The Value of a Blog — March 20, 2013

The Value of a Blog

Lately, I’ve really been reconsidering whether to continue with this blog. Obviously, I haven’t posted in a while here and that’s been for a variety of reasons.

First among those is that I really feel like I don’t have anything valuable to say. This partly stems from my last blog post, the open letter on bullying. After I wrote that and kept it up, it started to feel like that was the most important thing I ever have said or ever could say again. And I just spent it on a small blog that gets a handful of page views. Sure, I could probably do more to promote the blog, but is it necessary?

Secondly, I find myself lately not reading blogs. I have blogs in my blog roll and people post. But very often, I scan the titles of their newest posts and then click mark as read in my reader. They don’t get opened and they certainly don’t get clicked-through if the author has enabled reader shortening.

Third, since I took a long break from writing I haven’t been as motivated to keep up on social media as I used to. Even when I’m drafting, social media never feels like a priority.

Honestly, the last three (almost four) years of blogging are starting to feel like they’ve been a bit of a waste. Not a colossal waste. Not a total waste. But a bit of a waste.

So if I’m quiet around here for a while longer, just know I’m still lurking and such. But I’m quiet because I’m not certain this is the most valuable spot for my voice to be.

I got nothing — February 14, 2013

I got nothing

Honestly, I have no idea what to write about on this blog anymore.

I still haven’t decided if I’m coming off writing hiatus. If I do, I don’t know what I’ll write. I don’t have any ideas that don’t rely on Woven getting published. Crazy, I know. But it’s how it’s been for a while. There is an inkling of an idea, but it will take a lot of research to even really come up with a full-fledged idea.

I haven’t really been reading much either. Which makes me sad. But it doesn’t at the same time.

Online Life and Writing — October 12, 2012

Online Life and Writing

In this day and age, there’s real life and online life. Often those intersect. Lately I’ve been trying to consolidate things online. I’ve changed my personal email and am currently in the process of migrating things over. Eventually the goal is to have everything related to my writing career’s public life on the domain-specific emails I’ve set up and everything personal attached to my new personal email.

The only problem with that?

Over the course of a decade or more of the internet being prevalent, there’s a lot out there, some I’m sure I’m forgetting. It might take me a year to get everything sorted out. Sigh.

My advice to anyone reading this is to start now, if you think you might ever need to change things around. I’m trying to consolidate my life and hopefully thus make even more time for writing.

The other bit of advice in all of this is to set up your blog under the name you want to write with and not some random thing like I did. Because I’ve been paying for that decision since the day I made it.

Consolidating emails and sorting out the tangled online web I’ve created is not an easy task. Save yourself the work and start out now.

If you have a question you’re dying to ask me, something you want me to address either here on my site or over at the Dojo, send it to info(at)stephanie-mcgee(dot)com

Comments and other fun stuff can be sent to stephanie(at)stephanie-mcgee(dot)com

Look Who’s Back — September 13, 2012

Look Who’s Back

Hi everyone. So, yeah. Sorry about that sort of long hiatus.

It might get longer. It might not. We’ll see how the rest of the year goes.

Why do I say that? Because of my ridiculous amount of self-imposed deadlines.

On a different note, I’ve gone ahead and set up an email specific to this blog where the blog comments and such will be coming to. If you don’t already have my personal email address(es), I can be reached there. I’m working on figuring out how to have a “Contact me” button that links directly to email, but until then the email address can be found on the “Find Me” page of this site.

I realize my site could be more fun, more unique, but until I have the time and compulsion to figure out how to do so, it’s staying as is.

I should have another announcement soon. I just have to get the details sorted out. (Not agent or book deal related at all.)

I’ll be back on Tuesday with and update post.

Giveaway Winners Re-Draw — June 22, 2012

Giveaway Winners Re-Draw

Okay, since I had only one person acknowledge that they saw they won I’ve re-drawn for three of the four prizes.

2nd prize of a 50 page/5 chapter (whichever comes last) critique goes to: JEM

1st prize of a full manuscript critique and $10 gift card to Amazon, B&N or iTunes goes to: Michelle Davidson Argyle

Grand Prize of a four-book package and a full manuscript critique goes to: Laura Diamond

Okay, ladies. The critiques are good for any time in the year 2012. Just email me your partial or full when you’re ready for me to have a go. My email is novicewriteranonymous (at) gmail (dot) com.

Laura, email me your mailing address for the books. Michelle, I have your email so I’ll send that gift card along today. Thanks for reading my blog!

(Ladies, if you could acknowledge by email or comment to this post that you’ve seen you’re the winners, I’d appreciate it. If I don’t hear within a week I’ll re-draw.)

A Time for Reflection, I Suppose — May 8, 2012

A Time for Reflection, I Suppose

It’s been three years since I started blogging regularly.  Three years since I started really taking writing seriously. Well, it’s not that I didn’t take it seriously. I just decided that it was important enough to make time for it. Prior to that point, I’d written when I felt like it. Granted, I’d been in high school, university, and graduate school to that point in my writing life. But three years ago, I decided to make the time for writing. I wanted to be published, and I wanted to be serious about it.

This blog began in October 2008, the reason escapes me at the moment. It may have been for a class I was taking in graduate school at the time. I posted a couple of times, but I was timidly tapping the water’s surface with my big toe. In June of the following year, I was out of school, out of work, and out of sanity. So I jumped into blogging.

Some of you reading this (imagining hordes of people reading but not commenting) have been around since those early days. Some of you may have only just discovered my blog. I remember that thrill of excitement when I signed on to the computer one morning to discover I had a follower! Someone was reading my blog! Then I had two, and it’s grown quietly from there.

Is blogging on its way out? Maybe. I know that my reading habits have slacked off in that regard. Comments have certainly dropped here on the blog. But that’s okay. I think there’s really an ebb and flow to everything. This blog will stay put, riding those flows and currents. (How many cliches can I pack in to this paragraph, eh?)

With this post, I reach 500 total on the blog. To honor that, and thank all of you who have kept this tiny little blog on your reader, on your radar, I’m having a giveaway. Yep, a giveaway. It’s been a while.

Don’t worry, it’s totally easy to enter. You just have to comment on this post. I’ll draw random winners at the end of May. There are four prizes.

Grand Prize (1 Winner):

You Wish by Mandy Hubbard
Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini
Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George
Hereafter by Tara Hudson
A full manuscript beta read

First Prize (2 Winners):

A full manuscript beta read
A $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift card (or iTunes, if you want to use the card for ebooks)

Third Prize (1 Winner):
A partial manuscript read (50 pages or 5 chapters, whichever is longer. Also, round up if 50 is mid-chapter)

Thanks for being here, friends.

Contest rules: One entry per person. Leave a comment to enter. Please spread the word about this. If you’re not a writer please don’t hesitate to enter. Just let me know in your comment and I’ll re-award the manuscript critique from your prize package. Contest not necessarily limited to four winners. Manuscripts submitted for critique must not be erotic or overly steamy. Otherwise any genre is allowed.

Reciprocity and Scaling Back — February 16, 2012

Reciprocity and Scaling Back

This June will mark 3 years since I began blogging regularly.  It’s been a great ride.  Without this blog I would not be where I am today in my writing.  Nor would I have the friends I have.

But, I have to be honest with myself.  I pinned myself into a hole with making this solely about writing and related topics.  And, I’ve been sitting here watching my follower count and comments count falling steadily.

I look at these blogs and see people who have 80 comments in less than 5 minutes within posting.  They have hundreds and even thousands of followers.  Their blogs are wildly popular, the A-list blogs, the ones whose authors every blogger wants to be.

I’ve never been that person, that wildly popular person, the one everyone wanted to be.  Nor was I the one who always wanted to be that person.  Sure there were times, there still are, when I did or do.  It hurts.  You put your heart and soul into each post, trying to come up with topics and posts people will find interesting and relevant, that they’ll relate to.

And then you get 1 comment.  Or none.  It starts to feel as though no amount of commenting on other blogs will drive traffic to yours.  You question the worth and value of it all.  You wonder whether anyone would notice if you just vanished from the internet.  You even try to vanish but you can’t.

Is this right?  Absolutely.  Everything in blogging is reciprocal.  Is it the way it should be?  I don’t believe so.  It’s a process, getting to that point where you’re comfortable in your own skin, where no matter how many or few comments or hits you get, you’re okay.  That it doesn’t impact your feelings of self-worth, feelings that what you have to say is valuable and worth the pixels.

I’m blogging here.  I probably will continue to do so.  But recently I discovered Tumblr.  I love Tumblr.  I don’t feel like there’s the pressure for reciprocity there.  If someone likes or reblogs one of your posts, great.  But there’s no expectation for the back and forth.  Maybe I’m wrong in that and I’ll see it the longer I’m there.  But for now, there is so much less pressure.  I don’t have to think about whether the posts will speak to someone, whether it will spark something in someone, etcetera.

I love Tumblr.  I ❤ it.  I don't so much feel that way about Blogger and this blog.  So I'm not sure what's going to happen with this blog.

Priorities, Writerly and Not — September 25, 2011

Priorities, Writerly and Not

I’ve been re-evaluating my priorities lately.  And I found I’ve been spending too much time online.  Far, far too much time.  The internet is distracting and so is real life.

I’d rather have more real life distraction than internet distraction.  With that in mind, I’ve decided to make some changes around here.

First off, I’m no longer posting at my other two blogs.  (The photography and food ones.)  I have removed the links to them from my profile and my sidebar.  (I also hid them in my blogger dashboard.)

Secondly, I will now only be posting here on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  Tuesdays will be progress updates (they keep me accountable) and Thursdays will be writing-related topics.

In relation to this, I’m limiting my time reading blogs to half an hour in the mornings.  If I don’t get to yours one day you might see a comment from me pop up at random later in the week.

I’ll take time in the evenings as I have it to respond to comments on my blog.  I will be doing this via e-mail as I have all comments e-mailed to me.  If you don’t have an e-mail attached to your comment account, that means I might not be able to return a comment until Sundays when I’m off from writing and most other things, so I would actually have a little bit of spare time to kill in coming to my blog and commenting.

I’m hoping that this will help me put writing back into the number 2 spot on my priority list.  (Real life, including religion, being #1.)

Happy Blogiversary to Me — October 31, 2010