Tag Archives: blogging

Back in the Habit

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Nearly four months since my last post. Where does the time go? I could say I’ve had writers block, or that I’ve been too busy to blog, but neither would be true. I just stopped blogging. Simple as that. I got out of the habit. And habits, good or bad, are largely what determine our progress through the days and contribute to the success or failure of our enterprises.

To be fair, I think I’d lost sight of what I wanted to do with the blog. Looking back, my posts are a fairly eclectic mix of ideas and happenings. Which is fine. As someone new to blogging, I needed to find out what I could do, learn the techniques, discover if I could maintain the habit of blogging two or three times a week. I enjoyed the editorial freedom of publishing my own work. Having achieved my primary goals, now is the time to add focus, to create a body of work and use the blog to showcase my work.

Back at the beginning, in my very first post, I bemoaned the fact that the world of publishing has moved on since I was last involved in it some years ago. In particular, the submissions process has changed dramatically. Sending work to editors as email attachments made me nervous. No satisfying thud as a manuscript disappeared into the mail box, no piece of paper to say that someone has to sign for said manuscript at the other end. So far this year a short story and a complete novel of 78,000 words have disappeared into the ether without trace. I think the short story fell victim to an editor who just couldn’t be bothered to reply, but I’m certain the novel never reached its destination, leaving me eight months on having to start again.

I can handle rejections – it’s not knowing one way or the other that bothers me.

In an attempt to redress the problem to my satisfaction, bearing in mind that, in general, short fiction earns little or no money these days, I’ve decided to post some stories and perhaps some poetry, here and forget the whole idea of sending them off at the press of a button into an unknown future. I’ve realised there is far greater earning potential in non-fiction writing, so that will satisfy my need to earn, at least to some degree. If this sounds like a mercenary train of thought, it is. Like everyone else, I need to pay the bills.

Time to re-establish the habit. It feels good to be blogging again!

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Why blog?

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I started this blog a couple of months ago, for a specific reason. Received wisdom suggested that I needed to ‘build a platform’ as a writer. So I opened a Facebook account and started to blog with WordPress. My expectations were that the whole online thing would be something of a chore, part of the business side of writing that I needed to do for the future. Enjoyment didn’t come into it. I should say at this point that, although I’m fairly proficient with word processing and some other stuff, like many people of my generation, I have gaping holes in my IT knowledge. So it was with some trepidation that I started on this journey.

Having signed up for the blog, I decided I would learn one small part of the blogging process each day until I could at least post a blog, with the odd picture, without too much trouble. That was easier than I anticipated so, with the initial technical bit out of the way, I went into panic mode about what to blog about. I’d already decided to try to publish at least two posts a week. I figured this would be good discipline, adding to my regular writing regime. I’ve always worked better with a few short term goals to work towards, rather than a single, bigger target lost in the mists of a distant future.

To be honest, I struggled through the first few posts. Then I started to realise that this is the only writing I produce that doesn’t have to conform to editorial requirements. I can please myself what I write and how I write it. There is no required word count, or tone, or necessity for research. I can express opinions, rant, muse, or just ramble on as the mood takes me. Post by post I find I am developing a voice that is truly mine, unmediated by the need to please anyone but myself. I find that incredibly liberating.

Far from being a chore, blogging has become a delight; so enjoyable that is has taken on the attributes of a secret pleasure, like a bar of chocolate and a black-and-white movie in the middle of the day when I should be working.

And that’s why I blog. What about you? Why do you blog, and how do you feel about it? Feel free to share!