Sunday, December 30, 2012

Powering Back Up

     Back in September, I was feeling overwhelmed, working on my YA fantasy WIP, tweeting at least three times a day, trying to think of something to post on a FB page that seemed to be a complete waste of time, reading and commenting on two to three blogs a day and writing two blogs of my own.  Oh yes, and then there was my day job and my life.  One day, Janet Kobel Grant wondered aloud what would happened if some of us writers let social media "go dark" for a while.  Would anyone notice? she asked.  Well, anyone who has read the blogs by the Books and Such agents knows that their blogs certainly would be missed--immediately.  I suspect there would be a general outcry.  However, for me, it was the permission I needed.  Let me just see, I thought, what will happen if I stop posting.  Will it make any difference?  I didn't completely quit; I scaled back.  I stopped spending hours (literally HOURS) going through the comments on Twitter and responding to them.  Now I just check it periodically throughout the week and only go back about two hours worth of comments whenever I log on.  At first, I still tweeted at least once a day, writing a a comment with the hash tag fantasyquest in an attempt to attract followers who are interested in fantasy and might potentially read my book.  I continued writing my fantasy blog, although not every week (one of my faults, not posting consistently).  I stopped writing posts for this blog as wasn't sure that anyone other than my friend, Jennifer, read it.  Yes, there were pageviews, but a pageview doesn't mean the person is following.  It could be that the person arrived at the blog by accident.  FB became merely one of the ways that I shared the link to my fantasy blog. My WIP became my top priority when I was squeezed for time. I continued to follow and comment on the agent blogs because...I those blogs are vital to me--both the information and the people I find there. So I didn't go completely dark, but there was only a nightlight still on.

     A surprising thing happened.  I continued to get new followers on Twitter almost daily.  My Facebook "friends" tripled.  The number of pageviews to both of my blogs spikes up on Friday and Saturday, leading me to believe that there are people who are looking to see if I've posted anything (my post day had been Friday, then changed to Saturday due to my teaching schedule).  And to my complete amazement, this blog, has continued to have daily pageviews even though I haven't posted since September.  Also, the number of followers has increased (thanks in no small part to the Books and Such community). (Welcome and thank you, Heather and Steve!  I'm sorry it's taken me so long to welcome you.)

    What to make of all of this?  I really don't know yet.  I have a couple of thoughts.  First, I think blogging about a topic that interests people (both writing and fantasy seem to qualify) will attract readers.  Of course, then good content is needed to keep them (except for the odd extremely loyal friend).  (Jennifer, you know by "odd," I mean unusual, not strange :) ).  Secondly, networking--especially when you remember to connect with people as people, not as potential followers or readers--is beneficial in many ways.  Thirdly, life goes on even when I'm not there.  Okay, that's not a writing insight, but it's a really good thing to remember.

     A big THANK YOU to all who follow this blog, as an official follower or not.  And to those who've been following it for longer than three months and regularly checking in to see if I have FINALLY posted something--  *Many HUGS*  Thank you for your patience.

Blessings for a peace-filled and joyous New Year!