Archive for the 'Blogging' Category



I’m Back

Quigley wearing free dog antlers from PetCo

Quigley wearing free dog antlers from PetCo

Hi everyone!  And a happy 2013 to you all!

Yes, I’m back. Not necessarily back from physical travels, though we did get over to Southern California to visit the kids and grand-daughter, as well as my 92-year-old stepmother. I am back from that, and also, apparently, from my recent and unexpected blogging silence.

I have no explanation, other than that I had neither  motivation nor words with which to generate a blog post for almost a month now. I haven’t even kept up on my emails. In fact, I’ve done very little on the computer since last I posted, except for Bible Class.

Part of that was the shingles and the fact that it was hard to even look at the screen for a while. Plus I had a regimen of eye drops and pills to take there at first, and kept going back to the doctor for them to gauge my progress. This, added to Christmas preps, demolished my normal routine, which had been suffering anyway. I was also consciously trying to avoid the computer, not only to rest my eyes but in hopes of getting a handle on my addiction to reading blogs and news articles.

Pastor John spoke about this awhile back, how reading the things on the web — things invariably from the world — mess up your mental attitude and make it harder to go back to your work — in his case, studying the Word and preparing his lessons, in mine, working on the book. I had already noticed that effect on my own, but didn’t really give it the attention it deserved. I thought it was just me having no discipline as opposed to information and enticements from the world registering with my sin nature, which in turn agitated for “No More Struggling With that Lame Book! Who’s going to like it anyway? It’s not going to be any good, and you have no discipline…” or…. “You’re just not into it today. Tomorrow will be better. Why not take a break now and go do something else?”  To which I answered “Okay” far too often.

Or… “But I really want to find out what happened/why he did it/more on this subject! I’ll work on the book later…”

On another day, in another lesson, he talked about how sometimes God will shut us down in the operation of our spiritual gift in order for us to realize that it’s His power that’s doing it, not ours. That really resonated as well, but I haven’t really been able to get my arms around it all enough to write about it in any way that makes sense.

A third concept that keeps floating through my awareness is the fact that all this with the blog… specifically the call to do a post 5 days a week, was really more than I could handle and actually write a book, too. Add to that the notion that since this was supposed to build my readership I should be trying to do posts that people would like, and keep track of the numbers and all that… and it only piled on more pressure. And, I see in retrospect, drained energy away from whatever it is in me that comes up with my stories.

Long ago I had determined that God was not calling me to be a marketer — He would do the marketing, and the promoting and publicizing, and my job was to concentrate on writing the book (which He would also do, but that was where I was to focus my attention, not the other stuff).  He told me that in a very vivid and compelling way, and I immediately obeyed and stopped thinking about the marketing.

But the world is relentless in promoting its positions, and after ten years, I became infected with it again. Maybe I had grown enough, I thought arrogantly, that I could handle it now. Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad to at least try it out, see if it was what I was to do. After all, everyone else is doing it.

No. Not what I’m to do. All the things they suggest one do to build a readership distracts me from my calling. It takes away my time, changes my mental attitude and focus, really seems to mess me up when it comes to my primary calling, which is to write my novels. I learned that once, but as with so many things, forgot the lesson and went back to try it again.

If I’m honest, I have to admit I like the idea of me doing stuff to get folks to read my blog and books. Well, no, actually I don’t like it at all, at least not the actual doing of it. I just like the idea of having some control over it and that’s probably the main issue right there. That I’m going to control things, when God’s the one in control.

Anyway, I’m not going to be doing five posts a week, but 4, and that may not be all the time. I’m not going to be trolling about various strangers’ blogs to see if I might “like” them. I might like them, but I don’t have time to read them. I’m not going to be going out to comment on other folks’ blogs, like they tell me to, in hopes they’ll visit my blog and like it. I’m not going to be trolling about on the internet looking for good ideas for content that will bring in a lot of readers.

I’m going to go back to what this all started out as: me writing my book, posting thoughts that spring primarily out of that and my life and lessons and research. The book comes first. The blog second.

And if the world thinks that’s dumb, I’m okay with that. If I only have six readers, I’m okay with that, too. As our recent lessons on spiritual gifts have taught me, God is the one in charge of the results of my gift, not me.

“For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, and the base things of the world and the despised (or unknown), God has chosen, the things that are not (ie, humble) that He might nullify the things that are (ie, proud), that no man should boast before God.”   ~ 1 Co 1:26 – 29

How To Drive Yourself Crazy

You start out having a contracted book that you are supposed to be writing and having so many different difficulties, intrusions, interruptions, distractions and delusions that you are proceeding at a snail’s pace, seemingly no matter what you do.

Combine with a previous book repackaged and on the market again, and generating  feelings of responsibility in the author for doing something to let the world know.

Add an invitation to join a website that will provide much information and help on how to market your books in a world that is rapidly becoming a continuous, never-ending, deluge of advertising.

Accept the invitation because… um… well, it sounds good, and maybe I’ll learn something.

Attend the first seminar. Take ten pages of notes and end up with TONS of things to do to have a profitable web presence.

[Yes, yes, I know — I’ve said in the past that I’m relying on God to promote my books and what in the world am I doing falling for this? Well… what can I say? I’m weak. Frail. Easily led astray. Rethinking that stand. Maybe it was good for then, but this is now and perhaps I could do some of that now. Not a lot. But some… Maybe this would be a form of stepping out in new ways of using my gift of encouragement.]

Here are some of those things you can do to build your “platform”:

Integrate your website with your blog. Redo both blog and website so that it’s more professional looking, maybe hire someone to do that, which means shop around for various web designers. Or figure out how to do it all yourself.

Write more blog posts. Write better blog posts. Answer every comment.

Go to other blogs and read them. Comment there. Answer any responses to the comment you left. Maybe quote from someone else’s blog and then write about how you disagree. Maybe they’ll link to you and rebut. Then you can rebut the rebuttal and get into an argument. That’s great for getting links to your blog and the attention of the world, which likes controversy and argument.

Learn what Google Analytics is.  Get on Google+.

Learn to write better titles/headlines. Study other headlines. Keep a headline file. Spend as much time writing your headline/title as you do writing your post.

Take a bunch of photographs to use on the blog, because They say that you must have images on your blog. Guest blog as much as possible. Get in as many discussions as possible.

Learn how to start a Facebook Author page and then do that. Find out what a Landing Page is. Maybe set one up.

Interact daily with those who come to your Facebook Author Page.

Make an author page for Amazon.

Learn how to optimize your website/blog and do that .

Get on Twitter. Learn how to write good tweets…  And don’t forget to come up with your own daily blog posts…

Oh yeah. And get that contracted book written. The sooner the better. (That would be The Other Side of the Sky…)

And thus we get to crazy. Too much to do even aside from all that. And with that I am over the top. Which of all those things should I do? For how long? When? How can I balance that with working on the book and the work I have to do around the house?  Where’s the peace in all this? Not there. Maybe I’m just weak… Well, yes. I am weak. But His power is manifest in my weakness, so that’s a good thing.

He’ll do what needs doing. I just have to turn it over to Him and let Him.

And so I’ve taken a little trip without even leaving home these last few weeks. I’ve learned a few things.

Like “A Tomato, A Coin and A Die” is a really bad title. (I should have called it “Two Techniques That Helped Me Get Past Writer’s Block”. Actually I might go back and retitle it just to see what will happen.)

I’ve learned that there are a lot of blogs out there that are highly “successful” (in that they have hundreds of thousands of visitors) in telling other people how they can be successful on their own blogs. Which seems mildly ironic, even a bit disingenuous.

I’ve been praying for direction in all this from the start. And I am pretty sure that I have come full circle on this crazy ride yet again, and am getting off at the platform now, ready to go back home and just focus on writing Sky.

Because the thing it’s all shown me — once again —  is that, yes, indeed,  all that other stuff takes up not only time but mental space.  At least for me. I tend to want to focus deeply on things when they engage me, and when I try to do all that stuff, well, the focus gets fragmented and I get farther away from the world of Sky than ever.

I won’t say I won’t do any of that, but for now I do know that the focus has to be on my WIP.

A Request for Ideas

A couple of weeks ago I was asked to do a guest post for the Christian SF/F blog Speculative Faith and given a range of openings throughout the summer from which to pick. Since Arena in its repackaged version is due to release the first of July, I thought a guest post on something relating to that might be a good idea and picked July 6 for my publish date.

I’ve been brainstorming and thinking about the Spec Faith post for a week or two, but so far haven’t come up with anything that keeps going past a paragraph or two. So I decided to see if you all, my readers, might have some suggestions of things you might be interested in seeing a post about. If so, please let me know, in the comments or by email.

So far I’ve thought of:

telling the story of how Arena/Light of Eidon were published;

talking about how things have changed in the publishing field since those times;

discussing the idea that sex, violence, and dark events are not appropriate subject matter for Christian reading and should not appear in books;

grappling with the still prevalent idea that fantasy is only for kids, and why that isn’t necessarily so;

examining some of the specific elements of the allegory in Arena;

pr relating some of the responses I’ve gotten to Arena, both good, bad and wacky…

If any of those ideas seem particularly appealing, or you’re curious about a particular aspect of them I didn’t mention, or one of them triggered an entirely different idea or…

Please! Feel free to fire away.


Categories

My Online Church

Visit my Old Blog Here:

Music I’m Writing To

Transformers (Revenge of the Fallen) Soundtrack - Steve Jablonsky


%d bloggers like this: