The Great Balancing Act: Writing Novels and Blogging

Image courtesy oldpicture.com

I have been blogging non-stop since December, and I will have to say that my efforts are paying off.  While writing my novel, I have discovered the ins and outs of using Scrivener as a word processor and have posted a few articles about its use.

I have been getting increasing traffic on my blog, and for that I have to thank my loyal followers and Scrivener and Mindnode for re-Tweeting my blog posts to the world.  What a joyous feeling it is to go from seeing 25-30 hits a day to seeing triple digits every day!

However, I am trying also to write my post-apocalyptic parody/satire novel and am chugging along nicely with it.  I still plan to publish it in June if all goes well and it makes it through my trusty shredders —I mean editors —.  The point is, I think I’ve found the happy balance between working on the blog and writing the novel.  Here are a few tips:

1.  Stick to the Schedule – I have specific time allotted for blogging and for writing the novel.  I never diverge from it.  I write a blog post in the afternoons to be posted the following morning.  This way I can edit through it and hopefully add or take away what is necessary to communicate my ideas.  I write my novel at night after the kids are off to bed.

2.  Find Time for Normalcy – I have specific time scheduled as well for relaxing, watching television (can’t miss that Alcatraz season finale) and socializing with the family.  These things are necessary to keep me focused.  I often have to go away from the novel for a bit so my mind can process what I wrote.  Some of my best ideas are afterthoughts.

3.  Do the Day Job – When I’m at work I don’t think about the blog at all and I don’t think about the novel at all.  It has a way of creeping into my mind and invading it now and then, and when that happens I have a notepad or my iPhone handy to jot things down to do later.  Some of the best blog posts or scenes I have written have come to me in the middle of the day.

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10 thoughts on “The Great Balancing Act: Writing Novels and Blogging

  1. Oh, and I also LOVE this photo! I can feel my heart beat from fear (heights) and would NEVER do what he’s doing, but I also realize I try to apply that much daring in my writing life. I don’t always succeed but it’s a goal! I really admire his courage and imagination. What a feat to live up to! Lisa

  2. I have an issue with organization as well. I am happy to see I’m not the only one. Sorry, but it makes me feel better to know I’m not alone! I do have a schedule that I TRY to follow and most of the time do very well. It’s too easy to let “following” others take over my blogging time. I try and write a few times a week, but in April will be blogging every day along with lots of other folks doing the A to Z blogging challenge at http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/ Starting on April 1, I’ll be blogging following the alphabet, first day, A, second B etc. I’m looking forward to the discipline and hope it also impacts staying on schedule as well as opening up the imagination. These are main reasons I am doing it. Like this post Roger! Thanks! Lisa

  3. I can relate to the life you’re leading, but I’m impressed with your writing schedule. After grading so many students’ works of writing, I never felt like I had the time or energy to give to my own. It’s hard enough to get my blog up and running and find my own writing schedule, let alone imagine adding back in the consuming time of teaching with a family to take care of at home. Hats of to you, sir!

  4. I fear that my blog is now my main priority. Novel…what novel?? I have to remind myself that I need to research for my story or work on a couple of characters. But I get sidetracked on wordpress, looking through blogs! When I first started blogging, I said that I’m making a committment to writing. Maybe I should reiterate now and say I made an inadvertant committment to blogging!

  5. Yep, it’s definitely hard work!!!! I spend about 2 hours a day now just on Blog related stuff lol. It’s ok at the moment, but I’m worried it will start to impact on my writing time 😦

    I think I really need to be more organised lol

    xx

  6. I’m not sure about balancing it’s more like Jugging!! It’s easy to get lost in the moment of either your novel or blog and leave the rest of the world behind I salute you for finding a balance and am insanely Jealous!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. Definitely a tough balancing act. We know intuitively that really nothing trumps your next novel, but then again, there’s always that need to be marketing the one that’s already out there so that it doesn’t disappear into oblivion.

    Like how you schedule your day out to keep it in focus. The one thing I would add is that you should never be afraid to put up an average post. Sometimes, those posts that I cringe over — they’re too short, or written hastily — are the ones people love most. That’s hard on an ego, but great for hits.

    As the saying goes, never let great be the enemy of good.

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