Blogging. Everyone’s doing it. Well, not everyone. But if you’re not blogging, you should be. That seems to be a standard piece of advice to writers, both aspiring and established. Connect on social media. Blog, tweet, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, whatever then next hot social media is around the corner.
I get it. Communication has changed radically in the past twenty years. But are we rushing headlong into all this social media with no idea how it will evolve and actually benefit us as writers as well as humans?
I think we may be all trying to jump on the same ferry before it leaves the dock and the sheer mass of us making that leap might be enough to capsize the ferry. Besides that, I see signs that the first ones on the ferry crowded up into the bow, the early adopters of new media, have seen the future and decided to get off at the bow of the ship onto another ferry going in a different direction. Maybe even back to the same dock.
I say this because I have noticed in the past few weeks a trend of long-time bloggers in particular, to seriously cut back on their output, even hinting in some cases that they may stop blogging altogether. Familiar names to writers like Jane Friedman, Janice Hardy, have cut back on their blogging frequency.Two bloggers over at The Kill Zone, John Gilstrap and John Ramsey Miller, have ceased blogging and their colleague Clare Langley Hawthorne, is considering cutting back as well.
I’ve notice Nathan Bransford doesn’t blog as much as he used to a few years ago, partly due to his new job. I’m sure there are many lesser known writers who have ceased or cut back drastically their number of posts.
The common reason seems to be not enough time coupled with not wanting to become repetitive. I see the repetitive nature of blog posts almost daily. So much writing advice is being recycled from one blog to another, words changed of course, but the basic message is the same. How many versions of “Show don’t Tell,” have us aspiring writers read in the last month? More than a few, if one reads a large number of blogs.
I do see the value of saying the same thing a different way in order for as many as possible to read at least one version that hits home to them, sinks in, clicks, lets them see the light, etc. But sooner or later, all possible versions of “How to _____ your writing” will have been written. And what if we get on an endless cycle of blogging, reblogging, guest blogging or linking to blogs with a certain topic to the point where that’s all we do in a day, instead of WRITING OUR STORIES?
My point is, before any of us aspiring writers/authors jumps on the ferry, we should think seriously about the time committment to social media vs. the benefit we perceive from participating in that media. For me, I blog about twice a month, not just on writing, but on a variety of topics based on what moves me to write about that topic. I read many blogs a day, but am constantly trimming the ones that I lose interest in, while adding new ones I come across that I think deserve some of my time for the near future.
What’s your take on the social media “frenzy?” Do you blog? Twitter a lot? Post to Facebook? Other media? How much time per day or week? Does it help you?