Taking a break

I’m going to be taking a break from blogging for the next few months. I’ve thought about this for a while now, and there are several reasons for my decision.

I’m not enthusiastic about blogging.

I’m a novelist at heart: I love creating characters, working through the intricacies of plotlines, subplots, plot twists, developing imagery, weaving words together until the story unfolds with grace and power.

It’s not that I can’t do similar things in non-fiction, but it’s simply not the same process for me. Frankly, the work of writing non-fiction exhausts me.

True, writing fiction exhausts me as well, but that exhaustion is the pleasant kind, where I know I’ve progressed in the story. The non-fiction writing exhaustion is a “I’m so stressed out that I’m yelling at my kids” type of exhaustion. Which leads to my second reason:

It’s taking a toll on my relationships. If I’m stressed and exhausted by blogging twice a week, the first people to pay for it are my family and friends. My relationship with God suffers; my husband gets snapped at; my kids wonder when Mommy will ever be finished with her blogging. They’re too important to me to sacrifice for something I dislike.

My fiction is suffering because of blogging. My craft is suffering. I’m obligated to stop work on my second novel to write a blog post twice a week, and since I’m a slow writer, a single blog post takes two-three hours, which is how much time I have to write each day.

This mean that I lose momentum in my story, forget what has just happened in the plot, and the like. If I compromise my commitment to perfecting my craft and developing my art, then I will lose one of the major reasons I love to be a writer.

This may be the stupidest marketing move that I’ve made in my attempt to create a platform. But it’s a necessary one for me at this point in my life. We’ll have to see how (or if) this affects my efforts to snag an agent and/or publisher.

I plan to take a three month hiatus. Depending on my life circumstances, I will return in March 2011. I will periodically update my readers on my journey toward publication, both here on the blog and on my Facebook page and profile. Feel free to read past blog posts, leave a comment or send me a message on Facebook. I love to hear what you have to say. You can also follow me on Twitter now, too. (See the sidebar.)

An update (12/13/10): The first draft of my second novel is finished, but it’s a confused mess at this point. (Why did he do THAT? What’s wrong with this plot? What’s up with this awful writing? I thought I was a better writer than that!) But I can edit and re-write a mess; I can’t edit a blank page. So wish me luck as I plunge into draft number two.

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9 thoughts on “Taking a break

  1. Hey Laura:

    I will miss your posts as you are a place of comfort and safety for me for a respite from all the other vicious feminists comments.

    Let me say kudos on assessing your situation and doing the right thing for you and your family.

    Let me again suggest that you pursue romance writing. It is the only genre that has actually increased in this horrid climate. Should you elect to do that, I would like to offer my services as your agent. I negotiated a great deal with a major romance publisher that they had never done before. This resulted in 3 advances rather than just one. I also got her a better deal than they were previously offering.

    Blessings on you and yours and I mean that sincerely

    John Wilder

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    1. Hi, John-
      Thanks so much for the encouragement. I’ll try to keep everyone up to date on what’s going on in my pursuit of publishing, and I might publish one or two blogs, depending on schedule and enthusiasm level. I’ll miss your thought-provoking comments, too. Probably romance writing isn’t my thing; I seem incapable of writing happy endings, lol. (The one time I tried to write a funny short story, I ended up writing about a mother who abandons her child. Not exactly what I had in mind.) But thanks so much for the offer, and I will keep you in mind in case I decide to pursue this route. Blessings on you!

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  2. Hi, Laura!
    I am so proud of you! I still don’t know why you think you must have a Blog to be successful, but I am so glad you are focusing on what matters and what and who you love. When things we dislike get in the way of our dreams and goals, I personally believe they hamper our movement toward such goals. I am glad to have been able to read your postings, but will be even happier when your amazing fiction is ready for the world.

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    1. Thanks for the encouragement, Laura. I guess I’ve been reading too many agents’ blogs about the importance of platform in getting published. But when I read Don Miller’s blog post about possibly killing his popular blog, I realized that I have a similar concern that he does: all the instant publishing might actually be detrimental (I hope I spelled that right!) to creating great writing. I also realized that many of the things I want to talk about on the blog don’t necessarily jive with what my novels are about theme-wise; I was getting really frustrated! So I think a break is what I, my family and my writing needs. Thanks for reading! I can’t wait to see you get your fiction published!

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  3. Hey Laura:

    You must follow your muse. Let me offer one final piece of advice, http://www.fundsforwriters.com is a writer’s site that I belong to. The owner of the site cautions people to think about their writing. Do they do it just because they love it or do they also want to make money from it. If you want to make money from it, then you have to write what people want. It needs to be a commercial product with broad appeal. As you are probably aware, publishers are making huge cutbacks right now laying off staff and drastically reducing acquisitions.

    This is why I mentioned romance writing because it is the only genre that is actually growing in this climate. You need to read some to get the style down, but it is not only thriving, but they pay authors much higher royalties and sell far more books. Just something to think about.

    Blessings
    John

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