One of the perks of growing older is that there are fewer things—like going to school—that you can be forced to do. The power of these three little words to strike terror in your heart recedes with age:
Still, I find myself with a certain nostalgia for the promise of a new school year. I remember getting on the yellow school bus that first morning, hoping that I’d get someone good for English, there wouldn’t be any bullies in my homeroom, and I’d land a spot in the school musical.
Even now, when my days look largely the same whether it’s August, September, or February, I find myself anticipating fall (such as it is here in Northern California). It’s a good time to revive old projects and recommit to goals abandoned in favor of the grill over the summer.
The panster blogger?
One project I’m considering is creating a publishing schedule for my blog. It’s something I ought to have done long ago, according to any number of consultants and other people interested in helping authors “create a brand” and “establish a platform.”
Without a pre-set schedule, the thinking goes, an author is apt to publish whenever fancy strikes, on random topics of personal interest—thus squandering an opportunity to create a loyal base of fans.
Have I really been such a self-absorbed blogger?
I don’t think so. I have published WRITING OF MANY KINDS regularly (though not on a schedule) to the tune of two or three posts a month. I haven’t written about whatever strikes my fancy; I’ve stuck to writing- and reading-related topics. And, although I haven’t created a formal statement about my audience, I have a very clear picture in my mind of who you are.
I also have been thinking of this blog as an interesting conversation among curious and intelligent people—not as a “platform” for selling my “brand.” I have been thinking of you, dear readers, as fun people to talk with—not “targets” for my “product.”
Could it be that I’m a panster in my blogging as much as in my novel-writing?
Perhaps its time to reign in these tendencies and impose more order. To help me decide, I’ve created a little poll where you get to tell me what inspires you to click on a blogger’s “follow” button. Feel free to pass it along.
I’ll use the results to help me figure out where to take the blog over the coming year. Or perhaps I’ll sit alone and listen to the echo of three other scary little words:
I hope that’s not the case.
- It’s Time for (Many) Experienced Writers to Stop Blogging – A guest post on Jane Friedman’s blog takes a contrarian view.
- Do You Know How to Avoid These 3 Blogging Mistakes? – Joel Friedlander got me thinking about this topic in the first place.
- The Importance of a Blogging Calendar – The title says it all.
- How Often Should a Writer Blog? – The answer is “it depends.”
I disregard all these rules. I blog when I feel like it, on the topics I want to blog about (which are mostly writing and books related). Yes, I don’t have billions of followers, I don’t have a ‘tribe’, I’m not freshly pressed or any of that. But I like to think I’ve got some special connections with other bloggers whom I admire, who also visit my blog regularly. Do I expect them to visit and leave comments every time? No. I can’t keep up with that myself. But I think of them and I know they think of me. If I were to have thousands of followers, I couldn’t say the same.
Very well put–I think we are kindred spirits in the blogging department. That’s what I was getting at when I said I don’t think of my readers as targets for products; I also treasure the connections I’ve made through blogging. Maybe WordPress could give out a Gently Rumpled award in addition to Freshly Pressed.
I love that: Gently Rumpled! My feelings exactly (especially in the morning).
So many of the blogging-advice articles recommend frequent and regular posting, but in my experience, most blog readers don’t have time to visit a blog that posts daily, or even 3 or 4 times a week. Therefore, that’s a rule I’ve ignored. I posted weekly on Mondays until my summer break. Will I get back to that in September? Likely, but your 2-3 times per month is sounding much more doable for my busy editing schedule. Maybe it’s because I, like you, see my blog as less of a platform and more of a place for fun and insightful interaction. I suspect the experts are rolling their eyes right about now…
I’m glad to have some company here! I agree–I can hardly keep up with the blogs I enjoy reading. And since I can’t keep track of time very well, I don’t really care if a blog publishes every Monday. It’s not like I’m looking at my calendar wondering when the next post is going to show up.
Good idea, Audrey! I voted…
Thanks! (though I could have “polled” you in person :-))