Wednesday, March 31, 2021

So, I’m Cutting Back on Blogging a Bit

By Janice Hardy, @Janice_Hardy

Sometimes, the right thing to do is to stop what you’re doing—even if you love doing it.

For a long time now, I’ve been burned out on blogging. I’ve kept it up because I do enjoy it, and I love helping writers, but it’s all gotten to be a bit too much to keep up with.

I started this blog back in March of 2008. I’ve written anywhere from three to seven posts a week for the past 13 years—and regular readers know I rarely write short posts (grin). There are over 3,000 articles on the site now, and I estimate I’ve written a good 2,000 of them. That’s about 3,000,000 words. Yes, you read that right—millions of words. For the math curious, that’s 37 80,000-word novels.

After so many words and so many years, it’s hard to come up with new things to write about that I haven’t done several times before. I’ve been updating old posts for a while now, but sometimes they take longer to edit than the new posts.

I have guest authors, but it’s just me running and managing the site—no staff or anything to help. Writing, scheduling, and promoting the blog takes about 10-15 hours a week, sometimes as high as 20 hours (and even this simple post took over an hour). That’s a good chunk of every day.

And at this stage of my life and career, I want to focus more on finishing the books that are banging on my brain, demanding to be written. Currently I have:
  • A middle grade fantasy in revision
  • An adult science fiction in revision
  • A new craft book series (10 short books) in development and drafting
  • A writing productivity book in development
  • A young adult idea that has me so excited I want to drop everything and write it (which I hope to in the fall after the revisions are done)
  • A goofy, fun, middle grade that might be my NaNo book
  • And I really need to write book two of my urban fantasy series
Those are just the books I want to write, and they’re all series except for the productivity one. This list doesn’t even cover the “career stuff” I need to do, such as building and developing all the marketing and sales support that goes with those books and this blog. Or the newsletter. I also have two critique groups and have three to five crits I have to do every week (one group meets every other week).

It’s a lot to keep up with, and I decided I had to make a few changes in my life to do it.

The New Blogging Schedule


I’ll have one more week or normal blogging, because I have two posts left in my Story Structure series. Ironically, that will wrap up next week with “The Wrap Up.” After that, I’ll only write one post a week.

Mondays: My weekly post. Most of the time they’ll be new, but I’m sure I’ll toss in a few updates of some older-but-still-solid posts as well.

Tuesdays and Thursdays: The guest posts will stay the same, and these are already scheduled until the end of the year.

Wednesdays and Fridays:
No posts for now. If I can figure out how to write short posts with quick tips, I’ll get back to my weekly schedule, but that won’t happen for a few months at least, and probably closer to July. If anyone has ideas here, I’d love to hear them.

Saturdays: I’ll still alternate WIP Diagnostic critiques with Maria D’Marco, so you can keep sending these in.

Sundays: No posts. I’d love to do something fun again on Sundays one day, but today is not that day.

It’s hard to let go after so many years, but since you’re all writers as well, I know you get wanting more time to write. And you’ll get more time, too, because you won’t have as much to read here every week (grin).

One of the other things I’ll be doing during the downtime, is looking at ways to update this site and make it more useful. There’s so much information here, and sometimes it tough to find what you’re looking for. I want to change that, and make it easier to navigate the site and search for the right articles to answer your questions and solve your writing problems. I have some time scheduled this summer to focus solely on that.

I might be taking a little time off, but I’m still here, and you can always email me with questions.

Happy writing!
Janice

61 comments:

  1. We have to do what is healthy for us. I admit I was enjoying how you were doing the story structure series and was looking forward to seeing it completed. But even without the updates your older blog posts on these subjects will fill in just fine. I will say I do envy having so much work as a writer and author! You go girl!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You'll see the end of that. That's the series I mentioned. I'll wrap that up next week, as I didn't want to leave that hanging.

      I hadn't thought about that, but it IS a lot of work. Thanks for the reminder :)

      Delete
  2. I would like to say that I am absolutely grateful for all of your work on this blog. You helped me to understand thousands of things about writing. I admire you for everything you did on this site. You really deserve some time for yourself and there is so much stuff here that we can use it for years;)
    I would like to add also that I have just signed a contract for my first book and I am sure that it would have never happened if it wasn't for fiction university:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much! Oh, that's awesome, grats! When it releases, you'll have to come guest post for me :)

      Delete
    2. Thank you! That would be an honour! I'm not sure if my English is good enough but we will see:)
      I wish you all the good things!

      Delete
  3. We should have seen it coming. The sheer amount of material you've given us is astounding -- even without the total figures you provided.

    More than that, it's genuinely good material, usually at what I think is the perfect length to explore a subject without bogging down... and then nimbly cross-referenced to even more articles. The plain truth is, you've more than earned your "University" title, and the big e-learning websites wish they had this body of quality work.

    Thank you, Janice, many times over. We'll keep using the millions of words' material you've given us, savoring the new pieces that come out -- and look forward to your actual books too.

    Go get 'em!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, that means a lot. You've been a reader for so long, if not from close to the start. I really appreciate that.

      Delete
  4. Thank you, Janice, for the phenomenal work you’ve done. I am in awe at the volume of valuable information you provide—I can’t tell you how many of your posts have been saved in my writing reference binders, not to mention your craft books. It’s good that you are taking more time for your own writing. I am grateful for all the wisdom you have shared and I wish you the best as you create your books that are demanding to be written and I look forward to the reduced blog schedule.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you :) I'm looking forward to getting these ideas out of my head and down on paper, so hopefully it will be a productive year.

      Delete
  5. Thank you for all the inspiration and guidance you've given us. I love this blog. It will take me a long time to work through the full gamut, so don't worry about me, I'll be fine, lol. You've taught me so many useful approaches to my work. Good for you for practicing what you preach. Can't wait for your next writing books to come out. Happy trails!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're most welcome, and thank you. It is a bit astounding when I go back and look at it all.

      Delete
  6. Not sure why it says I am unknown. ANyway, from one Janis to another Janice,thank you again for all you re doing and have done for us. janis.petzel@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Blogger gets weird :) But yay, another Janis!

      Delete
  7. A good decision and we'll deserved, Janice. No one has offered as much as you do and have helped authors so much. 🀷 Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! That was always my goal, and it makes me so happy to hear so many share how the site helped them.

      Delete
  8. Thank you for everything. I've referred a good number of people to your blog and everyone of them has been blown away by the material.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Your blogs are always so helpful and insightful. Thank you for them all. Time for some self-care!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! I am looking forward to the extra writing days.

      Delete
  10. Congratulations on making the best choice for you. You and your guests have provided so much information over the years that it is a treasure even if you never blogged again--I mean that in a good way. You have already given writers such a gift. Nevertheless, I'm glad you will still be blogging. I love the way you are working to find balance without giving up blogging. Enjoy your extra writing days and hopefully some downtime as well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, that's so good to hear. I'm hoping the break will let me refresh and come back restored with new ideas for the site.

      Delete
  11. Thank you for being so amazing. You have given great advice, supplied terrific topics and have given so unselfishly of yourself. Cutting back doesn't mean bowing out. We will look forward to what you do post and use the millions of words that you have posted as building blocks for our own success. Thank you - you're wonderful.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much. It's been along time since I took a break, and I think it'll do me some good.

      Delete
  12. Thanks, Janice! I don’t blog much at all and am still overwhelmed with WIPs! This blog is a gold mine of helpful information..and lovely tone. Organizing it? Omg...huge task! But it’s like a map...with roadside attractions! You make “getting there” fun, interesting and extremely helpful. Again..thank you, and I’ll be here for it whenever and whatever. Best to you...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! It'll be fun to come back and reimagine the blog with fresh eyes.

      Delete
  13. About your site: I love it just the way it is! And take all the rest you need, please know I am still subscribed to a couple only writing sites, and yours is one. Thank you so much for all you have done for us in the years. All my love.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Janice, you deserve to cut back and write your books. I refer to your website first for writing tips.That won’t change. My first book is at the last editing stage. Decided to self-publish this year. It’s a historical fiction, a genre hard to sell from an unknown author. I learned if the book doesn’t sell, you can’t revert rights with a publishing company to get the book back. Maybe some short posts about your journey publishing your books would be helpful to blog followers. Happy writing! πŸ“šπŸŽΆ Christine

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the idea :) Best of luck with your historical, and I hope you had a successful foray into self pubbing.

      Delete
  15. Hi Janice, I heartily agree with all the above. I've been following you for years and it's always amazed me how you manage to do all you do, plus write your own fiction and incredible 'how-to' books. I also thank you for everything you've done for and given us over the years. You've been part of my morning email check-ins. I've always looked forward to your blogs but I'm truly happy you've decided to take time for yourself. It's certainly well-earned and well-deserved. In the famous words of Hillel 'If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If not now, when?'
    Good luck and God Bless

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you :) It's been a labor of love for sure.

      Delete
  16. The body of work you've already contributed to the writing community is astounding. I appreciate each and every post. I also know you're a writer and a writer needs to write. This is a healthy decision on so many levels. Not that I won't miss your posts, because I never miss reading one. On the other hand, I'd be quite pleased if this led to Grace Harper's return. Please enjoy having more time to be creative!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It will! You totally made me smile with that. Thanks!

      Delete
  17. Go For It! Do what you need to do, do what you want to do.

    I used to run a blog called The Old Movie House. I did everything. It ran from July 2011 to October 2015. I didn't know it, but it was killing me. I had cancer and was slowly dying. I closed The Old Movie House and under went extremely painful treatments. On April 15 2021 I will finish my recovery. So, do what you need to do, do what you want to do. I'm 100 percent behind you. Go for it JH!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's amazing, good for you. That's an incredible thing to overcome.

      Delete
  18. I think it's fine to cut back on blogging. I spend a lot of time on my blog too and have had to limit it to one or two times a week. To drive traffic to the blog, I also have to read a lot of blogs too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It does take a lot of work, and you've been around since the beginning :) I've been reading your blog forever as well.

      Delete
  19. I just want to say thank you. Your numbers are impressive, but the quality even more so!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Thank you for all the words & time you’ve given us, Janice! Good for you. Awesome post.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Thank you for all the useful information and wisdom written so clearly.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're most welcome :) Makes me so happy that I've been able to help so many writers.

      Delete
  22. Don't worry about it. 4 days a week of content is still intense. If it helps, remember that with all that has happened in the last year, many of us are CLOBBERED by online content (a good news/bad news scenario). I hate to do it, but I have to delete a lot of content I receive, unread, because there simply isn't enough of me to go around. So to me, you are doing yourself a service and I believe some will agree that it will lighten their load too, from the standpoint of processing a million inputs.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That actually was part of my decision. I figured it was a good time for a break, so thanks for reinforcing that.

      Delete
  23. Thank you for what you have done here. I keep coming back and using your past blogs in areas that I need it. You've done a great job on this site and it will be usable for years to come, so please....don't let it go even if you never blog again.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. I'm not giving up, and I'll come back to a more regular schedule later.

      Delete
  24. Your change in schedule is well deserved. Thank you for the years of articles and honestly it'll give me a chance to catch up on all of the wonderful information you've written ; ). Now go forward and write those books!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're most welcome. There's certainly a lot of it to find, hehe. Sometimes even *I* forget what I wrote.

      Delete
  25. Thank you. I've referred to your blogs on many occasions.
    To maintain good mental and emotional health sometimes it's necessary to take a step back.

    ReplyDelete
  26. I've been a regular reader of your blog for a number of years now, and it has helped improve my writing skills quite a bit. Some of your 'show vs tell' posts I went back to multiple times to make sure that I understood them (I'm still working on putting it into practice, of course, but I'm making progress!).

    Many thanks for all the incredibly useful information!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, that's good to hear, Thanks! SDT is a tricky one, but you'll get it :)

      Delete
  27. Looks like your are also a fantasy reader, me tooπŸ™ŒπŸ».

    ReplyDelete
  28. Your schedule makes my head spin. Your blogs have been a wonderful source for me to learn so much about writing. Thank you a thousand times for such great information! good luck with your new schedule.

    ReplyDelete
  29. All I know is, you've earned it and have built a massive and timeless repostitory on craft. If aliens came to Earth and read nothing but your blog posts, they'd have all they'd need to create a sprawling and diverse body of literature to rival our own.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks :) LOL I like that! Writing coach to the stars.

      Delete
  30. Take all the time you need. Though I keep up with your posts, I certainly haven't absorbed or acted on all of them. So here's to looking forward to focusing on our finishing in 2021! Thanks for everything

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you :) There's certainly a lot of old posts to read!

      Delete