I’ve had a few inquiries of late about why I haven’t been blogging. The answer is simple and probably nonsensical: I’ve been working, and attending to some personal matters and, when I fall behind on something I deem essential, I feel guilty doing anything I deem non-essential. If I am at a ‘bus stop I can write a blog, but cannot file my taxes. But the later prevents me from doing the former. If I had downtime at my day-job could I catch up on my correspondences? I certainly could — if it weren’t for the laundry.
Guilt my be a great motivator but for me at least it’s terrible for general efficiency.
I was going to to revise and republish a few posts from my old blog, but it seems that I have unwittingly delted them permently. The moral is either 1) read your user agreement carefully, or 2) it’s better having your trash hauled away than cluttering your blog.
Either one suits me fine. I had better just find another means of procrastination.
I have about ten entries from my old blog, and twenty written (or half-written) new entries scheduled, so, if I died today, I would still be blogging at highly irregular intervals until September 2018.
I don’t know if that is a comfort.
I recently found out that WordPress didn’t publicize most of my old blog’s posts because I had in excess of fifteen tags on many of them. Their reasons were good: they were trying to keep people from abusing the tag-system to get more hits. When I signed up I likely saw that rule and ignored it. I doubt very many people have searches set for ‘Disparate Liquids Bottled Together,’ or ‘This Entry is a Rejected Magazine Article,’ and that isn’t why I used them. I used them for internal searches and a way to tease out the queer little themes, and serendipitous coincidences, that keep popping up.
I am less of an SEO-hit-type of guy than I probably should be; moreover, I like the idea of lots tags as a guide linking totally heterogeneous materials. Although this is a blog about my writing, it has (or it will have) all kinds of other things in it as well. I liked the idea of someone clicking on the ‘In My Snot-Nosed Youth’ and coming up with a bunch of things with nothing in common, except an odd reference to the time between 1978 and 1990.
So I have decided that from now on I will only put a handful of tags on the official list and add the other tags to the bottom of the page, to be added later, if I get around to it.
Indexing is a strange art, and categories have always made me uncomfortable, and this is one of the few ways I have to impose chaos on the world.
My book, Priceless Treasures and Ghastly, is almost ready to print. On three occasions I have assured my editor that I was ready to go to press, and then rewritten something. It probably isn’t something that I should do — the more changes that I make the more likely it is that I will introduce typos that will be uncaught, or delete things by accident. But I owe you, my public, the best that I can manage and I will deliver it.
As a child I remember being appalled that Tolkien made so many changes to The Hobbit while it was being printed that the printers had to break the plates and do it all over again. This, by the way, was the first edition of 1937, not the revised 1951 version that we read.
I do think that what I have now is as good as it can be, but I think that I put off pressing ‘send’ a few more hours and look it over one last time.