I began this blog last June and at the time had wondered what the heck I was going to write in it. Why was I aiming to pollute the world with more prose than publishers could already find outlets for? And who the heck would care if I wrote, played golf or just shut up?
However, during this past year, I managed to write an average of one article per week on topics that ranged from writing to politics to life to exercise to economics to publishing to civil wars, pandemics, and global financial meltdowns. I wrote to express myself and did not care a hoot if anyone read it or not. And yet, several of my blogograms were picked up in print magazines and e•zines. I never made any money but they further extended my reach among readers. I started syndicating my blog and got networked into the global blogoshere and even Google now picks up my blog before it picks up me, on occasion. I actually had responses from readers and a few have linked my blog as a permanent RSS feed because they wish to hear “the Word of Shane” on a regular basis.
Did I sell more books as a result? This was the reason I was asked to blog in the first place. I am not sure. And I don’t think so. How can you ever be sure unless you autograph your book, dedicate it by writing the purchaser’s name on it, place it squarely in his hand, thank him and walk him the checkout, or relieve him of his money and shove it in your pocket (just so that he does not re•shelve the book in the store, or abandon his shopping cart while browsing online)? And even then, there is no guarantee that he will read it when he takes it home!
This was the year that I became opinionated—as me, and not through my fictional characters. This was the year I got to ponder about affairs of the world and think before I spoke (or wrote), because once written, the online printed word sentences you to instant recognition or infamy.
If I never write another book—and I don’t have to for awhile, as I have a new novel coming out later this year and four others already baked and waiting for the publisher—I think I will continue to write up this blog. In fact, I would urge those folks who think that they all have a novel in them, to try the blog first. And after a year at it, if they still think that that novel hasn’t come out in some shape or form through the blog, then they should go right ahead and write the novel and not merely think about writing it.
So, will I blog on for another year? Sure. As long as the world and the events in it are important to me, I will continue to observe, opine, expound and excoriate. And if some reader gets it, nods her head in agreement, internalizes and acts upon it—that would be my reward. And I don’t have to worry about publishers, editors, publicists, book stores and the huge publishing infrastructure to connect me with readers. My readers know where to find me – right here at https://shanejoseph.com/blog