So I tried maintaining two blogs for a while. To be polite to, well, myself, that was an ill-advised endeavor. (If you aren't polite with yourself, who can you possibly be polite to?)
Maintaining one blog is a lot of work as is... but I didn't know that. I figured I'd just write brilliant pieces for both blogs and readers would flock from everywhere. (Uh, not exactly. I'm not actually delusional... but hopefully you see the point.)
Then I started to learn how things actually work in the real world.
Quick digression: Talli Roland has a blog I rather enjoy following.* Today she talks about things you really should consider doing if you want to have people follow/read your blog. I think all bloggers who are honest with themselves should openly admit to this being quite important. I mean, we write so people will read, correct? (If your answer is "no," I don't know what to possibly say in response. So let's just assume you said "yes" for the sake of moving along...)
* Since I'm not opposed in the least to pimping a blog I support, please find a link to her page here (for after you are done reading this much-belabored post). And be sure to follow, since you're already there. (It is, after all, the polite thing to do.) You have a Ducks-guarantee that you will not be disappointed!
Anyhow, I've basically turned off my J.M. Neeb blog. Sure, it's technically still up, but that is because I had left a note -- much like a shipwrecked, nautical disaster survivor might stuff into a bottle (Where does the bottle come from, though?) -- for anyone who did follow me there to come on over to the Ducks... if they want to do so. (Far be it from me to tell anyone else what to do.)
I decided to focus my efforts on the Ducks.
"So what was the difference between the two blogs," the ever-inquisitive (and always impeccably-dressed) Ducks readers ask in unison. (Yes, in my mind you are all reading at the same time. I also figure you coordinate this mass-reading via telegram, pigeon messengers and smoke signals.)
Excellent question, my favorite peeps. Well, J.M. was supposed to be more of a look at my journey (not the band Journey) into becoming a full-time writer (whether by freelance corporate writing, short stories, humor, whatever.) See, I am a writer. It is in my blood and I can't conquer it. I can try fighting it, but my nature will win every time. (My nature is kind of like the New York Yankees, except not evil.)
What I found was that it didn't seem to be rather exciting for anyone who isn't me, which happens to be most of the world. (Who would have guessed?)
Ducks Out Of A Row was supposed to be more like my "column," and it really has been. This presents more of an opportunity to be humorous and provide my thoughts on random things (Taliban monkey soldiers, for example). I figured, hopefully "rightfully so," that there would be more interest in this blog and it won out over J.M.
(By the way, those are my first two initials. No one actually calls me that, but I'm terribly private. Of course, I have my name listed somewhere in the About Me section, so I'm not sure how much it matters.)
"Okay, all this rambling has to come to some kind of conclusion or point, right?"
Right. My point today is that I'm a writer. I don't talk about it much here, well, because I'm busy writing the actual posts. But I write quite a bit beyond this blog. I have short stories and future novels in various stages of development. And I think about writerly stuff -- like, just because "writerly" isn't a word, is there any reason why I couldn’t use it if the readers will know what I mean? (See what I did there? Pure genius.)
And I want to see the craft thrive, which is something I worry about in this day and age of the Internet and text messaging and “The Dumbest Generation.”
"Alright, now he's picking up speed."
So I just wanted to put something out there for my fellow writers. I don’t have any affiliation whatsoever to this publication, but I’d like to encourage you to take a look at at Glimmer Train and consider subscribing.
The sisters (Susan and Linda) who run this particular literary magazine are, in my opinion, doing a tremendous service for writers. Anyone who publishes literary fiction, and hosts contests, to help writers deserves recognition by the community they support.
To be honest, I intend on submitting either for publication or a contest with Glimmer Train at a later date, but do not think for a moment that this will either help or hurt my chances. (I never do the whole “brown-nose” thing. Ever.) (Well, I’m a man of principles when you get down to it.)
According to their About Us page, Susan and Linda launched Glimmer Train in 1990 and haven’t broken even. Which means they are clearly doing it for the love of writing and that inspires me. That kind of passion for the written word is simply awesome.
Anyhow, this was important for me to mention, so that’s what I’m doing. My budget doesn’t allow for a subscription at the moment, but that will change in about a month, and so will my non-subscribing status at that time.
Just something for you to think about, I guess.
That’s all I got for now.
Editor’s note: Yep.