Sunday, December 22, 2013

Starting Year #3

Just two short years ago, I began this tiny little blog.  Over the last 24 months, I've learned a great deal, most of it about where I still have to go.  It's been a great experience, and I plan to continue it for as long as I'm able to type.

Here are a few lessons learned:
1.  Controversial posts may spark page views, but that doesn't necessarily translate into comments.  I've written a number of posts that one could deem controversial.  From the burgeoning indie movement to literary agents who have a "do as I say and not as I do" motif, this blog has always tried to take on the sacred cows of publishing.  Much to my chagrin, however, some of these posts haven't sparked the discussion I'd hoped they would.  Most of them draw in lots of page views, but either I'm not asking the right questions, or folks are a bit hesitant to engage.  This is something I still need to figure out.

2.  The posts that draw the most views are the ones you least expect.  Yes, I've mentioned my novel Salvation Day a number of times, but when I looked back at the individual hits, I was blown away at how many views it has gotten.  That post is far and away the most viewed.  Looking back on it, maybe that shouldn't surprise me; after all, most of those who come to this site are likely other writers, as well as those who like to read, so descriptions of what I've written probably should garner the most interest.

3.  Opportunities to grow as a writer are always presenting themselves.  One of my favorite series on this blog are those about my Muse.  It began as a lark and has grown into one of my favorite features.  I use the technique to demonstrate not only my ideas on what constitutes a way to accomplish some writing feat(from dialogue to trying to properly set a mood), but also to explore my own psyche and how I write.  The Muse series has done me a world of good in figuring out my own style.

4.  Even when writing a novel, keep your blog updated.  I've written two novels in the past year, but I haven't allowed my blog to go by the wayside while doing so.  Yes, it would be easy to do so, especially when dog tired after both a full day of work and writing several thousand words, but I need to stay on track for two reasons - first, I believe that consistent posting schedule is critical to a successful blog.  Sure, some folks might say that too many posts get you lost in the mix, but I think readers discard you if you post too randomly since they won't know when to tune in.  Much like a favorite comic strip, posting consistently provides readers a bit of comfort in an otherwise chaotic world; second, since this blog is so dissimilar than the novels I write(from a style point of view), I get to stretch my legs as a writer and do something different.

5.  Get ahead of schedule if at all possible.  I don't know about any of you, but if I'm facing a blogging deadline, I start to get stressed.  I know that I've said you can't let missing a totally voluntary deadline get to you, but I don't like missing posts if I can help it.  However, meeting a consistent three times a week schedule can become draining if you wait until the night of each post to actually write.  Therefore, I usually write all of my weekly posts in one night(Sunday) and schedule them throughout the week.  Yes, I sometimes change that up if breaking news strikes, and I also don't always meet that goal of having a week's worth of posts done in advance, but I usually pull it off.  The amount of stress having it done relieves is immense.

I've still got such a long way to go, and I hope to incorporate future lessons next year.  Either way, it's gonna be a wild ride.

No comments:

Post a Comment