IWSG: What I Learned on My Blogging Holiday

InsecureWritersSupportGroupToday’s post is part of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group, a blog hop hosted by Alex J. Cavanaugh. It’s a way for insecure writers like myself give each other advice and encouragement. Click here to see a full list of participating blogs.

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Most of the writing rules you hear aren’t true. Don’t edit anything until you’ve completed your first draft. Always avoid the passive voice, the verb to be, and adverbs. If you can’t write X number of words each day (even on Christmas), you shouldn’t call yourself a writer.

All of that is absolute rubbish. Granted, some of it has a kernel of truth, but people take these rules too far, preaching them as Writing Commandments, eternal and inviolable. They forget that real writers need to be flexible and that what works for some people might not work for everyone.

THE BAD ADVICE I LISTENED TO

I know all this, yet there is one piece of advice I have clung to for far too long: you must post something on your blog at least once a week (preferably twice). Otherwise, your readers will lose interest and go away. Forever.

I guess my stats have probably dropped since I took my three week blogging break, but that’s a sacrifice I had to make. In the last year, I’ve been writing some of the best material in my whole life, but I could not remember why I was doing this in the first place.

I mean that literally. I literally could not remember why I’d decided to be a writer, though I felt pretty sure I had a good and noble reason for it when I started. I’d become obsessed with stats and schedules and getting likes and comments and hopefully someday earning an income as a writer… but I couldn’t remember the point of writing.

So I stopped.

HOW I FIXED MY MISTAKE

I spent some time away from writing. I did a little traveling (San Francisco is gorgeous). I reconnected with some of my favorite books (don’t give up, Frodo!). Sooner than I expected, I got excited about writing again, and then there was no stopping me. I’d found my reason for writing. I’d remembered. That reason is a little too personal to share on the Internet, but trust me: it’s a good one. And now I’ve created a little reminder for myself just in case I ever forget again.

Going forward, I still believe it’s important to post something at least once a week (preferably twice), but that rule now comes with a caveat: take a blogging break every once in awhile, keep in touch with your reason for writing, and don’t ever take your stats too seriously.

15 Responses to IWSG: What I Learned on My Blogging Holiday

  1. Sarah Foster says:

    Sometimes it’s good to step away for a little bit. As far as blogging goes, I say make your own rules. If you want to post once a week, then do it. If not, post whenever you have something you want to say.

    Sarah Foster
    August IWSG Co-host

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  2. I used to blog regularly, and it wore me out. I have limited writing time as it is, posting often only reduces my fiction time. Weighing them against each other, I decided in favor of writing. After all, what’s the blog for if not to connect to people and share my stories (and the headache of creating them). 🙂

    Congrats for finding your reason, your “way” again. Many don’t.

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  3. terrirochenski says:

    “They forget that real writers need to be flexible and that what works for some people might not work for everyone.”

    YES!

    I, too, need a blogging break. Heck, I need a break period!!

    Good for you in doing so – and in finding / remembering WHY you write.

    As for stats…who the heck cares. Write for YOU. If you hit it big, great! If not, at least you’ve left a part of yourself here for someone else. 🙂

    Like

  4. hmccubbin says:

    Taking a break is a great idea. It’s exhausting trying to come up with ideas to blog about that pertain to writing or reading.
    I, too, have heard all the advice you mentioned above and I believe you have to pick and choose what will work for you. However, if you do have a large readership and are taking a break, it’s probably wise to let them know you’ll be gone awhile.
    Sounds as if you needed the break to reconnect with yourself…which is what we all need sometimes!

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  5. Glad you found your reason again. Breaks are great for that – and going someplace new. It’s inspiring.
    I know why I started writing. I just can’t figure out how to stop.

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  6. Shell Flower says:

    So true. I am a firm believer in the life/work balance. Even though writing may not be your day job, it is still work. Sometimes you gotta get out in the world and live so that you have more to write about.

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  7. Shelly Tennyson Taylor says:

    I am finding it hard to find a balance myself. I was doing a lot of writing and then decided I needed to try and post a blog post everyday. Now I am blogging but not writing in my WIP… I think a vacation is an awesome way to regroup. I don’t get mine until October though! Good luck!

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  8. So glad to hear your break refreshed you! I’ve heard comments from writers about checking their Amazon sales stats hourly. Amazon won’t even tell you their secret calculations so to me it’s almost like playing a slot machine. Ok, maybe bad comparison, but none of that helps write the next book, which is the biggest predictor of sales (so I’ve heard).

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