Monday, October 22, 2012

2013 Goal #1: Reformulate My Blog Strategy

I believe in goals. In fact, I think that's probably the overarching theme of everything I've written about on this blog over the past 14 months. Even more so than writing every day since that, itself, is an ongoing goal of mine renewed every morning.

I wrote recently about how my 2012 goals ended up not looking a whole lot like where I'm ending up and why I'm basically okay with that. I realize there's a chance that might happen again in 2013. After all, I'm still very much in a neophyte stage of working toward being a professional (in at least some senses of the term) writer. Just like I discovered this year that some of the things I had believed to be true in late 2011 weren't necessarily so, I suspect there's a fair chance I'll see that again in 2013. If I'm still singing the same "Gosh, I don't really know what I want to do writing-wise yet" song and dance in five years or so, consider yourself to have permission to tell me to focus.

I'm going to be working out my 2013 goals publicly here on my blog over the next couple of months. Note that all of these posts will be considered "First Draft" goals, subject to being modified, enhanced, shrunk, contorted, folded, spindled, mutilated, or even out-and-out obliterated at my own future whim.

These goals are also being presented simply in the order that I decide upon them. So Goal #1 isn't any more important than Goal #5 (or whatever). I probably will reorder the goals in order of importance when I go to wrap this all together in a final set of 2013 goals.

With all that out of the way, on to 2013 Goal #1!

2013 Writing Goal #1: Reformulate My Blog Strategy

I started this blog in August of 2011 in the heat of having just dove headlong back into writing during the week or so preceding my first blog post. My second post, "Writing Begets Writing," talked about my long experience with dipping my toes into the world of writing and publishing and then quickly yanking them back out. What I had learned was that, for me, there was a tremendous inertia to not writing. I had never been the kind of person to write a short story one month and then six months later write another one, and so on. No. It was all or nothing for me. I was either WRITING or I was not.

I closed out that post with these words:
"So, why write all this?  Heck if I know.  I'm writing now, right?  So, I guess I'm writing about writing. And hopefully some of my friends are reading this, and they'll ask me from time to time 'So, how's the writing going?' Maybe that will help me keep from going back to NOT writing."
For the most part, my non-writing friends never really got into the whole "Hey, look, Michael's writing!" thing. (Which is totally cool.) But I developed a lot of writing friends, initially mostly through Rachael Harrie's Platform-Building Writers' Campaign. And they were very much interested in talking with me about writing and hearing how I was doing. At first, certainly, having the blog as a place to play around with ideas was an enormous help in keeping me writing every day.

Then, this summer, I launched a second blog. This one was tied directly to my "Write Every Day" book. Write Every Day (the book) has both been what I hoped and not. I had hoped it would be the sort of thing that would get occasional sales over the long term as new writers looked for a book to help them along their way. It's doing that. But I had also hoped it might have a decent initial sales mark. That didn't happen. But when I put the time into writing the first draft, it was a time when I needed to not be focusing on fiction, so here as well, I'm cool with how everything worked out.

Between those two blogs, though, I've written just short of 350 entries in 14 months. Many of them have been short. But still. I'm feeling blog burned out right now. I no longer look forward to thinking of interesting things to write about on my blog. It's become a chore.

And as far as I'm concerned, writing-wise: Chores Bad, Fun Good. (Even revisions, not my favorite part of the writing process, don't feel like a "chore" to me.)

So. I'm going to stick to my existing blog schedules through the end of the year and into the beginning of 2013. But my 2013 Goal #1 is....
"Formulate a new blog strategy for both Michael Haynes - A Writing Blog and Write Every Day during the month of January, 2013 with an eye toward implementation as soon as reasonably possible after the strategy has been defined."
Thanks for hanging out and listening to me talk about my own personal writing goals. If you stayed through til the end of this post, you're a real trooper! (Or else really bored... Have you considered Parcheesi?) Stay tuned, 'cause I'll have another post like this before too long with 2013 Goal #2.


  1. I enjoy your posts, but I think it's important to get some enjoyment out of the process for yourself. I've seen quite a few bloggers overextend themselves and then quit when a more reasonable pace would have probably suited them better.

    Moody Writing

    1. Mooderino,

      Thanks for stopping by to share your enjoyment for my posts.

      I don't intend to quit blogging altogether and I also don't want this to wind down to "just" being an announcements blog. But I suspect I'll end up reducing the volume of my blogging. However, I'm going to wait until that period of time in early 2013 to make any decisions.

  2. I had a second blog, under my pen-name. It all became too much. And, like you, blogging became a chore.

    I decided to ditch mine. But I still feel a bit sad about it.

    I'll be interested to see what you come up with, Michael.

    1. Thanks, Deborah, for commenting. It's sort of nice to know that I'm not alone. Granted, I've heard of blog burnout before, but it just sort of hit me all of a sudden that I was in it.

      Early on, blogging was a boost and fun. Now it's a crutch and a chore. I don't want to give it up 100% but I need to find a way to make it at least a neutral part of my writing life rather than the, frankly, moderately negative part it feels like it's become.

      Thanks for your interest in the future of my blog!

  3. I'm with you on the chores=bad thing, and I've been there before in the short lifespan of my (single) blog. In April of this year I did the "April A to Z Challenge" which had me writing a new blog entry every day that month, and I was definitely burned out by the end of it.

    These days, I post an entry a week and that seems to be the right frequency to keep it fun and interesting for me. But if the fun ever dwindles again, I'll gladly give that blog day back to my fiction, and I'd hope my little circle of readers would understand.

    Anyway, do what you have to do, and good luck!