I see from my archives that I started this blog in May of 2008. I felt a little funny about it at the time. Maybe because blogging was such a fashionable thing to do, and I am always suspicious of fashion. Maybe because most of the blogs I’d seen were venues for populist ramblings—maudlin, self-indulgent, trivial, revolting. Maybe because blog is a funny word.
But there were some blogs I’d read with pleasure and profit. The works of Robert Leahey and Sean McMains come to mind. Just because something is abused does not mean it is not potentially meritorious or useful.
What I had in mind for my blog was a sort of public journal of my family’s lives after our move south, both for our own edification and as a method of keeping in touch with friends. What I have found since beginning is that a blog is an excellent forum for the personal essay. I have tried to alternate soapbox topics with informal rundowns on our lives, including the kind of personal details that I enjoy in such accounts.
But since my work writing short stories has taken off, I have neglected the blog. My current goal is to write two stories a month for a particular editor who consistently takes my work and pays when she says she will. This takes two weeks or so, leaving another two weeks each month for me to work on pieces for other markets I have yet to crack. (Here is an excellent article by a writer whose goal is to write and sell one short story per week.) My means to achieving all this is to write for about twenty hours a week, which adds up to a part-time job. I try for four hours a day, seven days a week. (You may well point out that four times seven equals twenty-eight, not twenty. Clever you. The theoretical extra eight hours provide a cushion for the not-so-productive days. I think I’ve been hitting the twenty-hour week pretty consistently.)
Writing and getting paid for it is fun. But I’ve missed the blog. I’ve often found myself thinking of interesting tidbits to put in, biographical or otherwise, at some mythical time when I might “catch up” or even “get ahead” on my other work. More often than not, I didn’t write them down, and they were lost. Is there a writer in the world who is not haunted by the ghosts of all those lost thoughts that never got a proper form?
Anyway, last night Greg and the kids convinced me that blog-work should count as part of my daily four hours. The math on this doesn’t quite check out, but I think I’ll just go with it. It’ll probably do me good to limber up my mind from time to time with some not-for-pay writing. Plus it’s just fun.