Thursday, September 22, 2011

I Am Tired Of Blogging

The title of my post makes me sad, yet it's the truth. I don't know if there's something about the 4 year mark or what, but as I approach that date (October 10th) I can't help thinking that I've said practically all I can say. That I'm a bit fatigued of hearing myself "talk" and wonder if others are, too. What once was an enjoyable activity has become sort of an obligation, a source of anxiety.

I probably shouldn't be telling you these things, but here I am doing it anyway.

Let's get one thing clear—I'm not saying I'm shutting down the blog. Oh, I've thought about it often, especially since I sold my book, which is rather ironic since maybe now is the best time to have a blog and network. But there's been...a shift. People treat me differently now, and not always in a good way. It's strange how once you "get there," people tend to think you go deaf/blind and they can say whatever they want about you, true or untrue, sometimes cruel.

I never really saw it coming. I mean, I saw it happen to people who got Major Book Deals, but I didn't think it would happen to me. My deal was average. My book is debuting in paperback even. Maybe I never mentioned that, but it is. Don't get me wrong—I am VERY happy with my circumstances. I just never expected that they would have such an effect on people's perspective of me.

Because I'm still the same person. I say what I've always said, and yet now people view it differently. It's so weird, and some days it's no big deal, while other days I feel like everything I thought I knew about people and the internet and publishing has been erased.

I feel, though at the same time I have closed off more of myself than ever. And I have this compulsion to continue that, to protect myself from the impending onslaught of judgment. Frankly, it scares the crap out of me.

And so the thought of blogging for 2 more years before my book even gets out there has become this overwhelming monster. What will I talk about? I've seen people lash out at my friends for the smallest things, and that's what I have coming. People will roll their eyes at my pathetic attempts to promote. They will read ARCs and say mean things and I will be a baby unable to handle it—and of COURSE they will @ me on Twitter with their 1 star reviews just to make sure I see what a horrible job I've done.

The internet used to be fun. Right now? It kinda hurts, and I've barely begun.

I honestly don't know what to do. I wish I did. Writing stuff like this helps me feels better, though now if I do I get viewed as ungrateful and whiny. As much as I want to shut down the blog and go all J.D. Salinger, a part of me still wants to participate in this community as well. I'm trying to figure out if there's a way to have my cake and eat it, too. Maybe there isn't. Maybe I just have to deal with the bad stuff and try to focus on the good. Maybe I'll have to go a little AWOL and only show up at random. Maybe I'll have to do something really crazy, like sign up for Tumblr.

There's one thing I've been wanting to do for a long time, and that's take down my follower count. I've always disliked that button, because it seriously changed the world of blogging when they added it. What used to be more of a community turned into kind of a popularity contest, and I dragged my feet even putting it up to begin with. But I wanted people to be able to follow if they wanted, so I relented. Now I'm thinking it's time to get rid of the number. Maybe it will help me remember the earlier blog days, and that I'm supposed to be doing this for fun.

*destroys button*

Ahhh, I feel better already.


  1. I'm not tired of reading! I've only just found your blog, so it's all new to me :)

    That said, maybe you should consider that you don't owe us anything - if you want to take a break, or post less regularly then you should do that. With Google Reader, I'll be here waiting patiently... (in a non-creepy, not-at-all-as-stalkerly-as-it-sounds sort of way. Eek.)

  2. Natalie, I can't begin to understand how you feel, our circumstances are quite different, but I do know this. As much as I - and loads of other people - love reading what you write, if you're not enjoying yourself, then maybe it's time to take a break. As much as we're told to 'network' and 'build a platform' I'm a firm believer that this blogging thing should be fun too.

    The beauty of google reader and the like is that if you post only when you feel like it, we'll still know you've posted. The main thing is to do what's best for you.

  3. I know what you mean about the followers button. I've been thinking of getting rid of mine and I only have 350 followers, no agent, no book deal. I've hated the popularity contests of throwing contests and frankly, have never participated in them. I don't think the followers button is true telling of who is actually reading a blog. So I understand you there. Good for you. I might be following.

    I haven't been in your place so I can't really comment on the shift or the backlash. Wish you the best. And realize that the trolls and people that backlash are only a small percentage of the bloggers and writers out there.

  4. (Sidebar: Don't go Tumblr. It's way too limited.)

    Not focusing on numbers is a great step in the right direction. Do whatever it takes to hold on to the fun aspect. Only post once a week. Or only post pictures of kittens. You might lose readers, but who cares? Seriously.

    (Okay, don't do the kittens thing. That would just be weird. It was an extreme example. Hopefully you get my point.)

    Funny, but by coincidence I posted something semi-related to this today. I was talking about how sometimes it's hard to know what to say, or how much to say, on a blog, and how that can be paralyzing.

    But I ended on the positive: blogging is about conversation. About connections. Just like real life friendships, you can't quantify the good and the bad. You just have to do your best to stay on the right side of that seesaw.

  5. I think you need to decide what feels best for you now. If it's not fun, then don't do it! You have years of blogs archived. It's a great resource. Maybe the page is just turning and you need to put most of your attention elsewhere and just pop in from time to time.

  6. I'm so sorry you're going through this rough patch. What has happened that you feel people are treating you differently? Are they being cruel? Do I have to kick some butt? I can, ya know, if you want. :)

    Keep your chin up. And don't worry about the naysayers.

  7. I've been blogging since 1995, but most seriously since 2005. Sometimes I love it and the internet loves me back. Sometimes I love it but nobody loves me back. I put my heart into a piece and there is silence. I put something else out there on a whim and it strikes a major chord in my readers. It's hard to fathom or plan on.

    Whenever I've felt a bit overwhelmed by the obligation of continuing to blog, I have allowed myself to take a break. My last break lasted the last two months while I dealt with my divorce, and weirdly my subscriptions are way up. I can't figure it out. LOL You actually have the luxury of doing that now with your book two years out. You could also just post miniblogs for the next little while until you feel your mojo again.

    Maybe you're just feeling small now that you've begun swimming in a bigger pond. Just continue doing what you've been doing. After all, that's what brought you this far. You can't do anything about the anti-fans. They live to tear down—it's what makes them feel important. Just focus on the folks who believe in what you do. That's what I'm doing today. Some new reader found me and decided to give me stern criticism on how he perceives I live my life after reading two blog postings. I need that like I need a kick in the nether regions, but I'll thank him for contributing and just keep writing. I'm not writing to reach him; I'm writing to reach others like me. It's that need for community that pulls me forward. Despite the jerks, there's somebody around the corner that will get me and like what I write. There always is.

    Douglas Cootey

  8. Who in the world could find something negative to say? You're seriously one of the most upbeat people I follow.

    I don't understand people who go out of their way to be negative or cruel to people they don't even know. Or why they think that just because someone's name appears on a site, a blog, a book or whatever, there's no longer a real person behind that name with feelings.

    I'm sorry this has happened to you, Natalie.

    (You can disable your follower count? Why did I not know this?)

  9. I pretty much hate the follower gadget, too, but it's the quickest and most effective way for people to follow. UGH WHY.

    Unfortunately, there are always going to be naysayers. Sucks, but it's there. For what it's worth, I think you are kind and sweet and that you've worked really hard to get to where you are. If other people choose to focus on the negative, well, that's on them. Not you. Still, I completely understand that it's in no way easy to have such negativity thrown in your face.

  10. And completely honestly, yours and Kiersten's blogs were two of the first industry blogs I ever followed, and I owe a lot of my own growth and encouragement as a writer to both of you. Seriously.

  11. I've only been blogging for 10 months, and sometimes I get that OMG what do I blog about now?? feeling too. I'm not tired of it yet, but at times, the pressure to say something new and unique is a little overwhelming.

    I'm sorry it's happened to you, as I love reading your blog. However, I'll chime in with the others and say that if you're not feeling it right now, it's okay to take a break. There's no sense in burning your writing energy out on blogging when you've got other novels in you.

    Oh, and if I never said it? Congratulations on the book deal. I'm thrilled for you. :)

  12. Do what works for you! I'll miss your posts if you take a break, but you don't owe your readers your soul, and if that's what you feel you're giving us then definitely pull back (or save it for your books). Or you could revamp your blog somehow. Template changes are always fun. Or a change in theme, perhaps.

    As for the Google followers count, that's good to know. I just put one up, but it looks so pitiful with so few followers. I don't even read blogs that way, but since others had the button I thought I should, too. Kind of glad people are actually starting to move away from it.

  13. WE STILL LOVE YOU NATALIE! I can't imagine why anyone would say anything bad about or to you. Even after all the success you've had, you have remained humble and kind and helpful and understanding to those of us still struggling with this writing journey. I understand if you need a break, or want to back away from the internet (I go J.D. Salinger a lot!) (also because the internet is cruel and hurtful and while helpful and awesome can also feel very clique-ish sometimes) but do know that you have people who read your blog who find you inspiring and who support you and are genuinely happy for your success! We exist!

  14. =))
    You know what I've been thinking all day? "SILENCE IS POWER."
    take it easy. blog when you want to.

  15. Funny to read this post exactly four hours after I just recommended you to a friend of mine, telling him how your blog is my favorite one out there. :-) Mostly for how honest you are. You're a real person, and I like you. I have already decided I want to buy your book, simply based on the fact that I like your "voice" here. I don't say that to put pressure on you to continue. Just to let you know how I feel. I understand the pressure and I personally don't like it either.

    Blogging, especially blogging honestly, is soooo intimate.

    And a lot of people are soooooo rude. Just look at the state of politics today. It's enough to make me eye real estate on remote mountaintops, personally.

    But I think honesty is still important, and if we're to survive, we need to ignore the ugly people. They're out there and they have a right to speak just as we do, but we need to somehow defuse our reaction to them. If you refuse to accept their negativity as anything more powerful than just one voice in the world, then it loses its power over you.

    Seriously. I've been living this strategy for years.

    I hope you continue, and I'll keep you in my reader and continue to rejoice each time I see you've posted. But please, above all -- be happy. :)

  16. Thank you, everyone, for understanding! I certainly do not plan to shut the blog down, but I definitely have some thinking to do. I think this is just a new phase, and I haven't quite figured out how to manage it all. Hopefully it'll all get easier, and I'll find a new groove soon:)

  17. Please don't quit! If you're feeling drained I would suggest the following:

    1. Take a blog hiatus. One month, maybe, so you have a definite starting and ending point. And don't post ANYTHING during that month, no matter how tempted you are.

    2. Cut down on your posting. Maybe stick to just once a week for a while. It might help to ease up on the "WHAT DO I TALK ABOUT??" feeling if you only have to plan a blog post once every seven days.

    In the end it's all about doing what makes you fulfilled and happy. It sounds like now is a good time to take a break, and I hope you do. (And I hope you come back feeling refreshed and ready to take on the world!) You have a great blog, and I hope you keep at it.

  18. What is it about joy that makes some people want to squash it into the much with the pointy heel of Satan's boot? I don't get it.

    You do what you need to do to get through.

  19. Thank you for your honesty! You have very valid concerns. This is how you feel, and others may not understand it, but no one has the right to tell you what you feel is wrong. I hope you find peace in your blogging and that it becomes less of a chore.

    Oh, and I say "SCREW 'EM" to your naysayers. After all, they will never have your fabulous red hair. :D

  20. Personally I've found your blog to be an inspiration. It's kept me going many a day that I felt like giving up. That said, you have to do what is best for YOU, what feels right for YOU. One of the earliest lessons I learned in life is that you can't please everyone. Of course, I prefer to go by that old rule, "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all." So if I don't like a book, I just don't say anything at all. Why tear people down? But there are a lot of people out there like that, as you said. I think most of that is spawned by intense jealousy and quite honestly, the behavior of someone who would give you a one starred review and make sure that you saw it says way more about them than it does about you. Also, one star or five stars, they still read your book! But it is a hard place to be--the target of other peoples' petty jealousy or even hatred. You never have to apologize for doing what feels right for you!

  21. Take some time off! We'll still be here when you get back.

  22. I like honest posts like these. I feel that if you don't enjoy something anymore, you have to step back and evaluate why, so I think it's a great idea to do that. Good luck as you soul search :)

  23. I agree wholeheartedly with all those who urge you to take a break. I thoroughly enjoy your blog, but you need to look out for yourself, especially with all the book release stuff you have to deal with.

    And I sincerely hope my silly anti-Buffy tweet the other night wasn't a part of the negativity that's brought you down :-(

  24. I'm sorry to hear that you're getting backlash for (I guess) being popular. It seems once someone's popularity grows, those who were there at the start feel they're selling out. Which I never understood. This is your blog and you should be able to promote your books as much as you want. To those people who don't like it I'd ask them if there is something they loved, wouldn't they want to share it. And their answer would reluctantly be yes, so why can't you do the same. Hope you feel better soon.

    If you create a tumblr account, be sure to link it in a blog post. I'd follow :-)
    You could post randomness plus your artwork on deviantART.

  25. Well done you for taking away that follower count. I see more and more writers becoming obsessed with it - I've been guilty myself - and it takes away the essence of community.

    Breaks are good, so do it for you, no one else.

  26. It can feel like a job. Breaks are important. My solution to needed or anticipated breaks: guest posts.

  27. People say negative things online for many reasons. They are unhappy or jealous and unguarded. It comes across badly because it's in print instead of said aloud with proper tone and infelection. Sometimes people are negative on the Internet just because they feel insulated by sitting behind a screen.

    The thing is, the Internet critics don't know you because the blog-you is not you. It is a persona you've adopted for your blog. It's an honest one, but it's still not the same thing as the you that exists in the real world. Maybe that's the best insulation from judgement that there can be.

    But if you still love or enjoy blogging, don't let the critics or the judgement dissuade you.

    Haters gonna hate, right?

  28. Natalie, you're awesome and I'll keep reading as long as you've got something to say!

  29. Blogging HAS changed. It's funny that I'm reading this today :) I've been at it since 2005 and I was late to the whole "follower" thing and I think it ruined blogging. So did reader... people don't comment as much anymore. It's lame sauce! Unless you have a million followers, then for some reason, everyone wants to weigh in? Even if it probably won't get read much less answered? I don't get it. I stick to small/semi small blogs as much as possible now. One blog I used to love just started running a POP UP MACY'S ADD! Ugh. That reminds me to drop that blog.

    Keep it real sister :) Email me any time :) lol!

  30. I totally understand where you're coming from about the blog burnout, and wondering what to say ... sometimes I want to just withdraw from the world of the internet completely, because people say mean things and act like trolls and it SUCKS.


    I love your honesty and transparency. I love that you wrote this post, because I think a lot of people feel this way and are afraid to admit it. Stay strong!!

  31. Natalie:

    There are a few things that may help. Would it help to hear that even though being published and being public bring the occasional nasty jab, it isn't an incessant barrage? Mostly, I still find more roses than thorns.

    Do you have Google alerts? If so, maybe shut them off. If not, maybe don't start them. One thing that helps me is not reading lots of what other people say about me. I find that if anything really good happens that I do want to know about (like a list nomination), someone will email me about it.

    And the bottom line is that you always deserve to do what's best for you, whether that's continuing to blog or deciding not to. Personally, I would miss your blog because it's honest and engaging, but at the end of the day, the first person you have to please with it is yourself.

    Virtual hugs!

  32. Jenn, I don't have google alerts, never have because I know I'd be a basket case! I'm also not on FB or Goodreads, and I don't plan to be. I've already become such a hermit!

    I honestly try not to look at it, but sometimes it finds me. I think I'm just still getting used to it. This is all still pretty new to me:)

  33. NOOOOOO!!!! *grabs onto your ankles*

    In all seriousness, I get it. I've only been blogging for a bit over 2 years and I feel like I ran out of things to say a long time ago. When I forced myself to blog, it was always crap anyway, so I took the pressure away. Now I only blog if I feel like it, which is usually once a week. I figure that the people who are interested in what I have to say will stick around (and they have) and I'm not too fussed about the others.

    I figure I'll keep the blog because if I ever do get a book deal, it's a good place to update stuff and share interesting mile stones etc. But I'm trying really hard not to let it stress me out.

    You probably feel obliged to all of us, but you should always put your own mental health/sanity first. That said, your blog is my favourite SO DON'T GO! ;)

  34. I've been there. I've had times in the last year that have been particularly difficult, and felt like I'm being pulled in all directions with multiple forms of social media.

    I'd suggest taking a bit of a break, even if it's a week off. Recharge your batteries, and when you come back, take a different approach to the blog. Have fun with it, write about things you don't normally write about.

  35. Oh, sweet Natalie, this post makes me sad. Not the I Am Tired of Blogging--that I get. (I liken it to my last mile 23, I Was Tired of Running. :D)

    What makes me sad is the cruelty/hatefulness of the anonymous internet. I've only begun to catch a glimpse of it this year, and it makes me sad, especially when it comes to you. Because your blog has inspired so many, because you're real, and because you have done so much for the writing community, including giving back. You offer advice, perspective, and even give your time to crits/contests. So while I get the blogging fatigue, I'm sad for the vitrol that has seeped your way.

    Know that you're loved & respected...and that we'll be here to read whenever you post. :D *sends yummy chocolate-cream cheese cupcakes into hermit cave*

    And know that you have so many folks, like me, rooting for you and sending you good writing vibes.

  36. Good for you! That button is meaningless (mine's up for the same reason yours was: so ppl could follow if they want, but I hate the number!).

    I don't know if it'll help, but you might find someone whose online life and/or community is something you enjoy, and try to figure out what they do. Some people even shut down comments, for example (though that has its own downsides as well).

  37. Hey Natalie, sorry you feel like this. I can't believe people would go behind your back and say things, I thought a deal is a deal is a deal, whether it's big 6, small press, 6 figures, or zippo. Nobody gets really rich off a book, not unless they're Meyer or Rowling or Goodkind or King. LOTS has to happen before anyone gets there, and frankly, getting the deal is only the beginning. You'd hope there'd be more support now that all is said and done. I hope it gets better for you and in the meantime, I support you!

  38. To quote Homer Simspon: "Look, all I'm saying is, if these big stars didn't want people going through their garbage and saying they're gay, then they shouldn't have tried to express themselves creatively."

    Unfortunately it doesn't just apply to the big stars Homer is referring to. Anyone that makes a living off their art is fair game to the masses. It's BS and not really fair, but it's how it is. It's the #1 thing that terrifies me about becoming published, so I understand how you feel.

    I've always appreciated your candor, so I hope that you will continue to blog, but I completely understand if it's not as often as before.

  39. So sorry you're continuing to get negativity. Life would be so much nicer if wannabes would just work on getting where they want to be instead of hating people who are a little further down the road. I strongly urge you to cut back on the blogging if it's draining you. I follow the Slow Blogging Manifesto (Google it, if you're interested--it changed my life) I now blog only once a week (with guest bloggers and a permanent guest to fill in.) That way I figure people will miss me and welcome my 2-3 posts a month. Don't know if it would work for you, but maybe you'd want to think about it. My blog is pretty popular, and I am a confirmed Slow Blogger.

  40. I am surprised at these posts that I read from you and other writers about feelings of jealousy and mean comments. I guess I'm new to the game, but my experience--so far--is how giving the writing community is.

    When I discovered your blog and other writers and authors, I was amazed at how free you all were with your advise and support and encouragement to other writers.

    I have not seen the negativity. I am sorry that you have experienced it. I, myself, may not be far enough in the game to get feelings of jealousy when other writers get published. So far...I'm just delighted for them.

    I'm hoping that as I get closer to searching for an agent/publisher that this won't change.

    I guess I wanted to just say that I appreciate, and have always appreciated your candor, honesty, and advise. Yours is the first blog I go to each day. And I COMPLETELY understand if you have to back off for awhile.

    It's bothersome to me that your 'damned if you're published and you're damned if you aren't"

    Also, can't wait to read your book!

  41. So sorry to hear this Natalie, because I love your blog. And I am surprised to hear that you are receiving upsetting feedback you because the comments I read on your blogs seem to be almost exclusively positive and supportive. Are these people contacting you directly? If so, maybe down our contact details? Just a thought.

    On the other hand, if you're feeling a bit burned out and are no longer enjoying it, there is nothing like a break to re-evaluate things.

    I look forward to reading your novel. In Australia, everyone only buys paperbacks anyway :)

  42. I just want to say firstly that I can't imagine being cruel to you. It'd be like throwing rocks at puppies. Puppies make people feel better; you make writers feel better.

    I love your blog not only because it's informative, but because it's a realistic glimpse into a writer's struggle for publication. You're incredibly honest about everything, today's blog is a prime example of that. You've shared a little piece of your heart in your blog. From what I've read, and I only found your blog about 18 months ago, no matter what your circumstance is at the time you're always positive. I think there's a lot to learn from just your attitude toward the process.

    It's also true that people show their hearts when they post nasty, cruel, hurtful comments or remarks online. As kind and sweet as you seem to be, there are people out there who are just as cruel, who delight in being hurtful. It's adult online bullying, and it's not worth your time. I'll make an effort to post my opinion more often, in hopes that it might counter something nasty someone else said.

    Also, it's entirely your business how often you blog, what you talk about, or if you continue at all. I think you can tell that everyone here loves it, but if YOU don't love it, it's not worth it, either.

  43. Take a break if you need one! Your true followers will definetely understand. I honestly didn't know things were like that. So people purposely send new authors hate mail and turn on you? My god, I just had a mini heart-attack!*shivers*

    Remember that you're writing for the people who like your writing, not those who hate it and send you 1 star reviews via twitter. I know that's better siad then done but I whole-heartedly believe you can do it! Go Nat! Go! I'll be routing for you. :)

  44. I think that the behavior of the people who send you those rude Tweets and criticize you is uncalled for. I'm willing to bet that they're jealous of your success, and so they're taking out their frustrations and envy on you.
    It's understandable that it would discourage you from blogging, but I hope you don't give up your blog altogether. As long as blogging continues to be something you enjoy, you should hold onto it. But on the other hand, if you want to take a break from it for a while, then you have the right do that too.

  45. I’ve just passed the four-year mark and I have to say I’m amazed I’ve kept going this long too especially when I see so many falling by the wayside. I think what saved me was book reviewing. I never started out as a reviewer but somehow I got caught up in it – Canongate were looking for reviewers on Goodreads and I accepted the challenge so not that big of a mystery – but that gave me space to research and write my articles. I have cut back though. I used to post twice a week and that was a lot. Now I publish every five days and that extra day and a half makes all the difference and I don’t think anyone has really noticed.

    When I first started off I didn’t really have a plan but I very quickly realised that I needed to set up limits. People know what to expect when they come to my site, a book review or a literary article, occasionally some self-promotion but not enough to sicken people (I hope). At first it was easy. I wrote about what I knew but as time has marched on I’ve pretty much exhausted my expertise and so the focus has changed a little. I now pick a topic like flarf, research it and write an article. So I’m learning and I'm sharing what I learn as I learn it. But I still keep within my limits. I think you could count the number of times I’ve gone off-topic on one hand.

    There are plenty of ways to make sure you keep up your schedule if you’re creative. I’ve mentioned book reviews but there are also interviews and guest blogs. I’ve just done a few interviews and all the some of the sites have done is post a list of questions and what else they require and sat back waiting for people to contact them. Probably the best thing you can so is go through as many other sites of a similar ilk to yours and see what they’re doing and adopt and adapt it to suit your needs.

    But, yes, there are times when blogging on a regular schedule seems like work and work can get a bit tedious but I find it’s amazing how a few cosmetic changes can make all the difference. In the old days I’d buy a new pen. Nowadays I’ll revamp my website, give it a fresh coat of paint in you will. I think going AWOL is a bad idea. You’ve worked hard to build up a following – just look at the number of people who have left comments so far – and with followers come expectations. If you can’t be relied upon they will wander off and all your hard work will be for nothing.

  46. I'm shocked people say mean things. I don't understand why. You're such a great, honest person.

    Maybe balance blogging more and blog 2-3 times a week. Now that I joined Casey at Literary Rambles, I discovered blogging is work. And while I've increased the number of blogs I follow so that I follow my readers' blogs, I need to figure out a better balance myself.

  47. Do what you need to do. For your own sanity's sake :) You don't have to keep a blog up--there are other ways to network and market, but I know you've heard the spiel before. I'm not a huge fan of the whole "market yourself like crazy" thing authors have to do now, but at least there's different outlets to do it in.

    Anyway, most important is to do what you like. And reading mean comments/emails can't be easy...sorry that it happens. Not sure why people are like that.

  48. You should draw and focus on things that make you happy. If you DO start a tumbler, let me know. I'd love to have the address. Maybe a drawing tumbler? That would be fun!

  49. Do what is right for you, Natalie. Every one else gets it. (as you can see in your comments) Make the adjustments you need to make and then move forward. *virtual hugs*

  50. (Yeah that follower count button bugs me, too. It always reminds me how relatively unpopular I really am.)

    There's no excuse for people being mean & I hope it won't be the reason you choose to hibernate. I do get what you're saying about having said it all. I find it tiresome coming up with unique topics. But I will say this, if you go, you will be missed. Your blog is always informative & inspiring, especially to those of us who follow in your footsteps. You've taught us that hard work & perseverance CAN pay off. Do I want what you have? You bet! But I'm not jealous or begrudge your accomplishments. I aspire to them. You've always given me hope & for that, I thanks, Natalie!

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  52. I'm a lurker, but I really enjoy reading your blog. My blog reading has dwindled down to you and Rachelle Gardner, so sorry to hear you may stop blogging. I just wanted to say thanks--you are an inspiration. I've always appreciated your honesty.

  53. Hi Natalie. I have been reading your blog for maybe two years now and it is my favorite! I have been out of touch with everything lately while taking care of my preemie baby so this is late coming to you but congratulations on your book deal! I can't tell you how excited I am to read Transparent. You seem like such a nice and genuine person so the fact that people are rude to you boggles my mind. I hope you can ignore those comments and remember that there are probably a thousand times more people rooting for you than against you. I hope you keep blogging but you have to do what is best for you!

  54. You are an inspiration to a large group of writers and networking is good for you and your publisher.
    Maybe you just need to have shorter blogs once a week or one long one once a month. I find that my followers seem to appreciate the shorter posts.:)

  55. This isn't the first time you said you wanted to quit your blog, but you always come back. I think you always will.

  56. Retaining consistency and quality in anything over time is very tricky — especially when it comes to churning out chicken saag — and there are times when I look at my own posts and wonder if I'm slacking and slipping away from my usual abysmal standards. Then something happens and I'm away again. All I would say re:the blahg is that blogging isn't what it used to be for any of us compared to how it was 4 years ago. Twitter, Facebook and LoserSuck have siphoned off a lot of people and comments that might have ended up as substantial blog posts are now frittered into the ether as 'chat'. It's just not happening so much for Blogger at the moment.

    That said, I understand your perspective, and if you do decide to rein in The Full Whipple (that's like the Full Monty, only for momos) then it will be a shame because in spite of the very clear reasoning behind this post you always have something to say.

  57. It makes me sad to hear this, and to hear people are mistreating you because of your upcoming book. What is up with that?

    I have some thoughts on that, which really don't have anything to do with blogging or not blogging, but basically it's this: no one should allow the thoughts, judgements or actions of others impact them in a way that diminishes who they are or what they love.

    There will always be people who are sour about the success of others. There will always be people who think they know more, can do better or believe they have the right to shred anyone who dares to put themselves in the public eye. These people are not worth our time or energy. The best way to nullify them is to simply put them on mute and move on.

    I know it's easier to say than put into practice, but life is about what makes us feel happy and fulfilled. So whatever makes you fulfilled, do! :) Don't let others steal your enthusiasm for anything--you've worked too hard and given too much for others to have that kind of power. And if something is no longer making you happy, cut it loose or adapt it to reclaim the joy it used to bring. :)

    Whatever you decide, those who care will still find you in other places. :) You're a great writer and person, very giving and full of fun energy! :) I hope only good things come your way, Natalie!

    Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse

  58. You are awesome, and I doubt I'll ever think otherwise. :)

  59. I'm sorry you've gotten negative comments, and I understand why you'd want to take a break. Don't feel you owe anyone anything. Those of us who love you and your blog will wait. ::sending hugs::

  60. I feel completely inspired to take down my counter (not that that means much for me on my barely read blog). And I never feel like blogging, but I like to read other blogs and when I do occassionally have something to say it's nice to get feedback.

  61. I'm going to tell you what I tell all of my friends when they're dealing with a$$hats, whether in real life or on the internet.

    People are going to talk. People are going to say nasty things. It doesn't matter what you do, someone, somewhere will take issue with it.

    So do what makes you happy. Be yourself, and assert yourself. If people don't like it, well, take comfort in the fact that you're so important to them that they feel the need to talk about you. It means you're affecting people. And for every vocal jerk that says something rude, or inconsiderate, somewhere there are tens of darling (if annoyingly quiet) people who feel that you're enriching their lives.

    I guess that's just my convoluted way of saying to do what you need to do for you, and don't worry about anybody else.

  62. I hope you keep blogging, Nat. I know you said you would, but it's my hope that you WILL. Even though I don't always drop a comment, your blog is one of my daily sites to check in on, and if there's no post, I'm here more than three times a day trying to see if they've come later!

    So even though there are no expectations from my end-- because I want you to be happy and do what makes you happy-- you're one of my most anticipated debut authors of 2012! Keep in touch is all I'm saying. I know very well that words hurt sometimes more than sticks and stones, but what people say doesn't trump the accomplishments you've made, or negate the friends and fans you've accumulated, nor does it change how any of US feel about you. So keep posting! Once a month, once a year--- Whatever floats your boat! But keep doing it, okay? I know I'll be waiting. On tiptoes and with lime cupcakes (which ARE delicious, by the way; thanks for the recipe!).

  63. Wow, four years! And you're still writing incredible posts. Thank you so much for your honesty. It's one of the reasons I love your blog so much. I'm glad taking down the button helped you regain some of the fun of blogging, and hope you find more ways to do so!

  64. You know what's kind of weird? You're not the only one feeling this way. And by that I mean, so many of my favorite bloggers aren't feeling it these days. Like Eric from Pimp My Novel, for example (among many others). It makes me wonder if, in addition to each blogger's individual situation, there is an overarching malaise hitting the industry. By that I mean, even if we're not directly hit by Border's demise, it hurts just to have it out there. Plus all the imprints that have closed. And the perpetual worry about what the future is going to bring as we make this massive shift from paper to digital. There is a lot of uncertainty in the world of publishing. I just wonder if that unease is affecting each of us more than we realize.

  65. Hey Natalie - I'm just now seeing this post. I've not even been blogging for a year so I can't imagine being where you are in terms of time put in and effort demanded.

    As far as negativity goes, I learned a long time ago that you can't make everyone like you. If someone is turned off by me, chances are I wouldn't like them anyway, so why would I *want* them to be my friend?

    On the other hand, everyone likes being liked and cruel people suck. Stick it out - you lived through querying and subs, you'll make it! :)

  66. Natalie!

    This is totally after the fact and I'm sure all the other comments have said the same thing (but better), but I completely understand where you're coming from - particularly when you said the Internet has changed from a fun place to a scary place. That happened to me too when my debut novel was released this year. Exactly the same feelings. It is so good to hear someone else express them.

    I wish I had advice to offer - my reaction to this was to take a big step back from blogging, continuing to blog but in a more detached way. I also NEVER Google myself (that way lies madness) and I certainly never go searching for reviews. For me, cooling off on the Internet and becoming less active was a really positive step.

    A x

  67. That's too bad. I just stumbled on your blog recently and I really like it. I know there are jerks out there who think they need to validate themselves by flaming others, but writers as a group are supportive of other writers. We're all going through the same struggles. Hang in there!

  68. I've casually followed your blog for a few years now (via Nathan), and this post resonates with me. I think if I had your readership I would respond exactly like this. Heck, I'm responding like this already and I don't even have your readership.

    I had a few trolls earlier this year because of some fall-out in a writing group, and that sucked. I can't imagine having negativity on a larger scale. Ew.

    I think it's cool you aren't on Facebook.

  69. Please don't let the Negative Nellies get you down. Take a break, sure, but don't let those rude critics -- who are largely intimidated by your success and creativity -- win.

    Writers are intensely competitive with other writers. If we could change that, we'd be in great shape. Maybe your blog can work toward that goal? Fostering a community of supportive peers. When you're ready to return.

    Best of luck to you! So sorry to hear what the rotten few among us have done to your spirit.

  70. I'm so sorry you're having such a bad experience, Natalie. My memoir was published in May, and nobody (yet) has trashed me, at least not through email or even through my blog.

    Maybe it's one of the perks of age (I'm 71) that I don't care if someone does. I'll just delete them (he he). As for the follower button, the numbers don't mean anything other than the fact that someone at some point has "signed on." Who could keep up with, say, 1000 so-called followers anyway?! I keep the button up because I once read that some people who "peek in" like it.

    I recently realized I had to cut down on blogging partly so I could get more of my own writing done and partly because I was feeling burned out--and I've only been blogging since April of 2010! Like you I was wondering what in the world I could think of to say. Now, as Anne R. Allen suggested and does, I'm only posting once a week, putting up snippets of my memoir in progress for anyone who wants to read them. For a while I couldn't even visit my blogger friends, I was so burned out; but I don't want to lose touch with some of them whom I consider good friends. So I do what I can.

    And yes, I keep promoting my published book, step by step. We writers want to connect through our words. We're dreamers, and optimists, too. We all want to believe that one day we'll write that perfect book that publishers and readers want. I know I do.

    Take care. Take a break from blogging. Do whatever you need to do to lift your spirit. Be happy. Don't be discouraged. Things will work out!
    Ann Best, Author of In the Mirror, A Memoir of Shattered Secrets

  71. Sending hugs from windy Toronto, I read your post when you were down about not getting published, your agent at the time quit the biz but few months later you had a publishing deal things as you know go like that in the biz.

    Altough I am not agented at the present time or published , I realize that the only things writers/authors can control right now is writing the best novels, work hard at getting better at the craft, staying grounded with close friends and family.

    Maybe you have to blog less, and Goodreads is great to promote, network books wth other authors/writers/fans but there are a few people that love giving bad reviews. Will you let those people get you down? I hope you have built a tougher skin than that which is writer 101 when one decides they want to pursue their writing lol. I look forward to your book, and my final words breath and the classic line from GONE WITH THE WIND. Tomorrow is another day. =o)

  72. I found this blog because I am tire of writing in my blog too. My reason however is different. I do not have readers, that why. I think about what to write, cook, take photos but I get no comments nor feedback. I now trying to shift my mentality and tell myself that I will write for me rather than for others.