Thursday, October 18, 2012

Blogging Once a Week, Paying it Forward, and the Benefits of an Online Presence

So you've probably noticed my posts have gotten a lot less frequent of late. Belated apologies--I know how frustrating it can be to follow a blog that doesn't update all that often.

But my reasons are sound:
  •  Librarian duties are compounded during fall semester, particularly at my institution--leaving much less time and energy in the evenings to blog. But, my efforts haven't been in vain--I got the following feedback from a faculty member yesterday (from an email sent to my supervisor that I was copied on):
 "Karen's presentation not only clarified a few steps students could take on their own, but her approach to a diverse set of majors (the course is interdisciplinary) set an expectation that my students are now responding to. Karen's enthusiasm and focus has persuaded students to give research an earnest try." 
  • Secondly, after some tremendous feedback from some lovely beta readers (you know who you are), I've been spending evenings that I usually reserve for blogging revising two of my manuscripts to make them top-notch--and the developments have been really exciting. I got the following feedback from a beta reader earlier this week:
"Marnie is definitely likable, and her story is compelling. And I especially like how quickly you get to the "meat" of the story. I read a different version of this opening last year, and in this version Marnie really 'pops.'  I like it."
 To sum up, things are busy, and I'm pretty tired--but I'm still trying to pay it forward in any way I can, particularly when it comes to my beta readers--those who helped me get Marnie to where she needed to be. I even sent a couple of them thank you cards this week. (To find out more about Marnie, you can visit my website to read a blurb and excerpt:
I am also trying to get in enough author interviews to fit in with my schedule--because the best way to help promote great books is to talk about them with readers. If you'd like to be interviewed, please email me at (info (at) kbmccoy (dot) com).
Some people (including published authors) have told me that if a blog doesn't help promote you and your writing, or if it takes too much time away from your writing, or if it doesn't make money, then it isn't worth putting a lot of blood, sweat and tears into. And there is some truth to this--which is why, at least for the remainder of the fall and through the holidays, I'll probably limit my blogging to once a week at most. This way I can keep my novel writing at the high priority it needs to be.

I thought about going dark completely over the next few months, particularly while I'm honing my skills and my craft--but I'd still like to put out updates as often as I can, especially if they might prove helpful to others. Janice Hardy does this best on her blog--and I'll be featuring her in an interview in coming weeks. Her entry on internalization also helped me in my most recent revisions. Another good post, "The Biggest Mistake Writers Make"  helped me a ton and can be found here.

So if you're a blogger, even if you aren't yet published, keep at it, particularly if you have content that's interesting and helpful to your readers. Just don't do it at the expense of your writing. 


Angelica R. Jackson said...

Congrats on getting that good feedback! I've been deliberately spending less time on social media and went through withdrawals--kept feeling like I HAD to be missing something--but it was necessary to make some good writing progress.

I was kind of apologetic to everyone at first. "Sorry I haven't been commenting as much, or blogging or tweeting as much" but then I thought, why am I apologizing for writing my book?

We all have to find that balance, right?

The Writer Librarian said...

That is so true! I came to the conclusion (with the help of some well-informed people) that having an online platform is great, but there needs to be book writing to back it up! It's very easy to say "Well, I'm forwarding my writing career by writing a blog," but you're right--sometimes taking a break from social networks is nececssary to make progress writing!