Monday, April 25, 2016

A Much Needed Kick-In-The-Pants From One Of My Readers

I have of late thought about discontinuing this blog...as I often feel I have little to say or no energy or enthusiasm to say it. 

But I received a comment today from Kathy, one of my loyal readers after posting about my meager royalties from my published memoir.  She said:

I don't know much about this sort of thing. Maybe you need to build up your online presence. Post more often on your blog and when someone leaves a comment it might help if you acknowledge that comment. Also, comment more often on the blogs you visit. I have seen some very popular blogs that receive numerous hits. One example is a blog written by a man who writes about nothing in particular. But yet he's open and honest in his telling of everyday, mundane matters. He shares his thoughts on the funny and the absurd and yes, even those things that piss him off. His blog is no different than yours in terms of content. The big difference is that he posts something almost every single day. His readership is through the roof and many people have asked him to write a book. If you can build a relationship with your audience they will think of you as a friend. It takes time and effort to build up a readership. You have to be dedicated and disciplined. I am interested in your life and when I first found your blog I went back to the very beginning and read every post. Something has changed and you have lost the desire to write. It's a shame because you have so much to offer.
"I could be telling you about the wind storms in New Mexico or the Sunday brunch at San Marcos Cafe. Or about the Community Garden in Cochiti Lake or about Leon's job at the Mini-Mart".
Why not write about this stuff? I would like to know how things are going because I am invested in you and think you and Leon have a story worth telling.


My reply:

Wow!

Thank you Kathy, for your very thoughtful and engaging comments. You are right, I have lost some of my enthusiasm for writing. Other things have become priorities, and maybe not for the better. Our move to New Mexico, while providing great topics for writing, has taken up a great deal of time and energy...

I am lousy at self-promotion and I become easily discouraged. After so many years of having a blog with less and less feedback from readers and "demands" from family and friends to keep them informed via Facebook, a format that I deeply despise, I find that I have little time or energy for the more creative stuff that I was aiming for with Reluctant Rebel.

You have given me much to think about and maybe a little incentive to get back to basics. Facebook sucks the life out of me! One feels obligated to check on "friends" from time to time, read their posts and re-posted cute sayings and trite platitudes, watch funny videos and view every comment that people make on everyone else's post. Little energy is left for thought or writing. I don't know how some writers and bloggers continue while also keeping up with FB, Twitter, and a slew of other social media.

Perhaps I will try reviving RR and only post links to it on FB.

Thank you for being such a loyal reader. I really appreciate your comments, your encouragement and the kick in the pants that maybe I need to get me back on track. People tell me that writing takes discipline - something I apparently have little of. I'm not sure I can change that character flaw, but I will have to try re-prioritizing some things. I'm not sure our dog Benni will appreciate not being priority #1, so maybe writing will have to come in at #2 or #3....

Thank you again, Kathy, whoever you are and wherever you are...and I will use this as the post for the day.

5 comments:

Kathy said...

You are very welcome. Please don't shut your blog down! If it has to take 2nd or 3rd on your list of priorities that's fine with me. I understand that the busyness of life makes it difficult to find the time and energy to write. Hang in there and see if you can build your readership up. Good luck!

ELIZABETH HALL said...

Frank, don't feel bad about not keeping up with your blog and your new book. Life is just like that. Your move was a big life event. As things change in our lives our priorities have to shift. It doesn't mean that we can't/won't get back to those things that are important to us. I imagine that some writers are disciplined and others aren't. I don't think it makes any difference whether you are or not. And you have no reason to apologize. You're a really good writer, Frank. Just keep telling your story. Glad your blog will show up in FB so I can send you little notes like this to let you know you're awesome. Just do you, as they say. Looking forward to the new book and whatever else you choose to share.

Frank said...

Thank you, Elizabeth, for the encouragement and wisdom. I guess I'm not apologizing, just lamenting about having to make choices: like I want the chocolate ice cream and the chocolate almond, and the moose tracks and the mocha and the pistachio and....

Today I didn't add to my book or blog: I did rocks. Perhaps I'll post on that tomorrow. The Zen of yard work, not so much a Zen garden but a few hours of solitude and physical labor.

Thanks again for reading and being in touch.

Russ Manley said...

Frank I and others have enjoyed your blog for years now; the question is do you enjoy it still? Sometimes I've had to go on hiatus for a few weeks or couple months until the sense of fun came back.

Actually, I've put my own blog on the back burner in this past year, and really don't feel I have much to say to the world these days. But I can't quite let go of it, either: if nothing else, a couple of posts a week gives me a tiny sense of purpose in retirement.

Whatever you decide, I'll keep RR on my blogroll and hope to see you continue writing as much or as little as you decide is right.

Frank said...

Thanks, Russ,

Always enjoy checking in on BTRS and have noticed that you too have cut back on the posts. I've found that I seem to have less to say, or that so many people are talking that I wouldn't be heard above the din anyhow. Keep on truckin'.

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