Your Blog Is Too Cerebral

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There is a famous story about Gene Roddenberry’s pitch to NBC about his “wagon train to the stars” idea he ended up calling Star Trek.  He told them that it would be a space adventure and that each episode would focus on some kind of deep philosophical or allegorical idea that commented on something that was pertinent for the day.  NBC told him: “That show sounds too cerebral.  Tell me more about wagon train to the stars.”

I’ve been watching my stats slowly drop off for the past few weeks and have alluded to it in a previous post.  However, I will not let this sway me from writing on this blog because if a few of you read it and get something out of it, then I’ve done my job.  Hopefully as my agent and I fall closer together over the next few months or year I can report on what I am learning about the publishing industry as well as offering writing tips.

But this has caused me to think carefully about why I am doing this blog.  I wrote down a few reasons on a legal pad, and here they are:

  1. Venting – The writing process is indeed hard, and since I live way out in the middle of nowhere I do not have a readily accessible writing group that I can meet with on a regular basis.  This blog allows me to try out ideas, bounce techniques off of readers and seek valuable feedback about WIP I’m working on.
  2. Creative Juices – If I spend a little time kicking around an idea for a blog post and then write the blog post, the act of doing that gears my brain toward the writing process that jump starts me past the “cold page”.  I can usually go straight to the novel and crank out a few thousand words.
  3. Helping Others – I love to help other writers.  I think that any kind of advice, however small or large, might help someone to carry on, to push the envelope, to write something spectacular.  If I have done that for you, then I feel fulfilled and complete as a writer… even more than selling a book.
  4. Learning Curve – I have received some of the best advice from commenters, advice that is usually always to the point and powerful.  I am encouraged and helped by all of the comments that people make on this blog, even the comments that are not as favorable toward me or what I write.  It is only by learning from our mistakes and changing our game plan when we fail that we succeed.
  5. Chronicle of Progress – I can look back on all the blog posts I have made in this 18 months or so that I have been writing this, and I can see where I have been and how much I have grown as a writer.  When I started this, I did not have an agent, had dabbled in self-publishing, and really didn’t know what I was doing.  Since then I have learned that blogging is a constant affair, to be nurtured and helped along by grit and determination…and by writing blog posts that people want to read without dipping into the shallow pool of rehashed content.

My main point of writing this blog post today is to review why I write the blog and also to ask my readers what they would like to see in regards to writing topics.  Are there any pressing questions that you have about writing that you would like me to research or to give advice about?  If so, please post below and I will get right to it.  I’ll also give you credit in the post and link back to your blog or website.

So fire away!

 

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5 thoughts on “Your Blog Is Too Cerebral

  1. I think you’ve got a good balance: original analysis from a writer’s point of view, personal experience as a writer (and teacher), shared tips you’ve found useful.

    So…more cat pictures?

    Seriously, though, I value what you do here. I would value it if you had a tenth of the hits and followers–like my blog, say–because you have enviable clarity of mission.

  2. Stats are awesome, but also a curse. I too have had those moments of addiction, where you stare at the numbers looking for meaning, looking for a pattern that gives you insight into how the world works. How you can make it work. You shouldn’t worry about them. But you will. I do too (and mine are far, far lower than yours).

    For what it’s worth a couple of things I have noticed about stats – if I comment on other blogs, if I tweet something, then I tend to see an increase, especially in followers. Being active in a “community” seems to encourage readers. Also, having something to consume – i.e. stories – helps. It’s one of the reasons I started dabbling with short stories.

    Some specifics of why I read your blog (I read a lot, but yours is one of a handful I always read and always want to comment on) –

    Some specifics –

    You’re honest and open. I love how you weave all aspects of your life into what you write (but in a non-schamltzy way – a lot of blogs are schmaltzy…) and that you share how you balance writing with work, your family and your own introspections in a very real way.
    You know what you are doing is hard work, and I’m learning a lot from your learning. I particularly like the posts where you share a piece of your WIP and ask for feedback.
    You don’t review books – you analyse them. Several of your recent posts on books (alternative history, Philip J Dick) are good examples. You draw something relevant from them, Something that you’ve found useful. Too many blogs want to tell you advice. You show. I think a lot about your approach for my own blog.

  3. I know you’re not compliment grubbing, but I’m gonna give it to you: I have found your blog to be immensely helpful, certainly because you use it to offer good tips for writing, but even more because your discipline in writing inspires me and encourages me to work on my own writing. Thank you for your work.

  4. I wouldn’t worry about the vagaries of blog stats Roger. Sometimes they’re up and sometimes they’re down. The important things are the reasons you listed in your post. No-one can be all things to all people so just keep on being yourself. The readers will come. 🙂

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