Writer: Almost Unplugged

For the past week, I’ve only been checking e-mail messages once a day. I haven’t blogged. I haven’t tweeted. Okay, I’ve Facebooked, a little. But here are some things I’ve learned.

1. INFORMATION OVERLOAD is a very real condition. I just diagnosed myself with it.

2. In aforementioned condition, one feels compelled to comment on various blogs, share helpful blogposts on twitter, and basically…OVERSHARE. I’m learning to relish my new-found mysteriousness. Not everyone needs to know what I think about everything. Otherwise, they’d be coming over to my blog to find me, right?

3. On the above note, I realized that I need to unload many of the blogs I’ve signed up for. Many of these people do not realize I exist, or acknowledge me when I bop over to their blogs. Nothing personal, but I love following a handful of bloggers who really make me think. You know who you are (and many of you, but not all, are in my sidebar list of Lurk-a-liscious bloggers).

4. Platform-building is necessary, but I’m still learning how to do it. Since I have no book to plug yet, I’m still putting out feelers for what you beloved blog-readers like to read. I’d love to share my book with you (please reference the OVERSHARING phenomenon above), but while I’m waiting for a publisher, I’m trying to give you some helpful and hopefully entertaining info over here. Forgive me if I miss the mark half the time, but I have the coolest group of blog readers ever, and I appreciate you!

5. Too much of a good thing is a BAD THING. Yes, I need to check e-mail to make sure that publishers aren’t in a bidding war over my manuscript, or to keep up with my personal messages from writing peeps and friends. But burying myself in online commenting/tweeting/e-mail checking only feeds my writerly angst. If I go outside and water my garden, I get more ideas for my next book. And I’m a nicer person to be around, to boot.

Bottom line: Sometimes, a writer has to kind of unplug. We can’t afford to be complete hermits, that’s a given. But a little web-mysteriousness is kind of cool. Although I can’t guarantee that if you post a really hot-button topic, I won’t give my two cents’ worth…at least in that once-a-day computer time I’m allotting myself.

****Do you have to limit your online time? Or do you feel platform-building is a full-time job?****

12 thoughts on “Writer: Almost Unplugged

  1. I desperately need to manage my online time better. It's become something of an addiction, and I'm not even platform-building yet!I have an occasional spring-clean of blogs that I followed once but (a) rarely visit and (b) never hear from the blog owner. I pay a lot more attention to bloggers who take the time to visit and leave comments with me.Your own time is just about the most precious thing you truly own. Best of luck safeguarding it 🙂

  2. A very thoughtful and honest post, Heather. I actually noticed that you have been online less, so some of us do miss you. :)I agree with your thoughts. We are all far too wired in, and the paranoia of building a platform makes us writers even more manic about not missing a thing online, and ensuring that the world still hears of us. And neither of us has a published book yet. Astonishing isn't it. You are right though, that we think people are more interested in us than they really are. Perhaps they are genuinely interested, but are also trying to be genuinely interested in a thousand other people too. After all, we are told to participate, participate. I would much rather have a closer bond with a few writers/people that I admire. Like yourself.Do you find yourself confused to hear of very successful authors that have no social presence at all? And I mean new writers not old school.We should all unplug, and not miss so much of our wonderful lives, by being online. Yes, I appreciate the enormous irony of you blogging about this, and me commenting online about this. 🙂

  3. I believe that platform building can be done without a book to market (although it is more challenging) and overload happens a lot! I liken it to prepping the ground before planting the seed. 🙂 I was burnt out after the A to Z Challenge and I'm just now starting to get back to a regular routine.

  4. Thanks for your comments (and for stopping by my blog!). Hee, yes, ironic that we're blogging about this topic, Graeme! And I have wondered about those authors who have very simple blogspots (or none at all), yet manage to sell books. Many are the older generation of authors, but some are newer, as you said. DL, I think it's awesome that you take the time to facilitate blogfests. It's a great way to meet new writer friends and build your follower base. And it's so interesting to see so many writers at different points in the process.And I enjoy checking out all your blogs…will bop over there now, since I'm online for a few minutes…

  5. Oh, yes, information overload is a real condition! I have to unplug every once in a while too. I've actually been online less lately (less blogging, tweeting, visiting other blogs), and it's been nice to relax about it a little. I still enjoy interacting with others online, but taking a break or scaling back is necessary sometimes!Hope you enjoy your kind-of unplugging. 🙂

  6. With a handful of little ones, I definitely have to limit my online time. I enjoy reading my favorite blogs and while I don't always comment on them all, I enjoy skimming what the bloggers have put forward. I know from experience how time consuming it can be to put together a blog post. Another reason why I blog once a week. I know it should probably be more often, but that's another one of the pacts I've made with myself 🙂

  7. Shallee, I know, isn't it much more relaxing to take a breather? I never realized how much checking blogs/commenting pressures me somehow. But I always enjoy checking out your posts! And Joanne, I love your resolve. I also love your blog, so once a week is working for you! I'd wondered about going to a 3x a week blogging schedule, but for now, 2x a week feels right to me.

  8. Heather – I think sometimes we feel like we have to follow everyone in the hopes that they'll follow us and then suddenly all we're doing is following. We're not leading at all. And isn't that what we were intending to do in the first place… build a tribe and LEAD a charge? Clean house – it's all right. I'm glad you had a chance to step back and examine this through this time of transition – I think you should start a new trend. Everyone needs a Mystery Month at least once a year to reassess their journey. Blessings, my friend!

  9. You gave yourself some much needed time to do other much needed things, and you learned something too! I may do the twice a week thing too. I've realized that my blog is more of a 'train of thought" thing than platform building. Hmmm. Time to do some thinking about what it is and what it should be.it's nice to see your smiling face again!

  10. So true, Becky. I'd rather lead than follow…though this doesn't always play out well when I'm writing books that don't fit in an already-established niche like Amish fiction! Hee. And Jennifer, twice a week works well for me. I kind of had categories (Newbie Writing Mistakes Monday, Faith/Family Friday), but I plug in guest bloggers and change it up quite often. It's good to think out what you want your blog to represent, then start working those topics in. I'd love to have more marriage bloggers, since that's part of my platform (what I write about–married romance!).

  11. I totally relate to where you're coming from. I recently unplugged for the Holiday weekend and it was refreshing. I'm looking forward to next week taking off as well. (Didn't mean to take two breaks so close together, but sometimes there is little choice in the matter).I'm struggling to build my platform and connect with other bloggers, but I find I am spending too much time blogging and not enough time writing. I have stopped reading certain blogs because the favor was never returned and/or they never even commented back to me. I'm not sure how to find a happy medium between building my platform/making connections and writing/querying agents?? Let me know if you figure it out how to balance this.Thanks for adding me to your list of peeps! Much appreciated.

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