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Blogging: A Waggish Waste of Time? January 8, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Blogging, Mindfulness, Writing & Writers.
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Is blogging a waggish waste of time?

Don’t ask ME . . .

Only YOU can answer that question.

As with any activity in life, mindful awareness of the WHY is THE KEY.

Once you understand WHY you blog, you’ll know whether you are using your limited time on the planet effectively:

(1) If you blog to WRITE more regularly, to be more disciplined about your writing, to get your creative juices flowing, to improve, strengthen and exercise your writing voice, or to dabble in different writing genres . . .

WRITE FIRST.

Once you’re done writing for the day, you can respond to comments, and read and comment on other blogs, as time permits.

(2) If you blog to SHARE your experiences or views of the world, to clarify your philosophy of life, to reveal your innermost hopes and dreams, or to educate others to social issues of import to you, blogging can be a FUN and effective way to do just that.

To maximum the benefit to you and your readers . . . WRITE from the heart, and LISTEN to what others have to say.

(3) If you blog to SHARE what you’ve learned on your  your forays through the blogosphere, be an effective conduit by posting links and quotes.

Sharing links to other blogs is not cheating if your goal as a blogger is to share information ~ and it’s a big time saver if someone has said what you want to say and you just want to point people in their direction.

Of course, just linking to other blogs is “cheating” IF you are blogging to improve YOUR writing voice ~ see point #1.

(4) If you blog to CONNECT with others, to expand your horizons, or to exchange ideas, have FUN!

Enjoy the journey . . . within whatever time parameters you choose or have available.

To maximize the experience for you and your readers, focus on engaging in  dialogues, rather than presenting monologues.  When we LISTEN, anything in life can be our guide.

(5) If you are blogging SOLELY because someone told you that all wannabe novelists MUST have a blog audience in order to get published, make sure you aren’t putting the cart before the horse.

* What if you NEVER finish that novel because you are too busy blogging?

* What if you finish it, but decide NOT to publish it?

* What if you decide to self-publish it ONLY for select friends and family?

If you’re enjoying the JOURNEY of blogging, reaching the ultimate DESTINATION of marketing your novel isn’t really an issue.

But if blogging is just another “MUST DO” on a crowded and cumbersome  list, especially if it detracts and distracts from your efforts to write “the Great American Novel,” consider reordering your priorities.

(6) If you are blogging to share your works in progress, including your “just conceived” novel ~ please see Premature Ejaculation.

(7) If you are blogging solely to get an Ego Boost, through feedback, statistics, or recognition from the masses ~ please see WTF: Watch That FeedbackPop Goes The Ego, and Let Go, EGO!

Of course, blogging can also be used to keep our Egos in check . . . 

We are the ONLY experts on our life.

No two bloggers have identical reasons for blogging ~ and our reasons may change from day to day.

Only we know whether the time we spend in cyber space is time well spent, or just another “Waggish Way to Waste Time.”

Regardless of our exact motivation(s) for blogging, we probably enjoy writing as a creative outlet, at least some of the time, or we would find some other way to share, create, explore, dream, discover, and spend time.

The goal behind all goals . . . happiness.  (Or so says the Dalai Lama. And I agree with him.)

That’s my goal for blogging . . . to enjoy the journey and see where it leads.

After all, if it’s not fun, why write?

No rules.  Just write.

Related posts:  WP Daily Prompt ~ Why Did You Start To Blog?Managing The Bloghood (Souldipper) *75 Waggish Ways to Waste Time * 75 Ways To Become A Top Blogger (Courage 2 Create) * Keep Writing * When The Going Gets Tough * Hang Ten: Riding the Waves of Dismay * Why Write? * We’re Older, But Are We Better? * Down The Blog Hole * Your Best Writing Window (Becky Levine) * 40 Bloggers to Watch in 2011 (ProBlogger) *  Great Blogging Tips (WP Daily Post)

Comments»

1. aardvarkian - January 8, 2011

Thank you for this. Just what I needed.

nrhatch - January 8, 2011

Yay! That means that I put MY time to good use this morning . . . so that you can put YOUR time to good use this afternoon. 🙂

2. Carol Ann Hoel - January 8, 2011

Great post. I started out blogging because I was told I must have one to publish a novel. Since then, my novel isn’t moving very fast. I have limited time to write blog or anything else. However, I am enjoying the blog, so I’m not ready to discard it or even to work first on the novel. If I favor the novel, the blog will become stagnant. I must find the right path. Thank you for such a thought-provoking post. Blessings to you…

nrhatch - January 8, 2011

When we are mindful of our choices, the RIGHT path will unfold before us.

Just be absolutely determined to enjoy what you do.

3. Tammy McLeod - January 8, 2011

Very funny Nancy. I often have to remind myself what my original intent was!

nrhatch - January 8, 2011

Me too!

4. Paula Tohline Calhoun - January 8, 2011

Nor only do I have to remind myself of what my intent was, I have to wonder if I ever really had one! No matter, this has all been a great and creative experience for me, so I have no regrets! Besides, just think! If I hadn’t started doing this blogging thing, you would never have known I existed! 😀 I, on the other hand, would always have had a sneaking suspicion that you did!

nrhatch - January 8, 2011

That made me laugh out loud . . . picturing you and your “sneaking suspician” as to my existence.

Now, I want to create a comic strip to show a “suspician” sneaking, snooping, and sniffing about. 🙂

And, you never know, when the Universe doesn’t toss us together in one way . . . it gets ever more creative. Perhaps we would have bumped into each other on a trip around the world!

nrhatch - January 8, 2011

Or on Jeopardy.

5. Paula Tohline Calhoun - January 9, 2011

Or *GULP* the Orthopedic surgeon’s office!

“Sneaking suspicions” live on the “horns of a dilemma.” Now you know where to go when you want to draw what they look like for your new cartoon.

nrhatch - January 9, 2011

I have a “sneaking suspicion” that those destined to meet, meet . . . in likely and unlikely places.

I’m getting ever more tempted to give a (crudely drawn) comic strip a go.

6. souldipper - January 9, 2011

Thanks for an enjoyable post, Nancy! Seems to be a popular topic right now – thank goodness. New Year’s influence? Always good to have good questions to ask oneself.

Thank you for the trackback!

nrhatch - January 9, 2011

You’re welcome. Commenting on your post added some flesh to a skeleton framework I’d been contemplating about reasons for blogging.

I suspect you’re right about the New Year’s influence. People become a bit more mindful and aware of their activities and proclivities.

7. M. Howalt - January 9, 2011

It feels a little paradoxical to tell you that I think this post is really good, what with points 3 and 4. Yet here it is. I really did enjoy it.
I’m fairly certain I know why I’m blogging, and it’s certainly not because others told me to or anything like that.

nrhatch - January 9, 2011

In the past 2-3 weeks, I must have bumped into a dozen of more bloggers who said they blog because someone told them that novelists MUST HAVE A BLOG.

Anytime someone says that I MUST do something, I get ornery. I’m an artist and live by my own rules, thank you very much! 🙂

Listen to the mustn’ts child. Listen to the don’ts.
Listen to the shouldn’t haves, the impossibles, the won’ts.
Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me.
Anything can happen child. Anything can be.
~ Shel Silverstein

No rules. Just write.

M. Howalt - January 10, 2011

Well, I think hearing about authors with blogs inspired me in some way – but I certainly agree. I wouldn’t do it because someone told me I “must”.

nrhatch - January 10, 2011

Once I started blogging, my desire to finish and publish a novel evaporated. This is more fun. 🙂

8. oldancestor - January 9, 2011

Sometimes I feel like it’s a waste of time, blogging, but then I pick up a new subsriber or someone leaves a comment telling me it was hilarious. Then I feel recharged and want to post more.

nrhatch - January 9, 2011

I feel the same ~ not for the “ego boost,” but because “being of service” and “making people happier” recharges my batteries. 🙂

9. Alannah Murphy - January 10, 2011

Definitely do not think blogging is a waste of time because I’ve met some wonderful people who have been very helpful and encouraging and it’s nice to communicate with others from all over the world and share things in common 🙂

nrhatch - January 10, 2011

I agree! I’ve definitely expanded my horizons in ways I never expected. It’s been a blast!

10. Lisa - March 28, 2011

Nancy, I love how you always have the perfect post to deal with whatever craziness my mind seems to be going through on any given day. Thank you for sharing this with me.

nrhatch - March 28, 2011

You’re welcome. The reasons for blogging are many and varied ~ and may change day to day.

I started blogging with one goal . . . to enjoy the journey and let SLTW.

So far, so good. It’s wonderful to be able to share and interact with others on topics of mutual interest.

Lisa - March 28, 2011

Amen!

11. Lisa Wields Words - December 1, 2011

This is such a lovely and insightful post, Nancy. Thanks for pointing it out to Christine so I could find it. It is a great way to look at blogging, and food for thought.

nrhatch - December 1, 2011

Thanks, Lisa. Our reasons for blogging vary from blogger to blogger and even over time. When we know WHY we blog, we know better HOW to blog. 😀

12. dogear6 - March 3, 2012

I see you posting out and about at blogs I follow and finally decided to follow this link and visit you from a comment you’d left Christine Grote when she asked why we blogged.

Your post is very thoughtful and encouraging. I enjoyed it very much!

Here’s my post on why I blog:
http://livingtheseasons.com/2011/11/30/thwarted-writer-does-blogging-why-i-do-this/

Nancy (your mother had great taste in your name!)

nrhatch - March 3, 2012

Thanks, Nancy (great name, by the way) . . . I’ll swing by and take a peak. 😀

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15. CMSmith - July 18, 2013

Food for thought, Nancy. Thanks for bringing your analysis to my attention. I think I fall into more than one reason. 🙂

nrhatch - July 18, 2013

My reasons bounce around a bit from day to day. But it’s been an enjoyable journey thus far.

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