But for all that, I would certainly take this last month over the year before it. The housecleaning has largely taken the form of greatly improving the form and function of our two major-use rooms, a process documented here, and of beginning, at least, to prepare yard and patio for the social gatherings we're planning, so labors of love. I've also taken over the chore of washing the dishes. Bonnie's hip and lower back put her into fits of agony when she has to stand over the sink for extended periods, and for the same reason, I've taken over accompanying Sidra on the large bi-weekly store runs. It's just the right thing to do.
I've been able to accomplish all these things by examining what needs to be done, and meshing it with what I want to do, and one of the things I've been looking at is blogging. This has long been something that I push myself to do. When I published Beyond the Rails, I was told by everyone who was anyone that an author "had to" have a blog to keep in touch with his or her many, many fans. I have gradually come to realize that that may be true if you actually have many, many fans. I have somewhere between a dozen and a score. I don't sell enough books to pay my internet bill, and in my three years on Goodreads, no one has ever posted one question in the "Ask the Author" section of my author page. I doubt I have sold a hundred books, but I don't doubt that I have given away more than I've sold, so I have to ask, given the amount of effort that I put into blogging, do I really, really need a blog?
Given the amount of creative energy that blogging consumes, I think it's a valid question. I schedule posts, because I've been convinced that it's the kiss of death to let your blog go stale. Wait a minute, kiss of death? As a writer, I haven't come to life yet! George R. R. Martin needs a public forum to keep in touch with his millions of fans. Likewise J. K. Rowling. Jack H. Tyler? I'm not so sure.
A glance at the calendar above my desk tells me to be ready with a blog post on Tuesday, June 7th. As is always the case, as the unforgiving date approaches, I start thrashing about looking for some trendy subject to pontificate on. Right now, my little pocket blog notebook has three possible entries, one on how the maturity level of a reader affects how he views a given book in a second reading later in life; one on how dialogue (and everything else) is driven by the characters; and one on the joy of writing adventure fiction. I have already invested a substantial chunk of time in developing those ideas into full-on blog posts.
But, here's the thing: A dedicated and effective blogger doesn't thrash around looking for random ideas to develop. No, those that are effective have things they are burning to say. They are immune to outside influence. They're driven.
I'm not driven. I've kept up a blog for years against all evidence that no one is interested... And that isn't true. I cherish and adore the half-dozen people who find time to comment once in a while, but in terms of expending that irreplaceable capital, time, it isn't cost effective. Case in point: It's 8:00 AM. I expect to see The Girls bestirring themselves just any time, turning on TV's, playing music, starting conversations, and make no mistake, I love them, and everything they do, but I can't write under those conditions. Thus, writing this blog post, and every one I've ever written, means that I've squandered another day of working on the book.
It is my intention that this will be the last one. I am erasing that note from my calendar, and in the future, I will post blog entries when I have something to say. If you have something to say to me, a question to ask, a point to discuss, use the contact form on the welcome page, or put it in the comment section below. Most of my regular correspondents are members of Scribbler's Den. Use the chat board, or their e-mail service. I check several times daily. And don't worry. When it becomes appropriate for me to be a prolific blogger, I'll be right here doing it, so if you want to see me as a regular around this and the other blog sites, tell all your friends to buy my books, and as soon as I turn up on a best-seller list, I'll be back! Meanwhile, look for me to be commenting on your blogs, and posting the occasional wisecrack on the Scribblers' Den chatboard. And until we meet again, get out there and live life like you mean it!