Blogging has been a lovely pastime for over a decade. I started Daily (w)rite in 2008. I’ve largely not cared about visitor and follower counts–instead valuing the blog friends I have been in touch with, and the new friends I make each year. Blogging blues have affected me from time to time, and the past year I’ve had less time for blogging.
So the A to Z challenge this year was mostly an attempt to revive the blog. With my writing career taking up some time with a new agent and a book deal signed with Thomas & Mercer, I’ve had far less time for blogging the way I used to.
This blog actually started as daily writing ritual–and that’s why it is called the Daily (w)rite. In the last few years, I’ve been taking extended blogging breaks, and that has done the site no favors.
My novel, The Blue Bar, was signed in a two-book deal, which means I have a sequel on contract. I spent the last few months trying to cope with edits to The Blue Bar, and drafting the sequel alongside. Doing the AZ seemed ambitious. It turned out to be hard but not impossible, and here I am, still blogging. Blogging blues have stayed at bay so far.
I blogged on a theme I enjoyed, and most of each post was really an excerpt from a crime novel I’ve savored, its back cover text, and a bit about its author. I only wrote a paragraph or two about my reasons for recommendation. On Canva, I kept making changes on the same template, so the daily graphic took very little time. From experience, I knew that the most difficult part of the challenge was planning it, and landing on a theme I (and, hopefully visitors) would relish. Once I knew my theme, all I had to do was sit with pen and paper, and write down the titles I would blog about, then schedule drafts accordingly.
It was a tad hairy, because I hadn’t pre-written my posts, and was drafting my novel at the same time, but I’m glad it is done now. It was nowhere near the mad rush when I was a A to Z co-host, and we visited something like 50 blogs a day. Alex J Cavanaugh used to be the keeper of the linky list, and all of us co-hosts in a mad visiting frenzy.
Visitors-wise, this year’s A to Z was a little sparse at the outset, but began to pick up towards the end. My blog is not back to its normal numbers, but who cares? I have touched base with friends I’ve made over the years, and reconnected with blogs I’d lost touch with. I’ve found a fascinating bunch of new bloggers I wouldn’t have discovered otherwise, and though it remains to be seen if they would become friends, that is an outcome I’m hoping for. So many have offered to review The Blue Bar and have added the book to Goodreads.
If you’re a friend who would like to read an ARC, you could help, too. Just sign up on this form.
Would I do the A to Z Challenge next year? I could, really. I might even do the same theme, just with different books–will be harder, but I have one year to consider it.
I’ve been told that with the advent of social media, I could afford to forget about my blog. But there’s a joy in the friendships I’ve made over a decade, and in long-form writing, which I’m not in a hurry to give up any time soon.
What has blogging been like for you? Have you ever been affected by the Blogging Blues? Did you come along for my A to Z Blogging Challenge this April? Did you participate in the challenge yourself?
My lit crime novel, The Blue Bar will be out this October with Thomas & Mercer. It is already available for preorders. Add it to Goodreads or pre-order it to make my day.
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