5 Reasons – Why procrastinating writers should not be blogging

Reason 1 – Blogging is simply another way to continue procrastinating
I was actually proud of the fact that I have actually kept one of the resolutions I made for this year – to blog every day. I was happy until the moment I started analysing what I have accomplished in the first quarter of 2012. I am ashamed to say that all of my other resolutions have failed. I am far from a flat tummy. I haven’t even started exercising yet! I stopped keeping a To Do list a long time ago. It was supposed to help me overcome my procrastination by setting doable goals every day. Instead I spend hours on the internet researching for the next post, writing the next post, replying to comments on past posts or researching my Stats page every other minute. While every view makes me feel happier it also binds me to continuously refresh the Stats page, wanting to get another adrenaline rush associated with a new view.

Reason 2 – Writing posts takes away time that could be used to write that book
As some of you might be aware of, I have been procrastinating in various areas of my private life. One such area is writing a novel. I have aspired to become a novelist for as long as I can remember. I love writing and I believe that I can communicate my ideas well in the written form. Therefore as I was making my resolution for this year, I decided that this would be the year I write that first book of mine. At that moment, I thought blogging would be a great way to get writing practice. While I might have written a handful of fictional pieces, most of my posts are about topics that caught my interest somehow. These posts take time to research and to condense the information in a readable post length. (My hunch is that most people do not read posts that are about a thousand words or more – too time consuming.) All that time invested for nothing much to show for it except for maybe a couple of likes. In the meantime that time and energy could have been invested in finally writing that draft novel.

Reason 3 – Building and maintaining the blog’s followers is a time consuming process
What is the use of writing, if no one is reading it, right? Well spread the message that you have a blog! You could post it on your Facebook profile but as I have mentioned in another post, chances are only 16% of your “friends” would even see that post. More than 2 months after I started blogging, I keep getting questioning remarks on my Facebook wall asking, “You have a blog?” So even if you have hundreds of Facebook friends, the number of views referred by FB could be really low. At the moment I get an average of 2 views per day referred to my site by Facebook. I have about 365 friends. You can calculate the percentage rate.

What else can you do? If you want to increase traffic to your site, WordPress advices you to read other blogs. But reading and liking a post is not enough to entice other bloggers to your own blog. You have to leave interesting comments on them. It might sound kind of sneaky but there is some sense to what they are proposing. After all, a comment is a teaser, showing your writing style and personal interests. Furthermore reading other blogs could help you improve yours, find new inspiration and simply become part of the blogger community. I have to admit that I have come across a few blogs that I would not have found otherwise. But the point is it is time consuming to get people to read your posts. (How many hours were there in a day?)

Reason 4: Bloggers are too nice to criticise
I have had the good fortune that I have only had friendly people visit my blog. Most visitors leave encouraging comments. I have posted some creative pieces, which I personally thought had weak parts. But I was surprised that I only received positive feedback. As I mentioned, the blogger community is too kind. I was thinking that I should add a comment at the bottom asking for constructive feedback. My work is not going to improve much, if it continues in this fashion.

Reason 5: Blogging is an ego-inflator
This point follows reason number 4. With all the praise and likes a post receives, it is difficult not to feel good about oneself. Feeling good is a good thing, right? Wrong! Feeling good in this case would mean that you are reaping the reward before even seriously starting to work on that book. For this very same reason, it is not recommendable to talk about your goals. It is how our brains are wired and I wrote more about it in this post. If you feel the reward, what is to entice you to do work afterwards? Suddenly I catch myself dreaming about getting Freshly Pressed instead of being published.

While blogging brought me into writing mode, it is keeping me away from the writing that novel. Soon I would be working fultime again and have much lesser free time. I shudder when I think about it.

Do you agree with me? Are you an aspiring author? What is your experience with blogging in relation to your goal to write a book?

15 thoughts on “5 Reasons – Why procrastinating writers should not be blogging

  1. Hi Irene, It’s not just aspiring writers. I’ve finished 12 novels, have two in creation always one undergoing editing to and fro from my editor. When I began to blog, the work suffered. Now I’ve found a ballance. I make sure I blog no more than once a week and never less than once a month. It seems to work but I’m not really seriously into self-promtion yet and won’t be until all the completed novels are out.
    Good luck with the novel. Turning aspiration into 100,000 words is easyier once you get past the first ten or so – ten thousand that is. Go to it try to enjoy the creative buz.
    Regards, davidrory.

    • Wow! 12 completed novels! Do you have a publisher?
      Thanks for the encouraging words. I have told myself that once I start working and have to decide between blogging every day or writing that novel, the decision would fall on the novel. Keeping my fingers crossed that when the time comes I would act accordingly. 🙂
      Cheers, Irene

      • Hi there. Yes my publisher is davidrory-publishing. In other words I’m Indie. I used to be with a small press but I was floundering there. Going Indie was the best thing I’ve ever done and yes I know there are still stigmas attached to that – but it’s liberating and the possibilities are exciting and endless.
        Good luck.

  2. Excellent post…I am so with you on this. I worry all the time that I’m wasting my time blogging. People say, oh, you should write a novel or memoir. I know. But blogging is giving me a rush, it is building my confidence and helping me understand what I want to say. Still…it takes a lot of time…a lot. What’s your novel about?

    • I have two stories. A romance story involving a 30 year old and a trip around the world. The other i a mystery novel for children. As you can see, I am not focused on a specific genre. What would you write about?

      • I’m kind of literary sort, I guess. Whatever that means. I’ve considered the memoir, like the literary memoir. My fear is that I wrote for years and years and never showed much of anything to anyone. Blogging helped me to get some attention and this helped me write. My fear is I won’t’ be able to sustain a novel writing project as I don’t have any real life support for such. I’m not part of any writer’s groups, etc. How do you manage?

      • I am in the beginning phase. I am not part of a writer’s group either. Difficult to find one in English near where I live in Germany. What I keep hearing on severals blogs is to write a draft without any edit first. Once the story is completely drafted then start with the rewriting, editing, etc. Let’s see how long it takes me to complete the first step. 🙂 Wish you all the best with the writing.

  3. I probably spend far too much time in the blogosphere and not enough writing novels. Blogging does suck you in, for all the reasons you described, and before you know it, you’ve spent all your free time on it. That’s the big reason I still don’t Tweet. Everyone says it takes up too much of your time.

    I post 3 days a week, and I’m seriously thinking about dropping down to 2. If I’m going to publish my works-in-progress, I have to revise and polish them and get working on sequels. And prepare a query letter and synopsis for shopping them to agents. And be ready to undertake much of the marketing myself…..

    The blog is good writing exercise. But it doesn’t write the novel!

  4. I think I have managed to achieve a balance. I only tend to blog over lunchtime. I have completed my first novel and I am working on my second. I am also away 12 hours a day as I have a day job. However, I use the commute on the train to write and of course to read so the time is well spent. I suppose it comes down to whatever you find works for you. I use my blog to put out my lyrics and poems and to use as a braindump as my writing progresses so I do write a fair bit about how I am feeling during the process of writing itself. Of course what I write about does not take research and I can easily do a thousand words an hour so again that works for me. I couldn’t write a factual blog I’m afraid, that would stretch my time too thin 🙂

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