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.

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!

One Foot on the Platform, the Other Foot on a Train


Today is my 10th wedding anniversary, and I have an awesome marriage. It’s the best personal decision I’ve ever made, and one of the few good ones I made before I was 35. Vicki’s agreed to allow me to tell the story of our wedding day on one of the blogs, and I’ll be doing that in the next couple of weeks. I’m still not sure where I’ll post it, but I’m thinking, perhaps here. Because it’s a story. What writer doesn’t like a good story?

I’d planned to tell the story today, but wasn’t able to write it in time. Because life. When she gave me permission, Vicki asked me to include this video. It’s her favorite song, and in my top 20. We collect YouTube videos of it, and this version includes an extra stanza that’s played so rarely most people don’t know about it. So here’s a video, because it needs to be posted on the actual day, even if the story isn’t ready yet.

I’d intended to have an A to Z reflection tomorrow, but it doesn’t look like that’s happening. It has to happen before I can move on to other things with this blog, though. I need closure, and it helped me figure out some things about where to go here. I need to write them down and invite people to comment.

I’m two days away from being done with the most hectic three weeks offline I’ve had in six months. I’ve had to step away from the blogs lately to take care of business, do family stuff, and just recharge a little in general. And I have a commitment to Sourcerer.

My blogging friends really came through for me today. I have four Sourcerer contributions in my inbox, another one coming, and an out-of-the-blue submission coming this weekend. We lucked into traffic today, we have a post on a trending pop culture topic to talk about tomorrow, and a first post by  a new contributor posting tomorrow who you may already know. 😉 We have a plan laid out through the end of the week over there. So it will likely be the weekend before I can get things back on course here, but it will be relatively soon.

I’m on track to have my professional obligations squared away by close of business on Thursday. My grandson’s little league season ends this weekend. He’s in his first year of coach-pitch, and he’s a slugger. That’s what I’ve been giving a lot of my time to over the past couple of months.

I’m gearing up for a week of serial blogging and frequent tweeting next week. I’ve been just keeping it going for the last little while and taking care of other things. I need a personal vacation, and I need to spend it with my social media peeps. So I’m taking one.

Here’s a preview of my plan for this blog.  I’ll discuss it in more detail when I post my A to Z Reflection.

  • I need to give more space here to poets, poetics, and poems. There are tons of poems in the public domain, and I am well-versed. It’s the first thing I spent years trying to master.
  • Worldbuilding. The worldbuilding and the post about my personal fantasy project were both well-received. I know lots about building convincing worlds, and it’s one of my favorite things to talk about.
  • Posts in which I take a single writing concept or principle and explain it on my own words with a short, conversational post. That’s what I did for all of April, and the 26 posts I wrote for the challenge barely scratched the surface.

I’m thinking of focusing on those three things here and working myself up to twice-a-week posting with frequent reblogs of things I like, then building from there. That’s doable, but it may take me all summer to get there.

Thanks for following, and for reading. I’ll be back in business here soon.

 

Taking a Breather, and Happy Six-Month Blogiversary to The Monster


Thank you, again, to everyone who stopped by during A to Z and read my posts. Thanks, especially, for the comments. Comments are my favorite form of feedback, but I am also a big fan of likes, follows, and votes 🙂 I almost withdrew from the challenge the week before it started because I didn’t have enough content ready to go. I’m so glad I didn’t do that.

I said 30 days ago that April would be a transitional month. It has been, and we’re through it. It’s been hectic, and I’ve had to let a lot of administrative things go to keep up. I must shave off some time to take care of those things in May. Administration, even of a small social media network, is a problem. Administration requires you to be absent from public social media, but it has to be done to keep things organized and running.

I’m rethinking my quality v. consistency plan for The Writing Catalog. The A to Z Challenge has proven to me that a blog about writing is a good idea, but I have so many other responsibilities, I can’t really do the writing justice more than a couple of times of week, at best.

Continue reading

Note – #collaborators @parttimemonster @wanderinpoet @quaintjeremy @gkelly73 @ersatzidentity @VickiTGordon


Six things.

  1. Scaling back my #FollowFriday this week. So, if you’ve been getting mentions and retweets and you don’t see one this week, that is temporary. Continue reading

#FeministFriday Invitation and Preview for Friends, #SocialMedia #Collaborators, #Bloggers


I began this week by using all three of our blogs to do something that was unpleasant, to say the least. I’m not exactly trying to balance the karmic scale, because Monday was justified. But since you all turned out for me, I think I should use both my blogs to offer you the opportunity to turn out for something positive.

I’ll post my first original Feminist Friday piece this week. I’m hoping to stimulate a discussion. I’ll have the full details and am invitation to the blogosphere at large at Sourcerer tomorrow in lieu of the regular comics post.

The post is drafted. It started as an idea over the weekend, and Diana and Gretchen encouraged me to do it, so I spent this evening setting it up. Both those links go to posts that were Freshly Pressed, and they will be mentioned in the Feminist Friday post. I’m giving them to you now so that if you’d like to join in, you  have a couple of days to read them and scan the threads.

Diana, Gretchen, and I have a running conversation about feminism that’s been going on since January, and I’m inviting other interested people to talk about it with us. If you aren’t reading Gretchen’s blog, you should be. As far as the writing of the words goes, she’s one of the best.

Not only will I offer you a prompt for discussion on Friday, I’ll tell you a story.

I’m including this video because my wife considers it a feminist song, and I can see that. I’m not sure about the video. I suppose we can read it as a celebration of feminine power. Sometimes these things are difficult to judge. Most of you haven’t interacted with Vicki yet. She’s just getting into WordPress, but she has a WordPress account. I’ve invited her to chime in on Friday.