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August 27, 2011

Campaign #3 - My commitment to you, fellow Campaigners

 Have I bitten off more than I can chew?

This is my third time as a participant in the Platform-Building Campaign. I've been there since the beginning. I think the essence of the idea is great, and through my past participation I've met some wonderful bloggers and have felt really touched by the posts some of those people have written, and the personal way they've responded to comments and posts.

Writing is a very lonely undertaking, and anything we can do to foster a sense of community is valuable. The way the Campaign is now organised into sub-groups with similar writing interests or geographic locations is also great. I see this as an invaluable networking opportunity, and I love meeting new like-minded types and talking writing.


But I'll freely admit it. I'm no master of time management. Like many out there, I'm a fritterer. And the internet is the ultimate tool for time wasting. Who hasn't found themselves opening up a web browser to look up one little thing, and untangled themselves from a distant, seductive tendril of the web hours later feeling dazed and confused?

Okay, maybe I'm on my own with that one...

Suffice it to say that when I've been doing my social media stuff lately, my browser page has a tab open for Twitter, and one for my Yahoo groups, and one for Gmail, and one for this blog...and I really haven't been getting much writing done. Of the creative, novel writing sort.

For some, I know that their blog is an end in itself. Something they derive great pleasure from, and enjoy spending time on. That's true of me too, to some extent. But as far as I'm concerned, if this blog gets in the way of me writing, it's a distraction I need to limit. I need to find a better balance, and something's got to give.

So. I've made a commitment to support other bloggers in my Campaign groups for the next two months, and I absolutely intend to uphold that commitment, as far as I'm able. But it'll have to be in a more reactive way than it has been in the past. If you're a campaigner and you come to visit me and follow or comment, I'll certainly return the favour, and please remind me if I haven't!

But I'm going to let you make the first move.

This time...I won't be the first one to go around and follow everyone's blogs. I did that last campaign when there were over two hundred participants (before the lovely Rach changed the guidelines so that we only attempt to follow our own groupmates). It took me well over a week - hours and hours - to visit and follow so many blogs, and many, many of them didn't return the favour, which for me, kind of defeated the purpose of having put in so much effort. Sorry for grumbling about it to people who weren't even involved, but I wanted you to know where I was coming from!

I'm a less frequent poster than many, with usually a maximum of four posts per month (and less than that lately due to small baby). So if you're posting every day, I can guarantee I won't be able to keep up! But when I do visit I'll often read and comment on more than one post to make up for lost time. I love nothing better than trawling through a blog's past posts. (Did I mention I'm easily distracted?)

So - two for the price of one. Can't do better than that!

And to my lovely followers who predate this most recent Campaign, rest assured, one of the reasons I wrote this post was to reassure you that like usual, I'll be running late, and I'll be intermittent, but I'll still be making time to visit the blogs I already know and love. When I'm not writing.

:-)

How about you? Are the words in your manuscript flowing faster than your Facebook status updates Twitter updates comments on other blogs blog posts? Any favourite tips on avoiding the seduction of time-wasting for someone who's still struggling?

Also - apologies if this post sounds like a bit of a rant. 4 month old baby boy is ensuring I'm not getting much sleep lately...and sleep shortage = GRUMPY. I'm normally nice. Really! (see smiley face above for proof)

24 comments:

Amanda Leigh Cowley said...

No, you're certainly not alone. I think the problem is there's just not enough hours in the day! The campaign idea is great and I'm glad I joined, but I do need to limit my 'blog networking' to make sure I have time to write that second book!

It's all about hitting the right balance - I've got a lot of tweaking to do before I achieve that...

Suze said...

Good morning, my dear Adina.

Right around the time that Rachael announced her campaign, Alex announced the Insecure Writer's Support Group. This also happened to coincide with my daughter going back to school and the house being emptied out of her, her summer activities and her steady stream of friends in and out the door-- not to mention a general and abrupt decrease in travel.

The house is now quiet, again, during the daylight hours and it's time to sit for uninterrupted hours and focus on a long-term writing task.

Blogging is such that is can be done in spurts. Writing a quick(ish) post, letting it sit, doing a bit of revision, puttin' the sucker out there, responding to comments, visiting other blogs and commenting. All are bite-sized tasks that require a certain kind of attention.

A manuscript is such a different animal. It is not touch and go. It is not fun and games (all of the time-- though some of the time, it is.) And it is not ephemeral.

Social networking meets a need. Obviously, or else people wouldn't participate. But it's a fast and furious sort of need not unlike a shallow abyss.

We all constantly feel the need to apologize for not treating online media like a manuscript, but I don't know that this is necessary. We'll keep doing it, of course! But I think, in the longest of long runs, allowing ourselves to participate in both as seasons shift might be a good way to confront the disparate tasks.

My husband told me when I began, 'blog when you want to.'

We post often and feel guilty that we're being neglectful of other things. We don't post often enough and we feel like we need to pop our little heads round and explain why.

Life is so short and so long. We should do what we can, when we can. Sometimes that means winging it a bit with the things that bring us more immediate, if short-lived, joys and sometimes that means buckling down.

I've spent my summer on the wing. Time for me to fasten.

Oh, btw, I joined Alex's group but not Rachael's for that reason. I like to keep my bite-sized commitments bite-sized. I do, however, know for certain that her campaign will generate many wonderful alliances-- maybe as wonderful as yours and mine. ;)

--Suze

The Golden Eagle said...

They're not flowing as fast as they could be, admittedly. Though since I do almost all of my blogging in the afternoon, there's really no excuse to be fiddling with other stuff in the morning, when I'm supposed to be writing. :P

The Second Campaign took me a long time, too. I managed to follow everyone in a few days, but there were a whole LOT of bloggers.

Looking forward to Campaigning with you again. :)

Mary Mary said...

It's good to have you back on the Campaign trail, and like you, I like how Rachael has set up the groups. I think most of us can be fritterers, so don't worry too much about that (you're not alone!), but you're right in saying that the writing needs to come first. Otherwise, what's the point of being a writer if we're not working on our craft and have a goal for our manuscripts. For me, I stay away from Facebook and Twitter and the like because I think we need to pick and choose our forums and just not be followers of what everyone else does. My writing is more important than chatting nonstop. Best of luck in the Campaign and it's good to see you back!

L'Aussie said...

Adina: Right on. i've just got to get time to see who's in my groups and maybe get something organised. But time is very elusive isn't it? Hope all goes well with you and your family.

Denise

Deborah Walker said...

The fact that you're writing at all with a small baby just fills me with awe. I didn't seem to have a minute at that stage.

I love popping in and out of blogs, so many interesting things to read. But writing is always my priority. My weekly goals (word count and sub goals) keep me on the straight and narrow.

Life In A Pink Fibro said...

I had to make a conscious effort earlier this year to give up commenting. Harsh, but true. I used to visit and comment on hundreds of blogs - and then realised that while I was building a very nice blog, I wasn't getting any actual writing done. So that wasn't working out too well for me. Now I try to get to a few a day, interact with people on Twitter and Facebook and get on with the job of writing. Well, that's what I tell myself...

Travis said...

I have no idea what i'm doing. Just leaving blog entries here and there and comments in between. I'm finding the google+ group to be quite dynamic.

Travis said...

I have no idea what i'm doing. Just leaving blog entries here and there and comments in between. I'm finding the google+ group to be quite dynamic.

Crystal said...

I get where you're coming from, and I, too, am beginning to encounter certain campaigners who haven't returned the follow/comment love even though I've done my best to take the time to visit their blogs and comment on every post since the first time I stopped by. It does take a huge chunk out of my day, but I figure if I can network with other writers who can help me out on my journey, or even just serve as a sounding board/shoulder to cry on when the writing life gets crazy (as well as allowing me to do the same for them, of course), it's worth it!! I fully intend to keep my commitment to the campaign anyways, and we'll see where it goes from there.

Also? Kudos to you for doing all this with a baby! You writer mamas rock!

J.R. Williams said...

Wow, are you walking around in my brain because I feel very similar.

I was also around for the last campaign and I did exactly what you did. I put in a lot of hours into visiting other ppls blogs and commenting. I was burned out by the end, but I got a lot of followers and I thought it was worth it.

I also have a two year old. Sometimes trying to follow through and write and take care of a child is rough. :S I wish I had some magic words to help, but the only thing I can think of is to maybe cut your sleeping hours which is a terrible, terrible idea that I do not recommend to anyone! LOL!

Anyway, hang in there. :)

I look forward to learning more about you throughout the campaign.

Adina West said...

Thanks all so much for your comments - and I'm really finding that as one of the less-frequent posters out there, it's working for me to visit and comment on the blogs of those who visit me (as well as a few of my old and some new favourites).

Thank you for sticking with me. I do appreciate it. :-)

MG Higgins said...

Thank you for your honesty! Social media is overwhelming and I feel your pain. I love how you spell out what your followers can expect from you. You're being a good role model for other bloggers. (Well, for me anyway!) I'm a campaigner and new follower.

Enid Wilson said...

I've a phone app launch in my day job, book tour for my new novel and now I joined my first ever blogfest. I think I've definitely bitten off too much. Need to dig my writing out from the fridge..,

Every Savage Can Reproduce

thepatientdreamer said...

I laughed my head off and nearly feel out of my chair reading this post. Like JR I thought you must have been walking around in my head. Time management is my big problem and as I am a very new campaigner here I am already blown away by all the blogging thats happening...wow! An aspiring writer that feels as if I already know you is looking forward to what lies ahead. With baby as well...I think you are doing pretty Awesome!

Debbie said...

I know exactly where you're coming from Adina! This is the first time I've participated in the campaign and already feeling a bit overwhelmed.

I've put myself down in about half a dozen different groups and I hope to get around to everybody. Lately my aim is to focus on my writing during the day and not get onto social networks, read or become a couch potato until after I feel I have accomplished something with my writing projects by the end of the day. I feel there is not much point spending a lot of time on social networks, calling myself I writer, if I'm not actually getting any writing done and trying to get myself published. Having said that, though, I am enjoying the campaign and think it (along with social networks) is a great way of meeting other writers.

I look forward to seeing more of you during the campaign. You're certainly doing better at me at writing with a baby than I ever was! :)

Sabrina said...

Nope. I've been spending way too much time on the internet than my manuscript. Can't....take....hands...off...keyboard....

Anonymous said...

followed you in from the UF circle. This is my first time and I can definitely understand the feeling of putting out more than you might have gotten back. For me, following might be an issue since so many of these are completely different blog systems from my own and I'll have to figure out HOW to do the rss feed for them.

nice to meet you though.

Jana Denardo

Faith said...

We just can't stay away, eh? It's true -- we writers need each other. I'm happy we have an opportunity like this .

clairemca said...

Wow, I'm not on the campaign, I just clicked on it to see what it was and saw all these groups and thought, information super highway - I better take the next exit and it was the Antipodean writers and since I'm a Kiwi writer living in France I stopped off there and randomly chose you, so I guess its serendipitous and I'm listening/reading your good advice, thanks.

I created a blog just to figure out how its done and only post when I feel like writing something other than stories - not often.

Didn't realise its such a cult :)

Anyway, thanks for letting me pause here a bit, if you would like to read my very few posts you can find me at http://clairemca.wordpress.com just a few book reviews.

Bonne Continuation

Claire

Faith said...

I wish there were more hours in the day for social media type things too... it's hard to make sure I'm writing instead of sitting on the computer doing other things. Hence my sporadic blog posting as well. No worries, we'll still read & comment whenever you're here! :)

Kari Marie said...

Writing and life always come first, but not always in that order. I didn't join the campaign this time around, trying to stay focused on the current WIP and have a bit of a life too. Do what you can and don't stress about the rest.

Eve.E said...

Hi Adina, i am in your YA group, just doing the rounds bit by bit and introducing myself. so HI hope you are well :)

Charmaine Clancy said...

I am finding my social media enticing me away from my MS. Must admit I'm not a very diligent campaigner, I just wander around from time to time to the other blogs. I'm too ditzy to keep up with a schedule and pretty happy to keep it that way :)
Wagging Tales - Blog for Writers

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