One nice thing about studying liblogs: I’m acutely aware that most library folks with blogs have wildly erratic posting “schedules”–sometimes writing three posts in a day, then going two or three weeks without a post.
Not only is that the reality, I think it’s healthy for most liblogs. The old assertion that you had to have a steady stream of posts to make your blog important and to build an audience, an assertion you’ll still see in all the Advice On How To Become a Big-Deal Blogger posts and columns, was probably never really sound, and certainly isn’t sound today. Posting for the sake of posting tends to be obvious and is a good way to lose readers–and it’s still the case, I’m nearly certain, that most libloggers post because they have something to say, not because they’re out to gain Fame & Fortune.
But it has been a week, and some up-to-date randomness seems in order. So, a few updates…partly because they may be interesting, partly as a brief form of procrastination and mind-clearing.
I did exactly what I said I’d do in last Friday’s post:
take a weekend off almost entirely–not skipping email and FF and the like, probably, but letting the folders and source material just sit. Read. Listen to music. Go to the Saturday Farmer’s Market (that’s a given). Take walks.
There was also more socializing (between last Sunday and the Sunday before that) than we usually do, all of it good, and we did walk over to buy some olive oil from the producer last weekend (you can only buy it at the producer’s location, and only on weekends–and only directly from the producer on the first and third weekend of each month; it’s seriously good Livermore varietal olive oil, unfiltered but centrifuged).
Mind-clearing? Dunno, but it was a good weekend. Given that I seem to have accomplished as much through Wednesday as I was aiming for for the whole week (no, “for for” isn’t a typo, although I’d come up with better wording if this was Serious Writing), maybe it had real benefits. Might try it again this weekend.
Did I mention the Saturday night movie? (We watch a DVD movie every Saturday night–or, now, mostly Blu-ray movies.) Astonishing: 87 minutes of nothing but talk, in one room (with maybe five minutes outside the room), no special effects, and it’s one of the best science fiction (not scifi) movies we’ve ever seen, although it could also be labeled a philosophy movie, not a big genre. Jerome Bixby’s The Man From Earth–probably not to everybody’s taste, but we both enjoyed it thoroughly. Understand: If you’re a “videophile”–that is, if, like some audiophiles are with music & sound, you’re more interested in dissecting the technical attributes of the movie and its acting and directing than in actually enjoying the film–you should probably go elsewhere. Same is true if you love action and special effects, or if you’re a literalist Christian who’s certain of exactly what The Historical Jesus actually did.
I did sit down with the manuscript (in printed form–always revealing) and the two sets of highly insightful review comments I’d received and do lots of markup but no actual revision. Spread out over three days, done slowly, definitely the right way to go. Then I thought I’d set it aside until October 1.
Maybe not. The third and final set of review comments arrived yesterday, giving me more to think about (and more to read), but also meaning I can start the final revision process any time. I’m now thinking it may make sense to do a second manual-markup pass, do the additional reading, do actual revisions, let the “final” version sit for a day or two (or a week), then turn it in…without worrying it to death, which would be easy to do for my first non-self-published book in several years. (Just looked: “Several” means eight. I didn’t realize it had been quite that long.) I’ve essentially been given an extra seven days, and probably shouldn’t squander all of them.
Cites & Insights
I thought I’d write at least one regular essay (as opposed to irregular stuff like Offtopic Perspectives), maybe interleaved with preliminary ms. review, to get back in the C&I habit. And I had a topic–a good-sized delicious cluster that seemed to have one central focus with other pieces around it.
That went well, if oddly. I now have a draft Zeitgeist piece that’s roughly 8,700 words long, or about half of a 20-page issue (hmm: an issue that short starts to sound good, although it’s been five years since there was one). It turned into a set of related pieces rather than the original central focus, and that’s probably appropriate. Since I also have a 5,600-word Offtopic Perspective (held over from the previous issue), the next issue is well under way…and I’ll ignore it for now. In any case, I’m now confident that my C&I-writing chops return readily enough.
The Way We Blog
I said I’d set it aside until the book and November C&I were done. I meant that…although, as it happens, I did add Yet One More Liblog (an odd case, where a blog should have surfaced previously but never did). I’m exploring possibilities for disseminating the results to a wider audience. Suggestions (and sponsorship!) welcome. I’ll probably get back to this in mid-October/late October.
Pretty good, all in all. (If you don’t understand the reference, look it up.) I think another “noncreative weekend” may be in order. I’m still waiting for word from various quarters about various things, but there’s nothing unusual about that. (Oh, and sales of the now-vastly-cheaper But Still They Blog, now $10 download, $20 paperback, continue to be consistent: None whatsoever. Same as donations to support C&I and sales of other books–flatlined for quite some time now. And yet, life goes on.)