For a while now, most Fridays I’ve been posting reviews of books in some way related to the writing process or that I think writers will find interesting for their techniques or expertise – like Anne Tyler’s The Beginner’s Goodbye.
I was going to post a review today, but I’m holding it over to next week, because it’s going to contain an author interview, which will be a first for this blog! I’m excited. The book is This Side of Forever and the author is the lovely Jo Chandler, who I met on Goodreads. This Side of Forever is a Young Adult novel, which, like my own first novel, deals with alcohol abuse and the issues that lead people to it.
I like writing book reviews and some, like On Writing by Stephen King, are fairly popular with readers, but they aren’t as yet the most-read posts on this blog. A quick glance at the sidebar shows that among the most popular posts are one about a giveaway, and one on A New Lucrative Genre of Fiction. The other popular posts come and go, but those have been there for months. I have a suspicion that the people who come here to read those posts may well be disappointed – the giveaway was my ebook of short stories, which from time to time is free in the Kindle Store. (Not that people shouldn’t be pleased to get it, but I’m not naive – it’s far more likely they were after free chocolate bars or holidays to the Caribbean!) The article on a lucrative genre is fiction is not remotely serious and possibly funny. (At least I hope it is.) Following the “advice” in it won’t make anyone rich overnight.
Another of the more popular posts is not funny at all, and that it’s popular is kinda sad. I hope that the writers who come here to read 7 Ways to Help You Write When You Feel Depressed do get what they hoped for. Been there, done that, and it’s not fun.
A few days ago, several bloggers had a discussion in a Facebook group about frequency of posting – how often is most effective? Do readers find every day too much to keep up with? Does posting that often make bloggers burn out? Most people agreed that every day was too much and twice or three times a week was better. It seems that posting a higher number of posts per week does not always mean a higher number of views. Some people found once a week more effective. One person joked that the less she posted, the more views her blog received!
I looked at my statistics and realised that although my views have risen hugely in the last few months, when you take into account the increased number of posts I’ve written each month things don’t look so impressive. In August last year I only managed one post and in September two. Yet two out of those three posts feature in the sidebar as popular posts. (The third was about my father’s death.) What this suggests to me is that when I write fewer posts, I write better posts – or at least posts that more people want to read. Yes, I do realise that doesn’t necessarily make them better, but since blogging is about connecting, I do want my posts to be read. The quality of my writing also matters to me.
After that chat on Facebook, I did some thinking. In the months that I have been blogging more, I have found less time to do other writing. I’m working on a new novel at the moment. Although I enjoy blogging and writing articles that people find useful, fiction is my first love. Too often lately I haven’t reached my target weekly word-count because I’ve spent time blogging, reading other people’s blogs, commenting or answering comments. Some people seem to be able to do it all, I’m don’t seem to be one of them. The outcome of my thinking is that until the new novel is finished, I have decided to scale back on blogging.
I will still review books, but not every week. I will still join in the Creative Buzz Hop, but only when I already have something that fits the week’s theme. I will still write posts that I hope will be useful to other writers, because I love to be useful! I will post silly posts from time to time, because it makes me smile when I write them. I’ll probably sometimes write Thankful posts, but possibly not every weekend. Even when I don’t join in I’ll probably visit the other thankful people and leave a comment or two. You can be sure that I will be thankful anyway, because I am thankful every day one way or another, and because I will be thankful to be writing fiction! And when the novel is finished – who knows?