My road trip to Boston at the end of August arrived just in time to relieve me from the constant head banging on the wall between me and my writing, blogging and freelance career. The permanent knot on my forehead, bald patches and a jaw that clicks every time I open my mouth has transformed me into a monster you might catch in the dark alleyways of Gotham City.
I overdosed on advice in writing magazines, on writing-related websites and blogs. If you peek through the windows, you catch me wandering around the house strung out, too jittery to sit down at my laptop. As an information junkie, I hoarded writing techniques, strategies and prompts. I shoved them into every available space in my writing toolbox, reminding me of an overly prepared-style of packing. Overstuffed. I would sit on the lid to force it shut if it weren’t for the motivational quotes spilling over the sides keeping me from latching the damn thing.
Then I come across an article contradicting the notion blogging is an effective marketing tool for fiction writers. Does that mean I don’t HAVE to blog? Because that is exactly how it feels. It feels like I HAVE to write a blog to build my platform. The whole process is joyless.
In the beginning, I enjoyed the few blogs I followed. I made great writing friendships and found support on days when I wanted to jump into an empty grave and wait for someone to throw the dirt on me. Then, my list of followed blogs grew. My friendships circle widened. My time for blogging had to be shared with more people.
The worst part?
Completing the mandated blog visitations to drive traffic to my site, coming up with topics to post about and writing the posts put so much pressure on me that I stopped writing my fiction. The writing life I was building dictated when I needed to make myself available for public consumption. I felt the control slip. The paranoia started to sink in. It felt like my skin was burning from the magnifying glass held by all the readers hovering over me. “What is she doing now?” “She didn’t finish her story?” “This post reads like something she might’ve pulled out of her ass.”
Keeping up with the blogosphere was one of the major roads to making it as an author. Then the thoughts of not writing anymore swirled around me. Riddle me this: how does one build a writing platform, but not produce any writing?
My instinct? Cut and run.
So, I did.
I went to Boston to see family, take naps and drink good beer. I pushed writing out of my mind for as long as I could. My anonymity felt restored. That is until I got back home and everything I left punched me in the face the minute I sat down in front of my laptop. And I found myself in the exact same place. Pissed, confused, unhappy and unproductive.
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