Monday, April 03, 2006

Hiccups

"Oh dear someone's got hiccups. Where are you Pundy, I'm missing my fix, have you got bird flu?" was the plaintive question posted by Minx at the weekend.

Yes, I think I have. Hiccups and bird flew both. Bloggers block I guess you could call it. It came on last week. Triggered I think by the realisation that in some ways the objective of this blog had become redundant.

As you know, I started the blog as a promotional platform for my novel A Half Life of One. But as I've said before, that has turned out to be a flawed business model. Flawed because its success depends upon me building up a large and regular readership to this blog. Something that's impossible. Even if I had something interesting or informative or amusing to say every day. Which I don't. Building up a widely-read blog is a full-time job for someone far cleverer than me.

And I want to be a novelist, not a blogger.

To make matters worse - or rather better - my new novel is coming along nicely. The time I previously devoted to my blog I now spend on my novel. Which partly explains the silence. I hope you can forgive me.

Not that I think blogging is a waste of time for a writer. Far from it. Since I started in October I've had a lot of fun, I've revitalised my flabby old writing muscles, I've made new friends, gained encouragement and, above all, learned a lot about writing.

I've also learned a lot about my book. A Half Life gets about 15-25 visitors a day. Most people look and go. A few download the PDF version. But every week two or three visitors hang around long enough to read the whole thing. I can tell all this from the stats and the feedback I get. Most of the visitors come from the website www.free-online-novels.com/. They come from all over the world too. Over the weekend I received an e-mail from a lady in India who thoroughly enjoyed the book, which is pretty amazing. What more could a writer want? Modest "sales", encouragement and really useful feedback. It's much more than I ever got in the world of traditional publishing.

There is one more step I think I may take. In a few weeks time I'll take a break from my new novel. I then intend to go back to A Half Life and subject it to one more revision, based on the feedback I've received. Then I'm going to make the book available via Print On Demand, as a proper hardback or maybe paperback. I'll do this because I know there's a few people who would like to own the novel as a proper book.

And the blog? Well, I still have some unfinished business here. There are the results for the International Blookreader Awards to announce for a start. And perhaps a little bit more on the lessons I've learned from this experiment. And I'm still trying to track down that Evelyn Waugh joke I wrote about earlier.

So, my dear Minx, you can look forward to a couple more fixes in the next few days. Indeed, I have to confess I've missed you too. And that goes for the rest of the regulars. I guess we're a great comfort to each other after all.

4 comments:

  1. I'm not sure it's a flawed business model, sir. I think it's good to keep a seperate blog for your personal ramblings and a blook for your blook stuff. I do too! I am AKA "A Story Blook" and I maintain my blog just to have some place to ramble on. I've seen some books where they mix the rambling with the writing, and hmmm that really doesn't work - hard to follow the writings. So blog on!

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  3. Keep the faith Pundy, good things come to he/she who blogs. Think of the blog as mental exercise, a brief jog if you like, before you get on to the hard stuff. I find my writing is much better after I have 'off loaded' so to speak!!

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  4. Okay, Minx, I'll keep the faith as well as keeping an eye on your blog too.

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