Friday, September 16, 2016

PBW Changes

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.


  1. I don't think blogging just once a week is even a bad thing with other posts thrown in when you have the time. You need to take care of YOU first. We all patiently waited for you and unless someone emailed to tell you otherwise, a once a week would still keep us all in touch and give you the much needed time to pursue what you need to.

    I love the recycle/upcycling things and of course, I'd read your shopping list if you posted it, but again, those are the 'fluff' and 'when you have a few down minutes' posts. The quilts and other thread and art projects are probably my favorites. Share when you can, don't push yourself to do anything though.

    And thanks for the nod, but you know I love you!

    On a side note, I have not written anything in over a year now. It makes me very sad. So I think it's time for me to retire. I'm going to do that at the end of the year. I'm getting pretty excited about it and am going to be setting up my writing area, something I let go when we moved. Yay me!

  2. Yay, you, nightsmusic (whoever you are)!

    I also love the art projects. I especially enjoyed the "make a journal" post and that whole series.

    But I also love the free books. ;-)

    Many established bloggers are on a once or twice a week schedule; some do "as moved" but at least once a week. I'm just grateful you are willing to keep going.

    finally, as we would say in my family regarding all those trolls: POOP ON THEIR HEADS!!!

    Welcome back.

  3. Blogging when you can is a perfectly acceptable solution. A really good side effect is that your readers (myself included) will have more time to write instead of spending that time on the net!

    I think that today, we are all "addicted" to the net. Being a 45+ year IT guy, you would think that I would be sick of all that...but no...I am on the computer more hours a day than I want to admit (12-16 hours a day, maybe more when I can't sleep). The cutback will be difficult, but as you have experienced from your hiatus, the results are well worth it. I myself need to find a way to cut back my online hours, but almost everything I do is on the computer, or tablet.

    Again, I am thrilled you are back, and will still be for a while!

  4. It's so good to hear that you'll be sticking around. Your new posting schedule sounds like it will (hopefully) work better for you.

  5. I'm so glad you decided not to "end it all". You've worked too hard to get to this place.

    re: going green
    I love this idea! I love tutorials of any kind especially ones that recycle trash.

    re: other topics
    It might be too much trouble, but one thing I enjoy are pictures of where people live. I've been to Florida once...and it rained the entire time. So much for being the Sunshine State. LOL.

    A few pictures of your home state during different seasons is like a travelogue for armchair travelers.

  6. Welcome back. I think, like nightmusic, I'd happily read your shopping list. Your's was the first blog I read and I now have a collection of about 20 I read on a regular basis. Some are authors but most of them are crafting blogs, so your quilting & up cycling posts will be well received.

    I always enjoyed the combination of book recommendations, photographs, writers advice and quilting/sewing projects. I also enjoy reading the comments by other readers and especially book / author recommendations. I'm so pleased to have you back.

  7. I'm so glad you're staying. As one of the few sane places on the internet, where I feel I can relax, thank you.

  8. So relieved you're not shuttering your blog. Your new schedule sounds much more practical and workable. As someone else pointed out many other bloggers do something similar too. The Going Green idea is great. I too am on the lookout for ways to recycle. I also especially enjoy all your posts on your creative (how you generate ideas) and work process for your writing. They inspire me.

  9. I'm always glad to read your posts, but I don't want you to feel you must blog to please others. There's only so much you can do. I'm lucky if I blog every three months.

    Yours was the first writing-advice blog I found, and your good sense and encouragement has kept me going over the years, no matter what you wrote about. I'm happy to visit with you whenever you feel moved to post!

  10. Do what works for you. And the rest of us will be here for you.

  11. Yes, your family and finances absolutely come first. And your blog readers will understand that. You've posted nearly every day on this blog for the past 12 years? That's seriously a TREMENDOUS accomplishment, and one I've been awed by. Seriously. Deciding to post only once a week, or heck, once a month, or whenever you have time or the mood strikes you, well, then that's an accomplishment too and no less of one. Basically, you do you, girl. You do you. And your readers will be here when you need us.

  12. Thank you for sticking with one of the few places on the net I actually enjoy. You've been missed. :)
    I like the Just Write Voting idea. And congrats on all the progress made in the time away!

  13. Margaret S9:04 AM

    Green sounds good as many people like helpful ideas to recycle and reduce waste. The TAT(Travelogue for Armchair Travelers see Maria Zannini above). Readers could send articles to you and if they started their title with Green or TAT you could easily sideline them into separate folders and build up a pool for later use. Between your readers holiday snaps and your international readers a TAT could be very diverse in its content. Would give you quick and easy content for your blog possibly alternating which file you use.

  14. I don't care how often you blog. I'm just glad when you do. (Even if sometimes I don't comment.) :hugs:

  15. Just know one thing. If you disappear, I will find you.

  16. Good for you. I'm glad you're starting this new schedule. I did something very similar when my chronic health condition almost finished me off. When the long crisis was over and I returned to blogging, I established a once a week schedule and it's continued happily from there. I lost a few readers during my hiatus, but the ones who stayed with me are lovely.

    I'm the same as Deb Salisbury in that you were the first Recognised Name author I ever followed online. That was a long time ago, and I've loved your blog ever since. I'm happy to read whatever you want to write here.

  17. Briana B9:53 AM

    I am so glad that you are staying online but also taking more time for you.

    You are the first female author I picked up, the first author and blog I followed, first series I immersed myself in and you are the person I thank for expanding my reading horizons. (Before I picked up StarDoc I had limited myself to hard science fiction by male authors only - it's sad, I know.)

    It was your kindness and beautiful spirit that saved me from myself and pushed me to become more like you. You are one of my top inspirational people. Because of you and your books, I answered the call of nursing, I've cultivated kindness and I stop to look around in the world.

    You have been superwoman for the last how many years? I am so glad that you are now focusing on the things that make you happy and rejuvenate you. Just know that so many of us here have your back and will wait patiently for you on your own schedule

  18. Hello Dear Lynn Viehl
    I enjoyed a lot your blog who was refered to me by my wife who is your avid fan reader.
    I do write for the fun of writing and your blog has been a big inspiration and provider of writing knowledge.
    Just wanted to say THANK YOU!
    I will remain a regular reader as long you have the time to keep providing us your wonderfull advice.
    Wishing you and your family all the best and sucess!