The middle of the year

This was in 2011, but you get the idea (Credit: Wikipedia/Arrto)

This was in 2011, but you get the idea
(Credit: Wikipedia/Arrto)

Tomorrow is July 1, 2014. Summer officially began with the equinox on June 21. Midsummer Night, June 23, I sometimes sit back with a good drink and read Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. I have to admit I didn’t do it this year, nor back in 2003 when my girlfriend and I went to the Song Bowl in Tartu, Estonia, and watched thousands of people eat sausage, drink beer, dance, sing, and gather around a bonfire without anyone getting so drunk as to start a fight! And tomorrow I go off for my annual physical with my medical doctor. So it seems like a good time to stop and take stock of things for a moment.

This blog, Sillyverse, has been running now for almost two years. I’ve told three long stories and am in the middle of a fourth. It’s been a good way of forcing myself to write — in the case of Nightfeather: Ghosts at breakneck speeds. Despite now having over 300 followers (some of which aren’t real), and having taken up several blogs to read last December, this remains a modest operation. Thanks to the way I’ve set this up, I can reliably track how many people are actually reading my fiction, how many stop by to read my posts, and how many just drop in looking for information on one topic.

Musn't forget THAT walking stick

Musn’t forget THAT walking stick

It’s been a good run. I think my writing has improved; I can certainly look back on The Dragon Lady of Stockbridge and see how it could be improved. (This is even more true for earlier pieces I haven’t put up here, as some of my readers know.) I’ve had wonderful comments from readers who have praised and even criticized me, both in ways that have made me a better writer. Some have become friends; some will be happy to stay just fellow bloggers who read each other’s work. I’m grateful to you all.

However, one of the goals when I started this blog was to figure out how to publish my work, and that I have made very little progress toward. I’m going to have to spend more time on it now, and, thanks you, blog, and my charming blog readers, I have more and better material to bring to publishers. Prophecies and Penalties will continue on schedule, that much is certain. But what else will this next half year bring? We’ll have this meeting again in December to find out.

About Brian Bixby

I enjoy history because it helps me understand people. I'm writing fiction for much the same reason.
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7 Responses to The middle of the year

  1. crimsonprose says:

    Though blogging has given me a satisfying outlet for my writing without the stress and complications of publishing (ebook or traditional), I have to wish you all the best in achieving your aim. Maybe the situation in America isn’t as grim as it is in the UK. Good Luck! CP 🙂

    • Brian Bixby says:

      Oh, by all accounts it’s grim enough, and the current battle between amazon and the publishing houses isn’t improving matters.

      We’re actually atypical, CP, in using our blogs to present multi-chapter stories, and even more so in not stamping “DRAFT” all over them. I’ve sometimes felt the need to say so, but my aim has been to do the best I can. And it IS usually only later that I feel the strong need for revision. 😉

      • crimsonprose says:

        I have noticed many blogs present one chapter, and a link to Amazon: i.e. it’s a sale’s pitch.
        Anyway, I should also have said good luck to your annual health check. I’m afraid I’ve recently failed mine (Oh, only one aspect, I’m otherwise healthy enough). Still, blessings in disguise. At least it’s nothing terminal. 🙂

        • Brian Bixby says:

          I’m sorry to hear, even if it’s not that bad.

          Most of what got covered were legacy issues; the main thing to worry about is whether anything odd shows up in the blood tests. And that I won’t know for a few days.

  2. L. Palmer says:

    First, I’m glad to know some of your followers are imaginary people too. Second, I think it is important to stop now and then and evaluate what you want out of your blog. I do that every so often too. I know it has helped me gain confidence in people liking what I write. My next goal is to make a modest supplemental income of my fiction, which is making my blog not be up to the level of quality I like. Sacrifices of time have to be made somewhere, unfortunately.
    Good luck. I am sure you have worthy ventures ahead of you.

    • Brian Bixby says:

      Oh, imaginary followers, followers whose blogs have been removed for violating WordPress standards, and followers whose main interest is in convincing me to buy their services to make my blog profitable. They’re all there. I didn’t realize how many there were until I went and visited every single one last December.

      I’m also worried about the blog quality or (external) writing quality trade-off. We’ll have to compare notes somewhere down the road. Maybe after your first term at BYU.

      Oh, and if BYU’s business school is like most forms of graduate education, be prepared to be completely snowed under the first semester. It was funny: every year in grad school, I’d be fine for the first two weeks or so, and then suddenly realize I had an infinite amount of work to do. You will find yourself trying to do without a social life or friends, or maybe even sleep. Don’t. Seriously. Don’t. You need a social life and sleep not to go crazy under the work load. Plan and prioritize your studies, and leave room for those “luxuries” that will keep you sane. Find someone you can confide in, someone you can blow off steam with, someone whose shoulder you can cry on, if need be.

      And good luck in return!

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