During each season of writing, writers live two lives; their own and whatever characters they’re writing about at the time.
Life, as we all know, is busy. And when you’re a writer, living your own life while writing about someone else’s, you tend to feel pulled in different directions pretty much all the time. In addition, there is all that extra work involved with author branding, the business of publishing, and the time you spend marketing what you’ve been able to create. For writers who blog, or are constantly using some form of social media or other means of staying in contact with their readers, everyday life can be very hectic.
I’ve been working on my own book series for four years now…having published the first book in the series, No Mother of Mine, towards the end of 2012. During this time, I’ve almost religiously followed certain authors and bloggers, always looking for help, researching about writing, searching for tips about publishing, soaking up ideas relating to marketing, or just hoping for some extra inspiration and motivation to get me through the week.
But lately what I’ve noticed is that many of my favorite bloggers and authors have tapered off from regular posts, or only write about one thing (their latest book), or they’ve lost steam altogether.
I recently reviewed the list of all the blogs I’ve been following, and I came to the realization that about half of them haven’t posted very often this year, if at all, while others haven’t posted for over a year or more. This really surprised me. I had wondered at the lack of content from some of my favorites, or the lack of variety, but I just had no idea so many had actually dropped off from posting at all.
My take on this is that some of the authors and bloggers who I had been following gave too much of themselves, at least professionally, if not personally. They were always quick to share their advice, offer a free class, provide helpful tips and tricks of the trade, or whatever it took to keep people like me coming back for more.
And I will always appreciate them for it.
But in providing so much to others, my thought is how long were they able to keep up that pace while they lived their own lives and put whatever energy they had left into the next book they hoped to get out there?
Being a writer isn’t easy – and sometimes living your own life, while writing about your characters’ lives, can be overwhelming, which is definitely something to keep in mind when you’re trying to stay on task. But based on what I’ve discovered with regard to some of the bloggers I’ve been following, it would appear it’s what you do in the middle of those two lives…blogging, other social media, newsletters, offering seminars or online classes…that can actually increase the possibility of burnout.
Times change, people move on, and what we need or what others can offer doesn’t always remain the same. What writers have to figure out is when to give, when to hold back to allow some breathing room, and when to move on if necessary. No apologies needed. Regardless of the season they’re in, writers have to find that balance in order to avoid losing the passion that kept them going for so long.
It’s just another lesson learned from those who I have respected for the past few years. While some of my favorite bloggers are no longer with us, or possibly just on a very long break, I appreciate the fact that I’ve gained knowledge that will help me as I continue on my own journey as a writer.