As a writer, it's really easy to get too many irons in the fire. Ideas don't stop because you're busy or your kid gets sick or you get a big project at work. And one can't always adhere to a schedule.
In this day and age, it is a lot easier to maintain a consistent presence on social media and blogging platforms by scheduling things in advance. There is consistent advice out there which says you need to stay consistent in your updates if you want to collect followers and fans.
I'd love to say I've done this intentionally, but a string of recent events has depleted my backlog of items and I have no time to get caught up or create new content. And inspiration has hit me, I really needed to start writing creatively again on top of that. The result is that I've missed some regularly scheduled blog posts.
The results have not been unexpected, my site traffic has fallen as I have neglected it. I promote my stuff on Twitter but haven't been active on there for a few days. My website traffic dipped as a result. I wonder how many of those people will keep coming back to look for updates since I didn't have anything new to offer them. I suspect I may have lost at least one or two of them at a minimum, it's the nature of web traffic.
The reality for most writers is that there are so many hours in a day to write, and sometimes you need to focus on something at the expense of another thing. It's hard work being a consistent blogger, writing new material and thinking up new subjects each week. That alone is enough to tackle for most writers, and they find themselves unwilling or unable to write anything else. It becomes like a job.
But when you start piling the other platform things on top of it -- maintaining a social media presence, managing your website, writing creatively for a story or novel -- it can break you. If you work a regular job (and many writers do) and have a family too, things have to get prioritized. I've reached that point. I can't bend or stretch any more, I've been forced to back off from a few things.
There are some people who are superstars at managing personal and professional profiles on multiple social media sites. It's fine if you're not one of those people. You need to find one and stick to that one. It's really better to kick butt and take names on one social media platform than it is to put halfhearted efforts into several. You risk over-committing if you take on too much. I will not sacrifice my family life for platform building (as an example), so I have to lighten the workload a little.
But I understand that is going to come at the expense of some of the relationships I've tried to build with fellow writers over the past year. I think it is an important lesson that writers can learn early in their journey: You're going to disappoint people. Sometimes your writing won't match a previous work and they'll hate it. Other times you'll take too long between books in a series. There are a million different ways to let down people who don't know you or understand your life.
I know I'm letting down a few people who have come to expect a certain level of participation on Twitter and some regular blogging. Life happens, and I'm going to at least try to push through until I have more time. I will eventually get caught up. I have some plans for some new things that I simply need time to work on. When I get some writing finished, I'll be back with some better stuff. I'll take my time to build a really big backlog to ensure I can work within the confines of my weekly schedule. And I'll have new material to offer.
So if you're like me, take a break if things are getting too hectic. Hit the reset button. It's not the end of the world, just a turn in the road.