I have been thinking quite a lot about my goals for this blog and why I write. I have come to some conclusions and realizations that I hope will help guide me in the coming months as I look to improve upon my writing style and content, and reach a wider audience.
Living vs. Writing about Living
This is a major issue that I am experiencing, and is perhaps one that all creators face when committing to a rigid schedule. The topics and ideas that feature in my writing are products of my daily interests and experiences in ordinary life. It is important for me to read profusely, to leave the house on occasion, and in general to live a normal life, in order for me to encounter ideas and experiences to expand on and write about. I think that the weekly schedule has been been good for me in the sense that I am forced to write regularly, however certain ideas I have for the blog will require more time and more study before they are ready for consumption. Currently, I am not happy with the quality, length or depth of the blog posts — I know I am capable of more — however I am still feeling for a healthy balance between consistent content delivery and leaving the free space to engage my ideas more deeply. I either have to commit more time to my craft or accept that certain projects are untenable under the current schedule. Perhaps tinkering with the schedule and format of the blog posts will help me get the most out of my work.
Work vs. Play
I enjoy the process of writing, otherwise I wouldn’t be doing it. However, when committing to such a rigid production schedule, the element of enjoyment is lessened to a certain degree. When I’m having a busy week, the last thing I want to do is rush through a blog post on Sunday night to have something for Monday. Also, as I mentioned before, it is important for me to read as much as I can to generate new ideas; reading should be something that is fun and relaxing, not homework that needs to be done in order for a project to be completed. I reckon this is likely characteristic of the life of a writer, and if one wants to develop any sort of audience one must write even when one does not feel like it. I am still getting used to this, and perhaps I should embrace it more.
When it comes to the study of philosophy, literature and management/development of the self, I am a little fish in a big pond. I am much too young and inexperienced to understand or embody many of the ideas I subscribe to. Perhaps this is problem all people struggle with, and I am willing to write through the pain anyways, but if there is anything I have learned in the last years of reading and self-learning is that there are too many books and too many resources to consume in a life time. I try my best to research and understand the concepts that I write about, but one can always know more, and there are surely a hundred and one more books I should read that investigate any given topic from different angles. Reading one book on a given individual or topic is only scratching the surface of knowledge that is out there.
Ideas and Objectives for the Future
Regardless of the above concerns, the show must go on. I have some ideas that I hope to actualize in the coming weeks and months, and perhaps by writing them down and publishing them to the world it will force me to act on them.
Quality over Quantity
I still intend on posting every week, however a change in format is definitely required. An easier to produce weekly post that perhaps includes works from other writers, historical figures and creators will ease the stress of having to come up with novel content every week. However, I plan on integrating alongside this new weekly post a monthly post on a particular topic, which may be an individual post or a monthly series. It will be longer and more in depth, and will allow me explore the work/idea in question more closely. I am think for my first iteration of this monthly series, I will do a commentary on Dante’s Divine Comedy. I am currently working through it at the moment and it is simply a gold mine of knowledge and full of content that requires deeper exploration. I will likely start with the Inferno first, and see how that goes.
An email newsletter is something that I previously considered and could be extremely useful in growing the audience. I follow many email newsletters myself and I think it is an ideal and necessary addition to the blog/brand. I will need to figure out how the creation of a email newsletter and list works as well as the content that will be featured in it.
This is a medium to long-term project, but I plan on writing a novel in the near future. I still have a lot to learn from other fiction writers about world and character development, plot planning and general novel writing techniques, but I have some good ideas, I think, for a fiction novel. I am not sure whether I will release it directly on WordPress or not, but I like the idea of that. Everyone likes free stuff.
I have been posting regularly since late July, so I will give myself credit for sticking it out for the last 3 months. But I know if I want more out of this blog I need to up my game, and I intend to do so.