Once upon a time in grad school, I had a blog. It was a bad blog, so I didn’t tell anyone about it, completely defeating the purpose. This was a few years back when I was in the Stonecoast low-residency, Creative Writing MFA program. I decided that I needed a “platform,” which is an industry term for “some reason for people to pay attention to you other than the reason you currently want them to pay attention to you.” For example, if you want to start your own clothing line, then a good platform would be having a billion Instagram followers. Or if you want to start a personal products company, then you might choose “being Jessica Alba” as your platform.
So—starting a blog as a platform was a terrible idea for two reasons. First, because I hadn’t actually finished my first novel—and wouldn’t for a couple of years—and so had no need for a platform; that time would have been better spent on writing what I actually wanted to write. Second, because I had nothing to say, so coming up with ideas for blog posts was excruciating. Flipping that around for a second, imagine that you had a platform and now just needed a novel to take advantage of it. What novel? Oh, you know, any novel. Just 80,000 words of … whatever. That would be a joy to write. And read.
Also, in my infinite wisdom, I thought a daily posting schedule would be a great idea. So that blog lasted all of three weeks before I bailed on it.
What’s different this time? So many things … The title, for one—Love, Blood and Rhetoric. We’ll get into that next time (no, I’m not telling you the title of my first blog). The posting schedule for two—weekly, not daily. The visibility for three—I’m going to tell people this time. And finally, and most importantly, the motivation.
This time I don’t give a damn about “platform.” I finished my first novel. It didn’t sell. I’m working on my second, but it’s a slow process. I’ve sold a few stories, but haven’t written many recently. Every time I stop work on my novel to focus on a story I feel guilty about putting the novel even farther behind. On the other hand, every time I tear another (metaphorical) page off my calendar, I’m dismayed that another month has gone by without putting anything out into the world. It’s really frustrating to be a writer and not have anything to show for it. I might feel differently if the first novel had sold.
And, too, I have a bad habit of not finishing things. Another big motivation for this blog is to develop the habit of finishing. This blog is part of my one-week project effort (of which, more later).
Oh, and in the intervening years, I’ve discovered that I do have some things to say, and this is the perfect format to say them, so there’s that.