There really should be a pithy term for blogger’s angst – the guilt you get from not blogging regularly or often enough, coupled with an inability to think of anything to write about that you (or half the internet) haven’t already said a hundred times. Add in a bit of identity crisis just for grins.
I’m sure you’ve noticed, if you’re a regular around here, that I haven’t been around much in the last year. Aside from dealing with my health issues, I just haven’t had much to say, and that bothers me.
The thing is that I’m not a (subject) blogger. I’ve written articles on body shaming, but I don’t do it often enough to call myself a body acceptance blogger; there are a number of excellent writers out there doing it every day. I’ve written books on spirituality but I no longer really consider myself a spiritual author. The Nomad course is the only thing I’m currently interested in that links me back to my Circle Within days. I’ve written about cooking, and veganism, and mental health issues, but I don’t want any of those to be my “thing.” I write Vampire Diaries episode recaps but I sure as hell am not running a fansite. (Again, people with much stronger stomachs than mine do that, and do it beautifully. Plus it’s unlikely I’ll continue the recaps after the end of this season.)
Dedicating specific days to specific topics was a doomed enterprise – too restrictive. My creative impulse gets very squirrely when you try to tell her what to do. I like the freedom to write about whatever tickles my fancy, but I’ve been turning in circles without a direction.
The fact is, my career as a novelist is what is important to me right now. It’s my entire life’s dream, and occupies my time and my thoughts as a writer. The downside to that is that there’s not a whole lot I can blog about that either, aside from the Shadow World Extras – those are great fun, but I can’t turn them out every single week. Ignoring the books, my life isn’t terribly blogworthy these days. I can’t imagine anyone wants daily reports of my job search or my quest for a favorite K-cup.
I don’t have a solution in mind as yet, but I wanted to be honest with where my mind is – I haven’t just been an absentee blogger, I’ve been kind of absentee from everything this past year while I’ve been learning (rather unsuccessfully) to manage a mental illness. I really do want to find a way to blog that suits me and feels authentic, but I haven’t found it yet. It’s easier when you have one subject that’s your pet cause or area of expertise. Back when I was a Wiccan I always had something to write about. Your average political blogger doesn’t ask himself, “Hmm…should I write about the election, cookies, or my new shoes today?”
I’m working on it. The past week has been pretty horrible, but you know writers – we love to transform bad days into long paragraphs. If nothing else, novel-related posting is about to get crazy over here – it’s two months and counting until Of Shadow Born hits shelves and I’m very, very times a hundred excited about it.
You may also have noticed that comments are now off for the entire website. There was an inciting incident, but the truth is I’ve been leery of having them on for years and was basically waiting for a reason to shut them down again. A couple of years ago when Shadowflame came out I received a lot (I mean, a lot) of homophobic hate mail, some of which was shockingly vicious. I realized very quickly that feeding trolls only gives them power, and while it was one thing to call me names on my own website (or on Facebook, which is why you can’t sent me private messages there), it’s another to make all the other readers uncomfortable. Comments sections are where emotional maturity goes to die gasping and flopping on the bottom of the internet. So I turned them off. Eventually I flipped the switch again, but in my mind I always knew that wouldn’t last.
I didn’t get any hate mail for Shadow’s Fall (just a lot of WTF??? And NOOO!), and I doubt I will for Of Shadow Born (but you just never know), but still, I think it’s time I just admitted to myself that being a public figure, whether a well-known one or not, means having to make choices about privacy and sanity versus accessibility.
There will be posts I open for comments – sometimes I do want opinions on particular questions, and of course when I do book giveaways you have to be able to enter! – but the fact has been, is, and remains that this is not a discussion forum or a platform for anyone but me. If I decide something is inappropriate, it’s shut down, period. My sandbox, my rules. It’s just easier if I don’t leave myself (or any of my readers) open to attack.
At any rate, I felt like it had been too long without any sort of State of the Blog, and thank you for your indulgence. I will endeavor to have some actual content soon. It might be one of my usual subjects, it might not. Who knows? Maybe it’s time I started writing about elections, cookies, and shoes.