Avid Readers, Occasional Bloggers

Category: News Page 2 of 172

The Future of Collected Miscellany

Once more into the breach…

As the one or two people who read this blog with any regularity know, I have been struggling with whether to keep going. Traffic has gone down year by year. No one leaves a comment or links to this blog. On occasion a publisher might retweet or tweet a review or an author might say thank you for a review, but for the most part this site is visited by those led here from Google searches with a small trickle from social media.

My motivation and energy for posting, let alone quality posting, had all but disappeared. Largely because of the above. I admit, I struggle when I get no feedback or interaction; when it seems like no one is listening. I was hanging on mostly because I still like getting books from publishers and having a website where you post reviews helps with that.

As the end of 2020 approached, I thought it presented a good opportunity to make a clean break one way or the other. So I began to think about what I wanted to do.

The biggest motivation for me to keep this site going is the realization that social media and other distractions had undermined my ability to concentrate and focus on writing. And in 2021 I want to prove to myself that I can do the hard work necessary to write engaging and thought provoking book reviews and cultural criticism.

I also felt frustrated that I had read a great many books without coming away with much insight, opinion, or reaction. I was too passive. Writing is one way to force yourself to pay attention and get more out of reading.

The question was then whether I had the time and energy to make it work and how I would go about setting myself up to succeed. I decided that I owed it to myself to try. I didn’t want all the years CM has been around to simply disappear with a whimper.

Me in the University Bookman on Breaking Bread with the Dead

Mental Anchors for Information Overload – my review of Breaking Bread with the Dead by Alan Jacobs

nothing has changed in nearly seven years

Who do you write for when your audience disappears? – Sadly, nothing has really changed in nearly seven years…

Pondering the death of a blog or Deja Vu all over again

More than halfway into the second decade of CM I am again pondering quitting.  This is something I have been doing since before the tenth anniversary.

It is the history that makes it hard to just quit.

What to do with all the reviews, interviews and opinions offered over the years?

But if I am honest with myself, I don’t get much joy out of posting and there certainly is no interaction or traffic on the blog anymore. I can probably get review copies just posting to NetGalley, Goodreads, Amazon, etc.

It also bugs me a little that quitting would feel like failure; reflect on my character in some way.  I always wanted to prove that I could improve my focus and writing and offer quality book reviews here again.  But the motivation just isn’t there. I’m not sure people read personal blogs anymore anyways.

I’m going to ponder things a bit more but it seems depressing to limp along for months again and come back and read another “Is this blog dead?” post.

Old School Blogging and Social Media Decluttering

As you might have guessed from my post on the nature of being a Pittsburgh Steelers fan, I have decided to blog about more than books.  The idea is to get the creative juices flowing and get back in the habit of posting by writing about my life and perspective. This is what blogging used to be about in many ways before niche blogs and social media changed the landscape.  Although, I suppose there are probably still a lot of personal blogs out there you just don’t run into them unless you see a link in your feeds or are friends with the blogger.

Speaking of social media, I am in the midst of a 30-day social media declutter exercise inspired by Cal Newport. I am trying to stay off Twitter and Facebook for the month of January.  I have been quite good at avoiding Facebook but have struggled to stay away from Twitter.  I have avoided political Twitter but have dipped into sports twitter.  Not as much as I used to (everyday) but frequently.  I am going to try and avoid even my sports list on Twitter for the remaining 15 days. Should be easier now that football is over for my teams <<sigh>>.

Look for some reflections on social media and this experience.  Maybe disconnecting from social media will also allow me to regain my focus and start posting regular book reviews as well.  I guess we shall see.

Page 2 of 172

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén