I’ve been having difficulty selecting topics for my blog posts lately.
I’ve been having difficulty not because I don’t have ideas. I have plenty. My problem is, the topics that have been consuming me of late have been political, and I really really try to avoid partisan politics on this blog.
I did not start this blog as a marketing tool. Good thing, too. I experience enough failures in my life without creating more of my own.
No, I started this blog as a writing tool. At a time when I was struggling to find the time and mental discipline to write another novel, I figured a blog would be a good tool to keep me writing on a regular basis.
And it worked. I have kept writing. Regularly.
But, has it kept me from writing?
I know that sounds stupid, but let me put it this way: Have my self-imposed blog writing “responsibilities” prevented me from working on my novel?
Taking a dispassionate, purely quantifiable view, the answer is Yes. (more…)
When I was a child, by far the worst verdict my parents could lower upon my head was the dreaded, “We’re very disappointed in you.” Crushing, positively crushing.
So, you’ll understand when I say: I hate disappointing people.
I bring this up because, somewhere in the past week or so, this blog passed 400 subscribers and, frankly, I expect some of you are disappointed. Like the sports guy who decided to follow this blog after my recent Superbowl-related post. Or the “community of web developers” who signed up after my latest rant against the Agile methodology. While I appreciate the vote of confidence these readers bestowed, I know that not too many of my posts are going to be in their bailiwick.
I know for a fact that 400 subscribers are not reading every post, but that’s to be expected. We are absolutely inundated with material these days–television, movies, books, magazines, articles, web-posts, blogs–much more than we can possibly ingest, and thus, choices must be made. Still, I enjoy knowing that my writing has affected 400 people strongly enough that they took the time to stop, read, evaluate, and click “Follow.”
Four hundred may not sound like a lot–a friend of mine has over 14,000 followers on Twitter. Fourteen thousand. That’s about half the population of the town where I grew up.–but 400 is a sizable number for me. I don’t market myself well (or at all). I don’t try to be controversial, and I usually eschew topics that may be overly political. As a result, 400 is a good number, as it has outpaced every other venue (Facebook, Twitter, etc.).
For those of you who have read this far, I really do appreciate it. For those of you who read regularly, my humble gratitude. Every Like, Follow, and Comment you all leave here represents a positive interaction with a reader, and for them all, I thank you most sincerely. They mean a lot.
So, once again, here’s a poll for you to tell me what it is you want to read here. I’ve opened it up for you to add your own choices, should there be a specific topic you want to see me address.
A novelist friend was complaining about the names she’d picked for her characters (they’re historical ethnic names, and have several diacritical marks). She was wrapping up a long series with these characters, and was looking forward to never having to write those names again.
I thought that was a good topic for discussion. There are lots of bad choices for character names; some annoy the reader, some annoy the writer. Then, halfway through composing my own post, I searched the web for a reference, and got a hit on my own blog.
I suppose it was bound to happen; there are only so many one can broach on the subject of writing. Of course, I’m a good enough writer that I could have taken a new tack on an old topic, but I don’t want to recycle subjects…not yet, anyway.
So, instead of boring you with a slightly different discussion on what makes a bad name, how about boring you with a discussion on what makes a good name?