Losing Touch With The Blogger Inside…

So, I think I may have made a mistake. A blogging mistake. Maybe…

When I started this blog, I was motivated by the fact that I was ‘coming out of the closet’, so to speak. I was throwing the covers off my head and telling the world, ‘hey, I’m a writer, I’m going to publish a book, get used to it.’ Naturally, that gave birth to, well, a writing blog… and that’s where I may have gone wrong.

Obviously, I love writing, I love talking about writing, I love teaching people new things about writing. I have a no nonsense approach that people seem to like. I’m honest. I’m occasionally funny.

But writing isn’t all I do.

I’m stuck at a crossroad, and I’d like to hear your opinions: what should happen to 21st Century Author? While on one hand I love the fact that this is a dedicated writing blog, on the other I’m wondering… how long can I keep it up without burning myself out? How many writing topics can I blog about before I start saying the same thing over and over again, or, worst… I stop posting altogether?

This blog has become a bit of a side project for me. I started it because I heard over and over again ‘get a blog’. I haven’t regretted a single minute of it, but my ideas are running thin. That worries me. I don’t want to lose it.

What else worries me? Changing it up, subject-wise… becoming more diverse, and losing an audience I’ve worked hard to attain.

If I did change it up, I wouldn’t stop blogging about writing altogether. Honestly, I think that would be sort of impossible for me since writing is such a huge part of my life. But it would give me free reign over what I post, whether it’s the fact that I find the X-men anti-mind reading helmet hilarious, or the fact that yes, I do know how to make a perfect Julia Child souffle (I do).

So, what do you think? What should I do? And will you stick with me if I do it…?

Starting over doesn’t sound like much fun.

Did you like this post? Follow Ania on Twitter, Facebook, and visit www.AniaAhlborn.com to learn about Ania’s debut novel, Seed!


26 thoughts on “Losing Touch With The Blogger Inside…

  1. So here’s my two cents, for what it’s worth. (Logic dictates, it’s worth exactly two cents…but that’s another conversation.)

    Writers are writers. No question there. But it’s not all we do. It’s not all YOU do, I would hope.

    Writers are people. They have things they do, that they enjoy, that recharge them. Sometimes they’re peripherally related to writing. Sometimes they just aren’t. But these things are still what makes us human. And it’s those little scraps of humanity that make us interesting.

    Another way to look at it — there are hundreds of blogs on writing.

    How many blogs are about you?

    That’s where you will excel.

    • Thanks Nathan.

      What worries me is this: I don’t like ‘personal’ blogs. I don’t read them. I mean, unless I’m invested in someone I don’t want to read about what you had for breakfast or why you hate whole wheat pasta. There’s definitely a balance that needs to be found, and in a lot of my posts I think I achieve the on-topic/personal thing…

      But you’re right, there are hundreds (no, hundreds of THOUSANDS) of blogs about writing… and sometimes I get to wondering, what the heck am I doing? Just rehashing what someone else has said somewhere else on the net.

      This whole issue makes me feel very ‘meh’. :/

  2. I see no problem with mixing it up if you want to keep blogging. It’s also OK to post less often if you want to do that. It depends on what you are trying to accomplish, I guess. With my blog, it’s only my writing. I rarely do a post that isn’t a story. If someone wants to hear what I have to say about random topics, like skeletons riding bicycles, then I’m all over it on twitter.

    I say just decide what you want to accomplish with the blog, write what you want to write, people will stick around.

    • It isn’t that I don’t want to write about writing. I’m good at it. I tend to get excited and funny things come out of my mouth. In turn, it’s amusing.

      On the other hand, just today I’m sitting here thinking ‘hey, I should do a blog post about my trip to New Orleans, complete with photos’… And while that could easily fit into ‘writing’ because Seed takes place in Louisiana (and my trip was what inspired the locale), what if, say, I wanted to post about my trip to Hawaii? I haven’t written anything about Hawaii. Why would anyone want to read about it if they subscribed to my blog for writing stuff? They’ll get here and think ‘wtf, Ania, wtf. You promised us writing stuff. GIVE ME IT.’

      And what about the damn title? 21st Century Author. Obviously that would have to change…

      I think my head just exploded.

      • “And what about the damn title? 21st Century Author. Obviously that would have to change…”

        I’m curious about your title.

        I know you do insurance (me too, something else we have in common, I guess) and your blog title reminds me of the insurance company with the same name that Farmers bought back in 2009. They were 20th Century originally but have changed the name to 21st Century. Seems strange to name a *business* something that one hopes will persist more than a century.

        I digress.

        You’re blog title is safe though. I won’t be here in 2100 to tease about such details, that’s pretty much a guarantee unless someone gives me some longevity elixir πŸ™‚

  3. I’ve got to agree. You’re one hell of a likable person and I can honestly say you are one hell of a writer as well. I’m reading your book now and loving it.

    Be you – let the world fall in love with you – then they’ll WANT to see what you’ve written. It’s the whole reason I tried your book in the first place – I thought, “she’s actually really cool, let’s see what she’s got.” And you’ve got it.

    End of lecture. Sorry.


    • That was amazingly sweet. Now I’m just sitting here grinning.

      Why am I scared to be me? Am I scared to be me? …maybe I’m concerned about overwhelming the world with way too much coolness? That may be it. I’m concerned for the world’s well-being. I just need to stop caring about mankind and be myself. If it explodes, it explodes. πŸ˜‰

      Thanks for your comment. You actually brightened my mood. A lot. ❀

    • That’s true. But I’m also not the type of person who thinks ‘man, my life is so freakin’ interesting, I should blog about myself!’ I don’t know. I’m torn!

  4. I think you should ultimately follow what your heart leads you to write about, whether you are writing about…. well, writing… or if you simply feel the urge to share your feelings about anything and everything that is important to you. I think it would be a good thing to shake things up a bit. I only read one post of yours and I was hooked… I look forward to future posts.


  5. *whew*

    I’m glad I didn’t go with my first answer – “Hush up now girl and get to promotin'”

    Yep. Glad I never said that.


  6. Absolutely move on to other topics. Your trip to New Orleans sounds like an excellent topic. Personal blogs are way more interesting than writing blogs and I think they’re more effective in attracting readers. Let’s face it, most writers are not your target audience. A good chunk are sure to get your book, but they won’t be the ones dressing up as their favorite Seed characters in anticipation for Seed 2 Electric Boogaloo.

    So, yeah, tell us where you vacationed, tell us about your childhood, tell us you have a freakishly odd fascination with bell button lint. Whatever. It’ll be interesting because YOU are interesting.

    Check out this post by Kristen Lamb

  7. On my personal blog, I like using a tag cloud. Very rapidly you can see what interests me or at least topics I like to write about.

    We are individuals with multiple facets to who we are. If you leave this blog to JUST writing, you may find yourself burning out. Change it up. Have short quips or tips. Have quick rants for what you see as common mistakes. Have longer tutorials, and maybe a personal area, where we, the readers, can get to know you, the author.

    My $.02

    • Thanks Scott. All great ideas. I really do think I’m going to change it up. My main concern is the title. I’d have to change it, wouldn’t I? Because if it isn’t 100% writing 100% of the time, it would feel odd to call it 21st Century Author.

      • I don’t think you’d need to change the blog title at all. You ARE an author. The PRIMARY focus of your blog is writing. Any anecdotal posts, any history about you, anything NOT specifically related to writing adds the human touch. And the reader has a chance to relate to you MORE.

        The name of my blog is Chickenskratch, mostly because I DON’T have any real focus. It’s just a bunch of random stuff about me. Which actually can make it hard for me to write sometimes.

        Everyone of these comments notes how personable you are. It’s like getting to hang out with your favorite author in a coffee shop and just shoot the bull. I’m a husband, father, IT guy, baker, and general geek. By blog is mostly geared around my geekiness. And I tend to geek out on whatever it is I am writing about. You are a wife, mother, businesswoman, and author. And it is the author you identify as.

        And it is why we, your fans, are going to travel here.

        And this is a long-winded way of saying….don’t change a thing.

  8. I’m running into a similar issue. My blog started as a personal blog, became a science blog, and then became about spirituality. Now it’s about my writing too….but the thing is that all of that stuff is part of me. I think if people feel they know you, they will get excited about your work. As indies, we have to establish a rapport with our readers, and a blog is a great way to do that.

    If you change your content, you’ll attract new readers and keep the old readers interested. You’re more than just a writer as you said; let your presence on the web declare as much! You may not like personal blogs, but lets face it we live in a voyeuristic society these days. People are nosy. Indulge that! You may just net yourself more new readers that way, and keep yourself interested in your blog as well πŸ™‚

    Oh and you won’t have to change your title. You’re a 21st Century Author right? Let your site reflect what’ it’s like to be an author in the new century!

  9. Relax Tampax. I actually find your blogs about writing boring. It’s your other blogs posts that I like. You’re a really funny person. Surprised that you write horror. Keep this in mind when you post. Is it interesting? If it is, post it. If not don’t. I agree with the first dude, there are tons of boring writer blogs out there. What got me to sign up and follow you was our Inside the Authors Studio post. Don’t create content just to for content sake. Create interesting content and you’ll be fine.

  10. I gotta add my voice to the throng that are saying ‘it’s good to be you!’
    People do want to read about people, especially those they perceive to have an interesting life – and who is more interesting that a famous author! (see what I did there?)
    The title is fine – it reflects what you are, and alerts casual passers-by to the fact that, while they may be reading a post on meringue, you are a writer and will also post about that. I think one of the toughest bits about blogging is creating an identity, so you have yours with being a writer in this day and age, and all that that encompasses (like reality tv, french cuisine and the march of technology). I wouldn’t try to ‘re-brand’ yourself, as you might find it tough to pigeon hole yourself – and if you do you’ll end up equally concerned that your new niche is too narrow! Just be you, do what you do, and blog about it – anyone who isn’t cool with that will leave, and you’ll end up with the ones who really want to stay! Everyone’s a winner baby!
    David Gaughran brought up an interesting and related point – he blogs about self pubb’ing, which means a he has built up a great following of self pubb’ing folk – but few actual readers. Of course we all read, but by writing that blog he isn’t targeting the same people his books target. You can end up the same with a purely writing blog. Readers would quite likely prefer to read the story of your life, like a soap opera, with all it’s variety to interest them. It could be way more successful than a purely writing blog has been, simply because that naturally limits the audience to those interested in the craft of writing.
    Anyway, I’m way too long-winded to have held anyone’s attention this far, so I’ll bugger off.
    (Wouldn’t guess I’m a writer, eh?!)
    One last thing tho – I’ve literally just made the same decision about my blog – to diversify, that is – as trying to keep it as it has been is unsustainable for similar reasons to yours. Luckily I don’t have any readers as such to worry about losing :0)
    So, um… yeah! Give re-birth to your blog! Keep the title, keep the followers (the ones that want to stay) and you’ll be even happier, as you can write about anything you want!
    Just, if you do have a re-birth, please don’t have an after-birth party. I tried that once, and it take ages to get jello and tomato ketchup out of your hair…

    • Thanks Tony. All great points… especially the after-birth party tip. I’d already reserved three vats of ketchup but… I think I’ll cancel that order, per your suggestion. πŸ˜‰

  11. I’d like to know more about you. Perhaps what makes you tick, what ticks you off. I certainly won’t stop reading just because you’ve diversified. I don’t blog about writing because, well, what do I know – really?

  12. I think all blogs should have the freedom to be flexible, it’s part of their appeal. I may write a book blog, but if I want to write about something else, I will, like when I announced I’d got Olympic tickets πŸ™‚

  13. Keep up the blog just the way you’re doing it. For one, you’ve inspired me to take the giant leep for mankind and to jump into the social networking pool as I set sail on epublishing my first book. Thanks to your guidance and inspiration, I feel more comfortable in going for it. Of course, I’m in the early stages of developing ideas for my own web site and blog, and still need to determine how I specifically get my name out there. But, the research has begun.

    Soon I hope to determine a timeline (schedule) for all my tasks to launch the site, market the book pre-release and post-release (not exactly sure how) and countdown to its release. BTW, the book part is done, at least the first one, which is good news.

    Just haven’t been sure how to proceed, so I put my thoughts on paper ——

    – traditional / legacy / old school method: find agent (10-step process taking 3 years condensed to one step here) > publishing house > wait > edit > become robotic slave to process > get gray hair > re-write book because it’s been so long since I thought I had finsihed the book it now needs to be updated with current jargon, etc… > complete steps 3-6 > book is published > make pennies on the dollar after everyone takes their cut for sapping my creative energy and taking my will to live to an all-time low.

    – epublish – take ownership of every step, although I’m not sure of every exact step. The drawback? uncertainty if what I’m doing is “right;” but, I’ll learn a lot during the process and do it better with my second book (I’ve finished a very early draft)

    Thanks again for providing clarity and helping me take that first step.

    Seacrest out.

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