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Chairman MeowI’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.

Why avoid politics? (more…)

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Stonehenge in SunlightIs writing keeping me from writing?

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…)

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SFC's Little Men by Warren GoodrichWhen 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.

Thanks again,

k

Yes? I'm Listening.

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Stack of BooksNow that’s a first.

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.

Oops…I’d already written a post on the topic of character names (and what not to do).

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?

No? All right. Another time, then. 😉

k

Kurt R.A. Giambastiani

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Salal RainIt’s Blogging 101: Thou shalt recap the year.

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Recalibration

Mahonia after rainSo far, the results from my poll on subscriber interest and visiting schedule have been small but consistent.

Readers who expressed an opinion, said that they visit about 3 times per week, and want more writerly content–actual writing, or discussions on writing.

What prompted me to ask these questions? (more…)

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Taking your Pulse

Kurt R.A. GiambastianiOver the Labor Day weekend, I talked with other bloggers about frequency of posts. I wondered what my subscribers might want by way of frequency and topics.

Well, the best way to find out is to ask. So I’m asking.

…and…

Thanks for the input.

k

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