Friday, November 18, 2011

Would You Be Less Impressed?

Okay, so today I'm talking about a touchy subject--at least for me. It's something I've been thinking about a lot lately, and I'm interested to see/hear your reactions.

I swear this isn't a brag-fest, but I've done a lot online over the past few years. I co-founded the QueryTracker blog, where I contributed for over a year and a half. I co-founded WriteOnCon, a free online writer's conference. I wrote an ebook that is a guide to anyone who wants to query literary agents, and I offer it for free. I have critiqued hundreds of query letters for free. I co-founded the League of Extraordinary Writers, where I've contributed for over a year and a half. I co-founded the Bookanistas, an online support system and book recommendation group.

I've blogged five days a week for over two years. I commented on literally thousands of blogs. I tweet. I facebook. Heck, I think I even have a MySpace account.

Impressive, no?

I also write novels. Things have been becoming clearer and clearer to me over the past few months. And it's this: What I love most is what I do least.

Sure, I quit blogging for QT over a year ago. I cut back my blogging to three days a week. I don't comment on blogs the way I used to/should. I gave up critting query letters for free a long time ago. And right now, I'm considering some radical changes that will further free up my time to do more of what matters.

More time with my family. More time for myself. More time for my novels.

The pressing question is this: Would you be less impressed?

I honestly want to know. In this wide world of blogging, have we allowed ourselves to get carried away? Have we somehow deluded ourselves that our blog matters? That we can't write good books without blogging? That people will be disappointed in an author if they don't have a blog/Facebook/twitter?

Are we less impressed by the author who doesn't have an online presence?

Be honest, now. This is me. I can take it.

74 comments:

Wendy Chen said...

I definitely wouldn't be 'less impressed'. I like being able to connect with my favourite authors online, but it's just a bonus for me. I generally don't expect them to have blogs, etc. as a rule. Great if they do, but I'd prefer to see another, greater, book. ;)

Miranda Hardy said...

Elana, you are amazing. Slowing down to do what you love would only add to the great respect and admiration I already have for you. Life is too short to do otherwise. I wish I've done half as much in that time.

Andrea Mack said...

Elana, what's important to me is reading a good book. While I enjoy reading blogs and hearing about a writer's progress (or whatever), I definitely don't expect them.

Ghenet Myrthil said...

Honestly, no. As a reader, what matters to me is that the author writes good books. If they're online, wonderful, but if not - who cares? It's all about the books.

I think slowing down to focus on what's most important is really smart and I don't think anyone (at least anyone who matters) will judge your for it.

Christina Lee said...

I hear you--lots of us are careening down that road and what you've done is "whoa" and has made you very accessible and respected in this community.

I do think it's cool when an author has some sort of on-line presence. But I don't think blogging matters. I used to, but not anymore.

It matters when you want to build up a community of support from other bloggers/writers, but not necessarily from you readers (like at all). I think as long as readers can find you somewhere on-line when they google you, that would do it.

I don't know what your plans are but I will watch and learn! xoxo

Jemi Fraser said...

Not even a little bit. The amount of time we spend doing all of those things is incredible. I think NaNo has made me think a fair amount about this lately. I'm LOVING NaNo and the amount of time I'm spending on the actual writing too. I blog/tweet less - and I'm okay with that too. If I drop followers, so be it. The writing is what it's all about.

And personally, I loved Possession and having you write more means I get to read more ... so go for it! :)

Natalie Aguirre said...

I do think it's important to be out there someway so we know when your books come out. But it's all about balance. And yes, I don't have it either. I'm spending way too much time reading blogs and not writing. Way too much time. I don't know how to stop because there's a drive to make friends and hopefully pull more people to my blog. So I'll be watching you.

I think you've done a lot over the years with blogging so you could cut back the blogs you participate in. So yes, we'll still be impressed, but you shouldn't completely disappear. I'm hoping your example will help me.

J said...

To be honest, no way would I be less impressed. I love that I can find my favorite authors online and learn more about them, but I also understand that they're doing what we both love best about them - writing that next book! :)

Anna Banks said...

I don't think "impressed" is the right word. I would be less "intimidated" by you, maybe (because how DO you do it?). But not less impressed.

What I AM impressed with is the honesty of your post here. I do think it gets overwhelming sometimes, and it's difficult to remember that as a writer, your job is to WRITE. Not blog, market, tweet, etc. Sure, it helps to do these things. But it was your writing that got you that first book deal, and the subsequent ones after.

This post woke me up. Thanks for it. Definitely do the things you love FIRST.

Mindy McGinnis said...

I can't say that I would be less impressed, but I think any audience appreciates their writer of choice being accessible and approachable. When I read a book I really like I'll go online to learn more about the author, their process, bio, etc. If they have themselves "out there" I feel more connected to them.

Gail Shepherd said...

I totally support your decision to pull back. You've already accomplished so much, and my hunch is that you put yourself out there because you got something important back: a sense of accomplishment, a sense of community, a passion for the craft and business of publishing, an excitement about how much you were capable of. You really *pushed* yourself, and there are good reasons for doing so. Perhaps the passion for those things has faded a little. And I do think, in the end, that writing the books and spending time with your family are the things you'll count as most precious in the long run. Cheers!

Laura Pauling said...

I think your social media efforts have been incredible. Would I do 3 different blogs? No. Because in the long run it's the book that sells. Social media gets it rolling. And you've got yours rolling. It might be time to pull back.

no, I would not be less impressed. I'd think, I don't blame her one bit! Writing is definitely the most important thing. And family.

Tasha Seegmiller said...

I think you have so much to offer that losing you completely would truly be a loss for the blogging world.

However, I think it would be a greater loss to lose your books.

Finding a balance I think is the trickiest thing in life. Period.

Laura Pauling said...

And yes, I think in ways we've deluded ourselves to how much our blog matters and the numbers; but I think in general that is fading.

Esp. in kidlit, it's the writing and the premise.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I think our audience expects it now. And with an eBook, there's no other way to promote it. (I can walk around with my iPad showing people my book in the iBookstore, but that doesn't have the same effect.
We do need time to write (and I am guilty of not doing that like I should) and it's possible if we focus our time online. That's why I'm not on Facebook or anything. I blog. I Tweet when I remember. Anything more and I wouldn't get anything done in the real world.
And since my book's launch into the Amazon Bestseller list can be traced back to my Worst Movies Ever blogfest (weird, huh?) I'd have to say my online presence is really important right now.
Then again, I'm not planning a long writing career out of this.

Liza said...

Oh gosh. First off, let me say that I would miss the astute comments you make and all the learning that I pull from your blog. That said, the whole balance thing is so hard. In your case, your blog acts as port of your writing platform. Can you write good books without blogging? Of course. But doesn't your publisher expect that you are out there self-promoting and that blogging will be one of many ways you do so? You've done all the right things. Over the years, you've pulled back where can. Could you limit yourself to one blog a week? Tough thing to wrestle with. Good luck.

Wendy Paine Miller said...

Wouldn't be less impressed, no.

I've worked myself into all kinds of confusion about whether this counts and I often have to regroup to figure out who I write for and why I write. It all seems to come back to those answers for me. And whatever makes the cut (blogs vs. guest posts vs. novel vs. letter to Granny) remains.
~ Wendy

Patty said...

It truly does not matter to me...I don't need or crave author contact button the other hand I love when an author reaches out to me and others...

I am not a writer andi spend far too much time reading blogs...but they are addictive...

I hav not posted since Monday on my own blog but I don't care...

Its all about what makes you happy..

Emily White said...

To be honest, I've been shocked for quite some time that you've kept up your presence since your book was published. There are so many authors I follow who limited their blogging to maybe once a month because they've got way too much going on.

So no, I don't think anyone would be less impressed if you cut back a little bit. You are obviously awesome. Cutting back on some things wouldn't limit that in the least. :)

Carrie said...

You are so helpful and encouraging to writers. I've learned a lot about how to be a better blogger/writer from your advice.

I think books are the most important thing. If you blog and you have time for it then I think that's awesome but if you need more time to write then I think you should take it.

I think there are a lot of authors who blog two days a week or even less frequently and they're selling a lot of books.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I can count on one hand the number of authors I follow on the blogs and Facebook. And I don't even need all my fingers for that.

Most of the books on my shelves (with a few exceptions) aren't the result of the author social networking. They're there because of other bloggers who recommended the book or who mentioned it. Had I not seen Divergent mentioned a million times, I wouldn't have bought it. I've never even read any of Veronica's posts (even though I do subscribe to YAHighway, I just don't read the posts anymore).

sarahwedgbrow said...

You know, you're not the only one craving that balance. I think Nathan Bransford and Natalie Whipple have both posted about fatigue after blogging for five days week, five years, etc. (and they both have published or are working on projects that are going to be published...I think once your writing career kicks off, it changes the game. You have to change your game too because the writing, your family are top priority.)

All I can say is THANK YOU for all you've done for writers. I constantly refer my crit group to your Query to the Call ebook. I LOVE WriteOnCon and it has helped me in so many ways.

Do what you need to do, but don't be a stranger. :)

Richard said...

A lot of bloggers are in the same delimma as you, and they're cutting back on blogging. That's the only remedy.

Slamdunk said...

I like blogs done well (like yours), so I do appreciate an online presence.

With all of the responsibilities that a writer has, I think it is necessary to pace oneself--knowing that you'll never make everyone happy.

storyqueen said...

Elana, I think you are asking the wrong question. It doesn't have to be about what impresses us--you should do what you love and what you can live with.

We all are faced with choices and unfortunately we can't do it all. But you are the one who has to live most closely with your decisions.

And remember, the blog should serve you and your needs as a writer, you should not feel like you are a servant of the blog.

Some of my favorite authors do not blogs.

Matthew MacNish said...

Certainly not "less impressed" not ever, but I would miss you a little.

B.E. Sanderson said...

All your accomplishments are certainly impressive, but if you cut back, it wouldn't make me like you any less. You have to do what's right for you. Personally, I blog because I like it. I use Facebook because it interests me. And I got on Twitter because one of my fav authors invited me to join in a conversation and now I'm addicted. If all of that someday helps me sell books, that's awesome. If not... :shrug:

tessagratton said...

It is less impressive, but not less VALUABLE. Because when I look at everything you've done online I think "holy schnizballs! That's insane! color me impressed!"

But when I read your second novel I want to think "Oh, this is even better than the first. That's wonderful!" And THAT is what will put you on my auto-buy list.

What matters isn't impressing me with all the things you do, it's impressing me with writing a better book every time.

(Full disclosure: I recently shut down my blog after 10 years, and only do the online things that I love/enjoy. Twitter, website, short story blog. Everything else I just play around with. My life and my writing are better for it.)

Rick said...

Honestly - yes. If you were a debut author or somebody still building a platform. I always get baffled (and sort of irrationally irked) when I find authors I love who have NO online presence except maybe a website that looks like it was built on Geocities.

It's not fair to get mad over such a silly thing, but I am of the internet generation and I do it anyway.

But after someone has accomplished all that you have accomplished, Elana, I wouldn't be 'less impressed' if you decided to take a breather whatsoever.

You've blazed your internet trail already. You're allowed to rest!

Nata ArtistaDonna said...

Elana
I would not be less impressed.
You deserve to have a balanced life....for yourself...your family ....your writing books.....and then the online presence
not too many people can say they have accomplished as much as you did and that's why I look up to you as a role model :) and I look forward to reading more of your books!
hugs
Nata

Mary Ann said...

I've learned a lot and continue to learn a lot from your blog. You even commented on my blog and became one of my first followers. You gave me the encouragement to keep working at it right when I needed it most. Now, though still in my infancy, I can pass the encouragement torch along and help others.
You don't need our permission to do what you need to do, but I would like to see you continue to post once or twice a week on one blog.
I've had to limit myself to read only the instructional blog posts and I comment very little any more. I wanted you to know how much I value your "how-to" posts. You are a gifted teacher/mentor as well as a gifted author and I'm saving up for LDS Storymakers just so I can attend some of your classes. In the meantime, your fans are loyal, do what you need to do to take Joy in the Journey!

Jessica Bell said...

I don't think anyone would be less impressed, I just think you would be less "KNOWN". Let's face it. You've made a name for yourself with your online presence. I think NOW it's safe to cut back. But I don't think you should have done anything differently. You've worked all the avenues really well. And now I think you will REMAIN known because of your online presence, but still have the leeway to back off. That's a pretty remarkable situation to be in, Elana. Seriously. I'd pat yourself on the back. So yeah. It's not a matter of being impressed. It's a matter of giving your career a good boost. And you've done that.

Donelle Lacy said...

I've always considered an agent or a published author's blog an extra. Like a nice perk if I want to see what they're up to. I haven't thought of it as any kind of requirement until recently when I've been told it's necessary by other authors. (And even so, I'm a little unsure just how important it is.)

It's great to see news on an author's twitter feed, or see an update on their blog, but I know how busy writers and agents can be. So, no, it wouldn't impress me less if you didn't post as often. I'm thrilled that you post at all!

Claire Dawn said...

Erm, I don't really have an answer to your question.

But I was wondering the same thing. I love blogging and right now I do it in a whimsical sort of way. Not that much extra thought goes into my posts. But if I was under contract, I probably would take more care. That's not to mention Twitter, Google Plus, etc.

It's not a prob now that I live in Japan and don't have htat much of a social life (including family). But when I go home that will change.

I already feel a certain pressure to be online. Can't imagine what it's like for a published author.

feministfiction said...

I'm certainly not less impressed by authors who don't have blogs/Facebook/Twitter, although I have been put off authors before when I've found their Twitter feeds or blogs offensive. I definitely look for the blog of an author whose books I've enjoyed, and I'm more likely to buy their next book quickly if they have a blog, if only because I'll be more aware of its release.

And if you're happier with cutting back, then surely that will improve everything in your life, including the books that you write. Then everybody wins. :)

Martha Ramirez said...

I hear ya! Family time is VERY important and it's so easy to use up precious time doing all these things.

I think once you've put your time in, you earn a break. I've seen several successful writers do the same. One had decided to let someone else take over a well known writer's group.

I for one will be impressed with you no matter what. You have done so much, have accomplished so much,and you should be VERY proud of what you have achieved.

I can tell you right now. I see your passion and you won't be able to run away for ever. ;-} I think we all need a break every now and then.

We recently lost a father figure who was our bf's father. He passed away last month. It's a great reminder that nobody lives forever and we must cherish family and friends and take time to make time for them.

No regrets.

Would I be less impressed? Absolutely not. More impressed that you are making the effort to spend time with family. :) It's not like you'll disappear. You'll still be you. A writer.

Big hugs.

P.S. I keep kicking myself for not knowing you until after you quit critting queries. For those who had gotten feedback from you--what a blessing!--Thank you so VERY much for offering your Query e-book for free.

Anna Staniszewski said...

You are clearly superhuman to be able to do all of this in the first place! But something I've been realizing more and more is that writing needs to be top priority. Period. Of course that's easier said than done, but I've been trying! Good luck. :-)

Michelle McLean said...

I love being able to visit my favorite peeps on their blogs. But at the same time, I totally understand needing to step back. It's something I've been struggling with myself for a while. I've cut back to 3 days a week (but I also contribute to two other blogs) - and I'm considering cutting back further.

I have a lot I want and need to do. And I want to be around for my kids while they still want me around. Annnd I'm finding the older I get the more I like to sleep LOL

I don't think it's possible to be less impressed with you :) You are made of awesome :D

Anita said...

Blogging is great fun, and I do think it helps get the initial ball rolling with book sales, but ultimately, it's the book itself that counts. Write the darn books. Blog less. Peek in when you've got the books done. I'll still be impressed with you. :)

LM Preston said...

Hun, you are doing more than the average writer with your slimmed down version! Wow! No I wouldn't be less impressed. Only would 'see' you less on the blogsphere. But you can keep your blog alive by tweeting some of your valuable blog post or even reposting some of your great and useful content. You rock!

J.R. Johansson said...

Hmm, impressed is a funny word. As a person with experience in marketing, am I impressed with everything you've done over the past few years?

Absolutely.

So in that sense, I guess you could say that I would be less impressed if you hadn't done it all.

But I don't think that's the right question. I think the question you need to ask is:

Would you still be as interested in me and my career if I were to put more time into writing and less time into maintaining the online presence I've already created?

The answer to that is yes. I'd still support your career and buy your books.

You also need to understand that maintaining a healthy online presence and what you've been doing the last few years are in two very different catagories. You've been actively marketing to get your name out in as many places as possible. This is much more than just maintaining an online presence.

If an author, in this day and age, has no online presence (no website, no blog, no twitter account--nothing). Then yes, I'd be less impressed by them because I think it's necessary. But that's a totally different situation than building a massive online presence like you have and then simply taking a few steps back in how much work you put in to maintain it. I wouldn't be less impressed at all.

Make sense?

J.R. Johansson said...

Also, I write entire books. You can tell from the fact that I just posted one on your blog.

...I think this means I'm self-published now... ;-)

Stephanie McGee said...

Me? No. Other people? There will always be people who are less impressed. There will always be people for whom no amount of internet presence will ever be enough, in their eyes.

You can and should only please the people who matter. Yes, your readers matter. What pleases them most? Reading an excellent and well-crafted book that you've brought to them.

Little else matters when it comes to your readers.

marissameyer said...

Heck no! The most impressive thing that a novel writer can do is WRITE A GOOD NOVEL! Everything else is secondary. You should absolutely be putting your time and energy into the most important thing.

Janet Johnson said...

Okay, straight up honesty. I would finally think you're human.

And I would be more impressed. Because sometimes walking away from something is harder than starting something.

You gotta do what is most important.

Nichole Giles said...

If you cut back, no, I will not be less impressed, but more, because it will show that you have priorities other than promoting yourself and your book. That you have done what you set out to do, and now know you deserve to take back your life.

But here's an interesting thought. Would you have queried an agent who has zero online presence? I'm not sure I would.

Shannon O'Donnell said...

One of my VERY favorite authors (other than my beloved James) is Cornelia Funke. LOVE her. She is NOT an accessible author, but that doesn't lessen my adoration.

You need to do what's best for you, your family, and your writing career. Your dream of writing full time won't come true if you don't have the books out there. :-) Will we miss seeing you so often? Heck yeah! Will I be less impressed by the wonders of Elana J.? HELL NO! :-)

Margo Rowder said...

In a word, heck no! You are as great as ever, Elana. Keep up the awesome. :)
-Margo

Taffy said...

You've done amazing things,like being busy w/ blogs, built you readership and now you're a published author. So I would expect you to step back and do author stuff like, well, write. :)
I'm impressed with you drawing your bounderies because it means you understand yourself and your needs as a mom/wife/teacher/writer.
I'm impressed also with how you pay it forward.
Keep going!

Donna K. Weaver said...

I wouldn't be less impressed, Elana. I appreciate all you've done to help so many of us but you're only one person. And you're right. Your family is important. And so is your writing.

I recently reached the same conclusion and backed off on the blogging. I love the friends I've made, but there are only so many hours in a day. Like you, I work full time. It's almost as though I can write or I can do social media well.

Tap said...

I think it's not really about being impressed as much as showing another face to the world. Any time you expose yourself to the public (whether by blogging or publishing a book) people are going to judge based on what they see. I can think of authors whose books I've picked up because of their blogs, but it's much easier to name ones without blogs whose books I will pick up anyway because I trust them to be good (Megan Whalen Turner is a prominent example).

On the flip side, if you give a bad impression on your blog, I might never give your books a chance. It's much better to cut back on posting than to post low-quality filler. Publicity is a double-edged sword...

Sarah Allen said...

I guess I'm with everyone else here. A good book is the most important, and a blog and other online stuff is a nice bonus. I also love blogs and twitter, etc. for their use in networking with other writers and publishing people, which is really important for me at my stage in the writing game. But that's me, and that might change. Really my response to your question would be, you do whatever the heck you need to do.

Sarah Allen
(my creative writing blog)

Bethany Elizabeth said...

Hmm... good question.
My first answer is resoundingly, "No, I would not be less impressed." My favorite books are generally written by authors who don't have blogs - although I love the books I've found online through blogs as well. That said, I am more likely to pick up a random book off the shelf if I recognize the author's name and read her blog. But I wouldn't think less of an author for not blogging, certainly not. :)

Rachel Pudelek said...

Now see, I was already impressed by you and I had no idea you co-founded all those things. I just knew you wrote a great book. BAM! Impressed.

I found you and your book due to your blog, and I realize many authors have an online presence for that exact reason: exposure. But I think if you feel you've gotten to the place where it's not about exposure any longer, than no, I would not be unimpressed if you withdrew from facebook/blog/twitter. As long as you still had a website where I could read your bio, and view upcoming books. :)

Michelle Davidson Argyle said...

Elana, anyone who is less impressed with you putting your family above everything else has issues. Honestly, I'm MORE impressed. I think it's a wonderful thing to do what you love, but keep a balance in your life. I'm backing you 100% with whatever you choose. :)

M. Dunham said...

I wouldn't be less impressed. You've already made an impression, and you're on my blogroll. And new people coming in to read your blog and get to know you are going to come more because you're an author at this point than your blogosphere footprint.

Do what's right for you--all of you. This is your career, but it's to allow you to have a life so go have a life, woman! :)

Emily said...

As a reader, I love being able to connect with writers online. Almost every time I finish a book, I search the author to learn more about them.

As a writer I've also been able to connect with some amazing people, you being one of them, who are so giving of their time and share so much of their craft. And I LOVE this online community support group.

However, you've got to be able to write books. And if that's the most important thing and if it means cutting way back on your online presence...then do it.

There are a lot of authors who have little more than a publisher's bio online...and yet, I still read their books!

Laura Barnes said...

No, I wouldn't be less impressed. I am always amazed by all you do and wonder where you have any energy for yourself. I would also still be impressed if you didn't post Happy Birthday on my FB wall when you have thousands of friends (thank you, by the way!).

But here's the even more important thing, I think: It doesn't matter if I'm impressed, does it? Or if any of the other two thousand followers you have are or are not impressed? Impress yourself. Impress your husband, your kids. That's all that really matters.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Jenny Lundquist said...

I wouldn't be less impressed at all. What I care about is a good book. I've read your blog everyday for the past few years and your efforts amaze me.I wouldn't blame you one bit for wanting more time with your family and for yourself/your writing. I actually think it was after reading your posts on what you did to get your blog running that I decided there was no way I could keep up a "writing blog," I just don't have it in me. Good luck if you do decide to make more changes!

Red Boot Pearl said...

I'm amazed you even have time to read the comments on your blog :)

We all have to do what we love.
I blog sometimes. I'm on facebook every blue moon. But I write almost everyday--that's what I love the most.

Elana Johnson said...

I love you all. That is all. :) <3

Alice said...

Yes I'm impressed, but I don't know how you can do all that and write novels too. Its yourself, your family and books that matter most in the long run.

Jaime Theler said...

I liked someone else's comment where they said they wouldn't be less impressed, but maybe less intimidated. How you manage it all *is* impressive, and sometimes I think, "If she can do it, then I should be able to." But I can't. I've cut back on a lot of things, some that I really do miss and would love to do (participate in more online events, read blogs, blog myself more), but I think I had to for my sanity and for my family. I don't want them to feel like Twitter is more important than them.

So if you keep up the impressive accomplishments, then I'll continue to be impressed. But if you cut back, I will still be impressed, because sometimes I think it takes strength of character to say No and back off. Prioritizing can be hard. Regardless, we'll still love you. ;)

Steph Sinkhorn said...

In all honestly, I do expect authors in the kidlit and YA market to have SOME kind of online presence. It shows me that they are interested in connecting with their audience, and it makes it so much easier to feel like they're a real person for the people who read their books.

That said, I don't think "online presence" has to mean maintaining a dozen different social media accounts. To me, "online presence" can be as simple as having a website and a contact email for your audience. Just something to show that you're here, you're real, and you're reachable. The other bits are fun, but optional, and should only be used if you're enjoying yourself doing it.

*in my humble opinion*, lol

Nicole Zoltack said...

There's only so much anyone can get done in a day. If writing is your career, you have to always be working on your next novel. Everything else is bonus, to some extent. Cutting back would definitely not make me less impressed with you. You are made of awesomesauce!

Zoe C. Courtman said...

Actually, I think I'd be more impressed. Every time I see a writer announce they're taking time off from their blog to focus on their novels, I'm always like *nods*, yep, that's the way to do it. Good luck!

June G said...

So, do you mean would I be less impressed if you cut back more on your online presence? I wouldn't be less impressed, I'd just miss you. I didn't realize how used to those 5-day-a-week posts you did until you went to 3. But there's only so much time and you have to make time to live.

I admit. I do find it a little weird when a new author doesn't have any online presence because we've become used to that, but it's all about how great the book is. That's really all that matters. Anything else is just a nice bonus.

Yvonne Osborne said...

Of course I wouldn't. I don't know how you've done all that. But would you have found an agent anyway if you hadn't? I think we are attracted to the instant feedback and stroking a blog provides but then we neglect what brought us here in the first place. Here I am commenting instead of writing. Just between you and me....it's stupid. The online presence "they" tell us we need is getting out of hand. We blog and blog and blog. Sometimes I feel like the kid in the back of the classing waving her hand desperately for the teacher's attention and only getting detention. Ok. Let's write.

Yvonne Osborne said...

Of course I wouldn't. I don't know how you've done all that. But would you have found an agent anyway if you hadn't? I think we are attracted to the instant feedback and stroking a blog provides but then we neglect what brought us here in the first place. Here I am commenting instead of writing. Just between you and me....it's stupid. The online presence "they" tell us we need is getting out of hand. We blog and blog and blog. Sometimes I feel like the kid in the back of the classing waving her hand desperately for the teacher's attention and only getting detention. Ok. Let's write.

Christina Farley said...

I know your pain. I feel that pull every day. I teach, like you. I'm a mom, like you. And I'm trying to make a career out of my writing while juggling everything else in my life. I always have been amazed how you do it all. It's truly incredible and when I get worn out I tell myself Elana does it so suck it up girl! LOL. You've helped so many people along the way.

But you also need to think about what is most important to you. What are your needs and how does that fit into everything.

I literally haven't written on my blog this whole month (hides head in shame) but man, the project I'm working on sure has bloomed to be something I never thought it would be if I'd spent that time on the internet. I wouldn't trade that for anything.

There is only so much time in the day (unless you've got the superpower to slow down time!).

So no. I wouldn't be less impressed. In fact, it could be the step toward something even greater.

Julie Hedlund said...

Would I be less impressed? With you? No. But I think for all others out there it's important to note that it depends. I think you could easily step back/slow down on the blogging front and other social media stuff because you've done so much already. People KNOW you and thus will now support you no matter what.

Others of us who are still building might not have the luxury of backing down too much if we want to be recognizable when our books do come out someday.

Nonetheless, I too worry that social media takes far more time from actual writing than it should, and this is a question we all grapple with. Dare I say that when you do blog, you blog about the experience of stepping back a bit and how you think it's impacting your writing? :-)

Leslie Rose said...

The most important thing is that which brings you joy. All artists live by the nourishment of their creativity. I think the constant pressure of blogging can drain the energy needed for that nourishment. Family first goes without saying. There is too much to miss when the demands on our lives outweigh the time with the people we love. Let your bliss guide you. Reading your book and posts have brought me joy. I can't wait to read more of your work. You have a fan for life.

A.E.Johnson said...

I think having a great online presence helped secure your first book deal. It was worth the time and effort. But sometimes I do wonder what the point of ALL of it is. Maybe just SOME of it would make you happier. I just think you need to be happy. Now, go fry me some spam. JK

I love you!

Roni Loren said...

I know I'm late on commenting on this, but dude, I SO feel you on this. My debut doesn't even come out for another 3 weeks, but I find myself reevaluating every part of my online presence. I've been blogging 3-5 days a week for 2.5 years on two different blogs and now that I'm staring all these tight deadlines in the face for my next books, it's like--how in the heck am I going to keep all this up and not lose my mind?

Then of course you start asking yourself the questions like--does blogging even make that much of a difference? I think it does at some level, but I don't think it has nearly the impact that writing more books and having more quality stuff out there for people to read does. My favorite authors in my genre are online (mostly via Twitter) but their blogging presence is minor--occasional posts about what's coming out usually. Yet, they have a huge fan base because they write a lot of good books.

I dunno. I don't have the answers, but just wanted to say I'm there with you. I think we're all going to have to figure out where our own balance is.

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