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Saturday, 11 June 2011

A Question of Balance

Hello to my fellow writers from She-Writes on the blog hop, and to new readers. Here you will find my writing tips every Tuesday (The Tuesday Tip), book reviews, and snippets about how I research my books. Visible on the blog at the moment are a review and an article on "The Poisonous Garden." I look forward to connecting with you via your blogs over the weekend. Happy hopping!

Apologies: It appears that there is some problem with Google at the moment for commenting. If you have visited and been unable to leave a comment, thanks. I have been unable to leave a comment on some of your blogs too,I hope this is a temporary blip.

Blogging and Balance
We all like to have new followers for our blogs, and that is why most of us jump on to a blog hop, not to mention getting interest from visiting with other bloggers. But this week I have been reading Susan Hill's "Howard's End is on the Landing", and it made me stop and think for a moment about my use of the internet and my online activities.

In her book, Susan describes how she gave up buying books for a year and read only what was already in the house - long forgotten favourites, half-remembered purchases, odd things that had somehow appeared on her shelves. Not only did it enable her to settle back with some classics without the pressure to buy the latest best-seller, but it also re-aquainted her with the stamina to read long and deep works of fiction.

She limited her internet use too, and found that her attention span for longer books increased. Now I'm not suggesting we should all do this, but I realised that there is a subtle pressure to build a following on the internet, particularly for writers, who feel they must now have a "following" even before they are published in order to stand a chance of attracting a publisher. For published writers the pressure is even more, as they struggle to attract sales through a frenzy of online publicity. This can feel as though you are being bullied by the internet.

There is a plethora of advice about how to get your blog noticed, and it is tempting to try to follow it all, running yourself ragged in the process clicking madly on different advice sites and tips for bloggers.

So today I took a deep breath, to smell the roses. I have posted this a bit late because I wanted to spend time in my lovely garden, rather than in the virtual world. And I think it is important to blog for my own pleasure, not because I am trying to build an empire of followers - though a few more would be nice!

It's a question of balance, I think.


  1. Hi Debra, I'm being a bit slow but where is the post on the poisonous garden? This link ends here.
    Sounds just up my street and I'd love to read it.
    G x

  2. Debra,
    I like the look of your blog and the cover of your book is gorgeous. There are two covers on your page, though, why is that? I like your review voice, it is really smooth and you do a great job introducing people to the books you review. I will be back! MMF

  3. Congratulations, Deborah! What an exciting time. I too, love historical fiction and will be following. Best of luck!

  4. You can click on the post on the right side of the blog, Grace. Thanks for visiting!
    Hello Meagan, one is the UK version and one the US version. pparently the US mrket likes more lively covers, and the UK more stately - or so the publisher says!
    Nice to meet you Deb.

  5. Great post. I've danced over from the SW ball.

    Having had financial problems for the last few years, I've rediscovered several old favourites from my bookshelves, especially books inherited from my late parents like The Scarlet Pimpernel and Wuthering Heights.

    As a blogger and the owner of an online Zazzle store, it is tempting to spend a lot of time in the world of cyber but I know that this detracts from my writing so I do my best to find a balance.

    Looking forward to reading more of your blog.

  6. I like it very much!

  7. Gee, I hear what you're saying about getting obsessed with the whole online thing. I am doing the blog-hop ball a tad late, but not too late... (I also spent time on my lovely city terrace today, amongst my climbing yellow roses and portulacas) as I think community's important, whether it's online or not. I've decided to follow your blog because I think you have something interesting to say! Cheers, Catherine

  8. Hi Deborah,
    Your blog is so beautiful. Thank you for letting me into your garden.

  9. Thank you for visitig everyone. I have been to everyone's blog, but Google won't let me comment at the moment - very frustrating. I'll try and solve the problem and visit your blogs again when it's fixed.

  10. Balance in life is very important and it is nice that you brought it up. I read once that those who sit most of the day have 54% more heart attacks- even if they exercise. That goes for strokes, too, I am sure.