Where did January go?
If you’re a regular visitor to my blog, or just have a sharp eye, you’ll notice that there are no posts for the month of January, and a large number of posts from December have also gone.
PJ explained the cause of this – something something service provider something technical something something – and the reality is that those posts are GONE and they’re not backed up anywhere and so they really are GONE. I’m pretty annoyed, actually, but it’s one of those things that just happens sometimes when the internet service provider something reconfigures something technical something something.
These days I tend to take just about everything that happens as “a sign” or at the very least that it happened for a reason. I have been thinking, for a while, that I need to properly embrace the idea that I am a writer with a book that’s going to get published. I have decided that I will try to find an agent and a publisher, but if I can’t then I will self-publish this book. I have done some reading, consulted some learned friends, and I am aware of the pros and cons of self-publishing vs going the traditional route. At the end of the day, I just want to get this book out there. Yes of course it would be lovely to sell a million copies but that’s not what’s motivating me at the moment – what’s motivating me is the desire to have it finished.
So, the message I got from the loss of the January posts is that it’s time to wrap up Eat Shoot Blog. I have been writing a personal blog since 2004, and I am really proud of a lot of that writing. I have all the posts archived (except January 2013, of course) and PJ is putting them all into a single volume that one day will be printed, photos and all, so I will always have it. But I am not completely comfortable with all that information about my life – specifically my family – being out there and connected to my book. If I was writing a book that was an extension of my blog then of course I would keep it all, but the book is not about me, it’s a completely different entity.
I have met Elizabeth Gilbert and Maggie Alderson, two of my favourite writers and two women who have had an enormous influence on me as a woman and as a writer. Elizabeth Gilbert, in her book Eat Pray Love, has written a very honest and warts-and-all account of her life, but there is still a lot about her and her personal life that we, the readers, are not privy to. Same with Maggie Alderson – she’s been in the magazine/fashion/publishing business for years and years, but she has kept her family life very private. There’s enough information about these women to let you feel as though you could be best friends, but the reality is we don’t know them as well as we think we do.
I feel like Eat Shoot Blog – and a lot of my earlier posts when I was writing as ‘Blogasmic’ and ‘Light Sweet Crude’ – gives too much away. Let’s assume, for the sake of argument, that my book finds an audience and my visitor numbers suddenly jump from a few dozen a day to a few hundred. What do I want those people to know about me? And, perhaps more importantly from a book marketing point of view, what is the ‘brand’ that I am trying to define?
Somebody I really admire, a blogger, has recently decided to stop blogging about the personal side of her life (the side that eventually became a book) and instead concentrate on the things that are happening to her in the here and now. Her blog used to be about a long-term personal project, and that project is no longer happening and she doesn’t want it to define her. So she has closed the old blog down and shifted her focus. She has a new URL, a new-look webpage, and a fresh outlook. That was another ‘sign’ for me – if she can do it, so can I.
I have new projects I am focussing on this year: my book is currently being edited, and I have started writing the sequel. My ‘top secret project’ is well underway, with the prototype being created as I write this. Trish Smith Photography continues to bubble along nicely, and I am enjoying writing How-Tos for people who have a DSLR but don’t know what DSLR stands for. I still like cooking and sharing recipes, so I’ll keep doing that. And perhaps there will still be snippets from my family life, but my kids are in high school now and they really have reached the age where it’s not cool for your mother to drop you at the front gate of school, let alone blog about you.
So I will be launching a new website in the coming weeks, with a new title, a new look, a new focus and new energy. I am going to write as though I am about to become a published author.
My sister moved to Montana just after Christmas. Before she had even had her Visa approved, she had sold her car and all her furniture and told everyone she was leaving – that’s how sure she was. So, inspired by her optimism and faith in herself, I am cleaning out my house and selling my car, and starting a new website as someone who is about to have Something Something Big happen. I hope you’ll stay tuned. Thanks. xo