Wednesday 2 November 2011

What was I running from? My own insecurity?

Before I get into the deets of today's blog tour participants, let me remind you that today is also Alex J. Cavanaugh's Insecure Writers Support Group day! And yes, I'm still participating!

So here is my insecurity for today:

I'm paranoid that no one is really that interested in my blog tour. I'm worried that people are just gonna drop by and comment without really reading, and that everyone is going to miss out on all these amazing people I'm trying to draw attention to, as well as promote my book, as well as the CONTEST I'm running!

I was telling a very good friend of mine, the other day, how blogging has become so much work and it's making me tired, but how I still LOVE it so much, but miss having the time to give it more of my attention. I was saying how I REALLY wanted connect with more people on a personal level and more frequently. That I wanted to focus on making and maintaining friendships with the followers I already have, so I can at least retain some integrity and actually care a lot about what I'm reading and what I comment on. Because I hate it when I'm reading someone's blog and I'm in such a rush that I only read a bit of it, but comment anyway just to show my face. It's cheating. And we all do it. You can't deny that fact. I don't like doing that! Do you? It makes me feel like a bad friend.

I've promised myself I'll never do that again, and if it means reading less posts, then so be it. I think it's better to pay proper attention to 10 posts in one day, rather than insignificant attention to 100 posts a day. I enjoy caring about what people have to say and leaving meaningful comments. I used to always do that. Now it depends on all sorts of factors whether I care or not. Primarily time and energy. Jeez, it just doesn't feel right! What do you think?

So anyway, that's what I'm insecure about today. I'm worried people are burned out and just skimming my posts when I actually have a lot of important things to say. I'm also insecure that this isn't just an insecurity, but a fact.

How does it make you feel to think people are just skimming your posts and commenting to leave their mark?

Don't forget to guess which page in String Bridge the line in the title falls on to enter my 10-day contest!

Contest details:

If you missed MONDAY'S POST, here're the basics:
  • You read the line in the title and guess which page it appears in the book. (people who have read the book can not compete, sorry!)
  • You write your guess in the comments.
  • On Friday November 11th, the Amazon Chart Rush day, I'll announce the winner. The winner will be the person who first guesses a number CLOSEST to the page a line falls on (pg. 1-288). If you guess and comment on all TEN lines (from Nov 1st - 10th) you'll have ten chances at winning the prize.


So, *sigh* ... onto the business at hand: participating in my blog tour today are the following charming and brilliant individuals. Please visit these blogs and follow, and maybe even read a few of their previous posts. I'm hoping this blog tour will also bring more readers and writers together, other than just promote my book!

Cherie Reich ~ (Review) A beautiful and flattering review from a beautiful woman I'd like to flatter.

"Cherie Reich is a writer, freelance editor and library assistant. She enjoys writing horror, fantasy, and mysteries, but she doesn't let that stop her from trying other genres. Her short stories have appeared in magazines and anthologies, and her horror novelette Once Upon a December Nightmare was published in August 2010 by Wild Child Publishing."

Denise Covey (L'Aussie) ~ (Interview) Strewth, mate! Ya gotta check this doozy out, it's all in Aussie slang! Includin' me bleedin' answers! 

"I read, write and travel. If you'd like to know more, click the button."

Jolene Perry ~ (Review/Interview) This comes in fives. High fives? Five dollar bills? Nah, five quick questions and favorite lines.

"At the age of 34 I finally know what I want to be when I grow up. And I'm doing it. Life is Good."

Lenny Lee ~ (Blog Lovin') Lenny is the coolest 12-year old on the planet. For those who know Lenny, you would understand why he is my indoor sunshine. He's one boy I could never live without! Thank you, Lenny, for this beautiful surprise this morning! Love you hundred more time bigger than the sun!

"i love people, animals and mostly everything. i don’t like animals or people getting hurt and i try to help stop it if i can. i love raccoons. i like talking to god. i like buddha and what he says. i love mother earth and i like my heart being connected to her. i help heal the earth. i hate asparagus! ick! i love apple pie with ice cream and mangos and lemon tarts and mcdonalds happy meals. i like sports. i love swimming with dolphins. i love to swim in the sea the ocean a lake a river a pool or anywhere! i’m part fish! ha ha. i like yoyos and hot wheels and flying kites. i love to make people laugh and feel happy. i love giving and getting hugs. i love writing all kinds of stuff."

Nicole Ducleroir ~ (Review) This review is so wonderful and well-written that an excerpt ended up on the book's website.

"I'm a short story author, aspiring novelist, and world traveler who has penned fiction from homes on three different continents. I currently live with my husband and two children in the Atlanta area. When I find myself less inspired by my Southern locale, I have only to rifle through memories of adventures abroad until colorful characters or thrilling plots come forth. And on the rare occasion that none arise...I've been known to finagle a flight out."

Rachel Morgan ~ (Interview) Quick questions and quick answers and stuff I don't usually say in public!

"I grew up in Durban, South Africa, but I spent a lot of that time living in my imagination (I still do!). I have an Honours degree in Genetics and right now I'm teaching Maths to high school girls. But what I really love to do is WRITE! When I was at school I spent as much time writing stories for my two best friends (starring us, of course!) as I did studying. If I could make a living telling stories, that would be the height of awesome.This is me trying."

Not going to be around on the 11th? Purchase String Bridge now via Lucky Press, LLC.

Please TWEET & FACEBOOK this post using #StringBridge!

Don't forget about the Amazon Chart Rush on November 11!


  1. I try not to skim, but I'm such a slow reader, it happens every now and then. If someone's gotten redundant in their postings, I'm more like to skim the same-old-same-old.
    Did you mention how many pages are in your book? It would make the guessing much easier. For Tuesday, I'm guessing p. 91, and for today,p. 23

  2. I have to admit that I like a comment, even a shallow one. It means someone was there and even if they only skimmed they at least read some of what I wrote. I'm insecure that way. lol.
    page one

  3. The time issue has been a real weight around my neck lately too. But hey, feel free to cheat at my place anytime. :)
    Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

  4. 1 for Tuesday, pg 288 for today. Me? I'm happy anyone leaves any kind of comment...I'm THAT needy and insecure. I try to comment back to all those who commented on my blog. It's impossible to do all though. I post early, and sometimes won't get back to commenting till the next day. I do have my favorites blogs and never skim through.
    (yours is one) I do fall flat on contests and such though.

  5. At least those people don't bother to hide the fact they didn't read your post. They just say, "great post" and move on. But when you check out their post, they've written a 800 word post on several different topics, and none of them are interesting. Grrr.

    I know what you mean about blogging being a lot of work but you still love it. I couldn't imagine not doing it, but I definitely look forward to my breaks from it.

    LOL on "leave their mark". Makes it sound like they peed on my post. EWWWWWWW!

  6. Jessica- You write with such honesty--it's very refreshing! Only bloggers can understand how much work it is to write and read and comment on a regular basis. I don't think it can be done well, or I should say, fully, if we also have a real life with which to tend.

    If I can't read an entire blog entry, I don't. I won't leave a comment just to say, "good read!" or something that leaves the appearance that a post hasn't really been read. I've never felt right doing that, and I agree with you, it's disingenuous.

    Blogging, in a way, is a micro-economy, and comments are commodities that I don't think we should trade lightly. And when we reach a certain level of followers, it becomes impossible to visit everyone. I think most bloggers understand this.

    Good luck with your tour! :)

  7. Aww, thank you for your kind words.

    I'll admit I skim posts initially. I read in Google Reader and star the ones I want to go back through and comment or just save to read later. I really do try to read every word on the posts I comment on, but I know I used to skim a bit more and comment in the early days of blogging.

    I love what you're trying to do here with your book tour. I think the best thing about blogging is the connections we make.

  8. It really IS hard when you reach a certain point of 'big' isn't it? I try really hard to read whole posts, but it makes me have to filter the OTHER directions (as you mentioned--fewer places visited) and then I feel guilty for THAT--not getting to people as often as I would like.

    I think your blog tour is going great--you have so many people involved! Yes, people are somewhat distracted, but I think they are also watching the new books--there are a lot of great ones being released this month!

  9. I totally agree on the blogging weight and cheating. Even with the best of intentions to write often, I usually only write for these blog hops - because I don't really have a following. But I try to put it out there, and I'm afraid I fall in the category of reading fewer so I can actually read and respond to the one's I do get to. Ah, well this is all a WIP. Good luck on your blog tour. I'm sure a lot of people will show up!

  10. I try really hard to NOT skim posts but like you said, we all do it. If a post doesn't interest me, I find myself simply not commenting at all but then I feel guilty ESPECIALLY if that person commented on one of my posts. I'm like you...I want to make meaningful relationships with these people but it's difficult sometimes. That's the world of online social networking I guess ;) This is my first time to your blog but I'll be back! Found you via Alex.

  11. Fantastic post. I knew a guy once who did posts for a week or so and shut off the comments section. He was fearful he was just posting to get comments. It was an interesting experience.

    I read a lot of blogs and just don't comment on them all. You bring up a good point. Are we commenting to just to leave our mark? Very interesting.

  12. All I have to do is look at the average time spent on my site, currently 1min 17 secs, to realise that an awful lot of people are skimming or not even bothering to read my posts at all; no one is going to get through 3000 words in a minute. Almost 80% of my hits come via search engines these days which in one respect is a good thing – lots of fresh blood – but the growth in followers is agonisingly-slow and yet I’m doing everything right, everything they say you should do: quality posts, regularly uploaded, always respond to comments, yada yada. This Internet malarkey is like a job – I certainly treat it like a job of work – and I’ve seen a few people reach burnout while I’ve been active and those who haven’t reached that stage are all so overburdened that it is only a matter of time. Good intentions aside none of us have enough time. Having suffered from burnout in the real world and having a tendency to push myself I am probably more careful these days than some; I’m acutely aware of my limitations. As a result I find it takes me longer to do things than I think it ought to do and I never get as much done as I believe I should be doing in fact I just skimmed this very post that I’m now replying to and wasn’t going to respond at all because of what you said on Facebook yesterday; you don’t have time to read this, it’s just another burden on you. But then it doesn’t hurt to empathise – it’s a trade off – so I came back, read the thing properly and wrote this.

  13. You can lead a reader to your blog but you can't make them comment? Something like that.
    I think it comes in waves. There are times I get lots of great comments and times I don't. Everyone is busy. Doesn't mean they don't want to spend time with us but maybe they can't at that moment.

  14. I think you're doing a wonderful job at promoting your book in a personal and creative way!

    I'm guilty. In the past if posts were too long I'd read the first part and then jump to the end. Now I schedule my blog reading days and focus on my favorite blogs, reading them as if I'm talking with a friend. It can be challenging because there are so many wonderful bloggers out there to connect with.

    Counting down the days until the chart rush!

  15. Very timely. I'm struggling with blogging guilt myself right now.

  16. I had to cut way back on the amount of blogs I read because I had to cut back on everything for health/eyesight reasons.

    There are people thought that I always wonder about/think of and like to see how their book projects are doing and you are one of them.

    You're a memorable person, Jessica, people don't forget you :) I hope knowing that helps lessen some of the insecurity. And I'm sure if people do skim your posts or don't comment (I don't always comment when I read if I don't feel I have anything really to add) I'm sure it is because they are so pressed for time/exhausted/running after their own lives but still want to at least do their best to keep up with what you're up to, so that's a good thing right?

    I am horrible at blog contests/promotion things because I just can't do them for all my friends therefore I've basically sworn off doing it for any- because I just can't pick and choose. There have been rare exceptions but only once or twice and back earlier in my blogging/tweeting etc.

    Myself, I recently started posting most of my blog posts in 42 words.

    That way anyone who really does care about me can check in- because it takes much less time to read my recent posts than to read this comment. Trying to help them and it kept me from quitting blogging, so far it works for everybody.

    Wishing you every success with the book/soundtrack and all...

  17. hi miss jessica! im just soooo happy i could do a post for your cool blog tour. for that comment stuff i dont get round to so much blogs now cause of school and the "H" word - homework.ack! but if i did a comment you could know for sure i read the whole thing. sometimes i just do a short comment specially if someone just needs some love. then i just leave a nice hug. for you no matter what you post i always leave hugs. :)
    ...big hugs from lenny

  18. You are so right about the whole skimming thing, Jessica, and I feel like a bad friend when I do it, too. I try very hard not to, but of course I am guilty at times. I love the way you are promoting the bloggers of your tour. Lenny's post was adorable. :-)

  19. I think skimming is part of the culture--there's so much info out there, it's hard to take all of it in.

    I try to "get to the point" use bullets and highlights and offer useful info. That way, perhaps people will keep coming back.

    You're doing a great job, Jessica--congrats to you!!!!!!!!

  20. Sometimes skimming happens. I follow so many and try to focus on my best blogger buddies, but that still means reading at least a hundred posts a day. But if I skipped anyone, that might be the day they announced an amazing achievement and I'd miss it.
    If I cheat, it's in the fact I will skip a long post. Which is why on my own blog, I stick to short ones.

  21. Hi Jess .. I try and leave a pertinent comment - I don't like just leaving a 'been here' comment ..

    Only posting once every 4 - 7 days makes a difference and I write about completely different subjects to most people .. which seem to entertain.

    I really don't know how some bloggers cope and write as well! Good luck to everyone .. I do my best - c'est la vie ..

    .. but I love getting to know everyone - makes such a difference .. cheers and I'll enjoy your book - Hilary

  22. Page 23 (Cause I'm comment 23 and it sounds about right!)

    I do want people to actually read my posts - I would be crazy not to. I try to make them short and interesting, but who know what interesting to all those people out there.

    Like you I've changed up my tactics. One, I do blog less. I have to if I ever want to finish my book, right?

    I read the posts too. Sometimes I start a post several times before I finish it due to interruptions or something about the post needs more attention or it seems to ramble. So, I wait and come back to it.

  23. I agree with you. Skimming does make me feel like a bad friend, but I'm guilty of doing it because sometimes there are just so many blogs to hit. I do try to make time to read blogs, so I can actually read them. It's about making a connection with others.

  24. I don't usually skim. I either read it or I don't. But I do feel guilty that I can't keep up with all the blogs I follow. There just isn't enough time in the day for everything!

  25. My own personal "code of blog ethics" compels me to leave a comment if I've read (no skimming) a post. If I skip through large sections, then I won't leave one because the blogger failed to hold my attention. However, I think its a mistake to correlate the length of a comment to whether or not it was skimmed. There have been many times I've read an entire post and didn't feel like I had anything else to offer, or I didn't have enough time to respond as I would have liked to, so I'll say "Nice post" just to let you know I came by. Is it better to say nothing at all? Hmmmm?

  26. Don't worry. We're excited about your blog tour. Awesome that Lenny had a post today.

    I have to admit to skimming posts because I already spend too much time trying to read them all and some are long. Sigh. It's hard to find the balance.

  27. Have fun on the blog tour! If you're having fun, everyone else will too.

    You know, I've had days where I've set out to be one of those speed reader/commenters, but I literally can't do it. Everyone on the opposite end is a real person who deserves my real attention. Also, I think I'm just more comfortable w/ "posse" sized numbers rather than "rock star" levels.

  28. You've expressed a paranoia that I share and probably is shared by most of us who blog. It's usually pretty obvious which comments came from those who read and those who just stop to leave a comment. I sometimes wonder why I put so much into writing many of my posts if few are really reading them, but in the end I guess I do it for myself first.

    I've never been very good at skimming--which is probably why I had such a difficult time in college. I almost always read a post carefully so I can leave a relevant comment. For me my comments are almost more important than my posts since cumulatively probably more people potentially see those comments.

    I think most of the comments you get are from readers who have read and understood what you've said.

    Tossing It Out

  29. I do my best to keep up, but it's not easy. Especially when my hands flare up and I have to take breaks off the computer. We all do what we can.

    Whether folks are fully reading or not, some of your message is getting through.

    By the way, String Bridge is awesome.

  30. I think the fact that 150 people signed up for your blog tour means you have nothing to worry about. You obviously have a lot of great folks supporting you, just as they have folks supporting them. It's like a big pyramid and you're at the top.

    As for scanning, well, if I've taken the time to come to your blog, then I'm gonna read it and I'm gonna leave a relevant comment. Otherwise, what's the point.

    But you can't spend all your time blogging and trolling and commenting. And you can't do that for all of your followers either. But you can spread the wealth around week to week. That's what I do. And I only spend one day a week blogging/commenting.

    Good luck with the release and the book and the tour! You'll do great!

  31. I'll admit that I expect people to skim my posts. I even make it easy for them by making my posts short and scanable with headings and bullet points. When people show they've truly read and loved my posts, that's a special bonus for me and I always try to do the same in kind. I guess that's how I find the real connections.

  32. If I know I have many blogs to read like today, I don't comment until the evening when I know I won't get interuppted. I certainly don't skim , sometimes I write short comments but skim? never.


  33. I don't visit as many blogs as I used to. That does reflect in the comments I get on my own blog, but I don't want to be skimming through posts and leaving comments just to make a mark.

  34. Great post today! Love the jokes!

    But really, I follow just a dozen blogs, so it's easy not to skim. I might not know many, but I know them.

    Page 10!

  35. I'm always trying to just skim through posts so I can get to the next one; but something almost always catches my eye and I have to go back and re-read. So I've given myself permission to be a slow reader and slow blogger. I don't get to all I'd like to during the week; but I read every word of the posts I stop by.

    You're right; quality over quantity.


  36. Interesting that I clicked on your post today, and it wasn't just the title that brought me in through the door.
    I'm a bit burned-out in blogging, at least as regards writing posts. And also feeling that it's not stuff that matters (again on my own posts).
    And yet, for the small number of blogs that I read in a week, i love reading, connecting, commenting. My biggest problem is putting into words what i'd like to say.
    I love reading comments on my own blog, and i do feel that those people connect with me.
    great post!

  37. Yep, I'm guilty of skimming sometimes... but it's usually because a blogger posted a small novel or an excerpt I'm not interested in. If it's an interesting post, I never skim. And certain bloggers, I never skim on ever because they're just great peeps--yourself included.
    But I just went thru anti-blogging phase where I didn't blog for a few weeks and visited hardly any. I just needed the break. But I'm so glad I took it because now I'm refreshed and back full swing. Breaks are needed. :)

  38. You're right. I'm sure we ALL do that sometimes! And yeah, it sucks to turn it around and think that people are just skimming my blog, or looking for the shortest recent post to comment on - but I do get it.

    I'm sure there are PLENTY of people interested in your blog tour though! I mean, let's just take all the people who are hosting you. THEY are definitely interested, which makes a whole lot of interested people!


“I'm using my art to comment on what I see. You don't have to agree with it.” ~John Mellencamp

“Allowing an unimportant mistake to pass without comment is a wonderful social grace” ~Judith S. Marin

“I don't ever try to make a serious social comment.” ~Paul McCartney

“I'd make a comment at a meeting and nobody would even acknowledge me. Then some man would say the same thing and they'd all nod.” ~Charlotte Bunch

“Probably what my comment meant was that I don't care about the circumstances if I can tell the truth.” ~Sally Kirkland

“We're not going to pay attention to the silliness and the petty comments. And quite frankly, women have joined me in this effort, and so it's not about appearances. It's about effectiveness.” ~Katherine Harris