I wrote this letter today in response to a question about whether it’s possible to write and parent toddlers, and whether blogging is necessary.
I have two toddlers at home (or at other people’s homes, when I can trick them into going…), and I blog.
I use my blog as a sort of journal, a place to write thoughts on books I’ve read or events I’ve heard about. It’s also useful for general whining and complaining, when my husband’s tired of listening to me. I usually keep a scrap piece of paper around the house with blog ideas jotted on it. That way, I can post in about 10 minutes while the kids try to kill each other in another room and I pretend to be deaf. It’s quite relaxing, actually.
I certainly don’t think it’s essential to blog — as far as I can tell, my readers include other writers, friends who haven’t heard from me for weeks because I can no longer seem to use the telephone, and my mother. There’s that guy I met playing World of Warcraft several years ago. (See, James? If I played WoW, I would definitely have played D&D at your high school. Although, are you SURE it was cool?) And there are some contacts from the publishing world checking in. I don’t think there are many (any?) young readers.
As for establishing priorities, I have a few times each week blocked off (and diligently protected) for “real” writing. I try to sneak my blogging into other times, so it doesn’t infringe. I’ve decided there’s no such thing as real balance. There is only the parasitic love of two small creatures who won’t be clinging to my knees for long in the big scheme of things, versus the need to maintain at least a small amount of alone time, writing time, and sanity.
I suppose my advice would be to blog only if it interests you and you enjoy it. Otherwise, spend what time you have on your real work, and let your family read about it on the New York Times bestseller list.
Best of luck,