Thursday, December 04, 2008

Stretched Too Thin

By Nichole Giles

Do you ever feel like you want to do five different things at once? Or ten? I do it all the time. Usually, I’m able to pick out one or two as priority, and once those things are done, I work my way down the list. Unfortunately, my writing life has evolved into this type of problem—in addition to my personal and family life. It’s not a bad thing, but it does wear on me, and at some point, I have to start giving things up.

For instance, because I’m trying so hard to keep up with four different public blogs, and another private one (for family members living far away), I continually put off editing chapters to the book I’ve been working on, and am anxious to get submitted. The blogs I get paid for take priority—always—because meeting those deadlines means money. My other blog—the one on which I often post articles—comes next, except I rarely have a deadline for that one, so it sometimes slides down the list. Then there is this blog, that I’ve participated in for nearly three years, and have enjoyed tremendously.

Originally I began participating in this blog for the experience, and to give myself a weekly deadline so I would learn how to write toward it. And I was nervous. So, so nervous that I would not be able to find things to write about every week, and that my blogs wouldn’t be good enough, that no one would read them or make any comments. But as time has passed, I’ve gained confidence, learned a lot about editing from my fellow bloggers, and been a participant in a wonderful and talented group of soon-to-be authors.

I’ve never once regretted being a part of this group of bloggers. And even though I’m starting to feel a crunch of time, I ask myself what I’m willing to give up in order to make more room in my writing life. Am I willing to give up blogging here—or even cut back to occasional posts like others have? I don’t know. There are days when I feel like that would be the best solution. Cut something out. But what? I can’t cut out the paying jobs—that would be crazy. And I can’t cut out my personal writing space, because that would be like suicide. But I’m not sure I want to give up posting writing blogs either. Truth be told, I learn as much from them as anyone.

Still, I can’t do everything all the time. But I love it here, so I’ll keep trying until I can’t keep up anymore.

On another subject, it was my idea to change our look. Being a woman, and one who is big on style and personality, I am of the opinion that it’s important to “redecorate” every once in a while. And after two and a half years, I felt we were over due for a change. If you read my other blogs, you’ll know that I change my backgrounds with the seasons. Mostly, this is because of my desire for a new look, but also I feel like these kinds of changes are pleasing to the eye of the reader. But I am well aware of the fact that not everyone agrees with my opinion.

Unfortunately, because we have so many contributors, it has been very difficult to make the change and please everyone. Still, it was important for us to update our template to make it easier for us to fix broken links and add or change our personal information on the sidebars. After all, what good is it for us to gain a name writing on this blog, yet not be able to personally add our blog addresses as links in the sidebar so our readers can find the rest of our work?

So, now that our template is updated, it’s possible our look will change a few times until one can be found that suits everyone. If we happen on one you like, please speak up. And if, in the future, you stop seeing my work here, don’t fret. I’m simply prioritizing my work elsewhere because one person can only do so much. No matter what happens, I’m writing somewhere. And that is the most important thing.


Connie Hall said...

You are right, you do have to be selective in how you spend your time. Prioritizing your life is important. I agree you do need to have time to write the stories, not just the blogs. Sometimes that is all the writing I accomplish. Cutting back with this blog would be okay, but please don't leave us completely. I plan on sticking it out until our three year mark which comes in April.

Nichole Giles said...

Connie, I won't leave you completely. Like I said, I want to stay. I really do. But when I do have to cut back,I didn't want anyone to be surprised. I'd like to be around in April too. Let's hope that works out for both of us.


Cindy Beck said...

You've been a wonderful part of this blogging group, and it's sad that you'll have to change your status. However, having experienced the same thing myself, and downshifted my status to a "floater" at this blog, I can totally understand your predicament.

I'm glad to hear that if you have to gear back, you'll at least become a floater.

As for the blog background and updated links ... BRAVO! You've done a wonderful job, and I love the new look. Very winter wonderland, and just right for this time of year.

Nichole Giles said...

Thanks, Cindy! I'm glad you like it. Thanks for the encouragement, too. I'm going to try to stick around, but am sure there will be weeks when I'm "absent."