I started blogging in August 2007. Every writer is supposed to have a blog. “It’s how you maintain contact with your readers,” someone had told me at the Cape Town Book Fair a couple weeks before. “You write about little things that strike you during the day.” I couldn’t imagine anyone wanting to read about “little things that strike me during the day.” Besides, I was too busy writing a novel.
But then I drove home from reading stories to orphans and vulnerable children at Arebaokeng in Tembisa township outside Johannesburg and wished I had someone besides my husband to spill all my thoughts and emotions to. That’s when I started blogging. (You can read that first blog here.)
Eventually we moved away from South Africa. I no longer work with children affected by HIV and AIDS. I do still write. And writers are supposed to blog. Except, my blog has not particularly grown in readership. Only a few faithful friends comment. And just when I was ready to really pour myself into my current WIP (work in progress), I would remember that it was Thursday afternoon and I still hadn’t even thought of a topic for this week and ... Panic.
There is a lot of talk about “platform building” in the writing community. “You don’t need 10,000 followers on Facebook. Five thousand is plenty.” (I have like ... Never mind.) “It’s fine to twitter only a dozen times of day.” (I never even started a Twitter account since I can barely keep up with FB.) “You must blog at least three times per week to hold your audience.” (Okay, so I admit that once a week has not been effective at building readership, but if I blogged three times a week, I wouldn’t write anything else for them to read!) Six months after all the flurry about Twitter, I got a flurry of posts about not letting Twitter take over you life and the need to balance platform building with actually WRITING! Glad I didn’t join.
This January my husband and I were both sick. I missed a blog. Or two. I saw a movie I liked. I read a book I was enthusiastic about. I blogged. But then I missed another couple weeks. You see, I’ve started writing again.
My goal for 2012 was to get my previously published work into e-book format. Kindle has an easy to follow manual. It was putzy, but with attention to detail, I was successful. Not so with e-Pub, the format of the non-Amazon world. Instructions come in succinct sentences with fuller explanations in Computerese. After several frustrating attempts, I gave up. If you want my books on your device, it will have to be via the Kindle app.
New Years 2013. Time for evaluating and setting goals for the year. I found that in 2012 I worked on exactly one short story. One. I did several proof-reading projects. I got three e-books onto Amazon. I blogged. When the Minnesota chapter of American Christian Fiction Writers announced a meeting on increasing the conflict in your WIP, I realized I HAD no WIP. That is more disgraceful than not Tweeting! Worse than only a handful of Facebook followers. More irresponsible than missing a blog. Or two. Or ...
Preparing for that meeting forced me to dig into the idea that had been floating around in my head since 2011. And guess what! I loved it! I got really excited about my characters and the themes of the story. I want to read this book like I wanted to read Glastonbury Tor. Only I have to write it first.
Consequently you will see less of me in this space. Most of you read Times and Places because you see it on FB or you are on my blog-reminder list. I will still post reviews when I am enthusiastic about a book. (You can find all my book reviews on Shelfari and most on Goodreads.) When I take two months to work in a theological library in Croatia, you will hear about it. There will undoubtedly be other times when I feel inspired to share with you, but I won’t be writing about “little things that strike me during the day.”
Thank you for your patience. Thank you for your friendship. As those other books come available for Kindle or the Kindle App (now that I'm no longer trying to do the e-Pub thing at the same time), I will let you know. And I hope you will look forward to this new book in the Glastonbury Grail series as much as I do.
(If you are not currently on my blog-reminder list and would like to be, please send me a private e-mail at Leanne@leannehardy.net.)
LeAnne Hardy has lived in six countries on four continents. Her books come out of her cross-cultural experiences and her passion to use story to convey spiritual truths in a form that will permeate lives.
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