Sunday, November 19, 2017

The 50th Blog Post

Me with two of my favorite things: a book and
a latte
Blog. No blog. Almost any how-to for author platform-building touts the necessity of the almighty blog. It's a chance to build an audience and prove to the world your voice is worth hearing. Some agents and publishers won't even consider you without one.

Thus, it was with some reluctance that I toed my way into the blogosphere last January. I needed to knock a few boards into the foundation of my virtually non-existent author platform. At the same time, however, I was daunted by the commitment blogging entailed. Time is a commodity and blogging siphons away precious hours that might be spent polishing drafts or hammering out queries. 

Ten months and 50 blog posts later, I still have mixed feelings about the whole endeavor. Nevertheless, my blog and I have come along way since the inceptive post all those months ago. Productive or not for marketability, blogging has without question steered my brain down all sorts of interesting pathways, forgotten thoroughfares and, yes, even a few rancid quagmires. 

If nothing else, this creative space has proved a useful tool. A variation of Tyrion Lannister's famous quote, "A mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone," could say something similar about writers and writing projects. One cannot hope to improve without practice. The more words I stitch together the more vibrant the cloth. And shoving my writing in front of crowd has proven invaluable for the insight gained on creating engaging, solid work that can capture an audience and draw them through to the final words.

I look back on the many words I've hammered onto these virtual pages and feel a sense of modest pride. While not always 100% polished, if nothing else this blog has been an interesting journey. So in honor of this post and its forty-nine predecessors, I've decided to look back at some of the highlights from this long, strange trip. 

Popularity Contest

A blog post's popularity sometimes baffles me. Posts I thought were sure to be a hit fell on their faces while others that felt rather hurried or half-cocked have gone viral (viral is, of course, relative). Regardless of what it means, here are my five most popular blog posts:

This post has stolen the show for most pageviews by a good margin. An examination of the components of the age-old narrative structure known as the Hero's Journey and an interrogation of its relevance to storytelling today.

In 2016 I visited a sacrificial cave of the ancient Maya near the Belize/Guatemala border. Seeing the busted bones of infants, children and adults that'd been lying in place for a thousand years was a powerful and moving experience. Apparently a few of my readers found it interesting as well.

A photographic look at ten of the most beautiful places I've ever visited. A post more visual than wordy, it is the most recent post on this list and I suspect a day might come when it scales its way to the top.

No matter how aged or weighed down you are by your ailments, you will always feel young if you visit this Fountain of Youth....

A writer is shaped by his influences. Not that I want to emulate any of them exactly, but standing on the shoulders of the titans of sci-fi and fantasy is what allows me to see, well, anything at all.

Laugh Award

Every now and then, I take it upon myself to brave the dangerous waters of comedy. It's for you, dear reader, to determine if I'm worthy of even a modest chuckle. Of these occasional posts that represent my attempts at humor, here are two I personally enjoyed writing.

In the last two years my wife, dog and I have made a science of moving. Uprooting your world just to plant it somewhere else is mostly just a royal stitch in the back, but occasional sources of humor (like fifteen-year-old heartbreak letters, my first novel and a moldy whatever that is) can be found at the bottom of those mess-heaped closets.

My dog, Otis, is happier than any human I've ever met. Perhaps we all need to wiggle on our backs in the grass, plunge into icy glacial rivers, and tear into our food with sloppy abandon.

Pedantry

Every writer is full of advice, especially about writing. So if you want a bit of possibly pedantic and certainly dubious writing advice, I have been known to dish a few sentences on the subject. A couple favorite "how to" posts:

My first blog post, so of course it had to land on this "highlight reel" somewhere. A few scribbles on one of my favorite components of the novel writing process: forging the idea.

A motivational piece, and a bit of self-justification, but captures an important notion every writer has to believe, true or not: we are important!

Honorable Mention

I'm trying to keep my blog posts shorter these days. Not only is it less work, but in these days of massive entertainment saturation, readers are more likely to pull through to the end if I practice brevity. So instead of listing all 50 of my blog posts and yacking on and on about each of them, here is one final mention, a random post that didn't seem to fit in any of the above categories:

This fun piece was an early post and popular at the time. I liked it, so here it is.

Well, there it is, a trip down blogger memory lane. Represented here are ten of the 50 posts I have scribbled out since the inception of my blog. I can't tell you how much I appreciate you readers, especially the ones that for some odd reason let me borrow your ear on a regular basis. Your time is important and I hope you never feel you've wasted it with me. 
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For those still interested in seeing more of work, I have an archive page that lists almost all of my blog posts by category. This journey isn't over. I'm sure more book reviews, awkward attempts at humor, bits of pedantic writing advice, and other nonsense is bound to spill from my brain. I encourage any who want to hop on this ship for its bumpy, sometimes terrifying journey through the strange land that is my mind to sign up for my mailing list. You will get once-a-week email updates on new posts as well as announcements such as release dates for upcoming books (eventually) and nothing else. Until then....

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All writing is the original work of Brian Wright and may not be copied, distributed, re-printed or used any form without express written consent of the author. Find out here how to CONTACT me with publishing and/or use questions


2 comments:

  1. It's been a pleasure following you for (most of? all of?) the last fifty posts. Here's to many fifties more!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks! It's been an honor to borrow your ear!

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