The new year is coming, and it’s time to set some some strategies before the champagne corks pop and the fireworks dispel the accumulated evil spirits of 2010. After working hard for one and a half years to cultivate a readership (which I observed obsessively through my blog stats), I’ve become neglectful of my blog, and have posted less and less frequently. There are reasons for that, having to do with job and family, but I’ve decided that I have to stop the erosion and get back on solid ground. The solution calls for a serious commitment, but I’ve decided I’m ready to make it.
The Magian Rumination blog will henceforth be treated like a weekly column.
My decision will make perfect sense to you if I explain my publishing history. Fresh out of graduate school in the 80s, my first paid writing gig was writing monthly profiles of organic farmers in Northern California for the Davis Coop News. It was small-time, but I met some very interesting people, the paper paid mileage, and it footed the bill for the artsy black and white photo portraits I produced to accompany it. All in all, good experience for a young writer.
When I came to Hungary, because of my academic background I got a job as a weekly literary columnist for the (sadly, now defunct after fifteen years of publishing) Budapest Sun. Greatest job I ever starved for. The pay sucked, but it kept me supplied with beer, cigarettes, salami, bread, and raw vegetables from the corner market. I read a book a week and delivered a review on a floppy disk (remember those?) every Thursday afternoon, after which I’d go out and get trashed with the rest of the Sun staff. Saturday or Sunday I’d start reading the next book and the cycle would start again. The best thing about it was that I’d set myself the goal of finding out if I could support myself on writing, and I succeeded. And I learned to live by the deadline. Whatever it took, I’d be in the Sun office Thursday afternoon with a disk in my hand for the Style editor. I sweat blood to make that deadline on more than one occasion.
After two years of that, I moved on to editing jobs that paid better, and got my writing yah-yahs through other outlets; eventually through blogging.
These experiences made me a deadline writer. I do much of my best work when I know that a certain number of words on a certain topic have to be delivered by a certain day at a certain time. Ergo, the logic of treating my blog like a weekly column.
I’ve done this before. In my previous blog
, I went weekly for a while and produced some of the best material that appeared there. Then a personal crisis struck that kept me from publishing for over a year, by which time I changed tack and started this blog. I also noticed that the regularity of weekliness had a positive effect on building readership.
Publishing day will be every Wednesday, come what may. If I fail to write a posting, it will be because I was run over by a car, in which case I will have my wife post a picture of the tire tracks across my chest. I’m that serious about deadlines.
Naturally, this doesn’t mean I can’t post on days in between, if the need/desire arises. But Wednesdays will still be sacrosanct.
See you next Wednesday.