The art of blogging

WISHING: To all you mothers, moms, mums, mimis, mamas, grandmas, grannies, grandmoms, mommies, grandmommies, and all others who have brought new life into our world, thank you! Here’s wishing you a Happy Mothers’ Day!!

Hi everyone,
David as bookends IMAG2753
This week I posted sketches and a brief interview featuring Melanie Hope Greenberg. We met last week when I was a Skype presenter at Larry Dane Brimner’s writers’ workshop in the 2015 series of Highlights Foundations Workshops. The title of my one hour presentation with Q/A was, “To Blog or Not to Blog . . . Some Thoughts.” Larry’s charge to me was to address the idea of maintaining a blog without breaking the time budget.

My webmaster, Kathy Temean, designed my website in 2009 and then added a blog. Although I resisted the idea of blogging, here I am six years later, slogging and blogging away. Over these years I’ve experimented with format, content, and length, but I’ve stuck to my original intention of posting something every day with occasional short breaks for just cause. Counting today, I’ve answered the bell 1,671 times.

The math of that? At one hour per post, the equivalent of about forty 40-hour weeks. At half an hour per post, around twenty 40-hour weeks. Divided by six, somewhere between three and a half to seven 40-hour weeks per year. I told Larry’s workshop attendees that I shoot for half a hour on most days but I can’t always make it and there are numerous occasions when the time stretches much longer. Today’s post is an example of that.

I formatted my presentation as a Q/A session with myself, something from which I might have benefitted six years ago! Here are a few of the questions I asked my six year younger self.

Q: Why on earth would you even think about doing such a thing?
Q: What do you hope to gain from your blog?
Q: Would you invite people to your home without a plan? Guests need to know what to expect when the come to your house, or your blog.
Q: Starting a blog is something like adopting a puppy. Can you spare the time to be a responsible care giver?

I spent quite a bit of my allotted time responding to the second question: What do you hope to gain from your blog? I presented five options:
1) I want to establish a professional site.
2) I want to become better known as a writer.
3) I want to expand my circle of writing friends.
4) I’m friendly and I just want to talk.
5) I have no plan but will figure it out as I go.

One of the members in Larry’s group asked how I would characterize my blog. Another asked if my blog has benefitted me and, if so, in what ways.

I’ll tell you later how I responded, but today I’d rather hear from you. According to my little blog clicker, more than 2,000 people follow my posts. I have no idea how close that is to being accurate. I certainly don’t receive that many visits on a given day and rarely have more than a handful of comments so it’s hard to judge how many people remain aware of what I’m up to on a regular basis.

So I’ll throw out this question and hope that at least a few of you will take a moment to tell me. “How would you describe my site to someone else?”

As for the second question, I don’t sell my own work directly and have only tried one e-book. I find it difficult to relate how or whether my blog has increased my book sales. I hope it has. I think it has. I don’t know that it has. But I have received some speaking engagements as a result of the blog, and they have produced income.

I look forward to hearing your responses. Thank you.

Subjects for the new year?

David giving brief remarks

Hi everyone,

I haven’t asked in a while if there are subjects you’d like to discuss. Over the years I’ve talked about a good many aspects of writing. I’ve placed an emphasis on poetry because I love writing in that genre but dozens of my titles have been fiction and nonfiction so I don’t ever want to appear disinterested in those areas. I’ve interviewed numerous writers and artists, featured newcomers, and introduced people I’ve met through the magic of the Internet. The list goes on and I realize that you can search for what you want by checking various categories, but now and then I like to ask for new ideas or ones that I haven’t discussed lately.

So please let me know what you’d like to talk about. I look forward to hearing from you.

David