About this Blog

Here you will find information and writings by Carrie Dalby, both fiction and nonfiction, as well as the ups and downs of life.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Great Quandary

I'm a follower of about two dozen blogs. On Mondays I usually scroll through the last week's postings. It actually took over an hour—about three hours, with hit-and-miss computer time while mothering the little ones—to catch up on all the posts this time. I'm in need of a new strategy to combat the blog information highway. Several of the blogs I've just started reading. If they don't turn out to be what I hope them to be, I'll quit wasting my time with them. But for now, I think I'll have to check in at least twice a week to keep my time more manageable.

And my Twitter feed is backing up, too. I'm only following twenty-three people. Mostly writing related, of course. I used to only check in once a day but it's getting difficult to keep up with those as well.

I won't even get into Facebook... well, maybe. I keep my friend list small. I'd like to keep it under a hundred always, it's in the low eighties right now, but I'll see how that works out. I have deleted a few people over the past year. Like those who never, ever comment/message me and have over three hundred “friends”. I figure they wouldn't miss me anyway. FB, since it is my family and friends on there, I try to check twice a day. And even then, it's usually between a hundred and two hundred updates within the past ten-twelve hours. And that's with blocking apps!

I deleted my MySpace account months ago. There was only one friend I haven't found anywhere else—on the sites listed above—that I'd like to keep up with, but it wasn't worth keeping MySpace open just for him. Well... no!

And, yes, because of my OCD I do feel the need to scroll back through EVERYTHING since I last posted on each site. I just don't want to miss that one thing that might make the difference to me or be oblivious to the vital information in the life of a loved one.

I'm trying to decide what online tools are the best use of my time. My goal is to build a network of writing related people/information. The Twitter account is great. I mean, the likes of Laurie Halse Anderson and Meg Cabot are following me—can't beat that! Though I doubt they scroll through all the tweets on their lists... especially Meg Cabot, since she's close to twenty thousand or something crazy like that. And most of the blogs I've started following recently were from links on Twitter. People keep adding me, mostly other writers—I do block the spam/weird ones. I think when other writers/etc see me being followed they are adding me to their network, too.

But since my FB account is private I need a public place to link my blog to—don't I? Or do those of you reading out there—that linked to this blog via Twitter or Blogger—do you think a blog is necessary for an emerging writer? Can I create a decent enough writer's space on a Twitter home page? Or should I make a public page for my writing on FB and people can become my fan? (Oh, I feel the ego swelling...)

Please weigh in on this, either in the comment section below or on FB, if you are lucky enough to be my friend, or tweet me.

And while you are at it... do you prefer this blog to be personal (child number three did x, y and z today) or keep it more about reading/writing/etc? Or a mix of both?

Speaking of... in the last post I mentioned I wanted to start listing what I'm reading. Last week I read three little devotional-type books about motherhood plus finished up True Blue Forever by Joyce Sterling Scarbrough. (For those keeping score, I try to read non-fiction during the day and fiction at night to keep myself diversified.)


  1. This is Megan as Anonymous. I just can't get into to twitter. It is just TOO MUCH. I do love facebook but it can be overwhelming too. My philosopy with Facebook is to catch what I can and what I miss I don't sweat over. I'd prefer you keep your blog a mix of family life, writing updates, reading suggestions, tips and hints, etc... BTW, I always read your Blog when I see it posted on Facebook. I guess I should put it on my feed list.

  2. Side note (Megan again), MS Explorer will not allow me to subscribe to this blog :(. I don't want to be a blogger member!

  3. (Megan yet again) I went to the homepage for your blog and MS Explorer did allow me to subscribe from there *Hooray*! Now I won't miss any posts due to my occasional facebook slacking!

  4. Thanks for reading and being a great friend!

  5. I'm still trying to figure out how to make the most of social networking sites myself. I don't Twitter but I do love Facebook now that I finally got an account. I've heard some writers say that musicians need to be on MySpace and writers need Facebook.

    As for your blog content, I like a mixture of writing and personal posts. And thanks for reading TRUE BLUE FOREVER! So, which boy did you pick? ;-)

  6. Balance is something we all struggle with. You have just written a brilliant post about it.

    (I am now waving a magic wand in your direction)

    I hereby give you permission to turn off the Intenet. Reading blogs will not turn you into a published author. Writing blogs won't either. Writing books will. You have precious little time after your family responsibilities and if the goal is to write a book, well, then... write it.

    Try an Internet-free (or at the very least a blog-free month). Do it in February - it's short. Tell all your friends on Facebook and elsewhere you are taking a hiatus. On March 1st evaluate the difference in your productivity.

    You'll probably want to go back to some blog writing and reading, but once you experience the rewards of putting your craft first, I suspect the balancing act will be easier.

    Let me know how it goes!!


  7. OMG, I guess you will have to follow LHS's advice since she is your mentor! But please note that she did not mention e-mails to your trusty pal Megan :). What a nice author to make time to write you such a long and thoughtful comment!

  8. I'm going to take LHA's advice because she rocks! Be sure to read her blog post http://halseanderson.livejournal.com/279838.html
    Let's all be BFF next month! I'm going to go a step future and drop Twitter and FB, too.

  9. (This is Angela as Anonymous)
    How is it that my little sister is so much wiser and more insightful than her big sister? It's so not fair that you got the beauty AND the brains...

  10. Personally, online networking has it's ups and downs. Although I rarely comment, I faithfully read your postings to keep up with you and your children. I love that you keep it mixed up and intellectually provoking. I don't twitter. I just recently rejoined FB and only check from my blackberry as not to get too caught up with it because I use to waste way too much time. I also have been trying to daily post on my blog, but in draft form and only "post" on Sundays... that way I only check in for updates in friends and family blogs quickly and I have stopped commenting on the blog and then I turn the computer off from distracting me. Balance is life's quest. Best of luck with what you decide... you're awesome cousin! PS... to Angela... you are both beautiful and smart, we're a pretty lucky family!;)