In Which I Admit Defeat

There hasn’t been a lot of updated here in the past several months, as I’m sure you (one of last loyal readers) have noticed. The reasons for this are several: increased workload at my job, spending more time with my family, and working on actual serious fiction writing. Blogging comes after all of those things, which means that blogging hasn’t been happening.

Aside from the issue of time, I’ve come to realize and accept that I’m just not a very good blogger. The best bloggers are people who can write pithy, funny, or thoughtful posts, several times a day in chunks of about 100 to 500 words. I have never been able to approach that level of productivity, and when I’ve tried, the results have been substandard. When I write very quickly my posts come out poorly spelled, badly reasoned, and not very interesting. When I take the time to fix the previous problems, I can’t produce more than one post every other day or so—and that’s assuming that I even have something interesting to write about that often!

So I am conceding. Blogging is not a format that works well for me. I will never be a successful blogger of the sort who updates several times a day, at least not until my life and my writing style change dramatically.

At the same time, I don’t want to abandon my web presence, and I really do want to have a place where I can hang all of the various things that I want to write about from time to time. So rather than simply give up on the blog, I’m going to try out a different format: rather than writing lots of short posts, I’m going to take my time and craft fewer, longer, and hopefully better posts. In fact, I’m not even going to think of them as posts, but as essays. This has worked for Paul Graham and Steve Yegge, so I might as well see if it works for me.

The new plan of action is to post essays once a month of 2,000 words or so, and to increase the priority of that one post high enough so that it actually gets done. (It’s hard to make yourself write short throwaway posts, but a monthly essay will get a higher profile in my mental to-do list.) The length is approximate and will vary greatly, and I make no promises about when during the month each post will appear. But I hope to have the first one up near the end of March, which will be a discussion of origin and telos inspired by this post by Jo Walton.

1 Comment

  1. I’ve finally gotten on board with this whole blog thing, as well…. I mean, I’ve done the travel blog, the travel website, but I’ve never done a personal writing blog. It’s an interesting medium, and I’m finding that the real benefit is that it gives me an excuse to think deeply about my writing, myself, and the books I’m reading. It’s kind of like being back in English lit class, writing essays on thematic elements, putting together arguments based on other people’s arguments, etc. I dig it.

    I like what you’re moving towards, writing more thoughtful essays less frequently. After all, you’re not trying to make a career as a blogger, you’re trying to make a career as a fiction writer. And anyone can do short and pithy.

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