And why, you may ask–when this blog will celebrate its fifth anniversary in the spring of 2016–would I tackle WordPress’s “Blogging 101” course to start the new year?
The answer? It’s an opportunity to re-visit this blog, to learn some new tricks, and to make these pages stronger and more appealing.
So I thought, Why not?
Because Poor Blog: I have to confess she’s been neglected lately, even after the publication of my short story collection, Crosscurrents and Other Stories. Maintaining the blog is more important than ever, but there are all those other things you have to do when you publish a book, especially when you publish with a small press, even a really good one like Press 53. You don’t have a publicist, and nobody is handling your marketing or setting up events. (For more on this, see “Great Expectations: Ten Things to Expect When You Launch Your Book.” ) It’s all exciting and fun, but it’s a lot of work.
And to tell you the truth, the blog was feeling stale. It had become a chore. This blog began in response to a challenge, so I thought maybe a new challenge is what it needs–what I need–to re-engage and find new and refreshing ways to engage you, the reader.
The first assignment for “Blogging 101” is to write this post and think about why I’m here. “Blogging 101” suggests that if I’ve been blogging for a while, now is a good time to re-examine my motives. Here are the suggested questions to address:
- Why are you blogging publicly, rather than keeping a personal journal?
- What topics do you think you’ll write about?
- Who would you love to connect with via your blog?
- If you blog successfully throughout the next year, what would you hope to have accomplished?
I’m blogging publicly because 1) I don’t enjoy talking (writing) to myself so much; 2) I have something to say; and 3) I want to create a platform for my book and whatever comes after it.
What will I write about? Certainly some of the same things I’ve written about before: personal experiences, memories, writing about writing. I will seldom wax political here, not because I don’t have strong opinions, but that’s not the focus of the blog. That won’t change. And maybe there’s something new, something I haven’t explored yet.
I want to connect with anyone who shares my love of books and writing and, well, life.
What do I hope to accomplish? On a practical level, a blog calendar I can stick with and manage without feeling overwhelmed. I’d love a revamped theme/style. I want connection. I want growth.
So here it is: #1 post for “Blogging 101.” The old hand, trying something new. We’ll see how long I last. Hoping for good things!