Another year, another chance for me to realize how neglected my poor blog is. Every few months I tell myself it will be different. I will return to my old ways – blogging at least three or four times a week (sometimes every day), always with something relevant or funny because I have so much to get off my chest.

Meh. Some days I’m happy if I feel like logging onto facebook.

It’s a dilemma.

I used to be a prolific blogger. Of course, back in the dark ages of 2001, blogging was a new and exciting thing for me and maybe that was the appeal. I used to bare my soul on a regular basis (and share recipes), but it was great because it was more or less anonymous. People who read my blog only knew the online persona I wanted them to know, not the real me. Or so I told myself.

The thing is, my online persona is me. Perhaps a bit more outspoken, but there isn’t much difference. You can ask any of my online friends I’ve met in person or spoken to on the phone. I can be a bit too real.

Then I released my first book that wasn’t self-published. At that point, I had a blog where 90% of what I talked about was writing related and one that was all personal. I’d separated the two because I didn’t want the things that I vented about to be what defined me as a writer to people who only knew my stories. I wanted to distinguish  the pseudonym from the real person behind it. I made my personal blog private and eventually stopped writing in it.

Slowly but surely, I stopped writing in this one. I write a post at least once every few months, even if they don’t make it online. I’ve gotten to the point where I sometimes forget I have a blog, which is a Very Bad Thing. I’m a modern writer. I’m supposed to be social media savvy and accessible and funny and informative and always keeping current and potential audience members engaged and – good lord, it’s exhausting just thinking about all the things writers are “supposed” to do these days.

I just want to write. Don’t get me wrong. I like interacting with people (in person and online) in limited, controlled environments. Life doesn’t work that way, but I do try. I just don’t respond well to pressure. The current environment of constant social media engagement is a form of pressure, even if it’s internal pressure.

If I don’t engage with enough people, will they ignore me when I talk about my new book release? If I push too much, will I turn people away with my constant sales pitches? Do I thank each and every person who joins my page or friend’s list or reviews one of my books or is it too much interaction that could make people think I’m needy?

My anxiety about it is probably more intense than the situation deserves, but it’s there.

So, I make myself feel guilty for not blogging more often. Or posting constant updates to my facebook page (even when I’m not close to finishing anything). Or engaging the people who do honor me with a friend request or follow. I genuinely feel bad about all these things, but I’m not sure what I can do to “improve.” I don’t think I’m built to be a social animal. I can’t fake it because it’s online and good PR. Would anyone want me to? Do readers prefer a writer who is a social butterfly online versus one who only posts what they feel is necessary to share? I’ve been debating this for years. Would I gain more readers if I engaged more? Maybe. But it would feel forced on my part and I wouldn’t be able to keep it up.

Curses. I miss the days when I was naive enough to think promoting myself as a writer was simple. I envy writers who can do it on a regular basis. I wonder if I can get one of them to blog for me.