Standing at a Crossroads

Here at DBCII, I have been working my way towards doing more fiction writing – like I’ve discussed in posts like this last Six Word Saturday. Doing more than just blogging; the blogging served a purpose of getting me writing again and frequently, made writing part of my daily routine. But the blogging is both an outlet and a means to an end – but it is not the goal itself.

Meanwhile, on Comparative Geeks I have been considering one of our ongoing features, Science Fiction Today. As I discussed in posts like my year-and-a-half recap, I have been giving this feature or category a lot of thought. I have a ton of ideas of topics to cover, and thoughts on how to approach them or at least get started. And the question is, do I just work this into the flow on Comparative Geeks? Or do something more with it? Read more of this post

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The Writing Process (The Lobster Dance)

Here’s the third of my nominated bloggers for the Writing Process Blog Tour. Leah of The Lobster Dance did not disappoint, talking through her process of research-grounded geekery.

Honestly, I should do more research in my blogging. I often have to go the opposite route – put on blinders, research nothing, and make posts that are entirely opinion and hearsay based. This is the burden of blogging on a schedule, I suppose.

Anyway, check it out, and thanks for keeping the chain going, Leah!

The Lobster Dance

David of DBCII and Comparative Geeks nominated me for The Writing Process Blog Tour. Normally I’m a little shy about meta-blogging, but I think that this is a really interesting look at bloggers “behind the scenes,” and I enjoyed writing it. We’ve been geeking out together for 10 years now, and it’s always fun to compare notes.

The Rules

In the words of Gene’O:

The rules are very simple and, if I may say so, designed to not require a lot of work, which I truly appreciate:

  1. Link to the blogger before,
  2. answer 4 questions,
  3. and nominate 3 bloggers to keep the hop going.

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A Year and a Half of Comparative Geeks! (The Sunday Re-Blog)

This last week was the 18-month mark for Comparative Geeks! I did some more reflecting on some of the new top posts – as well as some of the posts that could use some more love. It was interesting to look at both segments!

Comparative Geeks

I like enjoying these small milestones, to remember how much we have accomplished in this time! 475 posts, and consistently posting 6 posts a week, has been a lot of work, and very rewarding. Thank you to all of you, our readers and commenters and followers and friends.

Last year at the six-month mark, I did a post highlighting our top posts and topics thus far. Many of those posts are still top posts, because they keep getting search engine hits. However, we have a few new contenders top posts that I would like to highlight – beyond the Illuminati post I referenced the other day.

Then I thought I would share a few of the posts that have barely been touched. Sure, there’s a lot of those – and a lot of them make sense. There’s our failed Trailer Watch category – those never did well. And there are…

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Contributing to a Blog!

Hello faithful readers! Sorry I haven’t gotten much more going on here on DBCII, but I’ve been busy diving into a different writing foray: contributing to a multi-person blog!

Many of you may know Sourcerer, the multi-contributor blog edited by Gene’O of The Writing Catalog. I was seeing mentions of the desire for more contributors, and at the same time I was thinking of branching out and doing some more writing. The timing seemed good.

If I were to point out the best work on Sourcerer, it would be the posts that have been Feminist Friday, an ongoing conversation about the continued relevance of Feminism – and asking the far more challenging question, what can we as lowly bloggers do about it? You should check out the posts – this link will link to further posts from Feminist Friday!

My post will be going up this morning, so be watching for that! You can see I’ve already been lined up on Sourcerer.

Z – Zines

ZRather than end the A to Z Challenge with a bang, I think I’m going to end it with a half-joke.

What the heck happened to Zines?

I mean, they seemed like a fad, I suppose, anyway, so maybe we shouldn’t be surprised they’re gone. What were they, you ask? To merriam-webster.com!

Zine:

a small magazine that is written by people who are not professional writers and that usually has stories about a particular subject”

e-Zine:

an electronic magazine : a magazine that is on the Internet”

Oh… wait a minute… do they mean a blog?

Blog:

“a Web site on which someone writes about personal opinions, activities, and experiences”

So… kind of. Mostly. Maybe? There are probably a number of Blogs which might be more accurately Zines or e-Zines, maybe especially ones that have a specific subject, and which have multiple writers.

I didn’t end up going with my original plan for the letter M which was going to be Magazines… I felt like I was beating on them enough between Journalism and Newspapers. And because I knew eventually I would be writing about Zines… was it supposed to be the cool, hip, trendy, online word for a magazine? Was it supposed to catch on? Can you choose and control those sorts of things? Or do they just naturally happen – like the adoption of the word Blog instead.

I don’t know. But it seemed like a fun word to close out the A to Z Challenge with! Do you read any Zines? Or did you ever? Let me know in the comments below!

Y – You

YI seem to be missing one last critical component of writing – You! The reader! Without an audience, a book is not a very interesting thing, and a writer is not going to be a paid author for long. So on the one hand, the goal is to get published – but on the other hand, the goal is to get read.

I think that’s a lot of the appeal to self-publishing. Yes, money, a career, all that. But really, if the goal is to be read – if the goal is to get the book to You – then by any means necessary!

It’s the reader who must meet your words with their understanding, it is the reader who tries to figure you out. Who tries – and wants to try! – to know what you scrawled out on the page, what you typed hastily into a computer. It is the reader who makes this worth it.

I missed the opportunity to write about Audience, when I wrote about Author instead, for this A to Z Challenge. So instead, I’ll let you read a post better than I would have written anyway, from the Writing Catalog. I say that in part because I like Gene’O’s writing, but also in part because I don’t think enough about the audience when I write. In a lot of ways, I write for an audience of one: myself.

And maybe that’s why I have a hard time starting to write. Because while I could write, if my main audience is myself, well, I already have the story here in my head. I know what happens. Would anyone else care what I write? Would anyone else like it?

So that means for me the most important question right now goes back to audience. And actually, I think that it may also answer a question I asked before: why write a blog? The answer may well be that you write a blog to have an audience. To experience that, to want that. To interact with them and find out what they like and don’t like. To get praise, or constructive criticism, or to get shared – all to give you that little bit of confidence you need, to know that you might just have an audience outside of yourself (or maybe your family, hopefully they’d read it too…), and that it might be worth it to drag those ideas out of your head and let them see the light of day.

Thus, concluding my posts on the essentials of writing, I dedicate this post to you: my reader, my audience. That’s right, you. Right there. I’m thinking about you when I write this. And I am thanking you for being there. Whether you’re there just as a blogger, wandering by from the Challenge – great! I know I don’t read nearly as many blog posts as I should. I am a bad audience member. Or whether you’re a follower – thank you so much! You remind me time and again that maybe I really can be a writer.

And this seems like an excellent time for self-promotion. If you like my writing here, like being my audience here, check out my geeky blog I write with my wife: Comparative Geeks. It overall has much more content and posts than here. However, since my audience has grown quite a bit during the challenge, I’m going to have to keep going strong here too, I think!

Thank You!

Taylor Grace, you continue to rock – The Sunday Re-Blog

I have to admit, part of why I am sharing this post is because the author, Gene’O, said it was his most-shared post. Just adding to that expansion…

A couple of lines of thought here. One is about watching, and stressing over, the blog stats. The other is about Canon and Canonization. I care about both things, making this a great post to think over.

My Former Blog

I just need to post again. Nothing else will do, and my friend Taylor Grace has the perfect thing for me to blog about. A post about what numbers do to the mind. Especially a writer’s mind. Here’s the lede:

I have to admit, I’ve done it. I stared at the blog stats until I knew the numbers by heart, then I would check and recheck. The blog became a live entity I needed to keep happy…and, well, I wasn’t miserable but it was close.

Here’ s the rest. Taylor’s post includes lots of good links – nearly all of her posts do. One of the reasons I love her blog so much is because she turns me on to things I would never see otherwise.

I’ve been right there – looking at those numbers, checking and rechecking, and it wasn’t that long ago. You can measure it in…

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