Along with getting my zen together during my hiatus I've made some decisions about the blog.
Big one first: I'm not going to shut down or delete PBW. I thought about it a lot, and here's what I concluded:
1. While I don't have the glamorous job in traditional publishing anymore, I believe I can still offer content that is helpful to other writers.
2. I have no web site or Facebook or Twitter or Instagram or what have you, so aside from e-mail this is the only place online where my readers can have any contact with me.
3. What I do here, and all of you PBW regulars, have been a big, happy part of my writing life for the last twelve years, and I'm not inclined to let that go.
So: PBW stays in business. You should also thank our blog pals LJ Cohen, who kept checking on me and took the time to discuss some issues that were driving me batty, and Maria Zannini, as she also kept tabs on me while I was on hiatus, and got me thinking of things other than that at-the-time-very-tempting Delete Your Blog button, and (last but not least) Theo, aka nightsmusic, for helping to make my birthday extra-special, and reminding me that the internet has brought some really wonderful people into my life.
I do need to change some things with the blog; primarily to create more writing time so I can keep up with my freelance work, and make the income I need to get my kid the rest of the way through college. Family and my financial responsibilities have to come first. I'm booked solid for the rest of the year, and since I want to give my clients my very best blogging daily isn't an option for me anymore.
I'm tired, too, and that was another reason I considered shutting down the blog. I've always tried to be a good sport, but I just don't have the energy or inclination to deal with toxic people anymore. After all the ugliness and stress caused by the contract-meddling nonsense in June (which was so ridiculous as to be almost the last straw), and all the bliss of the last two point five months unplugged, I think what I actually need is more downtime from the internet. A lot more downtime.
What I believe is the best solution is to cut down on posting and just blog two or three times a week for now. So effective immediately, you can expect new posts on Monday and Friday, and also possibly on Wednesday if I have the time. Occasionally I will post on other, random days when I have something important to share; I also plan to go on hiatus again as needed. Also, a note on my weekly Just Write feature -- with my workload at present I can't keep that up on a weekly basis, either. I will keep writing Twenty-One and other free stories for you, and post new material for you to read on a regular basis when it's ready to be read; maybe once or twice a month if I have the time. Right now I don't.
So that's all the bad news. The good news: I do have a few new ideas I want to try:
Going Green: One thing you know that I'm passionate about is recycling and upcycling, and I'd like to share more ideas on this with you all. I thought it might be fun to come up with ten ways to reuse something specific, like an unwanted book, used paper, junk mail, old magazines, etc., with any links to online tutorials I can find. I'd love for you all to contribute your ideas, too.
Just Write Voting: When I'm ready to start a new Just Write story I can post some ideas I'm interested in pursuing and get you all to vote on which you'd like me to write for next. This would include things like a sequel to Ghost Writer or Club Denizen, for which I've had innumerable e-mail requests. I'd like to finish up Twenty-One first so this probably won't start until next year.
Your Book of the Month: Each month I talk about the book I liked best out of the lot I've read; I'd like to hear what was your favorite read of the month, and why. We could just do a post where everyone posts their recs in comments, or put up a list of titles and one-line recs, or some other variation.
Now it's your turn: what changes or new content would you like to see on PBW? Please let me know in comments.