Tag Archives: blogging

‘Thank you’ to Bloggers

dear-blogger

Coincidentally, another Melanie seems to appreciate bloggers too! 🙂

I’ve just been doing a little ‘spring cleaning’ on my laptop today, tidying up the bookmarks that I keep on here relating to all things books: I have YA book blogger lists, MG/kids blogger lists, blogs on writing that I follow as well as other general writing resources.

For once, instead of dipping in and out of blogs based on what Twitter flashed up at me and made me go ‘Ooh shiny shiny!’ *click* I started at the top of my list (around 40 YA blogs) and I began running down from the top, to see who was out there from when I first started blogging and reading blogs myself, back in 2011… There are six active blogs left posting today. Just six.

Some of the blogs that have gone were ‘big’ to me – they had between 1000-10,000 regular followers and the bloggers who ran them took part in everything from read/reviews to author giveaways, features, blog tours, interviews. Some of the blogs had hundreds of posts, reviewing hundreds of books, which will have meant thousands of hours reading and preparing posts…

I know how easy it is to beat yourself up when it comes to blogging: it starts out as a hobby, an extension of something you love (in my case reading and writing!) that you want to share with the wider world and it can very quickly snowball into a job. (One you don’t get paid for, funnily enough!)  If you already have a full time job, are in school, (have any kind of life), or maybe even trying to write yourself, maintaining a blog and keeping your passion for it can be difficult. It sets you objectives: what to post, what to read, running a giveaway, responding to emails/requests…

In recent years I had to choose, for my own available time – and maybe my sanity, a little – to reduce what I blogged on my own YA blog asidefromwriting.com because I couldn’t keep up with the pace needed. We used to run an annual Indie Author Month, but the volume of work to co-ordinate 30 authors and features for a one month block became absolutely impossible for me. I feel bad looking at it today – I really need to post some things in there! Even on my author blog, where I tend to post mainly now, I struggle to deliver new posts and content, because if I write here then I don’t write my own books.

And this is why I’m saying ‘thank you’ to the other book bloggers that are out there. It is a hard hobby you have set yourself and can often feel thankless, or like you’re writing to no one, but you aren’t – you are still writing for yourself, sharing what you love and helping people, authors probably more than readers, in the ever-growing world of books and e-books.

Please don’t let it become so much of a chore that you eventually turn your back on your blog – let it quiet down and give yourself some space, if you need it. Post less frequently and let the pressure off until you feel the spark return. Your readers will still be there, as will the books to read, it’s important that your blog is about you and what you wanted to share in the first place.

Most of the blogs I’ve seen today that disappeared lasted between 12-24months… If you’ve made it past that, then you’ve done an amazing job because this shows how hard being a blogger can be. If you’ve only been blogging for a week, I still say thank you – because you’re starting something that means something to you 🙂 keep it up!

Best wishes for 2018 and beyond x x

Blogging is HARD

 

 

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2016, a year gone by

Over new year there are always lots of reflection posts and ‘what I’m going to do next’ ones floating around everyone’s blogs. I’ve not done one so far this year – I’ve enjoyed reading other people’s posts, sometimes been saddened to see what they’ve struggled with in 2016, other times I’ve been impressed with what they have achieved. Now that we’re nearing the end of January, I suppose I’m finished procrastinating…

For me, 2016 was a bit of a mix – my new job kicked into high-gear and never really stopped, which meant alot of my mental space was dedicated elsewhere. I wrote sporadically – Cirque de la Nuit moved on a bit, but not as far as I would have liked… my ‘new adult’ project got a few scenes expanded, nothing major. I did release a book (surprisingly) – Faris and Jack – but it was something I had written a long while ago (nearly ten years!) and I got the chance to re-edit and polish it up whilst on holiday in Scotland.

So far, Faris and Jack has proved to be the most popular of my books, in terms of downloads. I’ve not pushed it hugely, opting rather to release it free electronically for all the major e-readers forever. I’ve already written the sequel and the outlines for the final couple of books that go with the series, so I’ll be aiming to get the second one out in 2017, then hopefully (!) finish Cirque de la Nuit because it feels like it deserves to be finished. I’m actually enjoying writing that story more than any I’ve done so far – little pieces clicking into place more easily, more naturally than the books before. Perhaps that’s just practice helping me along?

So that’s about it really, from a writing point of view. I’d like to blog more than I did last year – it was a bit of a bust across the four blogs I work on, with only bits and pieces being posted… I’m not doing too badly so far this year and I’d like to post about the 2017 reading plan if nothing else, I think there’s going to be some interesting reading this year.

For anyone reading this, I hope that you write well in 2017 and that the year is good to you… I hope that readers amongst you find some fantastic books to enjoy and embrace the new writers that you find… For everyone, I hope that 2017 takes you closer to achieving your dreams and that you have a happy year.

Mel x

Changes

“If there is no struggle, there is no progress.” Frederick Douglass

Thanks for the advice Fred. I appreciate it – I really do – I just wish there was a little more progress, a little less struggle. Any advice on how to get that?

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During most of 2011 I was probably doing very little writing: I was having a very busy period at work as I recall and just got down to writing now and then when I had the chance. Once in a while I was probably sitting down with my dog-earred print out of Hope’s Daughter version 3, jotting in notes and re-reading for errors, but no significant work. It was only in September and October last year that I really got the chance to work on the book, finish it off and get it out there.

How has 2012 been different?

Because I released Hope’s Daughter at the start of the year, I found myself in a whole new world of blogs and readers, Goodreads and reviewers. It’s been a busy time 🙂

This year I’ve not just had to find time to write the next book and plan the others, I’ve been out and about trying to promote the first book; I discovered the wonderful world of book blogs, which have re-awoken the reader in me, and also meant that I’ve read a lot more than I have done in years. (Yep, pretty much watch nil TV these days, unless it’s out of the corner of my eye around a laptop or kindle). For the two blogs I started this year I’ve reviewed quite a lot, written content from an author perspective, as well as reader; run an author event in May and provided regular guest features on writing and books to (hopefully) inspire people a little. I’m also a mod for a group on Goodreads (a hermit one admittedly, who is probably very poor at getting stuff done, but I promise to be better!)

For my own writing, I’ve nearly finished the second book and am halfway through the third; I’ve designed the covers for the rest of the series so that they all work together, and made book trailers to go with most of them. There’s also ideas for two other stand-alone books that have popped into my head, which I definitely want to tackle after Ambrosia is finished.

What might 2013 hold?

I hope a little more writing of my books and a bit less elsewhere if I’m honest. Admittedly, trying to manage a couple of blogs, be good at social media (which I’m not very), keep up on Goodreads, read several books a week AND actually do any productive writing was probably a bit too much…but that’s how I get – I discover new things and want to do everything, see everything and get involved (think puppy and new tennis ball and that’s about right).

I’m hoping that Santa might have some time management skills and perspective in a little gift bag for me this year – I probably don’t need to do everything…and maybe the most important bit is to actually just get writing and let the other bits fall into place…?

Anyone, out there got this figured out better than me? 🙂 Happy holidays!!