Sunday, October 9, 2016

TO BLOG OR NOT TO BLOG, THAT IS MY QUESTION by Brenda Whiteside

I’ve been floundering for the past year with my personal blog. The blog is called Discover Yourself. My intentions have always been to not only share what’s going on in my writing life, but to post about life in general from my perspective. I have Muse Monday, Wicked Wednesday, Trippin’ Thursday, and Fearless Friday. The problem started when we stopped farming.

The Farmer
For over three years, Thursday was known as Tortuga Thursday. We named our little farm, Tortuga Flats. From 2012 until sometime in 2015, I shared our adventures based on the following: 


In 2012, on the plains of Northern Arizona, two families joined forces and began the trials and tribulations of building a small family farm with nothing in the bank but love. 

Me...ready to battle the weeds.
The farm gave me plenty of fodder for blogging. I developed a following. But when the farmer (our son) left the farm, the experiment ended, and we sold the property. I changed Tortuga Thursday to Trippin’ Thursday. And I’ve kind of fallen flat on my creative juices with it. 

My husband and I decided to live in the RV when the farm sold in one day, and we had no clear plans for the next move. I borrowed a term from our younger days—trippin’. 

In everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose...in our latest season, with only a vague plan and a touch of creativity, we're off on another adventure. Half of this twosome is retired; my half will probably never know what that means. I promise to share. 

But once I logged on about the RV and have thrown some tips out there about how to live frugally, I just can’t get the real crux of what I should do with my Thursday post. We don’t move the RV around, especially since we now own a much bigger unit. There’s a whole lot less going on at the RV Ranch with just the two of us than there was with the farm experiment. 

I’ve toyed with getting really gritty with what life is like at this point in time: grown children, grandchildren, aging parent, political strife within the family, changing habits in the later years of marriage, and on and on. But there’re a few people in my family who actually like their privacy. Jeez. Do you think changing the names would help?

What would you like to read from an author that isn’t about writing? If you followed Tortuga Thursday, what do you see as an interesting direction to take? I’m open for any and all suggestions.

Brenda's personal blog, Discover Yourself:
http://brendawhiteside.blogspot.com/

22 comments:

zarawest said...

I agree. Coming up for topics for a weekly blog is the pits. It's hard to come up with topics that will interest potential readers. I'm still trying to figure that out too.

Vonnie Davis ~ Romance Author said...

I set up a schedule, too. I'd post 3 days a week. Monday Musings...soapbox sometimes required. Writerly Wednesday, but the more I write, the less I feel I know. Friday Friends, but I forget to ask someone to be a guest blogger. I joined Tasty Tours and chose which of their tours I want to promote, but doing that is more bother than it's worth. Plus I'm not getting a whole lot of traffic from that idea. I seem to get the most interest when I just ramble, which we all know I can do quite well...but WHAT to ramble about? That's the thing.

Brenda Whiteside said...

Ah, we're all struggling, apparently. Thanks, Zara and Vonnie.

Liz Flaherty said...

Let me join in that struggle...I love blogging, so I commit to too much of it, and I'm not nearly that interesting. Good luck with figuring it out. I always enjoy your posts.

Alison Henderson said...

I feel your struggle, Brenda. I loved Tortuga Thursdays because the farm was an interesting experiment in so many ways. But as to what should come next, I have no clue. Heck, I haven't touched my personal blog in months (years?). It's all I can do to come up with something to post here twice a month. Good luck!

Andrea Downing said...

I'm afraid I'm the lazy bones who only posts on her personal website once a month. Admittedly they are long posts which might take more than one read, but that's what I do. When I travelled cross-country last year for 7 weeks with my daughter, I posted daily...yes, daily! Me! Admittedly those short posts had quite a following but, like you Brenda and the farm, it was something that seemed to capture an audience. Did it make a difference to book sales? Nope. And, who knows, maybe the very fact it had a short life expectancy was something the large audience felt it could hang on with. So, what this boils down to is, I have no idea whether blogging makes a difference to writers and, quite honestly, I wouldn't worry about it. My 2c. No help, am I...

Jannine Gallant said...

I gave up on my personal blog. I started it intending to post recipes and "dog" posts each once a week. But it was time consuming, and I'd get maybe 20 views. I gave up before growing a following. I don't know what to tell you since I can't figure it out, either. We get a whole lot more daily views here at ROP than I ever did on my own blog, so I've just made this my focus. I post a few dog pictures on Facebook, and call it good! Maybe you need to get a new dog to post about since he won't complain about privacy issues... LOL

Leah St. James said...

Personally, I don't think blogging is the big thing it used to be. I tried blogging, but without a specific passion or expertise (like the farm) or cooking (like Julie-Julia), I floundered. I have so little time to write as it is, I feel my time is better spent on writing stories, not blogging. I do update my website (monthly...or I try) and throw a blog up there every now and then, but I don't sweat it anymore. Sorry I can't be any help, Brenda! (Like the farm photos, though!)

Brenda Whiteside said...

Well, Liz, if you blog a lot you must have something to say!

Alison, glad you like the old farm blog. I did too.

Thanks, Andi. Daily? That would be a chore.

No dog, Jannine! I really miss my Rusty but I do feel free!

You're right, Leah. It isn't such a deal anymore. I think I may just drop the Thursday blog. Who knows?

Margo Hoornstra said...

Sorry, Brenda. I'm no help either I'm afraid as I also started a personal blog with good intentions that soon fell flat. Focusing on my days to post here is pretty much the extent of my 'reach'. I did enjoy your posts about the farm too. You sure there's not that muchgoing on around the RV Ranch? Just asking! ;-)

brenda said...

I suspect every writer asks the same question. Should I Blog? If yes, what should I blog about? The canvas is vast. It is time-consuming. It can be a pain and a huge effort. I don't think the reasons for blogging are what they used to be, i.e, you need a blog as part of your platform. I would need to fact check. If you're going to blog my suggestion is don't limit yourself to a theme. I think of mine as a place to express my thoughts and try new things. It has to be something you as a writer enjoys and has fun with, if not then you have your answer.

Brenda Whiteside said...

I'm looking at the rv goings on again. Maybe I could do a gossip column Margo.

Connie Flynn said...

Sorry, I'm no help either, Brenda. Once I get off writing about writing I find that anything I have to say kind of bores me. It's finding inspiring topics that eludes me. I have friends who do it well, but I can't figure out what they're doing right. So . . . you have my commiseration, if not advice :-)
--Connie

Vonnie said...

Brenda, I always read your Tortuga Flats blogs because they were different. A great topic. But yes, coming up with a weekly blog must be hell. I don't even try. I can go six weeks between blogs because I suffer from "don't want to upset the masses" syndrome.

Brenda Whiteside said...

So right, Brenda. Thanks.

Brenda Whiteside said...

Well Connie as the progressed and some suggestions rolled in I've decided to look again at the boring. I just might squeeze some fun out. We'll see.

Brenda Whiteside said...

Yeah I hear you Connie. I think I'll keep blogging but not stress on it.

Brenda Whiteside said...

Yeah I hear you Connie. I think I'll keep blogging but not stress on it.

Diane Burton said...

I like reading a blogger's take on what's happening--everyday life, for example. Not stressing is a good idea.

Brenda Whiteside said...

Good to hear, Diane.

Alicia Dean said...

It's so interesting how many authors are no longer blogging. I understand it's not all that effective, but I really enjoy it. Yes, it's time consuming, but the key is to keep the blog posts short. Readers are easily bored, and busy, so you don't want to go on and on. I have a few regular weekly posts, other than that, I love to host other authors. Whatever you decide, wishing you the best!

Brenda Whiteside said...

Thanks, Alicia. Actually I have hit on something new I'll enjoy. I think I just had to complain a little. LOL