E-whelm

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Posted by Kathy Waller


I've come down with a serious case of Blogwhelm.

The term Blogwhelm was coined several years ago by my writer/songwriter/all-around artist friend Nita Lou Bryant. It describes the brain fog that develops when one realizes there are so many blogs on his favorites list that he can’t possibly read them all, and that there are more blogs out there just waiting to be discovered. It’s one of the best words I’ve come across in years. I’m waiting for it to go viral, after which it can take its rightful place in the OED.

When Blogwhelm hits me, I become paralyzed. I stare at the emails in my inbox announcing new posts. My index finger loses power. It doesn’t possess the strength to click. If I manage to access a post, perfectionism descends. I begin writing a comment but cannot find the right words and end up deleting.

Blogs are just a fraction of the problem. Email also plays a role. In fact, I also suffer from just plain E-whelm. That’s what happens when one’s inbox is so full he loses the ability to read anything at all. Mail from discussion groups wanting ideas, politicians wanting money, petitioners wanting signatures, folks from faraway countries wanting my credit card numbers, plus notifications from blogs I follow, and mail from the three people I actually know sap my energy.

I intend to read them all, but not now, so I leave them unopened in the inbox for later. I put a star by some of them to show they’re important. The next day, I do the same thing all over again. Then, when I glance at the left sidebar and see that I have 76,502 unread messages, I start mass deletion interrupted sporadically by mass saving in folders, to be read later. Someday.

E-whelm. The only solution I’ve found–and it isn’t really a solution–is to start a new email account. I did that just a couple of days ago, created an account to use for my writing business only. At present, I’m caught up with filing and deleting. In place of email, there’s a note from the host: Wow! You’ve got a very clean inbox.

Anyway, that’s my sad story. Because I prefer to end on a lighter note, and because I like to share good things, I’m going to list some of my favorite blogs, the ones I make sure to read whenever E-whelm subsides and my index finger regains functionality.

 

Kate Shrewsday

“The world is jam-packed full of Stuff: good stuff, bad stuff, exciting stuff and enlightening stuff,” says Kate. “And every bit of stuff is linked to other stuff with invisible bonds we cannot see.” Kate finds the links and brings them to light in stories whose topics range from the Rosetta Stone to Edgar Allan Poe to Henry VIII to gargoyles to John Wesley. My favorite stories focus on Macaulay the Dog, “the friendliest biohazard in Britain.” Kate is now available for audiobook narration. I’d love to have her record some of my stories, but I fear her lovely British accent would make my Texas-twang narratives sound entirely too high-class.

Doodlemum: a day in the life of my sketchbook

Doodlemum is what it says it is. Sketches of children, chickens, a dog, a cat, little glimpses of family life, and utterly delightful. A few seconds with Doodlemum, and the world looks brighter.

O Totsy!

Totsy describes herself as, “Humanist, artist, writer, graphic designer, mother, daughter, sister, observer, quiet, reclusive, caring, playful, hopeful, thoughtful, patient, cynical, judgmental, reflective, sensitive, curious, nonchalant, witty, fair, gossiper, trying…” To that I add hilariously funny. Totsy has recently launched this ezine, but I’ve read her work for several years at All Things Totsy and Beatrice. I hope Beatrice makes it into O Totsy! She’s too good to leave behind.

Ramona DeFelice Long: Author and Independent Editor

Ramona says, “I maintain a blog about writing and the writing life and how it pertains to art and creation. I post new information for writers and readers on Tuesdays. I’ve tabbed a compilation of these posts, plus other useful information under the tab For Writers.” I know from personal experience that Ramona is an excellent editor as well as a graceful writer, and the posts under the For Writers tab contain valuable information for anyone interested in writing. Ramona also teaches classes. My dream is to have her teach an online class for my Sisters in Crime chapter.

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Kathy Waller posts at kathywaller1.com and at austinmysterywriters.com.

Find her on Twitter @KathyWaller1.

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12 Responses to E-whelm

  1. Reblogged this on L.LEANDER BOOKS and commented:
    Have you heard the term “Blogwhelm?” If not, you owe it to yourself to read this post by Author Kathy Waller on today’s Writing Wranglers and Warriors. I’m absolutely sure you’ll identify with at least some of the problems she mentions.

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  2. I think we all get overwhelmed from time to time by a myriad of e-mail. That’s life.

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  3. Fantastic post Kathy. I can soooooo relate to it! This morning as I went through my two Yahoo accounts I thought how silly it is for me to move so many messages to folders, there to lie until I finally get fed up with so many emails I haven’t read that I delete them all. I began a Google account to use for “junk” mail, but I never check it. The other day I deleted over 4,000 emails I hadn’t checked. I do have an account for my business but I have a problem with joining too many writing-based groups, so I get a plethora of posts and I’ve been just deleting them. On my personal account I get messages from family (important) and of course the emails advertising anything and everything. I have made it my task this week to start going through all the folders and deleting some I haven’t read. I have already been unsubcribing to several emails that come every day, so that’s a start. If I can keep my business account cleaned up, the others wlll be easier to handle. With the mess I’ve made I hardly get time to write! Good luck with your blogs and emails. I have reblogged this to my own blog as it is important for all writers (and even others) to read about Blogwhelm. Reading about it is the first thing before one takes action. Thank you for this!

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  4. Doris says:

    Kathy, nicely done. We all have limited time and we can second guess our choices. As impulsive as I can be, structure plays a big part of my life. To keep from going too crazy, most mornings the following routine works for me. Read the three blogs I follow and comment. Then emails. When I have that done, I feel I have accomplished my set goal there and the rest of the day is mine until it is time to write my haiku.

    We all make choices and I do like that you have encapsulated the issue we all can face. Sometimes realizing the issues does a lot for finding solutions. Doris

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  5. sstamm625 says:

    You’ve been snooping in my brain, Kathy! I feel e-whelmed so much of the time. And then I just check out for a while, because my introverted little self just can’t deal with it. I’m like the Grinch listening to he Whos singing and saying “All the noise! noise! noise!”–except for me it’s not actual noise, so much as information overload. Great post! I don’t feel quite so alone now.

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  6. Nancy Jardine says:

    Kathy – It ‘s the affliction of the author- e-blog whelm! I hate to do that deletion thing but also have to or my email system will explode. Like Doris, I’m trying to be more realistic about what I can contribute to re: answering emails and blogs. Some days domestic stuff rules and emails slide…into those enormously huge piles! 🙂

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  7. katewyland says:

    I so totally understand e-whelm. Great term. I’ve had two emails for a number of years now. One personal and the other for writing. Only way I could keep my sanity. It’s amazing the number of posts I’ve kept in each, planning on reading them someday. Of course that day never comes and I end up deleting them without a look. I also end up rarely looking at any blogs because I get notices for so many. Right now I’m ready to go hide in a cave for a few months.

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  8. Wranglers says:

    Lol. You just kept me from feeling so guilty. I can’t keep up. I try to always keep up with this one. It’s like a box of chocolates, I never know what I’ll get and I’m never disappointed. Other than this blog, I don’t follow any regularly, not even my own. 🙂 I do pop into a few blogs when I get a chance. Cher’ley

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  9. Wranglers says:

    Kathy, I also love the images you’ve used.

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  10. erinfarwell says:

    Thanks for the resources – I don’t follow too many blogs because I don’t know which ones are worth my time. I truly appreciate the info and I’m sure these bloggers appreciate your support. Great job.

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  11. Wranglers says:

    So it’s not just me. My solution as to go through all the groups I was a member of on line and opt out of several. I unsubscribed from newsletters and ads that don’t interest me. Then I joined this great group and now I can’t wait to get to my computer and read.

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