Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Blogging: Do You Sprint or Do You Marathon?

I am shamelessly taking this blog post from a wonderful blog by Anne R. Allen, who wrote The Slow Blog Manifesto. Anne begins her blog by saying that the average life of a blog is three years. I didn't know that, did you? I thought that once you started blogging, you just kept on until you had nothing more to say! And what writer does that happen to? LOL

To be honest, I've sorta fallen in love with this Slow Blog Manifesto, because it says what I've been thinking about for the whole time I've been blogging... and that is that you DO NOT have to blog every single day, and in fact, it's much better if you don't. That may come as a surprise to some.

I've felt many times like it was some kind of "requirement" of being a writer that you must blog, you must be on Facebook, and you must Tweet or Twitter or whatever it's called. I don't know about you, but I don't like feeling I am forced to do something when it concerns my writing. I would much, much rather spend time writing on my WIP that spend time posting something on my blog just for the sake of doing so, or going on Facebook to make some innocuous comment. Oh, and I DON'T Tweet, and hope I'm never forced to do so. For one thing, I'm much too long-winded when I do post to write anything coherent in only 137 characters!

But I digress. Are you a sprinter when you blog? Do you blog every single day of the week, or even 4 or 5 times a week? Really? Do you honestly...come on, now, tell the you honestly have something so important, something so worth while to say every single day that your followers will fall off the face of the earth if they don't read it? Hmmm...

Anne talks about "blather-blogging"... posting something every day because you've been told you HAVE to blog every single day. But you don't really have anything important to talk about, so you end up posting about how mad you are at your editor because she didn't go along with your last revisions. Your editor will read your blog, get mad at your comments, and refuse to work with you, so you'll end up not getting the next Great American Novel published.

If you spend all your time blogging, how much time does that leave you in a day to work on the above: The Next Great American Novel? Seriously, how much? Most writers have a day job: working outside the home, working inside the home raising kids and taking care of hubby, or, BOTH! Realistically, it's almost impossible to do all of the above, blog sensibly every day, AND spend time writing something interesting, entertaining, exciting, mysterious, frightening... you know the drill.

So all of this...the above... relates to the Sprinter Blogger, the one who blogs every day or at least 5 days a week because she or he believes that is the way to do it, and that you'll never be known or recognized for the great author you are if you don't do it.

Oh, all right...there ARE some people who can blog successfully every day, do it brilliantly, work an 8 hour-a-day job, come home and take great care of the house, the laundry, the husband,  5 rug rats all under the age of 10, and STILL find the time to write 3,000 words on her novel every single day. And I mean that sincerely. Almost. But I was never able to fit into that Superwoman outfit. It was always too tight, and all it did was make me squirmy.

So back to the Marathoner. This is the person who blogs once or twice a week, and does a thoughtful, thought-provoking, entertaining, educational, or humorous post each time. Any one of the above, or even occasionally, all of the above in one single post. This is the kind of blog that brings people back, time and time again, because they know there will be something of value on that blog. Besides that, if you only blog once or twice a week, the people who are really busy writing ( well, or being Superwoman) are going to come visit your blog much more often. Most people don't want or don't have the time to visit someone's blog every single day, especially if all they are talking about is their latest recipe or how their boss is really down on all the women in the office because she blatantly prefers the men .

Your blog is supposed to allow people to get to know you, what you write, and how you write. It lets them know who you are and how you think. It's not
supposed to be a substitute FOR your writing, but it you spend all your time blogging, it eats up your creativity so there's none left for that next Great American Novel! It's better to blog more slowly to get your message out, and have more people take the time to visit you, than to be a Sprinter with not a lot to say every day of the week. There's nothing wrong with being a Marathoner, and probably a great many things right about being one.

In fact, do you remember the late, great, pseudonyminous agent, Miss Snark? She always said that no matter how great the pressure was to "build a platform," a writer's job was to always put their writing first. "Your job is to write...Focus...Nothing replaces that." ( paraphrased from Anne R.Allen.)

Write every day. Blog once or twice a week. Be a Marathoner, not a Sprinter!

Until next time,
That's a wrap.


  1. From your, seemingly biased, post... It almost seems as if you say that there is no way to be a sprinter, and maintain any quality at all. Yet, with the number of bloggers out there in the world, it wouldn't be a reach to say that there are some capable of "quality sprinting." I can understand that this "sprinting" is not your cup-o, tea, but it's sill a viable choice for those who are capable of accomplishing it.

  2. No, it's not biased,it's an opinion,shared by many, not shared by many. Many new writers are told by their agents, edtitors, etc. that they HAVE to post every single day, or no one is ever going to know who they are. Just as we're all told we HAVE to social network, on Facebook, Twitter, and what have you.

    Yes, there are many bloggers who "sprint" every day and have something of value to say. But very few, in my opinion, are new writers/authors. Most have been in the publishing business ( if it's a writer's blog) for a long time, know the ropes, and have the experience and knowledge to share what they've learned in a comprehensive way to the rest of us.

    To me, following a blog regularly when it is nothing but trivia...what my kids did at school today, what happened to me on the way to the post office, why I didn't buy that pot a waste of my time. Many people including writers like that, and for them, that's fine. For me, it's blather. But hardt, that's just my opinion, as was this post. Sorry if it offended you.

  3. I've never been much of a sprint-runner in any way. So blogging once a week is just right for me, though I always worry about not having books/issues to blog about. (Yoicks, I didn't know about the 3-year thing about blogging!) There are some writers who blog in quantity & quality, and I believe they must enjoy it very much in order to do that so well. :) I know I can't. So I won't ... until I'm ready and I want to.

    As for the Have-Tos, I only know we have to write. For the rest, I'll do them if I enjoy them.

    1. No, I'm not a sprinter at all. I'm trying very hard to blog regularly, even if it's only once or twice a week. Sometimes, though, life interrupts our best laid plans, and even writing gets put on hold. Hopefully, I'll do better as time goes on!

  4. I blog three times a week and that seems to work well for me. I love interacting with my blog readers. I find it inspiring. There's a part of me that thinks I write too much. (As if that's possible!) But I've already written four books in 2012. That's a lot. So bloggings not getting in my way. But I completely agree that a writer shouldn't choose blogging over writing. If time is limited, write instead.

    Great post, Mikki!

    1. Four books already this year? Young lady, you are amazing! I do visit your blog, and you always have something to say that your YA fans will enjoy and can relate to. I don't think 3 times a week is exactly a sprint, more like a fast-paced marathon, and you do it very well.