You can see it has been a while since my last post. It’s probably worth a comment on that. My perspective on blogging is a little schizoid. It falls somewhere between viewing blogging as a disease that I take precautions against catching, and viewing blogging as the biggest cheap rush an opinionated retired guy has easy access to.
I really enjoy reading a good blog that someone else has written. I really hate wading through scores of lousy blogs to find the ones worth the time... or more accurately finding the individual entries worth the time (IMHO it is rare that everything on anyone’s blog is sure to be worth reading). My solution is that I rely a lot on “referals.”
I belong to a few list-serves from workshops I’ve attended over the years. When my various writer buddies flag a particularly juicey blog entry, I’ll jump on it and savor the easy catch of some worthwhile reading. The total random bloviation of millions of people with access to keyboards and excess time on their hands hasn’t really seemed to elevate the current status of civilization by much, though. So I don’t invest much of my own time “searching” the blogosphere.
Somewhat as a corollary, I haven’t approached blogging as “must do” activity for this website either. I hope that doesn’t disappoint anyone who may have been dropping in occasionally looking for new posts.
What I really want to do on “Life to Write” is create a resource (both for myself and for others). The resource, hopefully, will always build in value, although at times it may plateau when I’m pre-occuppied with other things.
I’ll try to save the blogging for delivering real insights from my own experiences. One of the insights I have about myself personally, as much as about my involvement in writing, is that I am easily distracted. And one of the distractions that grabs me the most easily is the spewing forth of opinion. It’s been hard, but I’ve come to recognize that little personal shortcoming (yes I think it is mostly a shortcoming, although I have once or twice had the observation of my “talent” for opinion come as a compliment... called once by a professional manager friend “the best situational diognostician” he knew). And having recognized my over-enlarged proclivity to opionion, I’ve worked diligently (sometimes with more success than others) to keep it under control. After having the epiphany some decades ago, I once told a friend that I have opinions about things I haven’t even heard of yet. It shocked me how readily she agreed.
So, blogging for me is like writer’s meth-amphetemine. It feels SOoo good to ramble along, push a button and have it potentially out there for all humanity to look at (my visit counter suggests that is bit of an exagerated description, but we’re talking feelings here, not reality). But like a lot of other drugs, it is a substiture for reality– in this case the reality of real writing (at least what I regard as real writing– the enduring stuff, which would mean at least one copy in the library of congress, or whatever).
Writers that blog well are the ones that turn their blogs into eventual books, or into live revenue streams in their own right. John Scalzi, Kristine Kathryn Rusch and Dean Wesley Smith are good examples. I’m sure there are others, but these are writers whose blogs illuminated the point for me personally. They are all very bright and very savvy people. And they are among the folks that are changing the definition of “writer” and “writing” almost as we watch the characters from their keyboards fly into space on the spinning electrons that are quickly replacing ink as the writer’s medium.
If you haven’t looked in for a while, check the links section. I’ve been trying to collect useful things there, both for your benefit and my own (I can access them all from anywhere, or anyone’s computer).
I’m working on an article about workshopping that will hopefully get published soon as well. When that hits I’ll be sure to add some comments here.
Meanwhile, back to the in-progress short stories and novels spewn across my office... oh yeah, and the marketing... That’s a chore I really hate. I’ll have to blog about that some time “soon” as well.