December 4, 2010

One month in

I've been blogging for a little over a month now. Time to take stock. Like everything else, blogging is something you learn by doing. In this short period I've figured out a few things -- and still have to get a grip on others.

As to those "others", my tag cloud is a mess down there on the bottom left of the page. I guess you shouldn't tag every post uniquely, huh? Duh. I'll work on that. Plus I tend to publish posts and then edit them, thus republishing them again and again. Keith, do your editing when it's a draft. See? So that's another one I have to work on.
As for the numbers, it seems I wrote 53 posts in November, which isn't bad for a working writer who's pretty busy. And I had over a thousand visitors. I don't know how that happened but it did. (And no, I'm not tracking my own visits.) There are allegedly visitors from about ten countries, though I wonder if some of those "visits" aren't merely bots cataloging what's on the net.

Of course, the best thing is that I finally have a few comments! There's only one commenter, though. Thanks, C.  C'mon people: comment! It's half the fun of visiting a blog.

One thing that changed during this period was the blog's description, the one-paragraph summary of the blog's purpose that sits atop the page. After a few weeks I realized my initial concept of the blog did not mesh with the blog I was actually writing. My first description was far too confining. It said this is a blog about writing fiction -- and not much else. It is indeed a blog about writing fiction. Most of my posts have been about writing -- how to do it and what it's like. But the blog is bigger than that.

So I altered the description to reflect the atheistic, liberal, pro-gay, pro-science nature of the place. Before I did that, I think folks arrived looking only for writing tips, saw anti-pope posts, and fled to say a quick rosary. That's not the reader experience I wanted to provide -- though I kinda like the fleeing and rosary-saying part of it. And when the description was only about writing, there was another problem -- visitors thought only writers were invited to comment. Blogs are for everyone, and anyone can comment here.

Now, a month in, the place seems comfortable to me: a nice, atheistic, rational environment with a touch of humor and a smattering of snark. The strangeness is gone; this is home. I feel free to write here about what it's like to be a fiction writer, or anything else that crosses my liberal mind. I like that much better than "just" having a writing blog. I hope readers will too.

Onward and upward.

PS: Oops, I typed P instead of C in my thanks up there. Sorry, Casey. 

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