Seasons Mixed Emotions

This was to be a fully loaded post on my mixed emotions this morning. I tapped out a post on my iPAD, generated to meet the day’s Insecure Writer’s Support Group mission – to blog the first Wednesday of each month.

But – fate (in the guise of WordPress) stepped in. On trying to insert an image for the post, out of my media files, the whole post disappeared. So, this is a new one.

Yesterday I wrote of my new writing goals – the big strategy one, and the smaller ones. I was disappointed to find that my goals didn’t really register (for comments, anyway) with others. I sometimes find the whole social media thing a little tough going – and admit to some envy I feel when I see other people who have just joined in with groups getting a number of comments and attention on their own blog which is far above mine. It makes me doubt my own writing ability, and certainly panders to my deep down beliefs that I have little to offer.

But then I get to thinking. I’m a hermit by nature. I would be best placed up in a cave somewhere. Going to writing conferences, even going onto critique groups etc – that’s facing a fear each time I do it. And nowadays you have to do it – build that author’s platform, seek out beta readers, critique other’s work, build up that network. None of it easy for a natural introvert.

Which makes me feel a little better about my own efforts to face those fears and do my best on these challenges.

For the ROW80 challenge, I spend a lot of time going around reading other’s blogs. I haven’t seen those comments I’ve posted reciprocated in numbers, but I’m also still going to do it – because I always learn from others, and I appreciate that I’m writing in a genre that a lot of women writers aren’t. And a lot of the group members in things like these challenges are women.

But a piece of me, that resistant piece, starts grinding away at me. Little whispers – do you really think that if Stephen King, or Stephanie Meyer, or JK Rowling, if entering the writing community in this day and age, would have sat there blogging, social networking, joining online writer’s groups, critiqueing, doing blog rounds, commenting, going to conferences, and networking, like most wannabe authors do nowadays?And would they have told the world their goals before obtaining them?

Can’t you just get on with writing and work on all that later? Maybe, then – it’ll just go away. Somehow.

Sometimes the whispers get to me. Like today. I’ve arrived home from the beach, it’s 34 degrees, sweat is running down my forehead, and this laptop is too hot to touch for any longterm.

8 thoughts on “Seasons Mixed Emotions

  1. There is only one way to garner lots of comments on your posts: read, follow, and comment on lots of other blogger’s posts! That’s it. Very simple. It takes time and commitment, but you’ll make some great friends and learn a lot at the same time. But you have to be willing to give before you take. That’s how this social media works.

    Alex Cavanaugh’s Insecure Writer’s Support Group is the perfect place to meet folks with the same goals, doubts, and fears as you. But putting your name on Alex’s list is not gonna do a thing if you don’t give back in a big way.

    I don’t know a thing about WordPress except that it’s sometimes glitchy, but on Blogger, you can assemble an army of visible followers. This entices people to join, especially if they see their friend’s faces up there on the follower wall. And usually, when you join them, they join you right back.

    1. Nancy has made some interesting points here. Such that I’m interupting some of my own writing work to take a look at them.

      As a blogger, I’ve blogged through various blogging systems for twelve years now, from blogger to wordpress.com, I have held several wordpress installed sights, and even used other platforms such as Typespace, and Squarespace for several years. When it comes to commenting on several of these, it’s not easy. Blogger insists on either having a google id, or an open id. The blogger widget to show followers requires you to sign up for a google profile – which most of us have. WordPress (even the free .com platform I’m using for this writing blog) has a method for you to follow other wordpress blogs.

      I’ve seen several writers on the ROW80 challenge come through with comments on blogs where they’ve been forced to appear as ‘anonymous’ because they’ve not wanted to go through the whole thing of creating yet another profile on a platform just to put a comment on.

      Nancy suggests there is only one way to garner lots of comments on posts – read, follow and comment on lots of other blogger’s posts. Last month I commented on fifty different posts on other blogs, but forced into several different profiles to do so, and with several blog authors using comment systems which require authorisation and don’t allow links back to your own blog – it is becoming more and more difficult. I’ve even gone back onto some of the blogger blogs where I left comments (normally of celebration, because the writer had succeeded at their ROW80 posts) and found that because I’d not chosen to leave my comment via my google profile, but rather stick my name and URL in, the comment had vanished. Using the google profile as the first option, clicking on this will eventually take you to the forced blogger profile, where you can put up a link to your real blog.

      I also follow around 200 writing blogs, via their feeds, the blogger widget, or the facebook networked blogs widget. If I can’t follow their blogs, I follow them on twitter, and hope they remember to put up their latest blog posts onto Twitter also. Those have been added via both those lists, and elsewhere, from forums. I spend, generally, three or more hours a week going around those blogs, and adding comments. More on reading others.

      I use both the ROW80 and IWSG Mr Linky links where people sign up, to get around and put some comments up onto posts that intrigue me, celebrate something I’m appreciative of, or add my own thoughts. Nancy suggests that putting your name down on such lists isn’t going to do a thing unless you give back. In this she means even more comments than what I’ve already been doing, I take it. But I understand the difficulty found with some on those lists who have problems circumventing the plethora of platform and authorisation technicalities to join in the conversation.

  2. Hunter, I just joined IWSG today and I feel your pain for sure! I’ve been frustrated with WordPress also. I feel so dumb because I try to do the simpliest of things on there and it doesn’t work! My hubby, who is Tech savvy, has problems figuring it out for me, lol. I also admire those writers, like Nancy, who seem to fit right in with such ease. My New Year’s resolution is to build my online platform and get those blog followers while making some true friends and giving back to them as well. As a full-time teacher and Mom of two and all that entails, it’s gonna be tough. Be I’ma gonna try:) Good luck to you!!

    1. Thanks Jamie, for taking the time to comment, and welcome to IWSG – I only joined in from December, so the support group is relatively new to me also. Doing the rounds slowly.

  3. Yeah, me too, me too! I had blog for a year and only 6 followers. Then I figured out I needed to put myself out there more. So, I started following other people’s blogs that I liked. It started out as trying to increase my following but, you know what? I just enjoy reading everybody’s blogs – to hell with increasing traffic!

    1. Exactly. I follow and comment on many blogs, simply because I appreciate the posts, as I stated in my original post. I’ve been doing that for several years, but have only just started building (slowly) my own structure for my needs under the name Hunter Emkay. Because I’m a thriller / crime fiction writer, I actually belong to a lot of forums etc which I’m slowly making inroads into, having found people who (obviously) discuss the same thing.

      But today I’ve just read several blog posts where others are also having issues with either particular blogging platforms, or their needs to build those platforms using social media of all forms.

      I will continue to follow and post my comments, and not expect particularly increased traffic from one challenge or another. For years now, I’ve involved myself – at my own speed – in taking these challenges. That’s because I’m a writer – I like to write blog posts, and the challenges provide particular themes, although I’ve rarely seen a marked traffic increase because of my own posts.

      April’s A-Z Blog challenge is coming up. That one I had booked into my diary ages ago, simply because it will be a real mind-bender, and hopefully lead to my own discovery of other like-minded people out there.

  4. Don’t give up, Hunter! Follow the blogs that interest you and start to build a relationship. It will happen. Two years ago, I was where you are now. I’m an introvert by nature as well.
    I know WordPress will soon drop the widget, but maybe adding a Google Friends Connect might help you see that people do follow and read your blog. An RSS Feed subscription widget would also be good.
    But don’t give up – you will make friends here!

  5. Alex is exactly right. I ditched wordpress after I’d started using it for a couple of months cuz I couldn’t connect easily. Once I switched to Blogger, it made a world of difference. I get what you’re saying tho… and after a year of rock solid blogging and following other blogs (which has been awesome) I’ve stepped back a bit. Let’s face it, it doesn’t sell books, but it can gain us some mega awesome connections with other writers that is worth just as much in my book.
    My followers have stayed pretty stagnate over last few months cuz I have only been actively commenting on those who comment on mine… but that’s cuz atfter moving houses and writing a new story, I just lack the mojo . The good thing is that the blogosphere will always be here and we can easily jump back into it. I have found that even when it seems a chore, getting in and blog hopping always gives me a boost. It’s so great to connect this way when otherwise we’d never know about each other. 🙂

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