I hate writing blogs. I hate being in a position where I must write one blog a week, preferably more, if I hope to remain relevant. And really, what is the purpose of writing a blog? Promotion. The purpose of writing a blog is to promote either yourself, a philosophy, a business, or a product. Only one of the above applies to me.
I’m not terribly interested in promoting myself as a person. I lead a boring life, planted at a desk day in and day out, writing and revising. I clean house, mow the lawn, and cook dinner Monday through Friday. I walk the dog and ignore the cats. What’s there to promote? I suppose I could write a blog about hiking with the dog. There may be some interest in the stories (look at the success of “Marley and Me”), but the need to tell those tales of tail wagging can be satisfied in a short conversation with those who are truly interested in my dumb mutt. (I’m counting an audience of three who’d patiently listen to the dog stories.) Do I tell people that my dog likes to drink river water? Show me a dog who doesn’t like to drink from a river or creek. “I’m in the wilds! I’m drinking water from a stream! And it’s not in an f-ing bowl!” Cute, but uneventful. I tend to shy away from cute stories for my reading and writing. It’s not me. Neither am I interested in complaining about the perceived losers filing in and out of the box store all day long. Not interested in writing about the mundane. That is not the type of writer I am. There are plenty of folks out there who can take the common events of everyday life, and transform the dog walk into an amazing adventure. They are damn good at what they do. But that is their thing, not mine. Neither am I interested in writing about the triumphs and disappointments of my daughters. They have a right to privacy, which is why I use the dog for examples--he has no concept of privacy. Basically, there is no need to promote J. M. Tresaugue as a person. Our lives are not that different. I have a journal if I want to write about my life. That way I am only boring myself, and not you.1
Do I have a philosophy to promote? I’m pretty sure everyone does. My views tend to surface in my fiction writing, but that is an illness all writers suffer from. Do they belong in a blog? Not for me. I’ve made my own choices in politics and religion, and encourage others to do the same. I refuse to tell people that their life will be better if they vote a certain way, or what they should do with their faith. I have no right to interfere in your business! I’ll interfere in the dog’s life, but that’s because he is living in my house, eating on my dime, and pooping in my yard; all without any return. (He actually thinks I like him!) I grudgingly interferer in my daughters’ lives, but only to keep them safe and to encourage them to think for themselves. (They actually think I like them! Okay, that is true.) No point to chronicle a personal philosophy here since my philosophy is not interested in beating up your philosophy. (Did I contradict myself? Yes!)
Should I write I blog to promote a business? Hell no! Especially if I’m not getting paid! The only business I’d promote would be my own, but I don’t own a business. (The only exceptions are for the rare occurrences when I’m completely blown away by a company accomplishing something amazing, like colonizing Mars.)
Now we come to promoting a product. Do any of us truly need yet another advertisement? Advertisements are on our clothes, on our license plate holders, on the products we buy, storefronts, billboards, movies, youtube, social networking sites. They arrive unsolicited in our mailboxes. Open your eyes and you’re assaulted with advertisements. This includes the corporate propaganda in your office. The only time we are free of advertisements is when we sleep. (But I’m sure there are teams of assholes working to change this--we are talking eight hours out of the day when the erection pill companies can’t reach you. Do you think they are happy about that?) So do you really need another advertisement? Probably not. But I do. I write fiction because I’m driven. Perhaps addicted is a better word. Find me on a day when I have been denied the chance to work on a story and you won’t find much to like. I see no purpose in sweating over the keyboard, revising and revising until I’m tired of reviewing the same old pages (and then revising once more) if I’m not going to do my damnedest to get the stories into the hands of readers. I’d stick to journaling if I didn’t want people to read what I write. I sit in front of the computer day in and day out for us--to keep me sane, and to entertain you. I put days and weeks into the short stories that will take you less than an hour to read. I sweat for years over the longer works. The short stories in “Shadows Beyond the Flames" were accumulated over a five year period, with most penned between 2009 and 2010. I think a few bucks is a worthy trade for all the work that goes into story creation (if I didn’t my wife and I would still have room for more bookcases in our house).
So that is why I blog. To promote my work and to keep you updated on my projects and events. And that is also why I hate blogging. You worked hard for your money, and now I’m working hard to exchange your money for books. Yes, I am conflicted. Unfortunately, there is no way out. If I am to get my book into your hands then I have no choice but to advertise. Besides, I have to feed the kids somehow. Won’t anyone think of the children?
1 Furthermore, my wife will be the first to tell you this blog does not represent my personality. (She is going to be pissed she is a footnote!)