Re-imagining


What I’ve been doing here since May just isn’t working. It’s not a bad blog, but it’s one piece of a byzantine maze of social media accounts that Diana, Jeremy, and myself are using with specific goals in mind. The approach I adopted here in the beginning was based on the idea that Sourcerer would take a year to get off the ground, and this blog would need to post frequently for a few months until contributors came on board and Part Time Monster was thoroughly established.

I chose to make it a writing blog because we already had two with much wider spectrums of content. I felt like I needed a narrow focus here. Since writing is the thing I’m most qualified to focus on, and since I love to talk to writers about writing, it seemed like a no-brainer. In general, the larger project has developed as I expected it to. Both Sourcerer and Part Time Monster have evolved distinctive characters and attracted regular readers more quickly than I dared imagine they would, and I realized at some point that the focus I chose for this blog is too narrow.

The consequences of all this are two-fold.

  1. There’s nothing I can do from this blog to help the others, and pretty much everyone who reads the others is aware this blog exists and has made their decision about following it by now, so they can’t really help me here, either.
  2. Since PTM and Sourcerer have developed in very interesting and unanticipated directions, this blog as it exists doesn’t fit into the overall scheme as well as it did in the beginning. It’s out of synch. I’m amazed that it’s still, inexplicably, picking up at least one follower on most days.

This means that unless I want to shutter it and hope the people who like Just Gene’O best will follow along at Sourcerer, I need to take three steps if I want to help this blog:

  1. Revamp it so that it looks and feels as good as the other two,
  2. Adopt a realistic posting schedule, and
  3. Make sure that when I do post, the content is of the highest quality, including a significant amount of the blogging focused on reading, writing, and literature.

So, here’s my to-do list to get Just Gene’O back on its feet.

  • Change the theme to be more reflective of my personality, incorporate real menus and make it easier to navigate the “Collected Works” pages.
  • Look at my content – particularly what I posted here in June and the early part of this month – and develop a more coherent and appealing content plan.
  • Figure out how often I can post and get myself prepared to stick to it. If that means once a week, that’s what I can do. This blog can survive until spring with once-a-week posting, especially if I get a little more savvy about sharing links to appropriate places.
  • Change all references to The Writing Catalog to Just Gene’O on my social media. This should have already been done.

In short, I need to re-imagine this blog the way you re-imagine a story that isn’t working. I need to keep the best parts but turn it into something different.

Here are a few ideas I’m toying with.

  • Setting it up to display a static front page rather than the most recent posts.
  • Making it solely a weekend blog for awhile, and arranging my schedule to post here on either Saturday or Sunday, or
  • Since it’s somewhat-focused on reading, writing, and books, moving the Top Ten Tuesday feature over here and letting that be the weekly post, aside from occasional personal things and writing chatter.

That last idea makes sense for several reasons:

  1. Sourcerer rarely has a shortage of content on Tuesdays.
  2. Tuesday, organically, seems to be the best day of the week to post.
  3. The Top Ten Tuesdays allow me to list a link at the Broke and the Bookish. This is helpful to Sourcerer, but I’m wondering if it might be even more helpful, long-term, here.

Just thinking on these things. I figured since I had to write all this down to get it straight in my head, I might as well do it here instead of in a notebook. That way, anyone who cares about the nuts-and-bolts of blogging can follow along with this process.

Reorg Note


Not a real post. More an organizational note. It’s not publicized or tagged. I’m just putting it here for safekeeping. I stumbled upon this in a post from Sourcerer from April, when I was struggling with the A to Z Challenge and spending most of my time supporting some local activism:

Thanks to friends Natacha, Ali, and CompGeeks for nominating me for Very Inspiring Blogger, Wonderful Team Member Readership, and Versatile Blogger  awards.

I posted it over there because this blog was occupied with A to Z and I didn’t want to disturb the content, but I did want to thank them. The nominations were specifically for this blog.

I’m leaning toward re-imagining this blog before I bring it back up to full speed. Thinking I might announce the reboot with a few awards posts. If I decide that’s the best way to go, these are the first three awards I’ll start with.

 

A Bit of a Hiatus


Not a hiatus from blogging altogether, just from blogging here. My content has slipped here lately. That’s because I’m closing in on the busiest time of year for me professionally, and I’ve been spending a lot of time preparing for it. That, and I have so many blogging friends now, I just have to make an effort to keep up, and I have to consider guest blogging opportunities when they’re offered. So, here’s what I’m going to do:

  • Take a whole week off from blogging here.
  • Continue as much of my other blogging as I can. This means the Saturday coffee feature will run at Sourcerer this week. It’s time to see how it plays over there anyway.
  • Decide, when I see how this week goes, what to do next. That may mean another week off, twice-a-week blogging for a while, or any number of other options.

Given the unique character of this blog, I don’t see a week or two off doing any long term harm. I think  it would be worse to get to the point where I’m phoning stuff in just to say I posted every day. The audience here is small, but I get comments when I prompt people or manage to be interesting. It makes more sense to put up the Gone Fishin’ sign and take a breather than to allow the content to become uninteresting. So that’s what I’m doing.

GoneFishinThis may even have some positive creative benefits. I’ve been thinking for months that this blog needs an overhaul and a two-or-three post per week schedule. Perhaps this will help me figure out what I want to do with it. Sometimes when you’re stuck thinking about a project, it helps to put it away for a bit and look at it later with fresh eyes.

Happy weekend, all, and thanks for reading!

Blogging here will be somewhat truncated this week.


Expecting a busy week with offline stuff (actually, already having one), and I’m a little behind on my writing as it is. So, not much in the way of written stuff here this week. I’m hoping to still do a Wordless Wednesday and a poetry feature, but that will probably be on Thursday.

Sourcerer will roll on, though, thanks to our mighty contributors.

I hope to be back to the normal schedule next week.

If We Were Having Coffee 8


If we were having coffee . . .

I’d tell you I was crazy-busy this week, but I got tons of things done. I had to adjust my writing schedule a bit to work in 2,000 words that I realized on Sunday I had to publish this week. I had to let a few things go to take care of that, but in the end I got it done.coffee

I’d tell you I have three guest blogging commitments to write for in the next month. One’s a social media post, one’s about comics, and one’s about fantasy fiction. I have the first one drafted and the introduction to the second one written. I’ll let you know where they’re being published once I get them finished and figure out when they’re running. I’m thrilled about all this. I’d planned to be doing guest blogging already. I think it’s a good way to reach readers who would never hear of you otherwise, and it’s good for the blogger you give the post to because it gives them content from a fresh perspective.

I’d tell you my friend Jeremy, who’s a regular Sourcerer contributor, has made some real progress with his own blog, Quaint Jeremy’s Thoughts, recently. He’s posted contributions from three other bloggers this week, and I could not be happier for him. Jeremy’s consistently Sourcerer’s most-read writer, and that blog would have an entirely different character without his input and his contributions.

And I’d tell you we had another post from Part Time Monster autoblogged this week. It was one of mine this time, and I’m not even going to link to it or say very much about it. Nothing to be done, really, but it rankles me.

I’d tell you that as you are reading this, I’m probably at Chuck E Cheese with my grandson. I’m not the biggest fan of Chuck E. It’s as loud as a casino and as chaotic as a crowded swimming pool. But we do what we must for the people we love :-) And I’d tell you that I’m proud of the progress we’ve made getting the grandson interested in reading. We’re into chapter 4 of The Hobbit now, and I’m beginning to think we might actually make it through.

He had a trip to the library this week, and as he was browsing for his own books, he spied a Star Wars graphic novel and demanded to bring it home for me. Because, as he said, I am “the best reader in the world and Star Wars fan zero.” It tickled me that he chose Star Wars for me, and I’m proud of the consideration for others that shows. Once I get the guest blogging squared away, I’m planning to write a post about my experience teaching him to value reading.

Then I’d ask “what’s up with you?”