But not entirely.
There are a few choices. The only question is which to make.
These last few weeks I’ve been on hiatus from the act of updating this site (apart from the weekly poetry update). Part of the reasoning behind this was in being unsure of what I was still doing trying to write posts here and why I felt like it was wasting my time. Another was that I was desperately trying to get back to a point where my two passions were my creative priorities: writing fiction and writing poetry. For whatever reason, I had allowed myself to create a situation where blogging was sapping energy and willingness to write fiction. What is best to ask is whether I want to be blogging regularly. And now that I’ve gotten back to a daily regiment of writing fiction and poetry, the question needs to be pondered more thoroughly.
Yes, I enjoy writing things other than fiction and poetry (although fiction and poetry are my first loves). These last years, I’ve started experimenting with essays (mostly half-assing them so they can be published as content for this site). While writing them however, I felt that I had neither time, nor energy to truly give them the effort they deserved. In large part, this was because of the rush to put them onto the site as the aforementioned content. It isn’t fair for the writer or the reader that a writer doesn’t put their efforts 100% into what they are doing.
But in all fairness, how can one put 100% effort into one project when needing to work on another? Focusing on both means that both are shortchanged. Or are they? Simply put, it is more about how much effort is being spent while in the act of creation. It is how much effort is being made in the moment. There is a cost to that though. Take it too far and it might drain the energy available for anything else. Spend too much time trying to blog and there might not be any time left for fiction or poetry. That was where I had been.
Time had a lot to do with it. Adding responsibilities that aren’t priorities (but are treated like priorities) and take up a lot of time is foolish. Given that there are things I would like to try, like Patreon or Substack, to expand my writing — or maybe Kindle Vista for some episodic stories, then time to “blog” becomes thinner and thinner. Or conversely, using time to create site content makes the time to do other things thinner and thinner.
Yet it does have its uses. And sometimes blogging is cathartic. It can’t be a priority anymore.
So where does that leave me? I can continue the blog and resume a regimented schedule. (Fuck, writing every day is a valuable and necessary exercise.) I could turn the site into a simple platform where I only point people to where my books are sold, where I am appearing, or where my writing might be featured — essentially spending as little effort on updating as possible. Or I could keep it as a place where the aforementioned things can be found, but also where I can on occasion put up these essays or other projects that don’t fit anywhere else — not adhering to a defined schedule or specific type of content.
I always fear the last one. I worry about being inconsistent with my writing — or rather with posting my writing — because if I don’t “stick to a schedule” (and let’s be honest, I haven’t done well with that to begin with) I will err to the side of not writing at all. That isn’t fair for the reader or for me. But then again, if I try to force myself to write for the blog in a regimented schedule, it will ultimately fail. Why?
Honesty is the best policy here. I want to write ambitious essays, but my fiction and my poetry are larger passions and bigger priorities. And for those non-fiction projects like essays, more time is needed with them to better research the topics — even for the ones that are simply me thinking through writing. It’s time that even if it is available, it remains low on the priority list.
Fiction and poetry are the two things I keep coming back to. No matter what. In the end when I spend so much time rushing around to fill in content for the site and then try to force writing out after coalesces into a situation where I burn out and everything ends up falling out as a result.
All in all, the reality is that we all have only so much time in our days to focus on various things, and for me, blogging doesn’t even rank. I do it because someone somewhere in the past counted it as important, and I bought that… I now need to unlearn that thinking. I cannot do that any longer.
I need to pick something to focus on. A single thing. So really there is little choice if I were to really consider this. Then again there are some options to keep this going.
Going forward, this site will become an experiment. I am eschewing the regular posting schedule in favor of following my randomness. Poems will continue every Wednesday at 9am Central Time (Chicago, USA) as the only regular, scheduled content. Other than that, posts will be a mix of a whole host of things. I am going to turn this site into a conglomeration of things that catch my eye, I feel a need to comment (think) about, and many other things. There might be a post that is nothing more than a quote, or a link to an article, or whatever. In a way it will be treated like what people would say should regulated to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or [insert social media network here]. I might post many times a day or once in a while. No idea. Sometimes there might be an essay — maybe. However, I may look to see if I get traction elsewhere for longer-form articles. Maybe some freelance work to scratch that itch. That way it is “worth” the time spent not writing fiction.
This site is going to change in those ways and more — hopefully to better serve me and my goals rather than trying to ply someone else’s ideas of what writers should do with their sites. And I think that’s the best way to approach it.