Post 76

Author: Nola Published: 9 months ago
Tags: priorities, goals, blogging Category: Projects

When the Blog Hits the Fan

Last year, I blogged up a storm on this site. Thirty-one posts on everything from author intrusions to Wimbledon. I even did a series on blogging, including reasons why writers should have an author blog and how to find the time to make it happen. And then … I fell off the blogging wagon and didn’t write a single post for nine weeks. Am I just a bloggy hypocrite who doesn’t practise what she preaches? Fortunately, I’d written some good advice to myself in a post on maximising your blogging time (Post 72):

In spite of best intentions, blogging does take you away from your other writing projects, so you need to regularly re-evaluate your goals to see if you’re making the best use of your time. There are also seasons when you may need to take a break for your health, sanity or the harmony of your household. Listen to your body and take time out if you need it.

When I wrote that in November last year, I didn’t know what December would hold. First, the good news. I received a publishing contract for my debut novel (see Post 75). Yay! That changed my immediate goals because I still have to write the final chapters, deal with the 500-plus comments I’ve written in the margins, fact-check, edit, polish, and all of that before even sending it to my publisher who will no doubt want more revisions. My overall writing priorities haven’t changed, but I do have to ramp up the time I spend on this particular egg in my literary basket.

Then two bits of not-so-good news. I found out that I have moderately high blood pressure. Nothing to be too concerned about, as my other risk factors are low, but something that requires lifestyle changes—losing weight, exercising more, and generally keeping my stress at manageable levels. So far I’m going pretty well at exercise and stress management. Dieting? Well, let’s just say we have a way to go, and it’s not via the gluten-free donut stand at the markets.

The other piece of bad news was that a good friend passed away just after Christmas. There were only two weeks between his cancer diagnosis and his passing at the age of fifty-four; two years younger than me. Whenever something like that happens, you can’t help asking yourself some hard questions. What’s most important? Why do I do what I do? Am I making a difference? Do I spend enough time with my family and friends? When was the last time I told them I loved them?

So what does all of this have to do with my blog? The short answer is that I will keep blogging. I enjoy grappling with different writing topics. It helps me with my own writing, and it seems to help others too. I also love interacting with other readers, writers and bloggers. I’ll try to write weekly, but I won’t stress out if I miss one. Sometimes I’ll have other priorities and sometimes I’ll just be kind to myself. Hopefully my readers will still be there, unless they’re off prioritising and smelling the roses too.

Have you had any writing goals come adrift in the last year? Hang in there. It’s not too late to change course. When our writing hits the fan, we can help each other pick up the pieces.

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