Monday, July 2, 2012

Shifting focus

"As long as I'm having fun, I'm not quitting." - Sue Johanson

Happy New Year!!!!

Well, no, it's not January.  But at my college, accreditation reporting cycles run July through June.  Thus, my "new year" begins every July 1 at work.  It's kinda cool having two new years, especially when I feel no desire to make any silly "resolutions" regarding one of them.

So--speaking of new and resolutions, it's time for a change.  You've probably noticed that my posting frequency has waned a bit.  It's unfortunate, but that's the way it is.  My blog has been on the topic of writing, both to chronicle what I've learned through the process of crafting two novels and to keep me honest with my word count goals.  Besides, the other Stephen King's book On Writing was what got me started, and so the title just worked itself out.

It's been largely successful.  Thanks in part to the blog, I've completed two novels and a novella and have them all out there currently for sale on Amazon.  Thanks in part to the writing of those books, I've had plenty to blog about over time.  Writing is, after all, quite a strange craft in that everybody--well, many of us, anyway--okay, me, for sure, anyway--start out thinking we know everything and end up realizing that we really knew next to nothing. 

That said, my learning path has changed over time.  It's kind of like when I was learning to carve and burn wood.  At first, I was just focused on learning what the tools did and how to keep myself from carving or burning my own fingies.  Each little bit of effort involved fascinating discovery, back then.  There were a whole lot of "oh, lookit" moments, along with a couple "oh, dammit, get me a bandaid" moments as well.

After a while, though, I had all the tools pretty much figured out.  I still wasn't much good, but once you learn what a particular hook chisel does you don't need to re-learn it.  It became a matter of crafting, honing a skill rather than making a new and brilliant(ish) discovery.

Add to that the fact that I haven't written a lot in a while.  I had to take some time off of creative writing, as those of you who've followed the blog know, to complete my dissertation.  While I'm awfully excited about having it done, it wasn't all that exciting to do.  I managed to get what--two posts out of it?  And both were me bitching about academic writing. You all know, now, that academic writing is exactly what creative writing would be if you sucked out all the interesting bits, right?

Anyway, the above is why I'm changing.  I'm just not coming up with cool and interesting stuff to write about writing any more.  I don't want to bore you, and I don't want to bore myself.

Believe it or not, I've been wanting to do this for a while now.  I have another blog already created, but I haven't had the energy to go over there and write about what I wanted to write about while I was still over here writing about writing.  Write?  Er, right?  The other blog, though, is on success, a topic about which I'm quite passionate.  I'm even creating--about halfway through, as a matter of fact--a non-fiction book on the subject.  But the post series I've been envisioning has more than just "a grumpy dean's success manual" inside it.  It's stories--stories about West Point, stories about my MBA, stories about business, stories about my triumphs and challenges in my job as Dean.  Stories about how so many people in my immediate vicinity within the world always have, and still do, set themselves up for success only to snatch failure right out of what would be the winning trophy.  Stories, too, about some of the great friends I've met in the writing world--some incredibly gifted and successful authorpreneurs. All sorts of stories, and I need to tell 'em.

That is what I want to write about.  Why go to another blog when I have this one already?

Problem's been, I don't want to lose any of you.  You're why I do this.  If I'm just sitting here writing to be read only by myself, that's not very much fun.  Yes, it might finally answer the age-old question of "if a man is writing and there's no woman to read it, is he still wrong?"  But everything else about that scenario just sucks.

I've been watching, though.  I post stuff about writing, and I get reader activity on the blog.  I post stuff about other topics, and I still get reader activity.  I post nothing, and I still get activity and maintain followers.  Similarly, I get the most response on Twitter and in other social media when I Tweet/post/whatever about inspirational topics rather than writing topics.  It's not that the choice of topic is unimportant, but I think and hope that many of you are here because you enjoy my voice, my snark, my knowledge, rather than or at least in addition to my discussion of learning the process of writing.

Bottom line--lookit, there are a bazillion and one blogs out there about writing, most written by folks who're better, more seasoned, and far more credible than I.  I don't think I'm significantly impacting the blogging world's contents by shifting the focus of my own blog a little.

So, all that being said, my future path is charted, at least for a while. I hope you'll follow along with me.  If so, buckle up, because I'm looking forward to a helluva fun ride.


1 comment:

  1. I'm in lead the way! I like reading your really make me stop and think! Do I thank you or Cricket ;) j/k
    Have a good day!