May 23, 2012

If I Knew Then What I Know Now: ROW80 Update

I would manage my expectations.

This is true in all aspects of my life. I am an over-achiever and set expectations high. Although I am hardest on myself, I tend to put high expectations on others as well. This isn't fair to them or me.

I believe I can accomplish anything I set my mind to. Same for my kids. I might even believe it more for them. But I forget to factor in life and all the things outside my control.

Today is a WordCount Blogathon theme day: If I started blogging today, I would...

Follow a 3-4 Posts a Week Schedule
Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and the occasional weekend day (like ROW80 check in Sundays). Since I booted my blog with last year's Blogathon, I set the expectation of blogging daily. It's tough, and depletes a lot of my creative juices. I'm writing more than I ever have (bonus), but I want to focus on the two novels I'm working on.

Choose Blogs to Follow More Carefully
I know that doesn't sound nice, but... in the beginning, I followed every blog in a challenge and every blog of people who commented on my posts. It seemed the friendly thing to do. Unfortunately, I ended up with way too many blogs to read and another too-high expectation. There are a LOT of wonderful blogs out there, but I can't possibly read them all.

Write Posts Ahead
I've started to get better at this. I find fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants blogging stressful. My goal is to take a few hours twice a week to write the bulk of my posts.

Keep Posts Short and Sweet
I tend to pontificate (I even love that word!). My writing isn't necessarily wordy, but I have a lot to say. As a blog reader, I don't have time to read long posts... even if they are amazing. I'm learning now to break posts into multiple parts. Plus, it's a great way to post more often.

On that note, I think I'll listen to my own advice and wrap it up here. Short and sweet.

I'm looking forward to reading other Blogathon blogs today and picking up some tips.

If you started blogging today, what would you do differently? Or the same?


Time for my Wednesday A Round of Words in 80 Days (ROW80) update:

I had an encouraging writing day on Monday with 956 words. It was a pivotal scene, so I was glad to get it done. Tuesday was my daughter's all-day first grade field trip, so no writing then.

Set aside two solid hours today for editing. I wanted this post done first, so I could focus.

Every day and twice on Mom in Love with Fiction.

Social Media
Drowning a bit (see my tip above on blogs to follow). I'm drowning in great posts, so there are worse things! I've decided I can't possibly catch up overall, so I'm going to do better going forward (and catch up on a few favorites).

Just started a lighter read for some fun, Sarah Dessen's The Truth about Forever. I'm hoping for a Judy Blume-vibe. Speaking of Judy Blume, I was so honored to see a friend had pinned my book (on their Books Worth Reading in Pinterest), Depression Cookies, right next to Judy Blume's Are You There God It's Me Margaret. I am not worthy. *squeals*

Kicking it. Doing much better on sugar consumption, too.

My goal is to visit 15 ROW80 blogs today! Here we go...


Jessica Therrien said...

I'm with you. I would have chosen the blogs I follow more carefully. As it is now, I can't keep track :( I try to get around to them all when I can, but I'm terrible at it. Blogging is hard, lol...but fun.

Sara Lancaster said...

I hear ya on writing shorter posts. I think a big part of my blogging fatigue has to do with writing super long posts too often.

Stephsco said...

I just discovered Blogger has a following limit (it's 300 - and I hit it). The task of unfollowing is not made very user friendly in Blogger, but I did find some older blogs that no longer posted, or had moved, or I didn't have interest in to remove. I love finding new blogs, and I want to share the love, but I've also had to be more selective. I think the A to Z Challenge really put me over, and I thought I was being selective!

alberta ross said...

too many and most of them interesting - I have started getting them e-mailed then I can quickly see if that particular post will be of interest (they cant all be really:) and skip or open up and enjoy = haven't got all the back ones I follow tho' and I just cant get round them all - I agree

keep some of them long I like long posts full of stuff - if they are too short its like eating meringue!

all the best

Ainsley Shay said...

What a perfect post Tia! I feel the exact same way as I'm sure most writers do. Blogging and social media do take a lot of time - time that I want to spend writing - but then I'm afraid I'm going to miss a great post - and there are a lot of them out there! You seem to have made a great plan for yourself (I think I may use it myself - if you don't mind!!)

Have a great day!

Lisa Carter said...

I agree with so many of your points, Tia! I find that posting 3x/wk is the maximum before it starts to take me away from other pursuits. I also feel like every post has to be meaty, weighty, full of info, but sometimes short and sweet works best. I also find I have to go through my Google Reader and unsubscribe from lots of good stuff but it's too hard to read everything.

Maša said...

great advice! I actually learned trough Blogathon that it works best to write in bulk. it's much less stressful and I can prepare more posts when I feel motivated.
I love the name of your blog, BTW.

Elise Fallson said...

I'm with you about the blog thing. I want to follow everyone, but I simple can't do it, not enough time. But kudos on the exercise and Monday writing! :D

bookworm said...

In a way, I'm glad I waited until tomorrow to post on today's prompt. (I have a Wednesday theme I didn't want to disturb). I read several posts besides yours and I think a lot of the posts, including yours, have some common themes. I would add to your comments that I wish I hadn't used as many labels as I have-I need to do a major cleanup, and who has time? As far as being selective - this year's Blogathon has been like drinking from a fire hose. And I am about challenged out-one more challenge in June and that will be it for a while.

Liz said...

Agree -- three days per week is a good schedule and it's funny, just yesterday I cleaned out my Google reader. I, too, had a few too many things to read :)!

Dahnya Och said...

Ah, the plight of the over-achiever. I know how that goes all too well. I just recently went through the exact same thing!

I normally don't link my own blog posts in comments (how cheesy is it, honestly?) but I *just* posted one on dealing with Burn Out, which it sounds like you are getting close to. Perhaps you'll end up finding something useful?

How to Kill Burn Out before it Kills your Writing

Good luck!

Suzan Butler said...

I've really had to pare down my blog following. Now on ROW80 days, I use to pick a random 10-15 blogs on the list to comment on. Some I can't, because they're Blogger blogs that don't allow Name/URL and I don't have a Google account, so I'll go back in and choose a couple more to take their place. It's a practice that's worked for me so far.

Tia Bach said...

Jessica, Blogging is hard. I get a lot from it, but only after putting a lot into it.

Sara, My new goal is to write as efficiently as I can and let the length be a natural result of that. (I think!)

Steph, I didn't know that about the 300! And I agree, A to Z added a lot to mine.

Alberta, I have to admit... I read more blog posts from my email than from Google Reader. Like you, I pick based on title and interest.

Wonderful input, everyone!

Tia Bach said...

Lisa, I think I have one more challenge in June (even though I said I was going to stop after Blogathon, I might need an AA type group to break the daily habit), and then it's 3-4 days a week for me. (I think!)

Ainsley, By all means, if I said something helpful, run with it. ;-)

Masa, Thank you!

Thanks, Elise. I should start reporting my wordcounts for blog posts to make my writing numbers look better. :-)

Alana, Just read yours. So much great info. I definitely need to clean up labels. One of these days. Right after I give the dog a bath, clean my house, run around after three kids all summer... in other words, hell may freeze over first. ;-)

Liz, I'm having a hard time figuring out how to clean out Google Reader. Will it eventually clean itself out? I'm hoping my house will clean itself, too. ;-)

Loving all the comments. It made a happy blogging day for me!

Tia Bach said...

Dahnya, I'm looking forward to some tips on burn out. Thanks for the link!

Suzan, LOVE LOVE LOVE the idea. I'll be trying that for sure!

Nadja Notariani said...

I hate that I cannot keep up with the many great blogs, either. It's the way of it. I do my best and then forget it. Ha! The task of sorting through and deleting blogs from my list is often neglected, I just hate to do it.

As for the comment about the house cleaning itself above...if you figure it out...PLEASE stop by my blog and enlighten me...quick! lol.

Nice to see you, Tia! Glad the writing is going well. :}

nutschell said...

you make some great points here. There are so many awesome blogs out there and following every single one is tough. :)

Kim Switzer said...

I understand about having to thin the blog reading list. I want to read all of them, but there's not that much time in the world! Sometimes you have to cull the list and be more choosy because you have to make your schedule work for you.

Tia Bach said...

Nadja, I wished for a cleaning fairy (I'll put in a wish for you, too). ;-)

Nutschell, I know. I have some favorites, and trying to visit others too. Tough, but enjoyable, to keep it up. If only there were more hours in the day.

Kim, Amen to that!

Eden Mabee said...

I've been trying to find a way to prune the ever rampant kudzu of blogs for some time now myself....

It's the way of things. Creativity truly is something that given the chance and even just a little love, will grow unabated. And worse yet, it's exactly the thing we don't feel right destroying, so we always are giving people's creativity new places to take root.

I wish you luck in your endeavor to clear a path back to your own dream garden, Tia.

If I were to start blogging today... I would not start until I knew and understood what I was trying to achieve by blogging. =)

Tia Bach said...

Eden, Amen, sister! Your last sentence is so true. I started in a panic, because my book was already out, and I wish I would have breathed and considered for a few days first. At least.