Wednesday, June 3, 2009

What I've Learned In The Past 377 Days While Writing This Blog

Sometimes, when you do something for an extended period of time, like blogging for example, there is a tendency, however slight, for that something to go, well, stale.

So you find a way to shake up the staleness and bring back a little oomph, a little zip, a little sauciness to the blog. I'm not saying that my blog has gotten stale, but I have discovered quite a few things in these past 377 days (I arrived at this number by simply starting with the blog's born on date of 5/24/08 and factoring in the leap day) that can help me maintain my blog's freshness.

F'r instance, I found with my blog that people have a tendency to like, if not tolerate, my various attempts at writing short stories and flash fiction. So to help attract a few more readers (casual or otherwise) to this blog, I wrote both a short story specifically for this blog, called Saturday, and I created a new home for my attempts at flash fiction called Flashing Georgie's Shorts (major props to Jannie Funster for coming up with the blog name).

As far as I can tell, the short story I wrote for the blog was a decent success. The jury is still out on the other blog, but like it was with this one, it will take some time to build up a respectable readership (although I have three followers and one subscriber to it).

Another f'r instance was that if I wrote a post that was extremely heavy on the technical/academic side of things, I would make people's eyes glaze over and fall to sleep. A good case in point was the post that I wrote last week about microfilming. Believe me, my eyes glazed over too, while I was writing it. So probably I'll have to watch how I go about writing those particular types of posts in the future.

I did find something else that has, for the most part, worked out quite well for this blog, which considering the testosterone bent of this blog to begin with, is not surprising.


Sex is one of the few universal themes that everyone has an opinion on, either positively or negatively, when it comes to writing. As an example, let's turn back the calendar to early April, when I had written a story that went beyond what I was I writing at the time.

I had written a story called Audio Dynamyte and I was debating whether or not to post it here or at my other blog. So, like I'm want to do when it comes down to issues involving my blog, I posed the question to my readers, asking them what I should do with it.

For the most part, they gave me some rather thoughtful and quite insightful feedback on the issue, and when I did finally publish it, they also gave me some very good feedback on the story as well.

When all was said and done, I was able to take away from this particular experience the following things:

1} Don't let self-doubt creep into whatever you write.
2} Self-censorship sometimes is a necessary thing. If you go to my other blog, you'll see why.
3} Most importantly, sometimes letting the reader use their imagination is a hell of lot better than whacking them over the head with a sledgehammer.

These are just a few of the many things I've learned in the past 377 days of writing this blog. There are others I'm sure, and when I find the time to search the recesses of my mind and kick out those dust bunnies, I'll be sure to let everyone know.


  1. At some point everything goes stale and short of doing a Playgirl layout (and that, in my case, would certainly draw laughs) I'm not sure what more I can do to spruce up my own blog. The sites I return to is because I've grown accustomed to them and really wouldn't want them to change all that much in the first place.

  2. Hey G -

    It has a good variety, so doesn't seem stale to me.

  3. Yeah, sex, religion and politics have tended to attract the most visitors to my blog.

  4. Self-doubt can throw a monkey wrench into the whole process. Good reminder. I fall into the trap of trying to explain my poetry. I should let the reader discover it and hopefully find his or her own perspective. I guess I should put my sledgehammer away for a while:)

  5. David: Can understand that point of view. I've always been of the opinion of wanting to try something different with my writing, either on the blog or elsewhere. I think that's why I always try to tweak my blog every so often, just to add a little variety into the mix.

    As for your blog being stale, in my opinion, I don't think it is. I think it's a very informative blog. To tell you the truth, I don't think I wouldn't be where I'm at now, if I hadn't become such a regular reader of yours and Charles's blog, and to a smaller degree, your e-zine.

    But please, leave the Playgirl layout to the youngsters. :-]

    Lynn: Thanks. I've always tried to keep the mix relatively fresh throughout the past year, dropping items that I couldn't really talk about with a degree of confidence and adding others that I could.

    Charles: I think sex, religion, and politics attract a lot of visitors no matter where the blog/website is.

    While I don't have a problem talking about sex here, I've purposely avoided talking about politics (except on the state level) and religion all together.

    I do have a tendency to become quite obnoxious (sometimes) with my opinions about politics and religion, so I try to avoid talking about them on my blog.

    Septembermom: I had a major problem early on trying to explain my writing. After a while, I simply told people what the basic idea was and them decide for themselves.

    I figure people can take me as is, and they can decide for themselves how much of me is good thing.

    I can truthfully say that I got rid of the sledgehammer once I got out of the chat rooms.

  6. No - I dont' think it's stale here either. It's totally G!

  7. Jannie: Many thanks for the compliments.

    As always, you're so right. I never quite let this blog get stale, because I'm always trying to add something new to the mix.

    I enjoy making people think, and with this blog, there are endless possibilities to choose from.

  8. I think when we censor too much, we lose our salt, so to speak.

    There is a happy medium between under- and over-exposure, and I am still trying to find the good blend...

  9. Good point.

    There definitely has to be happy medium when it comes to self-censorhip.

    If you feel comfortable with what you write and how you write, by all means, go for it.

    However, doing it on the 'net does have its disadvantages, however small. While with a blog you can post almost anything you want, there is always that small chance that someone will be offended by something you wrote. And that person can always through a monkey wrench into the works, if they so choose.

    Sad to say, sometimes you do have to protect yourself against that. I do that with a disclaimer whenever I happen to write a post that has strong language, or as in the case of my other blog, put up a page that requires you to answer a question before you can proceed.

  10. Interesting. Write what you want and debate what you share...that's my motto.

  11. Talon: Absolutely. I followed that philosophy in the chat rooms, and I pretty much try to do it here.


Go on, give me your best shot. I can take it. If I couldn't, I wouldn't have created this wonderful little blog that you decided to grace with your presence today.

About that comment moderation thingy: While yes, it does say up above I can take it, I only use it to prevent the occasional miscreant from leaving thoughtless and/or clueless comments.

So remember, all of your comments are greatly appreciated and all answers will be given that personal touch that you come to expect and enjoy.

G. B. Miller

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