Blog Vs. Book

One of the things I like best about blogging is the other bloggers I’ve met this way.   Wonderful writers, women and men, who live all over the globe, some of whom share my day-to-day routines of parenting, writing, house-maintenence (or house-neglect which is more apt these days), others whose schedules do not revolve around carpools, pick-ups and drop-offs.  I look forward to reading the blogs of the people I follow, many of whom follow me.  Through my followees (and followers) I am exposed to lives I’d never have discovered on my own.

There’s responsibility in blogging, though.  Your blog is more than an expression of yourself and your take on the world.  As it gains an audience, your blog becomes a thing of its own.  When I am asleep, someone on the other side of the planet might be reading, sharing, commenting on my blog.  When I check it again, it’s got new growth.   Like a garden, you have to care for your blog, feed it, nurture it, recognize when it’s stagnating and then do something about that.

When the bloggers I follow are silent for a while, I might miss them, but I won’t judge them.   I know we all have to live our lives and that often the blog is the piece we can leave unattended while we’re caring for a sick relative, working, hosting the in-laws or, what was that other one?–writing a novel.   For me it’s that last one I’m having trouble balancing with the blog, though it seems like everyone else online manages to do it.

(Yes I know, everyone chooses what they reveal of themselves online; some let it all hang out, others show only their most glowing selves.  Recently I read a great article about social-network envy–the perception that everyone on the internet is accomplishing more than you and having more fun doing it!)  I am sure everyone struggles balancing blog and life, or in my case, blog and book, but I find myself occasionally overwhelmed with guilt for choosing one over the other.  Not that I believe there’s a galaxy of fans who would be devastated if I took a hiatus to power through my novel.

The most regular of my followers and commenters happen to be kind and supportive and understanding (and yes, I feel like I know you and wish I could have coffee with you sometime!).   But I’m not worried about letting other people down.  Instead, I’m concerned about missing out, which I know is a piece of my character that stems directly from being an only child.  What was the sibling world doing while I was home with my parents?   With all their brothers and sisters around, would they forget about me?

If I took a month off from my blog, what would happen?  If I abandoned Twitter?  Would I have to start from scratch?  Would people remember me and still be my friends–I mean followers?  I don’t know, but I have decided not to find out, not yet.   I will slow down here, though.  I’ve actually slowed down already.   I’m giving myself until June to finish a draft of the new WIP, and will post here only about once a week for now.  (Don’t worry: I’ll still read your blogs because they are often so wonderful and mentally sustaining.)

But, as much as I don’t like to blog about blogging or write about writing, I’m going to temporarily let go of that to make this blog a better partner for my fiction.  Actually, that shouldn’t be hard, because my new WIP is all about body image and identity, which is the tagline for this blog.

I’m almost done for tonight, but first I’m going to share something about my WIP’s protagonists and why I think their struggles are relevant here.  They’re seventeen year old twins, both pre-professional ballet dancers, one male and one female.  Here I’ll just call them GT for girl twin and BT for boy twin.  Here are their conflicts:

  • BT is bullied by his homophobic father who suspects (correctly) that BT is gay.  BT’s father makes BT promise to give up dancing, but BT continues behind his back.
  • GT is bullied by the directors of their pre-professional ballet company because of her weight.  GT is a normal, healthy weight for a seventeen year old girl and the powers-that-be find this unacceptable.

I’m not going to share plot details because, though I’ve written over seventy pages, I haven’t yet finished the outline.  But these twins will face major obstacles to their dream of succeeding in ballet–all directly or indirectly related to the themes of body image and identity.  (See?  There’s my blog tie in.)

Anyway I hope to finish a draft, possibly a second draft, by the end of the school year, when I will lose a good chunk of writing time (as my angelic children will be home).  Please root for me!  Thanks!

Stay tuned …

19 responses to “Blog Vs. Book

  1. Well done, I really can’t imagine finding time to write a novel, blog and look after family. Your novel sounds fascinating, good luck with it!

  2. Lisa, that is a great Post!!! I really loved it. One thing is sure. If you ever stop blogging for now, you won’t have to start all over because we will be here still waiting for you and your beautiful posts.
    I started reading your blog and commenting before ever writing anything myself, so when i read and comment, it’s because I appreciate your words, and certainly not because I expect you will read my writings.
    I take pleasure in reading, i learn a lot, and i enjoy it.
    Thank you

  3. Rooting for you Lisa! I love your beautiful writing, and look forward to reading your novel, too.

  4. Hi Lisa
    I popped over here from shewrites and I’m so glad I took the time to do so. I love this blog post because I can relate to it so much. I’ve been experiencing social network envy for the past hour as I peruse fellow writer’s blogs, profiles, and posts so it was a happy coincidence to come here and find I’m anything but alone. It’s the same with my non-writing social networking, it just seems like everybody on facebook leads way more exciting lives than I do.

    I also love the part about worrying if people will forget about you. I had issues with that in college, always needing to be included in everything because God forbid my friends forget about me. Thank you for expressing it so well.

    Anyways, it seems like we may have some similar interests, I am a recovered anorexic and advocate for eating disorder treatment, so perhaps you might like to check out my blog too. You can find it at http://www.openingthedoorblog.blogspot.com

    Happy Writing!

  5. The novel sounds very interesting, should have a highly receptive audience in both parents and teenagers.
    And I was amused to hear about “social-network envy”. Now instead of just being jealous of someone else’s clothes, or car, or boyfriend, or the way their interior decorator renovated their living room, we can be jealous about each other’s logo, font and category cloud.

  6. Thanks Carla. Yes, it is kind of funny: all those things to be jealous of–or judge yourself for. I read it, then laughed and felt a whole lot better.

  7. Your book sounds really interesting. Good luck with it!

  8. Total blog envy sufferer here – can they make a pill for it, please? All too sure other peeps are more productive than I am.

    Love the snippet you’ve told us about your novel. You’re absolutely right to make that #1. Right now I’m doing a little extra blogging while waiting for my novel ideas to catch up to my brain. (Come, little ones, come! I have *chocolate!…)

  9. Thanks Beverly, though I have to say your blog is quite awesome and prolific! I know what you mean about the ideas catching up with the brain. For me the only formula that helps is coffee–lots of it!

  10. haha! I get that envy too — and while it used to be if my toilet was sparkling it meant I was avoiding writing…. now, it’s if I’m posting on everyone’s blogs and am up-to-date on FB that I know I’m avoiding writing!

    I’m glad I stopped in here though — I love visiting with you. and yes, a coffee date would be grand!

  11. I enjoyed this post! Your questions about whether anyone would notice if you took a month off from blogging or abandoned your Twitter acct, remind me of the age old question, if a tree falls in the forest would anyone hear it. The answer? I’m too afraid to find out! Besides, it took a long time and effort to get this far, I wouldn’t want to have to start over. But then, that’s me.

  12. Pingback: Blog vs. Book Part 2 | Lisa W. Rosenberg

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