Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Managing a Blog

-- Guest Article --

Today's post was contributed by Beth Hull; mother, author and manager of the Stealhy Elf Blog at: Beth hods a BA in English and a Masters in Linguistics; she has written two novels and is looking for publishing opportunities for them. Today she shares a humorous look at managing a blog.

The Stealthy Elf

A blog is a beautiful thing. Readers and writers can connect, share advice, and be entertained. But if you aren’t careful, a blog can take over your life.

I like to think of my blog as a stealthy little elf. Not the charming kind that helps me get work done like those handy shoemaker elves, but the kind I have to keep happy, keep feeding, keep devoting one of my most precious resources (that is, time) to.

It didn’t start out that way. I’m a writer, and I hope to publish a book someday. Creating a website seemed like a necessary step at the time, a way of getting my name out there and interacting with other readers, writers, and publishing professionals. So with very little fanfare, I created a website, and it sort of happened to come with a blog.

Then the blog turned into a stealthy elf. I started grooming it, feeding it, and obsessively checking in on it. I started writing about my blog in my old-school paper diary! Time and energy that should have been spent on writing fiction was now going to the blog. Something had to change.

So I changed. I set limits. What I write, I write for fun. I interview other writers because I think we all have insights to share and good books to recommend (even if they’re our own books!). I read and review books because I absolutely love sharing my reading experiences with others. And I write about being a stay-at-home mother because I love making fun of myself and recording the daily surprises and challenges of this life.

When I start obsessing about how many people visit my site, or ignoring my family to come down to the basement office, or brainstorming promotional material for the blog while I’m writing in my diary, I know it’s time to show that stealthy elf the pointy end of my elbow. The blog is a writing exercise and a networking tool, and family and fiction come first.


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