Blogger vs. Author

Some of us have trouble figuring out what comes first, the blogger or the author. It’s a pretty serious game of tug of war.

I see amazing writers give up their blogs because they want to use that time to focus on their stories. And I get it. I, too, have stepped away from this blog for weeks or months, with the intention to use that freed-up time on my fiction.

But when I finally return to the blog, I feel like I’ve missed out on potential opportunities. It’s not like I believe that literary agents have been trolling my site or anything—although if you are, say hi!! It’s more like I feel that I could have been fine tuning my author-self here. Instead, I’ve stagnated, and it’s really difficult to get back on track with my readers. Maybe not my loyal band of merry readers (you know who you are), but in general, I don’t feel like people must read me.

Uh, small red flag you think?

Still, there is no question that most of us have trouble managing both entities with equal discipline and energy and joy. Then we start resenting our blogs for taking up our precious writing time. And even though there is some validity to that, doesn’t it strike anyone as ironic that we don’t consider blogging writing?

I know, I know–our real problem is that blogging is getting in the way of the progress we’re making on our main projects, fiction or non, which I define across the board as stories.

It’s like a knife to the heart when we think that the time and energy we exert on blogging would be better spent on our stories because let’s face it—we only have so much energy and time to expend from day to day.

And to twist that knife even more, most of us blog to gain an audience for our stories—the very writing we’re struggling to do.

It’s a very strange Catch-22, author style.

Right now, I’m polishing final drafts on two novels, and writing the second draft to a third novel. Three freaking books—and that’s just the author portion of my responsibilities. There’s all the other Modish Gladiator stuff that has to get done too.

So is it any wonder I drop off the blogging here and there?

It isn’t any wonder, but I think it can be a mistake if I take off too often, for too long, or for the wrong reasons.

For me, blogging is part of being an author. Blogging is the time to practice my writing. Not necessarily practicing the mechanics of fiction, but certainly practicing how to engage readers. That’s kinda important in my line of work.

Blogging is also valuable to me in that it provides a totally rad support system! I have come to rely on the positive reinforcement from my peeps. Playing hooky from the blog meant I was missing those crucial connections with other writers.

It isn’t easy, trying to balance the life of a blogger and the life of an author, but if I start thinking this quest is easy, then I’m doing something wrong. Right?!

Basically, if I’m not actively blogging, then I’m not challenging my writer’s soul. I should be treating blogging as an offshoot of my job, not an interruption to my time to write my stories.

Somehow, I have to find a way to make them work with each other. The blogger and the author—soul mates.

Now there’s a story.

 

What about you? Are you struggling to manage the lives of blogger and author?

Any survival tips you want to share?

Have a writerly day!

 

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78 thoughts on “Blogger vs. Author

  1. This resonates totally. I feel trebly guilty because I’ve been neglecting my blog, as well the Dodo, then add to that the music side of me. The biggest help for me would be to ditch the 9 to 5, but that ain’t happening any time soon. Catch 22’s everywhere I look.

    I don’t have any survival tips to add…except alcohol!

    Like

    • Darren, the paying 9-5 job has to be priority–no way around that unfortunately. And I hear you about Dodo. It’s yet another site to maintain. But I think we would both agree that everything we’re involved in has value and we don’t need to be ditching any of it.

      I have come to believe it’s a matter of restructuring schedules and re-prioritizing. We may not be able to attend to all of it everyday, but I have made peace with that. I can’t tend to my fiction every day, which sucks, but I won’t give it up. I feel the same about blogging. I may not be able to be on social media every day like the pros suggest, but I can divide the various responsibilities over the course of a week so that I’m at least making an appearance somewhere every day. That seems to be working better for me. At least, for now.

      I love your survival tip–that one works well for me too!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I agree and you have written it so well that I can add no more except I’m finding it hard at the moment to manage time so I’ve committed myself to make one post at least a week.

    Maybe something you could do too ?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Simply-Me,

      Thank you! I’ve been back and forth with blogging for a couple of years now, blaming/scapegoating it for a lot of things. I finally found a new appreciation for it, which I think all serious bloggers have to find eventually. I also found a new reason for blogging, which will help motivate me. (I started blogging for the wrong reasons, and that set me on an aimless path.)

      Yes, one post a week is doable for me. I know I couldn’t manage more than once a week, at least for the foreseeable future. I will try to strive for that!!

      Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting. Have a writerly day!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I am not a writer, but I still struggle finding time for blogging. If I were a writer, I would hope I would see blogging as the modern equivalent of the vast correspondence which engaged many writers of old.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Gallivanta,

      I love hearing the perspective from the “non-writers” because I am curious about how blogging affects those who post about things like photography, motherhood, pets, etc.

      I love your perspective. Blogging is and should be looked upon as a mode of communication and a way of sharing experiences, learning lessons, and offering advice or a virtual shoulder to lean on. The pressure of “performance” is what took me down and paralyzed me. I felt I “had to” blog X number of times a week and felt deflated because my stats weren’t up to par with other author-bloggers. While I sincerely enjoyed the friendships that evolved, there is no denying that hope always lurked that something “big” would happen with my blog.

      I’m over that now, and onto a healthier, happier perspective!! Thanks for stopping by!!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Juggling three books, goodness; that’s a lot of projects at once! I like your ideas to blogging. As my day job mainly entails academic writing, I see blogging as a way to write differently. I like Gallivanta’s idea as well. You’ve always got us thinking with your posts!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey Letizia! I guess 3 projects at once is a lot. I’m not really sure how that happened, actually. I’m a terrible multi-tasker, so it’s been quite the adventure. And I wouldn’t recommend such a practice to anyone! :/

      Oh, I like how you’re able to approach blogging as a way to write differently. I think that’s brilliant. All writers should try their hand at different genres and styles, in my opinion, so I think you have the perfect mindset.

      I’m glad I’ve got you thinking–you’ll be well-armed for the quiz later. Just kidding! Thanks for stopping by!!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Congrats on your books. Sounds like they’re coming along, which is awesome. Yes, blogging and being an author conflict constantly, but I do like my blog for ‘just being me’ and writing real, so I’ll probably never give it up completely. It’s part of me as an author–although like my real self, it has shining moments and lazy moments.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey Char! You’re one of the few bloggers I follow who seems to be able to blog consistently and joyfully. If you do hit low points, you don’t let on about it! 🙂 I think you probably found your sweet spot with your blog–“just being me”–because your blog is genuine, personable, and lively. Even your book reviews have Char written all over them.

      So don’t change a thing! 🙂

      Like

      • Oh, you are very kind. I don’t post as much as I did in the beginning, but that was exhausting trying to come up with material so often, so I do like the more laid back approach now of ‘about’ every week. It’s do-able. I love your blog because you always have pertinent questions about writing and living that make me think harder.

        Liked by 1 person

      • It’s hard for me to keep up with bloggers who post more than once a week, anyway. I subscribe to several blogs who would be considered “pros” and they all post at least 5x a week. I can’t read all of their stuff, as much as I’d like to, but I have to make room/time for my other blogging friends! I wonder if they ever feel like they’re wasting a lot of their material because they post so often. It’s a thinker. 🙂

        Like

  6. The wonderful thing about blogging is the immediate feedback. You don’t have to wait years to have your piece written and then finally received. My focus for writing is not to create a book, although it could happen one day. So, I don’t feel that same tug-of-war that you and many “writers” feel. My blog is more of a diary and place to process my life. Once in a while it comes out in a poem or a text covered graphic. But mostly it’s words flowing from my heart through my head onto the screen (I always want to write, “onto paper”). When I write, I often reach another place, perhaps another dimension, where epiphanies happen. And I very well might gather up some of the more poignant “life lessons” that have hit me, and compile them into one place, one piece, that might possibly become a book. It might become one just for me, or possibly for public consumption. Not sure yet, as it’s still being written.

    I admire people, such as yourself, who have the education, knowledge, and practice of crafting a story or topic so large and complex that it becomes a book.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Mariner,

      I bet because you have a focus for your blog, that it helps you maintain your blog–not to mention enjoy your blog. I really, really love how you approach your blog. And I see it through your posts and the replies you leave for all your commenters. You write as though you truly have reached another dimension, as you say above, and it’s really enjoyable to read.

      Your idea to possibly write a book about your life lessons is a great one. Even if you just keep a journal (private, non-blog) of all the things that might be good fodder would help you decide if you want to take that route. At least that way, the ideas won’t be forgotten but you’re not committed to anything yet either.

      I believe that anyone can write a book, truly. But it does take an enormous amount of perseverence and discipline and hard work. And time. Time, time, time–time invested that doesn’t pay off for years, usually. I think then those who stick with it are more insane than knowledgeable. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks. Yes, I do have several journals (I’ve written for years off and on), and more recently a journaling program, where I write when I’m doing healing work, vent about things, and write things that aren’t blogging material. I’ve been trying to go back and compile some bits and pieces from my older journals into the electronic journal, where I could begin assembling things into chapter form.

        Thank you for your comments about my blog. I do like my little community there.

        Like

  7. I really do miss my blog. It’s woefully neglected except for the occasional announcement for someone else. Part of my problem, is I never really settled on what, exactly, my blog is for. Or rather, who it’s for. I have two, but the farm/dog one is easy. I know the audience and the subject matter and though it goes in spurts it’s gotten more attention of late than my author blog. I think about it often, but other things push it aside and I still don’t have a firm grasp on it yet.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey Kathi,

      I think you bring up an excellent point–purpose of our blogs. I kind of did a little bit if this and that for a long time on this blog. Granted, it was mostly writing-focused, although some of it was family/life, and a lot of it was about environment/wildlife/biodiversity. That might have been a mistake–to write about too many different topics.

      You might be onto something regarding your blogs. If your farm/dog one is easy, then that is definitely telling you something.

      Have you considered ditching your author blog and doing just author newsletters instead? You could still get your updates to your adoring fans, but without the extra commitment of having to reply to comments. Plus, you get engagement through your FB group page–so I wonder if that could sub for your blog? At least for a while till you know what direction you want to take it in?

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I use my blog in many ways–one of which is like a palette for mixing ideas. Sometimes the posts are sketches for a later time, sometimes complete in themselves, sometimes delete-worthy.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Alice,

      I like how you describe your blog. Sounds like you have a nice, easygoing relationship with it, and that it’s a safe place for you. I agree that a blog is a place for us to set down our ideas, a place of free will where we allow ourselves to be creatively adventurous.

      Thank you so much for commenting!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I just couldn’t keep up with it anymore, not just the posting but the visiting other blogs too. I had to let mine go save a very rare update. It was tough, but I get far more work done now (well, minus the month I just spent moving). I still read blog posts when I can (like this one!), but I don’t beat myself up if I can’t get to them.

    Great post. I always enjoy seeing other writers views on the blogging process.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Carrie,

      I know, and you had it tougher than most of us because of your enormous audience. I know how hard you worked to build your audience and then to take the time and visit other blogs and comment there. I’m pretty sure I saw you everywhere in blogosphere! 😉 I have no doubt that the time you have freed up since stopping blogging has helped you immensely on the fiction front.

      It’s a tough decision to make, especially for those bloggers who are actually getting hundreds of views daily. But the time! Oh my goodness, just thinking about it exhausts me. There are pros and cons to every situation, and every situation is different. We have to do what is best for ourselves, no matter what is trendy, no matter what the pros advise. And as long as you’re writing those amazing thrillers and not sitting around watching TV and eating bon-bons, I’ll forgive you for not blogging anymore. 😉

      I appreciate being on your blog reading list. 🙂

      Like

  10. I’ve been struggling with this too. It’s so hard to find any time at all to write, especially when working a regular insane day job. Whenever I take a blogging break though, I miss the friendships and the talking back and forth that happens. It helps to know others are going through the same things. I like the way you’re looking at it here, in a better way than something that we have to do. Britt mentioned on her blog that she thinks of blogging friends as pen pals from all over the world. I love thinking of it that way – it definitely makes it sound more fun!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I’m with you all the way. I don’t have enough time to blog these days (strangely enough I had more time when I worked full time, but I think that’s because I was highly organised back then). I need to inspire myself more, write more, blog more, and read more blogs – but I’ve felt highly uninspired lately. I think my life has just gotten in the way of everything xxxx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Dianne,

      Organization is key. Now that you bring it up, I feel that when my kids were younger, and their schedules were more stringent (controlled by me rather than their friends), I didn’t stress out about not having time to blog. Hmm, that’s interesting. Thinking about it in this way makes me realize I need to be better organized. Thanks for the nudge in this direction! 🙂

      I know what you mean about lacking inspiration. It’s hard to settle down at my desk and immerse myself with my writing when I have other things carrying on around me. Life does have a nasty way of interfering with creativity. Wish we could lock it up in the attic during our writing time–would solve a lot of problems!

      Like

  12. Yes, definitely agree, like many bloggers I go through phases of feeling really motivated with the blog, and loving doing it, full of ideas for posts, and other drier spells where it seems like too much effort, I don’t have any ideas, or I tell myself that it’s time wasted that I could be spending on other projects (not necessarily writing). But I think I’ve accepted that now, I’ve accepted that it will ebb and flow, and I just go with it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey Vanessa,

      I think blogging is a process, like everything else. And you’re right, it will ebb and flow, and if we can make peace with that, it’ll go much easier. I follow a fairly popular blogger whose newsletters I signed up for because she’s knowledgable on email marketing–something I need to learn more about–and she’d been faithfully sending out these awesome newsletters with tips and guidelines on the subject until several weeks ago when I stopped hearing from her.

      At first I didn’t think anything of it, but as it’s going on two months now with nary an email or a newsletter, I’m kinda relieved and feeling a little smug. Not even a professional blogger can keep up with the demand of blogging! Ha! Just goes to prove the whole concept of blogging is more than what a single ordinary human with ordinary powers can handle on a consistent, long-term basis.

      Cheers to the ebb and flow of blogging! 🙂

      Like

  13. I’ve noticed a drop off in visitors and commenters that makes me wonder if I should keep blogging. I’m wondering if I should decrease to 2x a month. I enjoy the blog and the interaction but sometimes I feel like I’m spinning a dozen plates and i wish it were only 11. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey Kourtney!

      Yeah, the drop-off in visitors/commentors happened to me too. I associated it with my inconsistency with blogging. I also noticed that certain posts get more commenting power than others. For instance, this particular post has received a lot of attention, and probably because it is a subject that everyone has an opinion on.

      I hear differing opinions on blog frequency. I would like to aim for 1x a week, because I tried the 2x a month, and my numbers just kept dwindling. But if you’re not getting the views anyway at 1x a week, then maybe your best option is to split your time between your blog and FB? It’s so hard to know our best strategy until we try everything!! And who has the energy and time for that??

      Oh gosh, yes, the dozen plate syndrome. Mmm, yeah, 11 plates would be ever so much easier!! 🙂

      Like

    • Hey Robin! Some days are better than others. I try to get ahead of the game by pre-writing posts when I have extra downtime. That helps a lot–but sometimes I’m just stuck for ideas. I don’t want the blog to become stale or repetitive, so that’s when I think not posting is the better option. I don’t want to lose the few followers I have!

      I know what you mean about balancing writing and life. One has to give. I’m not a big believer in multi-tasking. I used to think I was a great multi-tasker, and maybe I was pretty good at it–but I was miserable and stressed-out the whole time. Is it worth losing your mind just to get multiple things done at once? Mmm, not so sure.

      Well, my dear, I do love it when I hear that something I wrote has inspired someone, so my job is done here! 😉

      Like

  14. For me blogging is a chance to write things that aren’t fiction, but that hopefully show the kind of writer I am – and I love writing those pieces. When I was blogging every week, I found that I didn’t write anything else, so I changed it to fortnightly, which gave me time to do a bit of both. Saying that, I’ve still found the need to have breaks now and again to focus on a big piece of writing or just to have a blog holiday – and most bloggers do seem to do that from time to time, particularly over the summer – and often seem to come back revitalised.

    Like

    • Andrea, you’re one of the few bloggers I follow who seems to really be able to practice creative writing skills through blogging. Your posts are lovely, riveting, and well-sculpted. I can tell you take care with the posts you write, and just on that alone, it’s obvious you have figured out how to use blogging to your benefit. I need to find my power-route with blogging, too, so that I can treat it with pride rather than resentment.

      Liked by 1 person

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  16. oh me too! I struggle with balance… but I’ve started thinking of the blogging as a marketing feature of my writing, and that really helps. if I can intrigue people through my blogging, maybe they will buy my books? and, vice versa, if someone has enjoyed my books, they can get freebie bits on the blog! I try not to let the two things war – they should be allies! xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes–I need to do that too–think of blogging as a business or marketing extension of my writing. That way I won’t be dragging myself to the blog. Gosh, I really sound ungrateful don’t I? I remember those days when I only got one or two views on my blog posts, and no comments! I’m really not ungrateful at all. I’m pleased with how blogging has taken shape, yet unprepared as to how to deal with its demanding personality! 🙂

      Like

  17. Brilliantly put! yes there is a real dilemma between the two – however I really continue to blog every single day for the reasons you mention above (all about promotion and publicity etc) but also to flex and train my writing muscles. it’s a challenge, it’s stamina building, and sometimes as I’m blogging inspiration and ideas come too. Great post!! Thanks very much!!! Will share it right now!

    Like

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  19. I dig all of the reasons you list for a worthwhile blogging experience, Kate, and they do resonate. I miss so many bloggers who have gone on hiatus notably this past year. I miss my old readers, too, many of whom have moved on to new pastures, I guess.

    One of the stoppers I’ve personally felt to my blogging is that I don’t seem to be adding anything interesting to anybody’s journey. My WP blog has been my longest-lasting, so I feel some loyalty to it. I’d just like to be able to contribute more in some way…!

    I’m glad to see you back around, though. It’s always inspiring to read your insights. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Mayumi,

      I found it increasingly hard to continue blogging over the past couple of years because so many of my best buds gave it up. I truly value the connections I have found through the blogosphere, and I know it’s because of these friendships that I have overcome some serious obstacles. I don’t have support from most of my non-writing family (not that they don’t like what I do, but they can’t appreciate it so don’t ask about it).

      But since coming back I have met some new bloggers, which made me realize there is always a fresh audience as long as we keep putting our stuff out there. That might go along with what you’re talking about, regarding not feeling as though you’re adding anything interesting to the journeys of others.

      I don’t feel that about your blog at all. I get a sense of comfort and true enjoyment of the written word whenever I read your blog. I love watching the journeys your characters take and seeing how you’re willing to grow and evolve as a writer. I love your bravery, honesty, and your passion.

      I like peppering my blogging experience with all kinds of reading material. I follow “professional” bloggers who seem to have great insights on the business of writing; I follow authors and aspiring authors; I follow other writing coaches so I can make sure I’m up to speed on the latest techniques and advice to help my clients; I follow poets, essayists, non-fiction writers; I follow wildlife conservationists, photographers, parents, gardeners . . .

      I say all this because even one sentence from a single post from a random blogger will stick with me for days. I stay with bloggers who have sparked life into me one way or another, and that’s why I continue to follow your blog. Your effect could be so subtle you don’t even know it’s there, but it’s still an effect. 🙂

      Like

  20. Wow, I’m enjoying reading everyone’s comments here to your excellent post. I can NOT give up blogging -it’s become a part of my writing life in all wonderful ways, even though, yes, it does eat up time toward writing my fiction. On the other hand, I get to share my short short stories when before, they were all ensconced in a file in the corner of my writing room. I get to hear how other writers are doing, and I get inspired by them, and I hope I inspire also. Heart and soul, combined.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Totally! I believe we’ve had this conversation, what…500 times? I was on a roll with blogging when I got back from Italy, then work and the election got a hold of me. I couldn’t even think about blogging or reading any blogs until today.

    I’ve definitely been having that “missing out” feeling and I’m ready to jump back in now. Blogging is still SO important to keep up on our writing skills, share our thoughts free-form, and enjoy support from our awesome community.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Maybe closer to 550 times! That’s one of my big problems with blogging–losing momentum. I get going on some great weekly stretches of blogging, then the holidays, or vacation, or other major Life upheavals interrupt my stride. It’s hard to get back into the routine.

      I’m slowly learning how to weave it in and around Life, though. It’s only taken me 5 years! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  22. Maybe if you thought of yourself as Blogger & Author you’d find the balance you crave. I’ve never thought of the these two pursuits as opposites, more like yin & yang. One providing connection outside yourself, the other requiring connection within. Taken in totality, a whole. Just a thought…

    Like

    • Hi Ally, yes, I think that’s part of my problem. I absolutely think of them as separate entities, mainly because my author self is very private and my blogger self is more open. Weaving them together will be a process, for sure, but I am beginning to appreciate the need for both selves to be connected. Thanks for your comment!

      Liked by 1 person

  23. As a new blogger and old writer, they are completely different. I agree about having the open part of you as a blogger and the author part private. When I write a book it’s deep and powerful where as my blogging is open and opinionated.

    Like

    • Exactly! I do feel that blogging and “authoring” require different skill sets, require us to tap into different parts of our souls. Blogging has helped me to prepare for being a published author, and in that sense, it has been an invaluable education!! Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment. Have a writerly day!

      Like

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  25. I’ve only just started blogging and I’m not a professional author but I find myself wanting to just post what I’ve already written and proof read instead of carrying on with actually finishing my book as a way of procrastination. Thanks for this post, it was great! ; )

    Like

    • Hello! Ah, yes, blogging is the quintessential time-sucker for those of us trying to write or finish a book. I believe it’s because blogging is stress-free, fun, and entertaining. I am much better now managing my blogging time, but I’ve been doing this for 6 years. Early on, I logged approximately 30 hours per week blogging (writing posts, replying to comments, visiting other blogs and commenting there). That was crazy!! It’s important that we enjoy blogging as it is a huge piece of the successful author jigsaw puzzle. But just as important is knowing how to fit it in our regular schedules so our projects don’t suffer or take a back seat. With time and practice, you will find your own best strategy. Good luck with everything, and thank you so much for stopping by and commenting!!

      Liked by 1 person

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