeps bzzing. Should I go for it? But I'm so green technically. What should I do? Even deliberating means time.
     It took five years of writing-conference sessions on social media and writers' platforms for me to step up to the plate. After attending the Florida Writers Conference last fall, I returned home intent on:
  1. -- injecting new life onto my Facebook content 
  2. -- rejecting Twitter and a website for the time being
  3. -- using Pinterest to reflect my writing/reading interests
  4. -- christened my first blog Flying Pages.  

     My blog learning curve was given an appreciated one-two punch by friend, Maxie Steer. With shoulders bent forward, I began to post twice weekly with an editorial calendar planned in advance. Coupled with new life on Facebook and Pinterest, I had a share of new challenges. I recast my window  for writing, and details pertaining to writing. My time became more finite.
     This week marks my seven-month anniversary into the world of blogging, and I have enjoyed and learned from what I research and write for my blog. I have enjoyed and learned from reading other blogs. Still, I find myself betwixt and between.
     Some blogs I've read have hundreds of followers. Their posts have many and informed comments. I felt a competitive edge. I wanted to know who was following me, what were my stats, was I commenting enough on other blogs, were my posts diverse and succinct? The merry-go-round picked up speed. More time. My creative output began to drift.

     I thought about dissolving the blog to return full time to writing, revising, reading; writing and revising some more, but I realized how much I had learned and how I more fully grasped social-media speak. Had this business become an obligation? For the time and effort I expended, would it self-destruct? No. I would continue.
     I cut my posts to once a week. Although I'm still in a learning curve, I'm back to enjoying the challenges of new techie ground and its advantages.
     I shifted attitude gears, and recognized my blog world had opened wider because I had begun to view and comment on other blogs. I began to follow some, and some of them are following mine. Yes, I'd like to know I've provided an "AHA!" moment on any given day. And yes, I'd like to have more people reading and commenting on my blog posts, but I know people read them––or at least I hope they do––because the stats reflect it.
     I'm finding I'm not alone in my search, nor am I walking new ground carving out better organizational skills. I reconfigured my plan, and found value in having walked the tightrope. Every other week, I select one day to write several blogs in advance to take advantage of automatic scheduling. None of this is cast in concrete, mind you. Perhaps in another six or seven months, I'll write that I varied the above by some measure. But I'll be in the driver's seat, controlling what works best for me social-media wise, and its value to my creative output.

At its best, I've come to enjoy the comrarderie of it. Cyber friendships connected by a writing bond. Nice! Now if you could give me feedback, I'd really smile.