Tuesday, October 11, 2011

yep, I'm blog fatigued

This past week the topic of “blog fatigue” has popped up in various places (Nathan Bransford being the latest), as well as the debate by both agents and authors about whether authors need to start (or continue) blogging. I can certainly relate. Those of you who have been loyal readers of my blog, especially in the last few years, know the identity crisis it occasionally goes through from time to time. Like me, my blog has re-invented itself more than once. But as the woman behind the blog, I am not certain I want to continue putting in the time an effort to keep its identity intact. Yep, I'm blog fatigued.

I have my reasons. For one, keeping a blog is time-consuming. I bow down to those who have consistently, reliably posted every weekday (I’m lookin’ at you, Elspeth!), keeping their posts fresh and fun. I know that even if I can’t read it every day, I at least know it is there. My teaching responsibilities and my writing/author responsibilities (that includes promotion, etc.) count as two full-time jobs. It can take me up to one hour, sometimes longer, to craft one blog post (I should time myself now as I write this one). Doesn’t sound like much time, but for me, it is. I want to put that hour elsewhere, either into reading or writing, or, when the semester starts to get crazy (like now), grading. I’m lucky to complete one post a week, and even that can be difficult to maintain, as you’ve seen. Without consistency, the credibility of the blog suffers.

Another reason I’m considering putting my blog on indefinite hiatus is that I think the internet is oversaturated with blogs, and readers simply can’t get to them all. Take a look at the blog list on this page—I rarely get to read more than two of them on a fairly regular basis. I believe mine is lost in that shuffle, and based on the number of comments I get per blog, I question how many followers are reading my blog on a regular basis. That may be an unfair conclusion to draw, but so be it.

Besides, I don’t think I’m writing anything original. The things I have to say about writing have already been said by Stephen King, Donald Murray, Peter Elbow, Anne Lamott, Nora Ephron, Larry Gelbart, and more. I just try to apply a firsthand perspective and some humor to it. I could easily share some of these tidbits via Twitter or my Facebook author page, and perhaps save a blog post for those times when 140 characters won’t cut it, or when I get really inspired.

I’m a teacher as much as I am a writer. I enjoy sharing stories and ideas about the craft, the process—I thrive in a classroom. There are times when this blog has been a classroom—I think that’s what I had wanted to be when I started it almost five years ago. But I think it’s time for me to find new classrooms, new forums, and, most of all, to do what I want to do more than anything else right now—write my novels.

What has kept me here all this time has been YOU, my dear readers, and I’m hesitant to leave you. I’d like to hear from you. Do you follow my blog on a regular basis but don’t comment? Do you look forward to my blog posts? Are you frustrated by the inconsistency? If I kept the blog going, are there topics you’d like to see me write about that I haven’t, or perhaps topics you’re sick of me writing about? Or are you also suffering from blog fatigue, as I am? I can’t make any promises, but I’d like for you to have a say. Thanks.


Jenna (aka JAScribbles) said...

Yep - it all becomes white noise after a while. Twitter, Facebook, LinkIn, also fall into this trap. I'm actually quite bored with the Internet. Maybe people should get together, face to face, and talk.


Anonymous said...

I don't have a life, so I would miss this if it were gone.

But then maybe my house would be cleaner.



janmilitello said...

Interesting that there seems to be a universal Internet overload and fatigue setting in. And, I'm with you on this one. I've come to the realization that time spent writing, reading, and commenting on blogs, status updates, etc. etc. etc. is better spent contemplating and writing my screenplays.

And, I think the problem goes beyond the time consumed on the net. Even offline, it has detrimental consequences including reduced ability to concentrate on one task for long periods of time.

What also concerns me is getting together with friends, family and acquaintances and many still having their attention focused on phones, tablets, iPods... whatever! rather than the people with them.

It all culminates in a new version of the old Seinfeld joke “Men don't care what's on TV. They only care what else is on TV.”

My short script Mulligan's touches upon the idea that if people spend too much time focusing on what they may have missed, they miss what is right in front of them.

That said, I'm off the net and heading back to "real" life.

Heather Grace Stewart said...

People read, but few have time to comment. (I mean in this day and age taking out a minute to fill inthe word verification thingy is ..well an INVESTMENT! :) I think you should keep at it (but maybe you just need one week off!) Go easy on yourself. I for one would miss reading your blog!

Holly Kix said...

I am wanting to start another blog about (what I think would be) a new and exciting idea. I have also let my old blog fade away as I felt like you did, it has all been said and no one was reading. Or were they reading and not commenting, like you said....

Elisa said...

Wow, look at all the comments! I'll reply to them all in one shot.

Jenna, I agree. I miss people, and having 100% of their attention. I'm sure the same could be said of me.

Pam, thanks for the vote (although I think watching SN or TWW is a much better way to kill time, hahaha)

Jan, I noticed that too. During my last trip to MA, my best friend and I were sitting side by side... each of us on our laptops and on FB! Of course we laughed at this, but really...

Thanks, Heather. I did consider that maybe I have "lurkers" (hahaha!) who read but don't comment.

Holly, let me know what you decide to do!

Fenny said...

I lurk. I comment when it's relevant. The only way I manage to keep up with the blogs and other things I read is to get the RSS feed on my LJ page. At least that way everything is in one place (apart from FB) and I can scroll down and see what's going on. The downside of this is that it takes a while for the RSS feed to hit my LJ. I know this post was made yesterday, but it's only just shown up.

I know how much effort it takes just to update my LJ, so writing actual considered articles must be even more time consuming.