Saturday, January 02, 2010

Blogging into the New Year

Something’s got to give. At least a little. I enjoy visiting and commenting on blogs and there’s a tremendous amount of good writing and good material out there. I’ve discovered lots of wonderful writers and thinkers in the blogosphere. But my Google Reader is feeding me close to a hundred posts a day and I’ve been finding myself spending at least an hour a day, and often more, in visiting blogs and commenting. I’ve just got to cut back on some of that in 2010. For my sanity and for my own writing.

I’m not quitting. You’ll still see me around almost as much. But I’m going to try a couple of things and see if it helps. First, I’m going to start taking off blogging on the weekends, Saturday and Sunday. And on holidays. That’s when I can get some back to back hours in on my own writing. (And I've got a couple of major projects I'd like to finish this year.) When I come back on Mondays, however, I probably won’t be able to catch up on everything that has passed and will have to be pretty selective.

Second, I know a lot of folks put up multiple posts a day. A lot of times this is very good material, but I’m going to force myself to only comment on one post a day. I want to make sure I get around to as many different folks as possible. Third, I’m just going to be more conservative in my commenting. I like touching bases with everyone every day, but I can tell I’m not going to be able to keep that up much longer. And sometimes posts are mostly informational and don’t really need my comments. Don’t think this doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate all your efforts.

As for my own posting, I’m probably going to continue posting only every other day or every third day, and I hope in 2010 to get back to posting more substantive material. If I cut back on other aspects of blogging I should have more time to write quality posts myself. I feel like I fell off a bit on that toward the end of last year.

So here’s looking forward to another great year of blogging. Happy 2010!
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50 comments:

Danette Haworth said...

Charles,
I've had to cut way down, too. Are you on Twitter?

BTW, I just watched the new Star Trek movie and LOVED it! Loved how they brought on each character. James T. even cockier than before; Spock, wow, dead ringer. Nero--ha! What an excellent thug!

So good to see them all again! I can't wait for the next movie.

ArtSparker said...

I admire your discipline. Will expect you when I see you.

David J. West said...

Gotta do what ya gotta do. I probably spend too much time blogging instead of writing myself-but its nice to network and comiserate.

Lana Gramlich said...

I had to pare down on blogging a lot myself last year. Trying to keep up was taking almost as much time as my "real" job (& I wasn't getting paid!)

Natasha Fondren said...

I cut way back. I felt so guilty, you know? Like I was cutting off friends. But I whip through, hitting the "j" key in Google Reader, and I can go through pretty fast.

I didn't mean to cut back on commenting, but I sort of got to a point where, and I know this isn't true, but... I mentally seem to feel that if the blogger really wanted to hear my thoughts on their post, they'd ask a question at the end, LOL. I don't know where I get this belief, because I don't think it's true. I think I just told myself that to let myself off the hook, LOL!

David Cranmer said...

I think cutting back is a good thing. I take at least three days off a week from commenting and have cut back to one post a week. And I think the republic will survive.

Rick said...

I'm so glad you're doing this, Charles, because I would really like it if you'd write more fiction so I'd have more good books to read!

Charles Gramlich said...

Danette, no, not on Twitter. I knew I couldn't handle that as well. And I'm not on facebook either, although I probably should be.

Artsparker, thanks. I will certainly be around.

David J. West, it is good and I'll still be doing quite a lot of it. But I just have to do it more in moderation.

Lana, it would be nice to get paid for blogging and the other things we like to do.

Natasha, I tend to respond most consistenly to questions as well. Something in our training, I guess!

David Cranmer, I believe it will. I like to think of myself as the string theory that connects the quarks but I don't really believe it. :)

Rick, I've got so many projects I want to work on. BTW, are we ready to get your revised stuff yet? I'm looking for more.

the walking man said...

Charles, Charles, Charles...what in the world could be more important than blogging? If you need more time to stay on top of your own work then sleep less.

Seriously though:"Only a stranger once" whenever you can drop a comment it's cool.

ivan said...

re Blogging and flogging.

I think it's hitting us all at a bout the same time January 3.

I began to comment on something The Walking Man was doing and suddenly my mental lights went out.
Etropy. Dead zone. That's it.
You can no longer write. "You've dug your last hole, Mole."
Hunter S. Thompson said he would hit the pornie sites when he'd get written out like that. He noticed that all the girls were younger and prettier than the previous year's lineup.
Heaven fobid that that should be the cure for a mental block.
Heh. I don't have the late Mr. Thompsons talent but I can at least
try for the degeneracy sweepstakes.
But I like my porn live!
Just ain't nobody around right now.
So I got something to share with the great Hunter S?

I worry about that.

Steve Malley said...

These days, I seem to be blogging on Agricultural Time, roughly once per season, with a few extras for plowing, threshing (whatever that is), gleaning and other farmy terms I fail to know...

Take care of your sanity, bud! :)

Leigh Russell said...

There aren't enough hours in the day, my friend. If you have projects on the go, I for one am happy to hear from you whenever. I was thrilled that you took the time to comment on my new book cover. I hesitate to add that I replied on my blog - sounds like an invitation to return. As and when you can, Charles. I know you're out there doing your thing. Have a great 2010 and keep in touch from time to time. I'm hardly the best at doing the rounds, so no worries.

Laurie said...

Sounds like a good plan, Charles. I love blogging but it does take way too much time. As for posting several times a day, I'm a believer in Less Is More, so I'm only posting once a day myself now except on rare occasions. I've been using the excuse that blogging is feeding my creativity, but that can only go so far.

Ocean Girl said...

These lyrics come to mind, so I am just going to share. We would certainly understand Charles. Enjoy the lyrics :)

Do you ever wonder what happens to the words that we send
Do they bend, do they break from the flight that they take
And come back together again with a whole new meaning
In a brand new sense, completely unrelated to the one we sent

Did you get my message
While I was trying to condense everything that I meant..

G said...

A very sensible idea. I still maintain the same happy pattern of posting every other day, but for the past year or so, I've been scheduling my posts, so as to free up time for other things.

A good chunk of the time, I simply read during the morning routine before going to work and worry about commenting later in the evening during dinner time.

But as in all cases, you got to do what is best for you.

Remember, at least for us, a little bit of Charles goes an awfully long way.

Middle Ditch said...

I had to cut back on Facebook. So many cute games on there. I kept going for more and before I knew it I had three farms, four zoo's, two pets, a cafe, a city or two and an island. This kept me busy for hours and I totally neglected my blogger friends. Drastic cuts were in order and now I just have one zoo (really, really cute game) and my island. Oh, and my writing goes much better now and I'm very happy to post once every three weeks. So, no hurry there Charles, I'm happy to see you when you have the time.

How's Lana?

Charles Gramlich said...

Mark, I'd sleep less but then I'd miss all those weird dreams.

ivan, Peter Straub said something similar, in a much less raunchy way!

Steve Malley, I'm a fellow of habit so I like being 'regular' about things. But man blogging can become hard work after a while.

Leigh Russell, there's just so much stuff I do enjoy commenting on. Being conservative may be hard for me too.

Laurie, writing my own blog has definitely fed my creativity, and sometimes that happens with other blogs. Mostly with other blogs though it's just cool information or images, like your pulp covers. And I'm fascinated by any writer's life in the pulps.

Ocean Girl, I think I did get your meaning. Thankee.

G, lol, for that last comment I feel like pulling a Michael Scott and saying, "that's what she said."

Middle Ditch, I try to avoid games with a passion because I love them and they drain time so drastically. Lana is doing good. She's not fully recovered but is getting around and starting to do quite a bit with her arm.

Bernita said...

Very sensible, Charles. I think we're all just grateful you've kept up your frequency as long as you have.
Blogging should be a pleasure, not a grinding duty.

Sidney said...

I'm coming off a period like that and probably faced with diving into another. Hope your semester goes well.

ANNA-LYS said...

I have the deepest respect for Your priorities, and You got my sympathy! Me, myself can't find enough time for commenting on the comments on my own blog *sigh* but, we have created this huge social arena ourselves LOL, whatever was we thinking back then?

Care,

AnnA

Middle Ditch said...

Glad to hear Lana is okay

Angie said...

Charles -- that makes perfect sense to me. And really, in these days of RSS feeds, I honestly don't see why anyone should make any particular effort to blog every day. Back when we were all visiting blogs by hand off a bookmark list, and seeing nothing new for however many days in a row could get frustrating because of the time wasted in the checking, I suppose it made sense for bloggers to post every day, or at least stick to a regular schedule.

Now, though, whenever you post it shows up in my feed list and I'm not going to wander away just because you skip a day, or even a week, or whatever you need to. I'm sure no one else will either. I hope your writing goes well; we'll all still be here when you decide to take a break. :)

Angie

Akasha Savage said...

I completely know where you're coming from. I, too, have had to become more disciplined about visiting others blogs and updating my own. I can easily find myself on blogs, facebook and twitter for an hour or two each day. It has to stop! :D

Christine Purcell said...

I think that the decision between blogging and writing is one that challenges all writers.

I look forward to reading your tri-weekly posts. And thanks for commenting on my blog.

Charles Gramlich said...

Bernita, definitely. And I don't want to burn out.

Sidney, what's up for you this coming semester. You have more school work and stuff?

ANNA-LYS, yes, maybe it's be careful what you wish for.

Middle Ditch, me too.

Angie, yes, the google reader is a godsend for that. And it lets me give a quick scan to see if anything earthshaking has happened. I remember the day of going through my list every day and it was frustrating when you'd get no response for days.

Akasha Savage, I'm not going to spend my last days worrying about not having blogged, but I might spend them thinking about all the writing I could have done.

Christine Purcell, blogging is important for unknown writers, I think, but it has to be done in moderation.

Cloudia said...

I applaud you even as I resist pulling back myself. Anything you post will be welcome, and even though your comments add much value to my blog and life-of-the-mind, I will only value them all the more. All the best to you & Lana this new year!

Aloha, Friend


Comfort Spiral

jodi said...

Charles, it sucks to be you! Kidding aside, you do what you gotta do!

Charles Gramlich said...

Cloudia, thanks very much.

Jodi, sometimes it does. Most times it is pretty darn good to be me.

Harry Markov said...

That sucks. Just when I was going to ask whether we could not exchange blog links. I have a writer blog that is still in isolation. But I know how it feels to have a feed that large. I need to cut down too.

Greg Schwartz said...

Happy 2010! Hope you get more time to focus on writing!

Charles Gramlich said...

Harry Markov, I will put you into my google reader today so that I'll know when you put up new posts and I'll be checking them as I'm able.

Greg Schwartz, gonna be a bit of a busy year for school since I'm actually teaching a class on writing nonfic. But hopefully rewarding.

Aimless Writer said...

I know what you mean. I could spend a whole day visiting blogs...they're adictive!

BernardL said...

It shouldn't feel like a second job, Charles. You should read and comment when you feel like it, not as an obligation. Did you get your anthology prospectus sent out to anyone?

Charles Gramlich said...

Aimless writer, definitely.

Bernardl, actually I did. I sent it off right after midnight on January 1. I'll be reporting more on that later.

Randy Johnson said...

Sounds like a good plan. I, like others before, am greedy for more fiction(hint, that Talera novel, not mention the Whoun).

Never mind us folks out here, You take care of your stuff. We will survive and prosper from more work from you.

Voidwalker said...

Well my friend, I totally understand. It can be daunting to keep up with everyone in the blog world. That's not even counting those of us who have social networking like Facebook or Twitter to play with as well, so no worries.

I'm not doing much of the weekend blogging either. It can takeover life very quickly.

Demon Hunter said...

Charles,
Do what you have to do. We completely understand. :-D

That's why I only post once a week or sometimes biweekly. I haven't gotten Twitter or Facebook either because of the time suck. Can't do it yet. :-D

sage said...

I wish you well with your writing--I've cut down my posts a lot from 2-3 years ago and that's probably the only reason I still am able to blog.

Travis said...

This is very similar to the plan I'd like to try when I come back to blogging. I won't post on weekends unless it's something important to me. And when I get behind in my visits, I'll likely browse through the posts in my reader but only comment on one per blog to let each blog pal know I've been by to catch up.

Good luck with the new plan. Blogging is great, but we should always work on keeping it in good perspective.

Erik Donald France said...

This is a wise doctine, Charles -- I may have to follow suit sometime later this year. It's a bit overwhelming keeping up. Sheer fanaticism has kept me at one post per day since early 2006. Something really does have to give. Good thoughts -- and good wishes your way!

Clare2e said...

See you around the blogosphere, and do what's comfortable! More writing is always better.

Charles Gramlich said...

Randy Johnson, I appreciate your kind words about my stuff, man. I hope to write faster in the new year!

Voidwalker, I've managed to avoid twitter and facebook. Just can't see myself adding those to my load.

Demon Hunter, yeah, blogger has been keeping me busy enough.

sage, I think that will help me keep going, and keep me sane at the same time.

Travis,this is likely to be a fairly heavy grading school year too. I've already seen I've got a lot more students this spring than I had in the fall.

Erik, once I broke the once a day habit, which it had kind of become, I found it easier to let a couple of days go. But I know what you mean. I made 99 REHupa mailings in a row and was fanatical about making the mailings until a bunch of issues made me miss one. Then I found it easy to miss another.

Clare2e, and there are some opportunities I'm dying to exploit!

jennifer said...

I've always admired you for the time that you put into blogging (writing your own and commenting), writing, teaching, and being a husband and father. And you obviously put a lot of time into it. I think making changes to prevent burn out is a great idea. I always appreciate your visits and comments, but I understand completely the need to cut back a bit. I hope it works well for you!

Charles Gramlich said...

Jennifer, thank you. I appreciate that. Life is definitely a balancing act between one's obligations and ones hobbies.

Harry Markov said...

Thanks a lot, although if you do not have the time, I don't want to be pressing on.

laughingwolf said...

glad you found a solution, charles

i'm way behind in visits/comments and have lost 'followers' for that reason... *sigh*

X. Dell said...

I understand. As one gains readers, it's harder to respond to everyone, especially in depth. Anyone who's blogged for any length of time understands exactly where you're at.

Charles Gramlich said...

Harry Markov, no worries.

laughingwolf, it's pretty hard to keep up. There aren't enough hours in the day.

X. Dell, that seems to be the upshot of it for sure.

Michelle's Spell said...

Hey Charles,

Know exactly how you feel! I try to blog each day, but since the old burst appendix debacle, I've had to slow down a bit. Also, I know what you mean about needing more time for major projects. I just finished a novel (yay!) and am starting another one. No matter how much you cut back, you're still the hardest working man in the blog world, my friend!

Charles Gramlich said...

Michelle, I'm going to make that my tag line! thanks. ;)