I’ve really been missing my longer posts lately. The last couple of weeks’ worth, while I’m sure they are fairly entertaining, are not representative of this blog or my writing. I vowed when I started this blog that I would never resort to placeholder posts or stupid update posts unless I was mocking placeholder posts or stupid update posts. Sadly, I believe what I’ve been doing the last few weeks has been stupid update posts. It’s not been for lack of time, or lack of topics, or lack of much of anything. I’m not even really sure what’s wrong but I am to fix it.

I don’t think I’ve had a really good post here since my last one about my break-up with Toledo. And it’s not even really the love/heartache aspect of those posts that I think made those posts excellent, but it was the last time I think I was really honest in my writing. I peeled away the pomp and the attitude and the shield of humor and let you see into my head for good and bad. My posts lately have been missing that. I think my last post there about the web of links between me and various people had the potential to be a really good, very humorous long form blog piece but I got lazy with it and cut it short and went for the easy sell.

I’ve also noticed a suspicious lack of genuine humor in my blog posts lately and this is another thing that baffles me. Actually, it really doesn’t. My best humor comes off the cuff and from the top of my head and that’s not how I’ve been writing lately. Today was interesting in that I had two VERY different reactions to this blog blah based on two different articles I read.

This morning, I read a story in New York Magazine about how to make a living as a blogger and for a brief period thought about really ramping up my efforts, spending a significant amount of time browsing news and other sites and updating several times a day in the hopes of getting a large enough audience to make some money off of the blog or write something so sharp and witty and insightful that I’d be approached by someone to come on board their enterprise as a full-time blogger. Then, just a few minutes ago I came across an article in Slate about a girl who was going to close down her blog because it interfered with her finishing her first novel. And after that, I briefly entertained the notion of shutting down this blog for a while and getting back to it later on in my life.

Instead, I decided to do what I do best and blog about it.

I don’t want to shut down this blog. It’s a great outlet for me and its building a nice little fan base that I think will be helpful in any of my future endeavors. And while I think it would be cool to be invited to contribute to magazines like Slate or The Morning News every once in a while, I don’t want to blog full-time. I want to maintain this place as a fun little corner where I can talk about serious religious issues one day, frustrating writing issues another, and follow-up with a rant about how someone as smart as Rory Gilmore can have such stupid taste in men. But I think I can take a few hints from the pro-blogging story to maybe give this blog a little more exposure and crack the ceiling of where its been hit count-wise.

The first is to update more frequently. I think if I stick to a three day a week publishing schedule I’ll be able to maintain the level of readership I know this blog is capable of. Second, I think I’m going to break my initial vow of no excessive linking in posts. My life is not enough to maintain the sort of blog presence I envision. While I’ll stay away from politics and gossip, I’ll look to other areas of news for interesting tidbits to rant and pontificate on.

In the end, this blog is an advertisement for me and my writing. Once I’m a published novelist I’ll probably use this more as a writing and promo site, but for now, all I have are opinions and observations with the occasional short story thrown in for good measure. So make yourself at home, it’s going to be a wild ride Mr. Toad.

7 thoughts on “

  1. For me, it was the way of the Slate girl. And it wasn’t so much the time as the energy. Since qutting, I have discovered that I was putting way too much energy into my weblog. Energy I needed to use for writing – the get-paid kind of writing. I’ve written more work-related stuff since January than I did from April to December of last year.Also, I figured I would shut down, but still read all the other blogs. But another thing I discovered is when you’re not blogging, you suddenly have much less interest in the other blogs. Call it whatever you want, it is still a tight little community, especially this crime writing blogosphere. Less reading of blogs means that much more writing time.I clicked on yours today for the first time in weeks, and it was nice to catch up with you. Then I went to Dave’s and laughed at all that Abe Vigoda stuff. I went to Crider’s yesterday for a research issue, and I still look at Goldberg’s maybe once a week, but that’s it. I think if you (you meaning “anyone”) can blog and HONESTLY not have it take away from writing time, then good on ya. Do it. But… if blogging is causing you to write even a 100 fewer words on a book or story than you normally would, then my opinion is you gotta drop it. Or at least cut back. In the big picture view of things, which is more important – having a popular blog, or becoming a full-time paid writer?I, too, was into the self-promotion idea of it. But I realized that I didn’t have anything to promote. Sure, I was building a “fan base” – whatever that means, but not anything big enough to actually impact sales of any material I eventually would push. That would take thousands of readers.I’m sure this sounds like I’m bashing the idea of blogs, but I’m not. I’m only saying that, in the end, it was not for me. Or rather, I wasn’t good enough to keep the blog up to a worthy standard AND squeeze every possible ounce of writing energy and time into my work. I wish I could. I would love to still be posting all that silly crap @ inkslinger. I envy people like Goldberg – who can expend so much energy on their blog and still produce work at a full rate of speed. Best of luck.

  2. I’ve had more readers for my blog than I ever thought possible. And I’m having a great time writing it. Too great a time.Like Victor, I’m finding it’s taken energy away from my novels. I’d love to keep it up, and I really enjoy being part of this small community (I suspect I’ll hear more about The Planet at Thrillerfest than I will about my novel), but I do find myself thinking more about a new post than I am about the next day’s work. Not good.So The Planet may go dark soon. I’m still wrestling with it. We’ll see.But I think we all struggle with this.

  3. For me, I don’t think I’ve seen a decrease in productivy. (Of course, I’m only responsible for one day a week, so…) I’ve been able to balance it so far. Bummed me out when Paul bailed his (don’t know you, Paul, but regularly read your stuff) but I totally understand why. I like the outlet of doing a “different” kind of writing, too. And as retarded as this sounds, I like the “social” aspects of blogging, both writing and reading. So much of writing is isolating and it’s nice to communicate with others who are dealing with the same things.

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