Sunday, May 30, 2010

BACK TO BUSINESS MONDAY: Blog Themes (with massive use of parentheticals)

So, I was over at Lee Wind's fabulous The Zen of Blogging trying to soak up some of his amazing energy and great karma when I realized something that was making the old blog here fall short: I do not have a THEME (visit Lee's blog for more on this). Now, to be clear, I USED TO have a theme. That was a couple of weeks ago when I was (semi) secretly a fiction writer but most passionately (and thus I remain) a publishing professional who loves her work helping OTHER writers get their books out into the world in the best possible ways. Then, along came agent, book sale and the decision to go public with my writerliness (is THAT a word?).

For one fun, fabulous week, I blogged about the book deal excitement. Then I settled down and realized that I STILL want to talk about book marketing. I've learned a lot in my many (not giving a number here) years in the publishing industry that I hope is interesting and useful to fellow writers. I want to continue my occasional nerdy book reviews and literary observations in my THIS WEEK WE ARE READING posts. But I am also tempted to share a bit more about my own writing process and new experiences on the road to publication.

So, I wonder, will there be any value to writing a schizophrenic set of weekly posts bouncing from book biz to creative craft? Can I still call myself a writer on the side? Or am I a writer in the middle, too? And how can I blog about all that? It's kind of like the layering of plots and themes in a manuscript. As you write, you see connections, related narratives and images, ways to work with metaphor. But sometimes, it's just too much. The verse (or prose) becomes precious. It feels like you're overdoing it--trying too hard to make things connect. And readers just give up. Not exactly the plan :)

While I don't have a REAL solution, for the time being I'm going to hope that visitors here can live with my crazy (same as my husband has to). I'm going to try to settle into this posting schedule: Back-to-Business Monday, Wordy Wednesday, Fiction Friday.

Have you struggled to give your blog a distinct identity or to focus it around a theme?  How does it tie to your fiction work (or does it)?  Please, please, PLEASE share your experience and advice. I could really use it!  (Also in need of help with parenthetical addiction!)


lisa and laura said...

We like to think of our blog theme as "random." Does that count? It's a brand right?

We started the blog as a way to entertain ourselves and we're determined to continue that way. So far readers seem to be ok with having absolutely no idea what to expect from us on a day-to-day basis....

storyqueen said...

If I worry too much about my blog, I don't find it fun any more and posts become a pain. I just kind of blog about what strikes me as bloggable on any given day.

sure, maybe if I had a theme and posted on a dependable schedule, I'd have a jillion followers....but I have to do what works for me. The blog is there to support my writing, to give me a place to stew on things, to allow me to connect with other writers (that's the best part)in a genuine way.

So, I guess I have no answer for you...but I will tell you that I enjoy your blog, no matter what you write about!


Molly/Cece said...

I don't have any answers but the same ones that work for all writing -- work steady, don't be afraid to try stuff, ditch the fat, and have fun. My kindergarten teacher Mrs. Crabtree said, "Be yourself." (Best advice ever.) Anyway, I think having themes is good. (OK, it is official -- I am useless.) You chat about cool stuff. I like it. Keep it coming.

phoebe said...

I sort of resent blogging for having taken the place of my old marble notebook diaries, but I do it "for the book"--my first novel, Angels Carry the Sun, which is coming out in June (Lilly Press). I can't sit on a rock by a creek and blog. I can't lie in bed and blog while eating spaghetti and dripping tomato sauce everywhere. Well I guess I could do that stuff if I had a laptop, but I don't have one at the moment. Right now I'm confined to this really hot upstairs room where my computer is--so I just blog and sweat, blog and sweat, for the book, for the book, for the book!

Lee Wind, M.Ed. said...

thanks for the shout out! And I wouldn't stress too much about defining a strict theme for yourself here. Ultimately, if you keep all your posts about stuff you're passionate about, your theme can end up being YOU. But thinking about a theme and how everything ties together is a useful exercise. I like the idea of the M, W, F you set out - and like MollyMom103 said - have fun (and her teacher was right, too!) be yourself!
Namaste, and keep blogging,