November 21, 2007
Finding the Jam
I just don't write like I used to.
On a recent trip to my sister writing site, Faithwriters, I scanned my previous posts, attempting to assess my own prowess with the pen, er, keyboard. Which topics do people like to read the most? How can I increase my audience? How many articles do I averagely publish in a month? Six months? Boring little self-concerned stats like that. You know, the kind of research we all do but rarely admit how seriously we analyze it!
I discovered some interesting trends. First there have only been two months in the last year that I have contributed more than one article to the manifold of Christian authorship: March and September. Secondly my writing has taken a noticeably muted turn in style, becoming more careful about word choice and the point-of-view from which it speaks. I speak more specifically now, where in the past I wrote in generalizations.
My most-read topic is "women's interest," although if there was a "childhood recollection" category on Faithwriters that would be a serious contender for the number one slot. And what I consider "halfway fiction" pieces, those which do not explicitly mention me as the main character but could easily be interpreted as such, are not as easily read as my non-fiction, scripturally-based devotionals. Readers also seem to like what is speculative, and do not chasten me for holding a strong opinion about something I have yet to personally experience. (Anyone feeling bedraggled by Blogger comments should consider Faithwriters for respite!)
I've started to notice a general trend, regardless of topic, which is, in this sentence at least, ironic; my lens has focused, showing an increasingly less general view of the church and the world. I don't attach as many negative attributes to a general population so much as I claim them as products of my own unattractive heart posture.
In short I find a much broader reader base than I have here at Blogger, and feel more comfortable writing there. My work reflects this; I've published about 100 blogs in a year, but several have been removed (by me) because of poor content, or replaced with re-postings from other sites. Far less of my own material makes it onto my blog, and lately I don't feel compelled to post anything at all. Granted that has to do with personal depression and financial trouble, which tends to overshadow the importance of posting.
But part of the depression does come from a feeling of non-contributiveness to the blogging world. All these bloggers with all these things to say every day; they all have a story to tell, or a stylistic way to tell it, and they plug away at it as often as possible. What is the story I have to tell? I'm not sure yet, so perhaps that is the underlying reason why I don't bother to blog.
I've often been told I over-analyze myself. If you recall, that's how this whole post started. I don't agree that my self-examination occurs too much to make it worthwhile. On the contrary I think it is my bread and butter, stylistically. I just need to find my jam.