Friday, December 28, 2012

New Year's Resolution

Wait, Esteemed Reader! Don't go! I just want to talk to you is all. I know I've made a mess of things between us and I am so, so sorry. But I can change, baby. I can be better. Just give me one more chance. I've missed you.

I know I've said it before. I know I've promised to get back to blogging on a regular basis only to go months between posts. Book of the Week? More like Book of the Never. Linda Benson gave me a free book forever ago and have I reviewed it? No. And she was one of the first authors ever to appear here.

My buddy Mike Mullin's wonderful new book, Ashen Winter, came out in October. I'm thanked in the acknowledgements for writing all over his first draft notes like "make this part not suck" and "should be more like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory meets 50 Shades of Gray" and "have you considered giving your protagonist superpowers?" Mike took those very useful notes and has written a fantastic sequel to Ashfall. And have I reviewed it? Have I!?!

I've been an absentee Ninja, Esteemed Reader, and you have every right to stay mad at me. I never tweet. I'm never on Facebook. I haven't interviewed any authors or literary agents since I don't remember when. I call myself a ninja, yet I have done no ninja-ing. If a ninja lose his middle-grade-ness, how can he be made middle-gradey again?

But here's the deal: When I started this blog, I was a stockbroker working 40 hours a week in a set schedule and I had no agent or critique partners. So I chased after book reviews and interviews like I had nothing else to do because I didn't. I was posting at a grueling pace that sucked up all my writing time and I loved it. I regret nothing. We got to chat with some of the best writers in the world and literary agents read my queries and responded more frequently because they knew this blog.

But then I graduated from stockbroker to financial adviser to manager and began working 60-70 hours a week, often from home during my blogging time. I got myself some critique partners with manuscripts that needed sincere editing, not just highlighting and reviewing. I got myself a wonderful agent who wanted revisions and new manuscripts done on time (there are writers in this world who apparently do that). In short, Esteemed Reader, I got busy and this blog fell to the wayside.

And I felt guilty about it, I really did. And that made things worse because how could I come back for just a quick post when I'd been away for so long? This blog is my homepage and every time I fired up my internets it would stare mournfully at me, my neglected child. I have this life-changing, mind-blowing blurb accompanying my latest manuscript and when people asked me how the heck I got in touch with this author, I'd explain I used to run this blog... And I cringed every time I heard myself say it. What's this "used to" business?

I'm still Superman! Superman, you'll be great again. You're just in a slump! Say, Jim! That is a bad outfit! Whoah! And now, like a powerless and beaten Clark Kent, I have to go back. I have to! I must hitchhike my way back to my Fortress of Solitude and beg Jorel to give me my groove back.

This has been a terrifying glimpse into the stream-of-conscious thoughts of a grown man in his early thirties who honestly relates his mundane life of giving financial advice and writing his little stories to the epic journey of the great American superhero. Seriously. And I found a real live girl willing to marry me!

I want us to be close again, Esteemed Reader. I've missed you. If you're still there, if there's still any part of you that remembers how great we used to be, let's try it again. I'm coming home, Esteemed Reader. 2013 will mark the return of the Ninja.

And I'm not just saying it, this time. I've switched jobs again to a position requiring fewer hours (and paying more) and I've finished a new manuscript, so I can spare some of my precious writing time. I want to do things different. I've got some great interviews lined up and some wonderful books to tell you about, but I'm also going to post updates about my life as a writer.

I know what you're thinking: why the heck would we want to read updates about you when we could be reading interviews with good writers? That's an excellent point, Esteemed Reader. But this has always been a blog for writers and as a writer I'm encountering writer-ly things on a regular basis you might enjoy reading about. Plus, I suspect I may have some very big (for me) book news to share with you this year which will give me all new insights into the world of publishing I can share with you.

I'm not going to promise to return us to the way we were when we were young, Esteemed Reader. I can't post two interviews and a review a week like I used to. It's too much work and I'll get burnt out. A 500-pound man shouldn't make a resolution to exercise and eat only salad to lose 300 pounds in four months. It's not a realistic goal and he's likely to fail. Rather, he should resolve to start small like eating only three buckets of KFC a day instead of five.

That's how this is going to be. My New Year's resolution is to update this blog more frequently. I'm still going to call them Book of the Week reviews, but I'm only going to review a few books and interview a few authors. We'll have new literary agent interviews as well, but we won't have them every week. I'm not going to let blogging get between me and my fiction writing the way it once did. But I think I can find a balance between blogging all the time and not updating this blog for months.

We can try, Esteemed Reader. If you want to stop by and see me every so often, I'll be here. And I will know that nothing I do this year will be as awesome as this movie trailer:

1 comment:

  1. Yay, Robert! er, I mean *cough* NINJA! I'm so glad you'll be coming back to blogging. And I hope we hear some of your great publishing news SOON!

    I do know what you mean by burning out. I've kept up a brutal blogging schedule at one point, and finally decided if I could turn out something (anything) once a week, that would satisfy my readers. Also, I had three books come out last year (yay, me) all from Musa Publishing (yay, them) but I have to admit that at one point I suffered burnout from trying to promote/talk about them, and suffered bouts of "What was I thinking?"

    So yeah, all things in moderation, as the old saying goes. But I'm truly looking forward to some of your brilliant/wise/snarky/straight-to-the-heart reviews, interviews, or anything else you'd like to post. In a word (or three) Welcome Back, Ninja! :-)


Thanks for stopping by, Esteemed Reader! And thanks for taking the time to comment. You are awesome.