My word for 2013 is DELIBERATE. Both definitions.
I've deliberated lately about the direction my blog should take. At writer's conferences and workshops we're given countless suggestions about our blogs. Don't get political. Don't get too spiritual. Don't be controversial. Don't write things that might alienate readers (potential book buyers). Write reviews for other writers (karma). Don't bombard your readers with too much information about your book. Don't push your book down readers' throats. Be sure to mention your books to keep them on readers' minds. Don't get too personal. Don't brag about your children. Participate in blog tours to up your "followers." Link your posts to your Facebook and Twitter (and Goodreads and Amazon). And on and on and on.
Of course I want to increase my readership. Of course I want my readers to know I write books. Of course it would make me happy if readers bought my books.
But lately... SIGH!
I've tried to follow the guidelines. With only a couple of exceptions, my blog didn't participate in the presidential race. I've signed up for blog tours and book blasts and giveaways and blog hops. My followers have increased substantially during those events.
But lately... SIGH!
You see, even though my followers have increased, comments have almost disappeared. The more I've participated in all these giveaways, blog tours, blog hops, etc, the more I've found that when there's something I feel like writing about, I can't. My blog has been filled with scheduled posts and commitments.
Please don't misunderstand me. I'm eager to help other authors get the word out about their books and participating in some of these events has allowed me to discover some great books I may not have found otherwise. But more and more my blog has felt like it belongs to someone else and not to me.
For that reason I've decided, after careful deliberation, to make my blog into... MY blog.
When there's a book I love and want you to know about, I'll participate in a blog tour. When I find a book I love, I'll tell you about it. When I feel like writing about a spiritual experience or give a political opinion, I will. If I want to share something about my kids (because they're pretty phenomenal), I will. If I decide I want to share something personal, I'll share it. If I'm excited about a book trailer, or a nice review or good publishing news, I'll shout it from the blog.
I will hope that you either like me or my books or my writing or my experiences enough to come back and share my life with me. If not, I understand. I will hope that you'll want to comment or give your opinion when I share something you like or something you completely disagree with. I will hope that we can become friends and that you'll feel like when you're coming to my blog, we're sharing a little conversation and an imaginary cup of hot cocoa (with lots of marshmallows).
Don't worry. I don't plan to become a political blogger or a religion blogger or a book blogger. I don't even plan to become a mom blogger with announcements about every basket scored or every music recital.
I just plan to write about the things I feel like writing about. One day it may be a movie or book review. The next day I might share my frustration with political gridlock. Then maybe I'll write about the time I fell on the diving board and bled buckets into the swimming pool (so embarrassing and SO painful).
I'm still committed to a few events coming up and I've excused myself from a couple of others. I'll still do an occasional blog hop or blog tour and I'll certainly let you know what I think about some of the books I read. I'll still do my own giveaways from time to time. These things just won't be quite so regular.
My blog may lack the focus that we're told we should have, but truth be told, I'm not the most focused person in the world. I'm a little disorganized, a little messy, a little haphazard. I'm a Gemini. (Wow, I think that's the first astrological reference I've ever made.) My blog will probably reflect that.
So welcome and thank you for stopping by. Do you want milk chocolate hot cocoa or roasted hazelnut?