Looking back over my posts for 2015, one thing was obvious. I was very up and down with my post frequency. It was either a feast or a famine and I often felt guilty if I hadn’t posted in a while. Finding the time to post regularly has been increasingly hard to achieve as I have juggled writing, working, family and volunteering.
So, for 2016 I’ve decided to take a different approach with the aim of achieving a better balance. Many other authors/writers fill their blogs with writing tips and marketing advice, but I have always been reluctant to offer such posts on here. In a world that is overflowing with an abundance of information and opinion, I feel there are plenty of better qualified people around who can (and do) offer more insightful information on publishing than I could. There is no point in me adding to the noise, so I will continue to steer clear of this subject area.
I’ve noticed that a great deal of my posts are book reviews, which is fine, as it has been my way of helping to independently promote the work of other authors in a crowded market, and encourage reading. My review policy has always been that I choose the books I read, as I don’t believe in review swapping (My policy is here).
The truth is, I’m just like a majority of readers. I was never really one to write reviews of every book I read (shame, shame, shame) until I started the blog, and it’s something that I never intended to become such a large component. Over time I’ve noticed my reviews have become longer and more detailed, so I’ve decided it’s time to simplify and condense.
Also, I’ve concluded that my original opinion of Twitter was correct. It really is just a mash of useless information that clogs up the web. Some of you may have noticed over recent months that my tweets have reduced (and will continue to do so). To be honest, I can’t really remember the last time I actually looked at my Twitter feed to see if there was something useful. Can you?
When I think about it, the original essence of my blog was to share information about my books, and to keep my readers up to date on what I have been up to. It certainly wasn’t intended to become another book review site in a sea of thousands. I want readers who visit to learn about my books, and be privy to exclusive details about the settings, the characters and the inspiration behind them. We’re all learning everyday, and there’s no better way to learn than to try new things.
So, I’ve decided to limit my posts to a monthly event, a newsletter of sorts, which will provide a summary of what I’ve been up to and what I plan next. It will include brief mini reviews of books I’ve read, updates on what I’ve written, any highlights about my current books (reviews, awards, feedback, giveaways, discounts). And if there is something exciting that happens, I’ll be sure to slip another post in when needed.
In a nutshell, swlothian.com will be living its original purpose… my books. As I mentioned earlier, I’m still learning. This marvelous new approach will need to grow and mature, so I’ll be flexible along the way. The bottom line is that I hope to find the perfect balance between life online and offline.
I would love to hear how you manage the balance between online and offline. Please feel free to share your thoughts by leaving a comment below.