Monday, September 13, 2010

I Need Your Thoughts

I'm curious.

When you come to Something She Wrote, what is it you expect? From me, from this place?

I've been struggling of late, with content and topics and whatever my voice has become or should be through this vehicle, and I thought if I asked you--bloggers and not, writers and not, old readers and new--what content you most like or come to see, it would point me in the right direction.

Do you like anecdotes? The fiction? Random questions, pictures of steak?

What doesn't seem to fit?

I've been so focused on novel revisions--that's good--and life, that blogging has fallen to what feels a chore--not good.

See, the more energy I put in here, the less I have for writing books--and vice versa--and those others articles and projects. I understand, I do, and my novel-writing has to take a certain priority. But SSW is still important to me, and I want it to be important to you, all my readers and supporters. I want it to be good for you.

This is me sorta laying it all on the table.

I feel like I need to revamp things, redefine my intention. Give this place a lift (not in look but in feel), and assess all that's working or not. And I just wanted to pick your brains, because I blog for you as much as I blog for me.

Until I find my way, decide what's what and find my stride, I may relax my M-W-F posting schedule. Because quality once- or twice-a-week posts are better than regular semi-satisfying ones, don't you think?

Talk to me, wise ones. I need your thoughts.

**Zoe C. Courtman, in a timely gifting, has awarded me the One Lovely Blog Award. (This makes me feel good, not quite so aimless or out-of-sorts.) Thank you, Zoe!

44 comments:

Terri Tiffany said...

Janna,
I come here to hear about you and your struggles and success with writing. I love your voice and it is always a place I know that will be a comforting stop on my blogs.
I've cut back to two days a week because like you, I need to work on my novel.

Purple Cow said...

I'm with Terri. Your voice is what we want regardless of its focus. Anything you write has bits of you and I personally enjoy meeting you as you seem like an interesting person whether this be talking about finds at the market, asking questions...the whole package! Quite honestly, I come not for the topic but for the perspective.

Have a nice week!

lissa said...

I don't recall how I got to your blog but I think it has from another writing blog. now I'm not sure what your blogs about. but I'm always interest in people's opinions and habits and the whole process of writing but a blog can be whatever you want it to be.

Jennifer said...

Since I have you on my Reader, your blog updates are sent to my computer and my phone. If I see you've written something, I'll pop in to read it. So I'll follow ya no matter what your schedule is.

As to content.. You do have a voice, but if it isn't your own, life experiences has changed your perspective of this blog, then I could see how you might struggle to maintain it. I personally tripped into this problem when I tried keeping my blog focused on sci-fi fiction, but found that it covers only 5% of my life. So I changed mine to be more of a public diary and storage of info and discoveries. Its in my own voice and reflects my own thoughts. It is also a lot easier to write it now. Its great because it works like an online scrapbook. When I want to look up something that happened last year.. that info is there. :)

Keep in mind, Janna, those of us who have followed you for years have seen this blog change and blossom but through it all, we've found 'you' in every post, and that is why we continue to follow. Don't worry about this slump, focus on what is important to you, and we'll be here when you have 'something to write'.

Shannon O'Donnell said...

To be honest, I just come here to hear from you - your personality. I don't care as much about the content as I do about the personality that jumps off the page - who you are! ;-)

Wendy Paine Miller said...

I just like getting to know you.

Helpful, eh? ;)
~ Wendy

Indigo said...

Janna, I come here looking for you. Your thoughts on whatever tickles your fancy at the moment. I have this struggle myself, having made my blog a writing journal so to say. The thing is writing seems like a solitary vice, not a lot to share on that venue. So do we give our readers pieces of who we are or stick to writing. Personally...I think pieces of a person hold more weight. (Hugs)Indigo

Diane said...

Less better posts is more. If it feels like a chore take a day or more off. I think we all get over critical of our blogs at times. I just like popping in to see any quirkiness or just to "catch up" on what's going on in your life. :O)

Tamika: said...

Janna, I agree with Terri. I love hearing about your writing journey, whatever that may be on a given day.

With this pregnancy I'm definitely in a season of struggle. Finding the energy for the things I love are top priority, and writing is on that list. Blogging has taken a back seat in some respects and I'm okay with that.

Slamdunk said...

Janna: Personally, I like variety so mixing in the personal with your writing successes and obstacles is of interest to me.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Janna -

I always enjoy stopping here and reading about your life and what you're learning.

I understand the conflict between blogging and working on the novel. I love blogging and visiting blogs. It would be easy for me to forget I need to focus on my manuscript.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Journaling Woman said...

I want to see you and read about you--what comes to your mind.

Post when you can or when you are inspired.

Teresa

Midlife Jobhunter said...

Relaxing your schedule to 2 or even once a week might prove helpful to you. Offer you more time for your writing.

I'll read pretty much anything so if I've discovered a blog I liked, I follow along with the writer. Fiction, anecdotes, pictures of steaks? I'm easy.

Elizabeth Munroz said...

Regardless of how often of little you write, I follow along enjoying what you share. Works in Progress have a way of letting us know we need to focus. Totally understandable. And at times they want a break, too. I'd say be open to what works best for you. Your readers will be right here waiting for you.

Melanie Avila said...

I'm always impressed with how focused you seem to be. I wouldn't change anything, except that if you're feeling burdened there's nothing wrong with cutting back to two days per week. We'll still be here.

Capri K said...

I like the pictures of steak best.
HA!

Seriously, I just like you. I don't mind what you post. As a non writer, I don't usually feel qualified to comment on the writer-ly things, but I still don't mind.

You are a thoughtful, encouraging, loverly woman, and I am glad to have made your aquaintence.

Kittie Howard said...

Janna, I'm new to your blog and lack a point of comparison. Having said that, I do enjoy what I've seen/read, especially your perspective.

I'm totally clueless as to why bloggers feel pressured to post so often. I consider a blog an extension of who we are, in that a blog presents a certain slice of our lives. When it gets to the point where a blogger feels pressured to post then the child is devouring the parent.

Just do what works for you!

Donna M. Kohlstrom said...

You've made me laugh, which I need to do a lot of! You've brought me to tears and touched my heart and spirit. You've taught me volumes about the writing journey and how to make the trip easier and more successful.

Keep our blog community in touch with your writing experiences so we can feel the comfort and encouragement that we are not alone.

Let us share in celebrating your accomplishments and joys and be an encouragement when you're struggling.

Just be you! Love who you are and what a blessing you are!

Joanne said...

Hi Janna, I'm just getting ready to get back to blogging, and def gave blogging much thought during the summer. My daughter gave me a quote yesterday by the Brand President of Keds, that goes like this "Blogging is like being a brand. You have to be consistent with your message." When I started my blog, I used a theme from my fiction ms about keeping our sense of self central in our lives. So my suggestion would be to maybe try that, center your posts around a prevalent theme from your fiction writing, closely tying the blog to your fiction in your own recognizable brand? Good luck, I'll be looking forward to seeing what you do! Hope you had a great summer, happy writing to you :)

Patti Lacy said...

Hey,
I just love your writer's voice. The blogs that "speak" to me are where I learn about your struggles, your joys.

Connect.
And you've already done that!
And I keep comin' back!!!
Love ya,
P

Amy Tate said...

Janna, I love how you're so personal and real with your writing and with your readers. I feel your pain as blogging can quickly drain your writing zeal. I'm posting on the W2I blog on Mondays and then copying it on my personal blog too. Having this new schedule helps me to feel some relief from feeling that I HAVE to blog. Whatever you decide, we'll be there for ya!

Susan R. Mills said...

I can sooooooo relate to this post! I enjoy your blog because you are yourself. That's all that matters. I do agree that a good post once or twice a week is better than mediocre several ones. You do what you need to do, and your writing definitely needs to come first.

Karen said...

I know your book must be priority, and can't wait to read it! I loved getting to know you. Your variety of topics, personal and general, short and sweet keep me coming back. You do what gives you peace and joy. I know it'll be good.

Ha, some help I am.....

Jeanette Levellie said...

I come for a break from humdrum blogs; I come for humor and the poignancy that is you and your writing. I come for transparancy and honesty, and yes, photos of steak.

I love you.

Jen

Rhonda Schrock said...

Jana, what the others said. To find out who you are.

Sharla said...

Truthfully, I like the mix! I like not quite knowing what I'm coming to see...if it's going to be a snippet, or a random question, or a progressive story, or personal thoughts on life... I like coming here because it's real! I don't go to that many blogs anymore, just don't have enough time around work and writing and home. But I always come here when I do hit the internet. Every time. I love the real.

Kara said...

I always enjoy whatever you write, whether it is a piece of fiction, a snippet from your day, or something you are celebrating or struggling with:)

Jill Kemerer said...

I understand. I've been blogging a few years now, and I wonder if I've covered a topic before or if--the horror--I've repeated myself! But I always enjoy your blog, especially your day-to-day posts.

Janet Johnson said...

I always love learning tidbits about you as a person and a writer. But I hear your struggles---finding that blog voice isn't easy. Best of luck!

thedomesticfringe said...

I'm not looking for anything specific. Life is full of mixed-up things smashing together to make our days. I just like to read, so whatever you decide to write will be good with me. ;-)

-FringeGirl

Melissa Marsh said...

I come here to read whatever it is you may put forth. Doesn't matter what it is. If it's random, off-topic, on writing, on steaks, what-have-you: it's your place, decorate it as you see fit. :-)

Karen Lange said...

I come to see you and hear your thoughts about writing and life. I keep my posts to two a week, can't seem to manage more and actually get to any writing. So I don't blame you, I'm with you!
Blessings,
Karen

Carol J. Garvin said...

I know how difficult it is to decide what the focus of a blog should be. When I had my blog professionally evaluated I was told I should narrow my focus to a subject that is distinctively mine, but I haven't succeeded. It still wanders aimlessly at times!

But the connection that initially brought me to your blog was the writing journey. Sometimes it's what you write that appeals, while other times it's simply how you write. In any case I'm getting to know you better, whatever the topic. :)

Katie Ganshert said...

I think we all sort of go through this Jana - at some point or another. It's good to wrestle around with our thoughts. Hope clarity comes soon! As far as MWF schedule - I like that schedule a lot.

Angie Ledbetter said...

I like the variety you present here. It's always calming and interesting or funny. Something to make us think.

Understand totally about needing to cut back. After two years, I've found a happy weekly schedule -- Tues recipes, Wed writing, Friday humor. I hope you find something similarly satisfying. It really takes a LOT of time to visit like a good neighbor (LOL) and to take care of home, family, writing, and then the other social networking...ARGH!

Loved this from Kitty: "When it gets to the point where a blogger feels pressured to post then the child is devouring the parent."

DL Hammons said...

I'm a fairly new follower, but I'll tell you why I come here...why I visit any blog, really. Personality. If your writing resonates with me via your wit or insightful observations, then I'll be back. Posting schedules arent important to me (which is probably good since I don't keep one myself). If blogging is becoming too much like work (which does happen...even if you don't keep a schedule), then take a break an rejeuvenate. You'll be back...and I'll be here waiting.

Janna Qualman said...

You're all so honest and encouraging. Thank you!

Lynn said...

I'm don't like steak but pictures of chicken dishes might be okay. :)
Blogs I like include kind words that encourage, trials and tribulations, and humor. I don't mind if it isn't about writing ALL the time. Getting to know the author, the person behind the words through personal stories keeps me engaged too.

Erica M. Chapman said...

Sounds like you have some great insight here in the comments. I love your voice and how random the posts can be. Keep doing what you're doin' ;o)

Deb Shucka said...

I come here, Janna, because I love your voice and because I so often relate to the dilemmas of life that you present. I only blog twice a week because, like you, I'm trying to save most of my words for my book.

She Writes said...

I like variety. I agree quality over quantity.

septembermom said...

I also like to come hear just to hear "Janna" in each post. Your perspective, humor, and insight keep me coming back for more.

Glynis said...

I enjoy whatever you post. You are always interesting. I enjoy your blog.:)

Kathryn Magendie said...

whatever you've been doing it works for me - I don't have a problem with bloggers winging it - maybe because that's what I do - I went thru what you did for a while, wondering about my blog become stale, boring, whatever, but then, I thought, well, it is what it is!

I love hearing about your life, your writing, etc. I tend not to read fiction as much on blogs according to where I am in R&T reading of submissions - it all begins to be too much.

But, like you, mainly, I have deadlines, writing, and that has to come first!

But you can do no wrong in my book!

By the way- read your post above and it made me smile...