I’m thinking of quitting the blog.
Okay, not actually quitting.
And at the moment I’m only thinking of quitting. I haven’t quit yet. So don’t unsubscribe or anything–at least not until I totally offend you, which might happen in a few minutes. Let me rephrase: I’m thinking of taking a long blogging hiatus. I should probably not be putting this out there because I really haven’t decided, but you might be able to help, I think.
Stopping the blog now is, from all normal points of view, a Total Tactical Error. I have a blog schedule now which appears to have given my blog traffic a pretty solid boost. Every two days or so the blog gets a new follower. Some of you actually talk to me and I feel like I’m making new friends. In the meantime, this new-found schedule, instead of draining me of ideas about which to write, is generating so many new thoughts that I can’t even write them down quickly enough most of the time.
If you want to get noticed in the publishing world, They say, you need a Platform. I’m still not sure how “Jenn Stories” are a Platform, but they’re the only one I’ve got, and somehow they seem to be becoming a slightly broader one than they once were, so that throwing in the towel now would be to lose all momentum. I am not convinced I could get it back.
That’s the “normal” point of view. Unfortunately my point of view is often slightly wonky, as in this case. I don’t know if it’s because I’m a Contrarian or because I’m lazy or because I’m actually right (what?), but I just kind of wonder if the current trends in publishing are really consistent with a truly Christlike lifestyle. Not that I have one of those, but it’s something to which I aspire.
It’s a dog-eat-dog world. I know that. (Although fortunately neither of my two dogs seemed to have figured that out.)
But am I just old-fashioned and unprogressive if, when a Christian writer I admire comes out with a new book and starts self-promoting like crazy on Twitter, I flinch? Is it wrong of me to feel at least momentarily horrified when I submit Favored One to a Christian publisher or agent and they specifically state in their guidelines that I need to tell them how I plan to promote it? Am I being sacrilegious when I feel, in my heart of hearts, that literary agents are the pimps of the writing world and in order to get in the game, I have to become a word-hooker? (I’m pretty sure I just lost my entire The Readership with that one–for a multitude of reasons.) Have I attempted to play the game? Yes. Have I been so enamoured of one or two of my own blogposts that I have manually retweeted them all day long? Yes.
Probably next week (because I’ve already semi-committed to writing about something else tomorrow) I’ll unpack why I’m not sure the publishing world of 2013 is really very godly (and I guess I wouldn’t expect it to be, but . . . ) but for now suffice it to say that I feel like if even Jesus, who actually is God, “did not think of equality with God as something to cling to” and went on and on about His Father all the time instead of Himself, then maybe His people should be a little more like that and a little less like . . . well, word-hookers?
Then again, I have also been sensing lately (or, rather, for a long time but finally I think I might be willing to listen) that God Himself wants me to get a little more proactive with my writing. This new blogging format has been my attempt to step into that direction. Am I actually just having misgivings about “the Publishing World” because my subconscious is trying to give me an excuse to drift back into laziness and unproductivity and–if the above is true–disobedience?
On the other hand, I am writing. I’m not writing fiction at the moment, but in my Spiritual Formation class we have to create a Spiritual Autobiography. I am thoroughly enjoying working through the various journaling exercises but, given the kind of person/writer I am, they take me hours. Plus I have to write a research paper for that class, as well as some papers and an exam for my Christology class. Do I really have time to write blogposts, too? (Answer: no.)
I’m thinking of quitting. No, I’m thinking of taking a break. I’m thinking of seeing what happens if I “trust my blog to God,” whatever that means, and just stop writing for a few months, and then reassess this summer.
But I don’t think I’m quite ready to let go just yet. I’m not quite ready to say good bye.
How about you? What would you do? And, um, if I take a break, will you come back?