A Year without Posting

I knew that something was wrong. Something was missing. Something wasn’t right.

I tried to fix it, and failed. I decided I’d try again in a few days, when things slowed down. They haven’t, I didn’t. Finally in frustration I asked for help.

The response I got wasn’t helpful at all. I tried to follow the instructions but to no avail. So I decided to try again: in a few days, when things slowed down. They haven’t. They didn’t. In frustration I asked for help again.

The problem was the same, the response was different. This time they removed the block and everything works.

Except of course that I discovered I haven’t posted in over a year. A very good reason for that is that I stopped writing. Again. For a writer, that is not good. Mostly because that makes you not a writer.

My last post was 11 Jun 2014, 9 days past my self proclaimed year without wearing a tie. My last bit of writing was 11 Jun 2014. I even stopped keeping track of the airplane flights I was taking (I think I ended up spending close to 6 days in the air over the course of 16 months).

Is that about to change? Maybe, maybe not. I need things to slow down first.

Where’d Who Go?

Out of all the reading I’ve read on writing one thing is incredibly consistent: In order to write, you must read.

Over the course of the last few months I have consistently blogged less and less. I have attributed this to increased duties at work, at home, worrying about how to fix this, that or the other. In reality, I haven’t read much of anything. I haven’t even listened to many books on tape (or CD or mp3). It isn’t just that I haven’t had many thoughts to blog about, I haven’t worked on my work in progress much over the course of the last year. If you recall, that’s the year that I set the goal of finishing my WIP, which I am awfully close to but I’ve been awfully close to that point since last year at this same exact time.

About a month ago I commented on the fact that the only television shows I watch any more (other than NFL football) are only 30 minutes long. This of course means there is 21 minutes of program and 9 minutes of commercials I fast forward through because I LONG ago got to the point where I could barely watch television without recording it on my TiVO (or now DVR). Yes, this does make some football games interminably long as well since more often than not I don’t record them.

Along this same line, I picked up a Christmas gift of short stories a few days ago. I’m not very far into it when I did my other normal reading habit–reading more than one book at a time. So now, after a holiday I am listening to a book on tape, reading a book of short stories, reading a non-fiction book, and my brain instantly began stewing in the thoughts that abound and cause successful writers to warn prospective writers that they cannot write without reading.

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Snail Mail Email Finally

My blog has been quiet the last few weeks. Again this irony is not because I have had nothing to say but because I have simply not had time to say it. My split-personality life has been keeping me running in circles. This morning I am simply taking advantage of the fact that I am not sleeping well with lots on my mind.

Just before my long break, I had a conversation with a fellow writer and blogger Jeff Goins. In addition to encouragement, help and ideas, he suggested a method I could use to distribute my novella. For many months I have intended to give away my work for subscribers to The Hole on the End of the Bible Belt. Now I finally can. If you click on the link at the bottom of the post you will be sent information on how to download a pdf file of If: An Allegory. There is also a similar link on the bottom of the post in the RSS feed. 

I am pleased to be able to provide this work for your reading pleasure and review. Comments are encouraged, and if you are interested afterwards, I have a second file composed of the hidden symbolism and metaphors in the work. 

Fiction writing authors have to blog differently than non-fiction authors. A fact that I have been coming to terms with and that Jeff helped hammer home. The next few weeks and months will bring some changes to the way I post here. The topic of Providence will remain, but the manner it is delivered will differ. I hope we both enjoy it more.

And thank you for subscribing. Your enjoyment and engagement are the desires I have of this blog.

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Subscriptions

It appears that I have overcome the technical difficulties that have plagued me since I decided I would give subscribers a copy of my novella as a thank you for subscribing. Accompanying this post should be a link to a private page that allows downloading of the pdf of If: An Allegory.

There would be more to this post if I wasn’t trying to replace siding on my house before the rain arrives in a few hours. Instead, I’ll re-post it later. Meanwhile, thanks for subscribing.
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Frequency

The frequency of my blogging is intimately connected to what happenings I have going on in my life. Which is to be more expected, that when there is a lot going on I have more to write about or that when there isn’t a lot going on I have time to write? The two are mutually exclusive and yet inexorably linked.

I created this  blog at a point where I was very secure in my job, I knew what I was doing, what was expected of me, and what would be going on the next day, week, month, etc. Then four months into it things changed. Having revealed that I knew what was going on as well as demonstrating that I knew how to do more, it was clear that I was coasting. That’s when challenges appear. I was offered an opportunity to move to a new office where they needed someone to do what I was doing, but also where there was a long-time employee who had been on the verge of retiring for 2 and a half years. This meant that I would have a chance to not only do my job, but to learn parts of his job so that when (if) he retires there would be not only an open position, but someone who knows how to fill that position.

This was not to say that I was sent here to take his job. Not to say that I was sent here so that when he retires his job would be mine. And not to say that I accepted the challenge so that I would get his job.

Of course those were the reasons, but no one could say that. I can’t expect anyone to say that, and if anyone did I wouldn’t believe them because they can’t say that. Clear as mud?

The Catch-22 was bad enough, that when lots of things are going on there are lots of things to write about but no time to write or the converse that when nothing is going on there is nothing to write but plenty of time to do it in, but the reality of it is even harder. There’s always something to do and I’m usually not in the right place to do it. My young bride is trying to raise two teens and a toddler while balancing the normal housework load, her job, plus repairs, not to mention the constant Mom’s Taxi service she runs. I am constantly on the go between home, my other home, my office, my field office, trying to complete some online training needed for certifications I need in order to get up to the next level at work, trying to do what repairs I can at home when I’m there, at my Dad’s when I’m there, and still needing to work on both my wife’s van and my truck. Is it any wonder the blogging has fallen off in the last six months? Not to me.

Now, I do still have lots to say. I have lots of draft posts, some are even partly typed. When I do get (or force myself to find) time to write I notice an increase in site visits (as expected). I have even been able to do a few things I learned early on in my blogging to attract lots of additional attention to my blog. But the elusiveness of regularity is working against me in building the blog. I want my posts to be spot on powerful pieces of writing and would settle for sporadic. There is a blog I follow that is someone in Africa. Her posts are infrequent, yet when they appear they are powerful reminders. It is a matter of quality posts versus quantity of posts.

Blogging is supposed to be a conversation, a two-way street. I follow one blogger who doesn’t allow comments. Another allows comments but neither sorts through the comments to take out the spam nor comments back that I’ve seen. A blogger I learned a lot from, and continue to learn from has a great mix of commenting, sorting comments, quantity and quality, plus I’ve found that by commenting on his site it can really drive up traffic to mine. At the risk of running a thought into the ground, or maybe just stretching it out, there is another blogger I have never met but enjoy reading with a good mix of those things that is quite enjoyable to read. Even he has a consistency to his posts that allow for the quality to come out from time to time.

The problem is that flashpan quality is achievable, but not likely. Steady production can achieve quality with quantity, but takes more than we sometimes have to offer. My point today wasn’t to talk about blogging. Blogging is the vessel that describes the concept today. I may not have gotten the quality of post I wanted. I may have not gotten the quantity of posts I wanted. As long as I got the point across, this was a successful article.

I welcome comments, not only to this thought, but just to see if anyone’s listening.
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