Reflections In Hindsight

Grace in the Rearview Mirror…it's closer than it appears

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Blogging is the Devil

Posted by Ben Erlichman on February 9, 2012

Why do people blog? What makes them think that anyone else  in the world wants to know about the new recipe for mongoose flambe they just created? Who actually reads blogs?

I’ve been pushing myself for the last year or so to blog once a week here at Reflections (occasionally I’ve missed a few weeks, but hey, one of them was on Thanksgiving, so there). In that time I’ve learned that, for me, blogging is the devil.

See? I told you it was.

What I mean is that like the devil, blogging distracts me from what I should be doing. Also, I hate the devil. likewise, I’ve grown to hate blogging. I have never enjoyed reading blogs, and I’ve always felt like I was supposed to blog as a part of my life as a writer because that’s what I’ve been told I’m supposed to do.

I mentioned in an earlier post that I’m attempting to write four novels this year. Correction: four GOOD novels this year, not just some garbage books that I don’t care about. In my mind, each word that I write on a Thursday morning (or before if I’m really prepared) is another word that won’t get written in one of my books because I’ve written it here. I’m not okay with that.

Perhaps this springs from my lack of interest in blogging as a medium of communication. The only time I read blogs is when a friend asks me to, or when I see something on Facebook that’s of interest to me and it happens to link to a blog post. I don’t go out trolling the internet for blogs. That’s not my idea of entertainment. I don’t enjoy that. The closest I come to that is Cracked.com, a site that I visit regularly because it’s funny and informational (but not always appropriate–you’ve been warned). That’s not really a blog sight, though.

Randy Ingermanson has sent out a lot of good stuff in his Advanced Fiction newsletters since I’ve been a subscriber (and probably before that too). In his last one he suggested that an author should ascribe a value to every business-related thing he does, as follows: $1 work, $10 work, $100 work, $1,000 work. The dollar amounts represent how much money you make from the various tasks you perform.

For instance, I run Splickety Magazine, which takes up a lot of my time. At this point I’m not privy to how much I’ll make from that rag, but I’m imagining it will be in the high $10s or the low $100s. I anticipate it will go up over time as I’ll get better at producing it as time goes on, plus I’ll hopefully make some money by selling some advertising for it. Compare that with my novel-writing: that’s definitely $1,000 work. Sure, it hasn’t actually made me any money thus far, but once I do get published, then I’m confident I’ll be in the $1,000 range.

This formula pertains more to marketing in my case than anything else. The idea is to focus either on A) what I’m good at/enjoy or B) what makes me the most money. I’m good at writing books, I’m good at running Splickety, and I’m good at Facebooking, plus I usually enjoy those things most of the time. I’m kind of good at blogging–of the top five most-viewed posts here at Reflections, four are mine (not including the Author page or the site’s homepage)–but I don’t like it. As of right now, it hasn’t made me any money that I can see, so it falls into the $1 work category. I think you can see where this is going.

I’m going to stop blogging. Over the next few weeks you won’t see me around here much anymore, and then eventually I’ll be gone, with perhaps an occasional guest appearance here and there. I just can’t justify the time I spend blogging anymore. I’ve already spent too much time on this one as it is to make it a decent post.

As such, I need to find a replacement. If you or anyone else is interested, comment on this post and the rest of the Reflections staff/administration will consider contacting you about it. Don’t get me wrong–I’ve benefited from this experience in ways that aren’t as tangible or measurable as money. I’ve made new friends and connections, I’ve learned to be more concise in my thoughts when blogging, and I’ve grown as a writer and as a person, but it’s time for me to move on.

This isn’t my last post here, but it’ll be one of the last. I’ll see you around, okay?

-Ben

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10 Responses to “Blogging is the Devil”

  1. Ruth Mills said

    I quit blogging after two weeks because the time it took me to develop anything informative I personally cared about (I am a research queen) took me an entire 8 hours to research and then write. I lost six days of my life over those two weeks and I won’t be going back. The only reason I clicked on this was because the title caught my eye and just so happened to link to a blog :) Also, Cracked rocks.

    • Ben Erlichman said

      Ruth, that’s nuts. I can’t imagine researching that long for my blogs…but kudos to you for doing it and then realizing that it was a bad move. I’ll be much happier when I’m blog-free, like you.

  2. Everything depends on why you blog. I began blogging when my first action-adventure / mystery for kids was about to be released. Today, that blog http://booksandboys.blogspot.com is number 1 on Google when searching for books for boys. This would never have happened if I hadn’t been consistent in blogging and if no one were interested in books like the ones I write. It’s all about your message and a potential audience for it.

    • Ben Erlichman said

      That’s a good thing. Blogging is working for you, but it’s not for me, at least not now. It takes up too much of my time and energy, and it isn’t what I want to be doing, so I won’t be doing it anymore. Glad it’s working for you. Keep up your good work.

  3. You might try looking at your stats, Ben, if you want a hug. You have consistently the highest rating.
    That said, you know this was only a site to let you get your feet wet and develop your platform, introduce readers to you and vice versa. You were supposed to work on blogging, get used to it, then leave and blog on your own, or drop it. So far, you’re my first real “graduate”; never mind that you tried it for a long time, did well, and choose to try other marketing methods that suit your schedule and personality and fan base. That’s good! Really. I’ve enjoyed getting to know you and your family and I know you’ll keep in touch. Especially if you want that ride to Ohio. :)

    And honestly, I still bust a gut laughing at the squirrel obit.

    • Ben Erlichman said

      I enjoyed the squirrel obit as well. I may have to use that somewhere down the line. :) I appreciate your help and guidance, Lisa, and it has been a nice ride. Yes, we will stay in touch, and we probably will carpool to Ohio if I can get the time to go. Should be fun.

  4. Ben, you’ll be missed. For the record, I enjoyed my time here at Reflections very much. I started a blog on my website but haven’t found the time to add anything other than a short “Busy, but I’ll write something soon!” and that was back in October. Not enough hours in the day when I also work a full-time job outside the home. Write your books. I’ll look forward to reading them. Blessings to you.

  5. I completely understand your frustration and decision. I actually love writing blog posts, but hate the act of blogging (which is why my sister now does it for me – she’d like to get paid to do it for others, so she’s gaining experience and I only do the fun part).

    Your words will genuinely be missed – best of luck to you!

  6. Thanks so much for posting what many of us were afraid to admit. I loathe blogging with every fiber of my being. I should probably close the blogs I have languishing out there proving to the world that I don’t have the passion for it. I post twice a month on a group blog, Writersrest, and I dread doing that. If it works for you and you enjoy it, go nuts. If not…life’s too short. Move on. All the best in your future endeavors.

    • Ben Erlichman said

      There’s not a lot that I fear admitting, Teresa. Happy to do it. I sympathize with you and I’m glad you’re addressing this issue in your own life. Thanks for commenting.

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