As a result of other changes ’round these parts, I’ve changed the blog theme and the landing page. Now, if you go to jsbangs.com, you’ll see a static landing page highlighting some of my most recent publications, with the blog linked in the sidebar.

The reason is simple: blogging has been sparse for several months, and will probably remain so for the near future. Instead of showing people a handful of very old blog posts, I’d rather show them some stories that I’m proud of and let them click through to the blog if they get curious.

Other big announcements forthcoming…

My whole house was sick for the past two weeks, so there was very little writing and no blogging. However, things seem to have finally settled down, so expect some new action here soon.

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.

Just got back last night from our trip through Romania and Italy. Our last week was spent running around the Italian peninsula and not having internet, which was why I haven’t blogged. I also just finished Phillip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy, which I’ll be blogging about later based on my notes. But for now, attempting to recover.