Channel the entity "Jeff Parker" from beyond the Ether

Thursday, December 30, 2004

Why We Blog 

Looking through my referrers, I see that writer Mike Jozic has started blogging in the past few days. I've liked him ever since he did an interview with me over at Silver Bullet Comics and left what I said intact- the mark of a good interviewer. I'll probably add him to the column at left after making sure he doesn't poop out with the entries. I'm going to do some housecleaning soon and sweep out those bloggers what don't update at least semi-regularly, and add some new ones that I've been reading.

Looking at Mike's first post he mentions that he wants to use the blog to make sure he writes regularly, and I was thinking that I had the same reasoning when I started this one at the beginning of the year. Then I went back and looked at my big Welcome to Mystifying Oracle post to see just what I expected of myself. A big reason was that I always wanted to keep some kind of journal to look at later on so I could remember what was going on with me at that point in my life, as I have failed miserably with handwritten journals. So, assuming Google keeps Blogger going for many years, I still agree with that goal. In there though, I also say I want to use the blog to "warm up" for my fiction writing, and that's just not so. Not that I haven't been doing more writing, I've been on a roll and hopefully you'll see some results from that in 2006. But I tend to blog at the end of the day before going to bed, so rather than a warm-up it's become a purge, for me to get rid of whatever I've been thinking about during the day. I'm finding though, that purge is helpful with my other writing. Having expressed myself on some crank theory or observation in the blog keeps me from trying to shoehorn it into a story where it doesn't really fit. Lots of writers fall prey to that impulse, bending and contorting their work to house out of place ideas that want to be let loose somewhere. Sometimes you can rid yourself of those imps by rattling them out at lunch with your pals, but I think something that makes you write them down, ie; a weblog, is the surest route.

Sure there's other benefits to these things-- regular new content on one's website of course. Many people treat these things like they were hired by a magazine to hold forth on music, comics, movies and prose. Some are really good at it like Johnny Bacardi, who should be paid for his blog, and many are... well, hopefully it provides an outlet so they never try to compete for an actual position with a magazine. The ones that work best seem to have found a niche to focus on. Like, we really don't need another blog trying to give us scoops on the Comics industry. Between Thought Balloons, The Beat, and the Comics Reporter, I can usually find all the news I need, and if any of them review something, I'll pay close attention. Otherwise, I really appreciate comics sites like Fanboy Rampage which have a laser-like focus: point out what chuckleheads are saying in and around our profession so we know what we're up against. And I love the direction Mike Wieringo's blog has gone, showing unpublished sketches and illustrated memories.

I'd like to think that next year I'll refine my focus somewhat, you know, not lapse into always mentioning what art I have up on auction at the moment. maybe I'll create a third column just for peddling so you choose to look at that stuff or not. At any rate, I'll be sure to remember the golden rule that I just ignored here: people like blogs with pictures.


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