Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Keeping The Magic In Blogging

Original Content's eighth anniversary was the beginning of this month, and instead of doing an anniversary post, I blogged about Sally. Social networking masters would point out that I missed a golden opportunity to generate some traffic at my blog with some book giveaways, maybe a blog tour, something. Anything.

My only excuse is that when anyone has experienced a great many anniversaries of any type, it's hard to get up a lot of energy for another one. Or sometimes even notice. (Though if Civil Guy sees this, be warned--we're getting out of town the weekend of July 23rd. At least, I am.)

I wouldn't have even noticed the eighth anniversary at all, but Greg Pincus did a post at The Happy Accident on what he described as The Blahgs--"the feeling you get when you lack the desire to keep on blogging." I've been hearing about this for a while now. It's not unusual to read of bloggers needing to take a break, needing to redefine why they're blogging in order to go on. I wanted to respond to Greg's post, the reponse involved figuring out how long I've been doing this, and there you go.

Meandering along here, I think a big part of litblogging is responding to material on the Internet--other blogs, literary columns, etc. I follow--superfically--a great many blogs, and something I've been noticing happening is that I often have days when I've waded through as much as I can without feeling a lot of excitment about anything I've seen. I've been doing this for eight years (See? This is the point where I checked to see how long O.C. has been around and learned I'd missed an anniversary), and what I think has happened is that I'm beginning to feel as if I've read it all before. Certainly, I have read a lot of it before. I have responded to a lot of it before. Yes, I can never read too much about Shirley Jackson and will probably always have a response. But another book controversy...another so-called celebrity author...another vampire story...another barking award...another list of some kind...I think anyone can see that if bloggers have been around long enough, they may very well get to the point that they just don't have anything more to say on a wide variety of subjects.

Now, I actually do have a bit of an assist for this problem--start reading different blogs. Because I'm a writer and not a pure lit blogger, I have some different interests I can call upon. In addition to kidlit blogs, I follow some author blogs, some writing blogs, and right now I'm following some editor and agent blogs. So I do get exposed to a little more variety of thought than someone who follows only one kind of blog. I've also had to drop some blogs over the years, usually because I felt the material covered was covered in other blogs, sometimes in many other blogs. You can't keep taking on more and more blogs because of that thing about time--within an individual life, anyway--being finite. You have to cull the pack every now and then.

So I would like to suggest that change may be what it takes to keep a blog going.


Greg Pincus said...

First off, happy blogoversary. I think Hallmark should come up with proper gifts for each anniversary in cyberspace.... Even without a themed gift, though, it's great to see you still blogging strong.

And I just wanted to add that the idea of "variety is the spice of life" can certainly help make blogging ever-interesting. Responding to material and seeing where it takes you works well for me, too. I wonder if authors/writers in general don't have a natural advantage when it comes to blogging - personally, I'm happiest when I'm writing anyway (okay, fine: eating chocolate, drinking coffee and writing).

Bibliovore said...

I've been feeling the Blahgs hard, Gail. Thanks for this post, which at least tells me I'm not alone.