It's a problem.
Not a big one, I grant you. But for me, thoughts about how to best serve my readers do not rest lightly on my frazzled brain.
First off, I’m grateful for the fact that I can use the term ‘my readers’ and have it actually mean something, because, for quite a long time, it didn’t. You’re out there, I appreciate you very much, and if I could, I’d take you all out for tea and buns. One day, perhaps, when Netflix comes knocking on my door, chequebook in hand and a gleam in its eyes, I’ll set off on a World tour, taking in the cafes of seven continents and offering mugs of English Breakfast and plates of scones to all comers.
A writer can dream.
But in the meantime, I’ve got to figure out how to keep you all entertained.
Some of you found me through my science fiction, some from my humorous work, a few may have stumbled on my foray into horror, some may have discovered my cyberpunk, and a few stalwart supporters have been there from the beginning with the Darkeningstone books. And then there are fans of mystery stories who have come across A Study in Stone.
And suddenly, I feel a bit like a performer, galloping on the stage to be confronted by an audience who were expecting someone else.
I can just picture the avid SciFi fans scratching their heads if I were to start discussing murder at the vicarage tea party, while the mystery readers are wondering why on Earth I keep going on about aliens. And yes, I know that a lot of you read widely, so you aren’t the least bit fazed by my genre hopping, but even so, I need to figure out who wants what. There’s only so much time in the day, and as a one-person outfit, it’s best all round if I get my act together. Plus, I believe passionately in only writing stuff that’s worth reading.
With that last point in mind, it seems to me that the blog shouldn’t be about the blog, and the Awkward Squad newsletter shouldn't be about the newsletter. I know it’s trendy to have everything referencing itself these days, but you’re busy, I’m busy, and if we’re going to do these things, we need to keep them worthwhile.
So we are faced with that ancient enemy of the scribbler, the blank page, and the age-old question: How am I going to fill it?
Well, I'm a writer, and to steal a quote from several films, this is what I do. So if I can’t find a few thoughts each day to jot down, then it seems like a pretty poor show. And of those thoughts and observations and snippets of work, there will be some that will take on a life of their own and become slightly longer pieces: enough for a decent blog post, certainly. And maybe, with a following wind, some of those pieces will develop a theme and become a collection. We’ll see.
In the future, I’d still love to produce a podcast, but I’m not sure whether that would be a fiction podcast. It might be that I could read through a book and then provide some background commentary afterwards.
Okay, that’s enough navel-gazing for a while. I really just wanted to give everyone a taste of where the blog and newsletter are heading. And if you’re thinking that I haven’t mentioned the serialised fiction I was posting on the blog, then I’m sorry to disappoint, but it wasn’t working well for me. It took me away from my main writing for too long, and anyway, it probably didn't appeal to all my readers for the reasons mentioned earlier. It’s better if I can write articles or short fiction that stands alone. That way, if you don’t much care for a post, it won’t be long before something totally different comes around. Similarly, it looks like Rawlgeeb’s blog is running out of steam. He may write a few more if I throw him a juicy lizard, and I’ll tie his posts up and publish them as a book.
As always, I’m very open to hearing your ideas and feedback, so please feel free to comment below.
All the best and happy reading,
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