N is for Now Can I Hide?

I admit this subject has nothing to do with N.  I’m coming back from a convention (actually writing this in the hotel on a break), and I have to produce blogs for the entire week for the A to Z Challenge.  Blogging is a huge challenge for me.  I can produce the words, but they’re not always effective posts.  I spent three years posting regularly and getting almost no comments.

Kristian Lamb said my posts lacked emotion.   My first reaction was that I didn’t think I could do it.  I’m still not sure how I’m that successful at it.  It’s hard for me because I see other writers writing blogs on exactly the same subject, even containing the same topics, and they get forty comments, and mine goes flat — and I can’t tell what I’m doing differently!

It’s kind of like socializing at a party.  I’m horrible at that.  I’m supposed to come up with actual interesting conversation?

With strangers?!

It’s even a problem at a party where I know the people.  The dynamics and rules change, and I always feel like I’m the person everyone forgot to tell the rules to.   The result is that I spend most parties uncomfortable, and sit alone at a table until an acceptable amount of time has passed.  Then I can escape, and I’m relieved that I can.

Blogging is different though, because even writers who are seeking professional publication, have to do promotion to attract readers.  I can’t be, as Tamara Pierce described in one of her Lady Knight books of Lord Raoul, a “lump in the curtains.”  The A to Z Challenge has been particularly a challenge because I’ve come up with a lot of topics — but they’ve felt very superficial.  The party version of talking about the weather.

What’s been your experience with blogging?  What kind of challenges have you faced?

19 thoughts on “N is for Now Can I Hide?

  1. This particular challenge has actually gone okay for me. Probably because I love the subject I write about – monsters. That has a lot to do with how active I can be with a blog. I have to care about the subject matter. Also, I get comments, in part, because I visit other blogs and leave comments on their blogs. Sometimes it’s a give and take. If you never visit other people’s blogs, sometimes you don’t get much traffic in return.

    Jolie du Pre
    Precious Monsters


    1. Unfortunately, it’s the blogs and not the comments elsewhere. It always puzzled me why I would go to multiple blogs and make comments, and it still didn’t work!


  2. I understand your pain. Blogging is a big challenge for me to. On the other hand, however, I have gotten rather good at meeting people in social settings. It feels worthwhile when I can actually meet people face to face. Blogging feels like I’m talking to a void just for the sake of hearing myself talk. The other problem I have with it is that I pour everything into my books, it feels like blogging is just taking away from that.

    Best of luck and don’t get discouraged. I think your doing a great job. I think it just takes a while to find your stride and discover a voice people will respond to.


  3. Linda can I come and sit at your table please? I don’t care much for parties either. I find blogging hard because I want what I write to have some meaning at least to me. I can’t pad out a one paragraph thought into a whole blog post very easily, consequently it can take a couple of hours to get the words to say just what I want them to.


  4. Reetta Raitanen

    Linda, I know how you feel about parties. I become the third wheel in conversations instantly when it’s not just me and someone else.

    Blogging can be frustrating and the lack of comments is very disheartening. I only started commenting and blogging after taking Kristen Lamb’s blogging course online. All my comments at the moment come from fellow WANAites after I promote my posts in our Facebook & Twitter groups.

    And that is because most people in the group have the desire and intention to promote each others. For example Holly Lisle’s forums are a great place to get support for your writing but Kristen Lamb’s MyWANA is the community for getting your blog out there.

    I follow a lot of blogs and I simply don’t have time to read and comment each post from everyone, especially since many writers blog 2-3 times a week. A-Z challenge makes it even harder to spread comment love. Personally I think that less is more. 3 posts a week is a maximum I can follow even from my most favourite peeps.

    I’d say that A-Z’s biggest benefit is becoming a better blogger. Faster, better at idea generating, more at ease with your voice. And the more posts you have, the more likely it is that a reader finds something that really resonates with them.

    Btw, I came to your blog to look for the Vision article you had written about how right side brain writer approaches a story. I’ll be sharing it in my link mashup tomorrow 🙂


    1. Reetta!

      I think I’ve missed out on your blog posts. Twitter moves so fast and WANA is so big, I just can’t keep up. All these people! I admit to clutching my Holly-peeps as a lifeline (even though I’ve pretty much abandoned the forums, *sigh*. Yet another thing to go by the wayside).

      I’m going to look you up right now before I forget.

      I agree with you about the quantity. There are some industry blogs that I expect to have high volume, but if you’re an author, I’d really prefer you to post three or less times a week! *grin*


      1. I think blog posts need to be at least once a week. We have one at work, and the boss only posts at random times. He posted one in early March. Didn’t post anything until near the end of March, and by then, no one was checking any more so he got different results. He had the audience, and he gave them up!


      2. Can’t reply directly to your comment below for some reason, Linda, so responding up here:

        I think that having a blogging *schedule* is more important than how much you post. So if your readers expect you to post M, W, F or a long post once a week on Thursdays (like Kristine Katherine Rusch does, though she also does the free fiction on Mondays…), they are more likely to subscribe, or check on those days, and *anticipate* your posts.


    2. Thanks in advance for the link to the article!

      One of the reasons I got into A to Z was to see if I could find my footing, or at least see what I’m doing that I can improve on. It ended up being so much of a drain on my time that I’m stopping at P. But I’m still going to use my R post, since it’s timely — just not on the R day.


  5. I’ve blogged at my current site for over three years, and I still don’t feel like I’ve gotten into a groove. My focus is all over the place, sometimes I post a lot and other times I forget that I have a blog, and I know I keep an emotional distance in my posts (am a reserved sort of a person, that’s just the way it is).

    Part of is also not knowing which topics will generate reader interaction or come up on keyword searches, etc. Seems like posts I work hard on get few comments, whereas a cute video that I happened upon might get lots. It’s very bewildering. Perhaps I should do more analysis!

    WANA has been good for creating a blogging circle, though. I know I’m not alone. 🙂


      1. Sometimes, it’s a timing thing, too. You may have a reader or two that would really get into a discussion, only they’re on vacation the week you post something and so overwhelmed when they return that they click Mark All As Read on their feed reader.

        Maybe taking a reader poll would be helpful.


  6. I think blogging just takes lots of practice. After you do it enough times, you begin to find your “voice” (there’s that word again!). You will find what you are most comfortable blogging about that relates to your subject matter. Don’t be impatient. Keep experimenting. We are all different and have to be kind to ourselves while we progress at our own pace.


      1. I think you are putting too much emphasis in trying to please your audience and not yourself. If you were on an island and had to write to entertain yourself, what would you write? Have that written dialog with yourself.

        I would also recommend a picture change to your blog–my initial reaction when I come to your page is that you will be writing about politics (I don’t have a good reaction to reading about politics). How about something representative of your log line, “writing without a net?”


      2. @ Cora – If I were on an island by myself, I would do the kind of action-adventure writing I’m doing now. Just making up fictional stories. I wouldn’t do something like a personal diary. I don’t like sharing personal information about myself online, but according to the class, that seems to be what people want to read to get to the know the writers. I know from having been in the military and around DC hat a lot of people don’t fully understand how many people could be reading it and what they can do with it. I think about it all the time — is this sentence going to reveal the kind of company I work for? Or is this going to tell someone I’m away from home this weekend?

        I didn’t realize that the photo said politics — this time of the year here, it’s all about the tourists and that’s what they come to see.


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