Sunday, September 4, 2011

A Letter to Writer Quirk Readers

My fellow quirks,

Change happens, and it is happening to Writer Quirk.

When I started Writer Quirk, it was about, well, writing.  I had, as a writer, determined to focus on writing YA and actually make something of it instead of just writing here and there and having files gather dust on my computer.  I had stumbled upon blogs, both about YA books and writing YA, and decided to jump in, mainly to join a writing meme hosted by Sarah over at Confessions of the Unpublished.

Then I began seeing all these book blogs, and it looked like so much fun, so I started following the blogs and joined the routine: reviews, features, memes, followers, giveaways, etc.  And it was fun.  And then I took a break, because I couldn't keep up.  And then I got back into it, and tried to be like all the greats out there, and book blogging became extremely time and energy consuming.

And I just can't keep it up.

Okay, let me qualify.  I have the time, the energy, and the desire to blog.  I just don't have the time/energy/desire to book blog.

From what all the great YA book bloggers say (there are many successful ones with how-to tips on book blogging), a great book blog worthy of a following should have regular postings, great content, a blogger behind it who is involved (commenting, Twitter, Facebook, etc.) and more.

I tried.  I really did.  I wanted to have a great book blog, but honestly, I cannot keep up in the world of YA book blogging.  To speak honestly, I, as a book blogger, cannot really offer up much in the way of new or better content than the thousands of other YA book bloggers out there.  I maybe had a different take or voice on things, but really, the only thing truly different was me, personally, and what I thought about the books I read.

And I don't want to lose the joy of blogging, but unfortunately, when you are one small blog among so many, many great ones, it is hard to focus on the fun of it and not trying to be as good as the rest.  It is hard enough trying to keep up with the Jones' of the blogging community, especially when your offline life is rather full.  I now have a husband, and I also have a disabled mother and an elderly father, several pets, a full time job, four church commitments, and a novel I'm trying to finish before the next NaNoWriMo in November.  Book blogging was stressing me out, and the thought of returning to it even now that life sans wedding plans has calmed a bit, is distressing.

In other words, I can't really afford to do anything that I don't feel 100% about, and I just don't feel 100% about book blogging.

But I do feel 100% about this blog, so Writer Quirk is not going away.  Things are just changing.

I am no longer going to classify Writer Quirk as a book blog.

That might sound like quite an insignificant change, but it's a little bigger than it seems.

Let's face it; no matter how much a blogger loves YA, much of a blogger's energy is so that GFC count will grow.  There are very few people who enter the blogging world to share their opinions to an audience of zero.  I know I didn't. But I also didn't start out thinking I was going to be creating posts just aimed at gaining followers.  I will concede that those posts also served other functions, but I was operating under the mindset that if I didn't do this or that, I wouldn't gain/retain followers.

I love YA, but I love the rest of my life too, and the blog had gotten off-track from where I had intended it to be.  But I'm not going to let those things drive my blog anymore.  This gives me more freedom to post what and when I want to since I'm no longer going to be trying to keep up with the standard for YA book blogs.  I'm sure most of you know this, but the YA book blogging community has pretty substantial standards for YA book blogs, and those that are deemed great operate at quite a high level and constant, and sometimes feverish, pace (depending on if you blog ahead of time and schedule or do it week by week).  I have always blogged (on other blogs) in more of a laid-back manner, going with the flow of my mind rather than on a timetable, producing content on a certain schedule.  There's nothing wrong with the way the book blogging operates.  I'm still following all the book blogs on my feed because I still love the YA book blogging community.  But book blogging is just not the course for me.

So, Writer Quirk is headed back to its roots.  I am going to continue blogging here about my journey as a YA writer, which will include more personal content (though not too personal, of course).  And when I feel like, I'm going to review YA I read.  Because I still read YA.  Of course I do.  I wouldn't be writing it if I didn't read it and love it.  And I hope you'll continue with me as I head on this renewed path.

I want to thank each and every reader, follower, commenter, blogger, for joining me here.  I know many of you only follow or are only interested in book blogs, and since Writer Quirk is no longer that, I completely understand if you remove me from your feeds.  That's why I wrote this, so that those who came for the regular reviews, memes, content, etc., could know I wasn't trying to hoodwink them by not doing those things anymore.

But if you want to stay tuned to see if a YA writer can become a YA author, and ride with me on the roller coaster that is writing, please do.  It's always better to travel with friends than without them.

With all my writerly heart,


  1. Shalena, far from removing you from my feed, this post has earned you a spot on my blogroll. I'm an aspiring writer too and I am finding myself spending more and more time on here keeping up with the Joneses of blogging rather than spending time on writing which is really my one true love. Your post has captured everything I have felt in the last couple of months.

  2. Lan, thank you so much for your comment.

    More than anything, you have affirmed that I made the right (write, lol) decision, and I'm glad I'm not alone out here in the middle lands between writing and book blogging! ^_^

  3. I understand your feelings completely! I seem to have time once per year when I feel like I can't do it anymore. Unlike you, though, I come back refreshed and ready to go again. Only to overload myself and start the cycle over.

    It's awesome that you've recognized your limit. I think that's very good. You have to be true to yourself. I hear you on posting for gaining followers. I've stopped doing most of those (unless memes like Teaser Tuesday count, but I do those simply for fun), because I'd rather have quality content.

    I commend you for making this decision. I'm sorry if you lose followers over this. Rest assured that I will not be among them. I intend to follow your journey. Best of luck to you!

  4. Ham: Thank you so much for your support. I did feel refreshed when I came back several months ago, but I really had to look at what my priorities were, and my novel writing was taking an undeserved back-burner. Thank you for understanding and wanting to continue on with me!

  5. I didn't mean to imply that I thought you'd get over it or anything like that. I'm sorry if it came across that way. I just was relating my own experience to show that I can relate - and was just lucky in that I have been refreshed each time I've slowed down. But, then, I've never aspired to write anything other than my blog, so maybe I'd feel differently if I did have a WIP.

  6. Ham: Didn't think that at all - no need to apologize! I know it works that way for a lot of bloggers, so I completely understand your process. I was just explaining why this time was different for me. I'm glad you cycle back to refreshed each time because I would miss you and your blog!

  7. Aww! Thank you. You're too kind! :-) I hope you'll consider joining me again for the Authors from A to Z next June. ;-)


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