Thursday, June 11, 2015

Useful Words (plus some exciting news!)

I used to judge blogs that had big gaps in their publishing history. When a writer goes AWOL on their readers, it feels like flippant treatment of the fans. How do you expect me to respect your content if you don't respect it--if you don't show up consistently to produce creative output?

Not to mention that I'm rarely drained of my creative output, so I tend to be skeptical of the whole "needing a break" thing. (Workaholic, remember?) Things can be crazy in my life, or I may get writer's block, but I rarely lose my ideas or ability to spurt out brief soliloquies.

The blog advice books say the same thing: always keep writing, even if it's just a little bit, even if it's not your best work. Be consistent. You owe it to your readers. Keep a backlog of posts; carve out writing-only time; guard your idea space. Learn to say no to other things: you showed up in the blogosphere and you're making a commitment, so stick to it.

But right now, I feel like this gal.

I cannot come up with anything to say or talk about. After two and a half years, I feel like I've covered everything, and all my thoughts are old and used. I know some things could bear repeating, but I don't have the heart.

I want to have a meaningful connection with you guys. I don't want to spout useless, mindless, kill-me-now jabber.

Here's the thing: when successful bloggers and writers tell you what to do, they (a) speak only from their own experience, maximizing productivity for their unique personality and having knowledge only about their readers, and (b) are focusing on brand recognition, revenue, and a predetermined definition of success.

But I'm not blogging to make money. I make zero profit off of this blog, because I've made deliberate choices to keep it ad-free, etc. Nor is this about building my "brand." I don't think that having a blog will help me sell books in the future. Having a blog connects me with people, and talking with people is cool, fun, and invigorating. I'm here because I like investing in the conversation.

And right now, I don't have anything to say.

I don't think I should have to apologize for that. I don't think I should have to write an "I'm taking a break" post (except I guess that's kind of what this is). It's good to take time off, especially since my main reasons are growth and rest. I'd rather come back with useful words at the end of becoming whatever it is I'm becoming, rather than spewing half-processed, mid-journey what's-it into the internet. Sometimes, too, getting some space is necessary for growth to happen at all.

So, I no longer judge people who take time off from their blog. I might be that person myself over the next few months.

Instead, I'm investing in my fiction-writing time. I've got a novel in editing and another in outlines, and I'm working on a number of short stories for various magazines and anthologies.

Here's where the exciting news comes in! (I know you've been waiting for it since you saw the title of the post. Mwahaha, suspense!) I have a story being published in Queer Sci-Fi's flash fiction (<300 words) anthology. I got in by submitting a piece to their second annual flash fiction contest: the best non-winner entries were collected for an e-book, proceeds to go to QSF.

I'm so delighted and excited for this. While I'm not getting paid for the story, I'm really happy to be supporting an LGBT writing community. QSF is doing good work connecting readers to authors and writers to resources, including critique groups and queer-friendly small publishers.

As soon as the book drops, you can expect an announcement here. Of course!

Much love, readers!

Word count: 643.