Wednesday, September 14, 2011

It's hard out here for a blogger

When I first decided to start Strange Horizons, I had no real idea of how stressful blogging could be.  

I'm not complaining.  I choose to do this and I wouldn't have it any other way.  Still, I was just slightly unprepared for the challenge of committing myself to a daily post.  This isn't simply a matter of "finding the time" during the day to do it but making certain that I have a decent topic to post.  Okay, okay, I'm sure many of you think I might have missed the mark more than a few times, but in the end we all follow our hearts.
"Sure, there will always be something for me to write about," I thought.  For the most part, that is true.  There are, however, those other right now...where I don't have enough entertainment/educational value to what I'm doing to stick to the coded page.  Then, I don't think I need to tell you, I'm screwed.

It's not just a matter of fresh, daily material, either.  It takes time away from my family.  I'm not proud but I will admit to there having been a few times during the lifespan of this blog and many more over my tenure with computers, where I have begun a project at around noon with the bright sun overhead.  After becoming engrossed with writing, searching, surfing, Tweeting, et. al. I suddenly realized that the sun had set.  Yeah, that takes a little bit of 'splainin' with the family.  If I didn't live with someone else I'd probably find myself brushing cobwebs from my shoulders.  That juggling act between writing and domestic life is one I've really come to tussle with.

Then there are the comments.  Oh yes the comments.  I like to make sure I respond to every comment that I get.  The way I see it, I'm lucky anyone at all is willing to stop by and read my content.  If they have taken the time for that extra step to write me a note or ask me a question, I want to pounce on it and answer.  If I get an email notification that I have a comment, I stop what I'm doing and reply to it as soon as I can.  Why?  Won't Blogger notify me of the comment next time I log on?  And if I'm posting close to daily, won't that be soon enough?  Probably.  Nevertheless, I'm always afraid that I will forget to answer and thus appear rude to someone who made the effort to comment.  Additionally, the vast majority of comments have positive feedback and I want to make certain to express my gratitude.  Oh I've had one or two snark-filled jibes (I'm looking at you, Victoria) that cause additional stress, but you're going to get those no matter what and a little bit of panache is all you really need to allow them to deftly slide from your personage.  

Good bloggers should also read other blogs and comment on them.  There are blogs I head over to the first new post that I see, blogs like Pop Trash Beauty and This Blessed Plot.  Really, however, I should be reading far more than those.  If I want more traffic for and comments on my blog, then I need to be an active reader myself.  Gonna work on it.  Promise.

Do not fear or misunderstand, I will continue blogging for a very long time.  As long as I am physically able.  Just need a bit of venting.

Post Script: there's been quite a bit of additional news coverage lately on those 16 "super Earths" I wrote about last week.  Seems one of the extrasolar planets is a good candidate to have liquid water.  That has SETI all aflutter, claiming that they may have alien contact in the next 15 years.

Follow me on Twitter: @Jntweets

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