January 18, 2014

Any Excuse to Un-Publish My Blog by Dayna E. Mazzura

To do more, sometimes you need to do less. To clear the decks. To purge.

So, this past month I took the drastic step of “un-publishing” my own blog. It was hard. I worried it might be professional suicide. But nothing stressed me out more than writing my own blog. I love to guest blog. Love to write just about anything else. But my blog just sapped my writing energy—and left me paranoid about the ratio of Page Views (high!) versus Comments (low!).

Social Media should buzz, connect, springboard and enlighten. My blog seemed to leave me high and dry on my own perch, preaching into the wilderness… or so it felt. I realized I do not have the energy or inclination to make it all happen online (despite taking many classes on the subject). I found myself longing for the tangible, published page… for context into which to offer meaningful content… Sigh.

This dismal dawning meant one of three things:

Either I had failed to promote my blog. To read other blogs (enough). To cross-connect through my LinkedIn account, or to sign up for Twitter and learn the popular hashtags. Etc.

Or I had not learned “how to blog” properly – to strike a conversational tone; to adopt a topic I was passionate about; to set up a weekly schedule—what I would write about when; or to tap into what was important to my readers. Etc.

Or I would forever be a “digital immigrant” rather than a digital native. At sea in a foreign environment, unable to master the new language and customs, or even follow the examples set for me by so many capable bloggers.

In truth, all three are true. I failed to self-promote. I failed to strike a conversational note. And I failed to navigate the blogosphere.

Here are my three excuses to match my three fail points:

RE Self-Promotion:
I love to promote books, authors, writing circles, poetry, readings, conferences, speakers, publishing, anything to do with the written word! But because writing is so close to my heart, I find it difficult to blog without a focus, or clear understanding of who I am writing for, or even why—other than to promote my blog/writing. I find it very hard to get excited about my own blog. Larger ones (like Inscribe’s!) are great, but personal ones are tricky unless you have a passion, a plan and an ability to promote for promotion’s sake. A lot of writers do it well. I just find it drains my energy for other writings… that follow more traditional paths (and pay). Count me a Luddite.

RE Striking a Conversational Note:
I have a long-standing prejudice towards face-to-face conversation that involves pauses, nods, even hugs and tears. And prayerful responses. Holding or joining an online conversation puts me off my game. Leaves me wanting.

RE Navigating the Blogosphere:
My own reading of how pervasive Social Media is, including its most recent migration from Web 2.0 (the online social world we now know) to Web 3.0 (picture that social data deeply mined and manipulated through locator technology that can predict – and direct – what you might be doing next, where and when!), makes me nervous. Every time I learn something new about Social Media (and there’s lots to learn), it just reminds me of all that high school reading… about Jeremy Bentham’s glass inspection house, Huxley’s Brave New World, and Orwell’s 1984. If Surveillance and Privacy are at war (and they are!), I choose Privacy.

In the end, I believe to live a spiritual life is to live without excuses, not even professional ones. So I do not hide behind my excuses, I merely offer them to you as part of the larger picture, because I do think blogs play an important role in a writer’s life. I wonder (the name of my blog is/was “iwonder”) what kind of hole it will leave in me, not being able to blog whenever I like, about whatever strikes my fancy. I wonder…

PS – I guess the best place to “find me online” is now my old-fashioned webpage – daynawrites.com or feel free to email 2dayna@telus.net if you’d like to “talk more” about the pro’s and con’s of blogging and un-blogging.


  1. Oh, I so enjoy the postings here because as writer's we truly shares the same highs and woes:)
    At the end of 2013 I mentioned on a post that I'm not sure if I'll continue blogging in 2014. I'm certain that on the grand ratio my views are LOW as are comments but I get that because that all takes time and I don't comment all that often either. but I had a few readers say please keep on, please! so I am for now because I seriously don't know what else to do with poetry but blog:) I have paused with my finger over 'delete blog' but as of now it remains an outlet page for my passions; words and hearts.
    Thank-you for sharing here.

  2. Enjoy your piece, Dayna (well-spoken), and your comment Janet. I have blogged since 2004 (10 years this October - yikes!) and gone through many emotions over that time. At this point I've made peace with it, rarely check my stats, and continue to do it because it satisfies some itch inside me (to what? - articulate my thoughts? groom my expression to a certain doneness?).

    But I can certainly relate to what you say about writing that drains. The nice thing, Dayna, is that if you change your mind, you can always start a new one. Janet, I hope you've kept copies of all your poems so if you ever delete, they can reappear in another medium.

  3. I totally understand. It wasn't until I started a group blog called Under the Cover of Prayer, that was God's leading, that I felt this is what I needed to do. The other blogs I had before were trial runs. Fun but as you say - not going anywhere.

    That said: I would love more writers to write about prayer. So check out underthecoverofprayer.wordpress.com

    And I also have a spot on my own blog He Cares for Us where I am starting to have guest writers share about writing and their faith. www.janiscox.com

    So If either of those interest you, please email me at authorjaniscox at gmail dot com.

  4. I am a firm believer in doing 'what feels right' (as long as you are not stepping outside God's protective guidelines!). Which is why in this case, you probably did the right thing. Why waste time on something you are not passionate about? Your time, including writing time, is too precious for that. Congrats on making a tough decision, but for knowing when to say 'enough is enough' and then act on it.

  5. Great comments! Yes Violet, I do keep copies and I think your voice of experience shines, both on your blog and in comments.Thank-you for continued encouragement...and congratulations on 10 years!wow! we only get there by keeping on.

    Tracey, I think too that we need to pray and then follow that feeling that God instills.

    May we all strive to honor God through our time and words and to Him be the glory!

  6. I feel the same way sometimes, Dayna. Blessings on your writing, now that you have more time and freedom to engage.


  7. Wow. I feel really encouraged by these comments, not so much as a blogger but as a Christian writer, supported in decisions and leadings by other faith-centered writers. Blessings, Dayna


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