Letters Never Sent*
I’ve had a number of people who’ve asked why I’ve stopped writing. I actually haven’t stopped writing although I’m definitely writing less in recent time due to increased work load. (Apparently there really are only 23 hours, 56 minutes, 4 seconds in a day – I had been trying to fit sleep in the last 3 minutes and 56 seconds but that wasn’t working since there are not really 24 hours in a day.)
There are thousands of articles I’ve written that I haven’t yet published and perhaps another couple thousand that I’ve published in other venues but not yet here on my blog. I continue polishing, researching, outlining and simply thinking about them in some cases. I tend to like having the articles totally ready before I release them into the wild. This means sometimes I’ll set them aside and come back to them days, weeks, months or even years later. In addition to those I have notes for about another 4,000 articles on the topics of pigs, construction, cottage, butcher shop, small farming and such.
The already published 2,522 articles from here on my blog are enough material to fill eight books worth of information about these topics not including those that are just incidental little topic pieces or satire. I’ve had three publishing houses approach me wanting to create those books but the problem is the time for me to work on a book project takes away from doing things and writing other articles. A dilemma. Personally, I would rather do things and then enjoy writing in the evening as a down time activity.
I used to own a publishing house in a very different industry (BlackLightning Publishing, Inc), wrote & edited books and published a quarterly glossy full-color magazine about the topic of publishing (Flash Magazine) for 13 years with a circulation of 122,000. It was very different from publishing today. With paper publishing there was a two month lead time from start to delivering the magazine in readers hands, by mail and on newsstands. If you made a mistake, it was there to stay. For most of that time we went to film and then printing plates – later we used digital printing presses. Much of the cost, time and effort in publishing was dealing with the production aspects rather than the content.
In contrast, web publishing is so much easier, so much faster and is able to reach so many more people at such a lower cost. Now I can focus on the content and I spend a lot less time dealing with production issues. If I, or a reader, finds a type I can fix it easily. Publishing on the web is also far, far more ecologically benign. I like that.
For those who are interested, I use WordPress as my web publishing platform. It is stable, free, scaleable, community supported and multi-level. By the last I mean that you can use the most basic version at WordPress.com where the host does all the maintenance or you can install it on your own or hired servers from WordPress.org so you can have total control of your site. Little users, medium users, big users, private, public and business users. Tons of themes, mods & plugins created by the community, most of which are free or by donation.
So, back to frequency of writing… For this fall I have as a goal to get back to publishing new articles as well as filling in some of the blanks for the last couple of years when I wasn’t releasing the articles. This won’t happen instantly but as you may have already noticed the tide is changing…
*Apologies to Carley Simon who is coming out with a new book soon…