I didn't write an anniversary post back in September when the blog turned four years old, which I meant to but got sidetracked and promptly forgot. Yesterday I noticed my post was the 1,800th I've written for PBW, so I thought today would be a good time to do the semi-annual "Here's the deal" post.
PBW is my personal project, and I'm the sole owner and author of the content. Two years ago my friend Tom started helping me cope with some of the technical challenges involved and comment moderation, which had become more than a little overwhelming for me. He has also posted a few update notices in my absence. Other than that (and the pretty amazing comments left by my visitors) PBW's content is mine alone. The responsibility for it is mine. The blog buck stops here.
I've been around for awhile. Once I write 98 more posts (which, if I don't quit blogging, I should accomplish by some time in late January/early February 2009) this weblog's posts will officially surpass the number I wrote on my previous online journal. Add to those numbers all the posts from my other private online journals which shall remain private, and altogether I've written about six thousand posts since I signed onto Prodigy (remember Prodigy?) and posted my first sonnet on the poetry forum in 1994.
I am pretty strict about content. I don't accept any form of advertising on PBW. I don't permit my agent or my publishers to have any say whatsoever in what I post here. I don't accept promo disguised as content from any publisher. I don't belong to any writer's organization. I am not affiliated with any industry group nor do I get involved in their promotional efforts. I don't support reciprocal promotions or any sort of cronyism. If I recommend something here, it's because I genuinely liked it, tested it out or thought it was an interesting product, or I am lending my support to a charity or fund-raiser that I believe is worthwhile.
Or it's free. I like free stuff. I like finding free stuff for readers and writers. We pay enough for everything else.
PBW is a public blog supported free-of-charge by Blogger or Google or whoever owns the service now, which means I don't pay a dime for it. Of course I can afford to buy one of the pricier blog hosting services, but I'm keeping PBW as it is to show that you don't have to pay through the nose to have a decent weblog. It's all that lead by example thing we authors should be doing.
I have instigated a number of trends over the years, made some industry predictions that came true, and helped launch a couple of shining stars. All of that was purely accidental. I've also touched off some major snitfests, firestorms, flamewars etc. Also not deliberately. Either way, PBW got a lot more popular (or notorious, if you prefer) than I ever really wanted it to be. The obvious benefits are often dimmed by the outside envy, ugliness and pettiness that popularity always seems to generate. I don't know how to feel about it, to be honest. I try not to think about it too much so I won't be tempted to click on the Delete Your Blog button.
I don't recommend young writers, or writers of any age for that matter, emulate me. I'm not a role model. There are many, many more talented, educated, likable, diplomatic authors out there who would serve as much better examples, and will help you a lot more along the path of your writing life and career. But if the writing advice and links I post are of any help to any of you, or you just enjoy reading the blog, then I've accomplished what I wanted to do with PBW, and that's what matters to me.
Finally, thank you all for visiting, supporting and encouraging me. Thank you for buying my books, joining in our discussions, listening to my ideas, giving me advice and sticking with me during the tough times. Thank you for offering your words, ideas, thoughts, hopes and dreams. I say you guys are the best a lot, I know, but you truly are. Thank you, and I hope we can hang together here and talk about books, writing and all things publishing for many more years to come.