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Looking Back on my 2017 Blog Resolutions

Sunday, December 31, 2017 - 10:21

I’m debating whether I want to put out any New Year’s resolutions (or my more usual irresolutions) for 2018, but the end of the year is a good time to look at my post from 2016/12/29 when I laid out my resolutions for this past year and see how they played out. My one solid resolution was: “I'm going to stop doing things just to try to impress people who don’t actually care. And one of those things is blogging five days a week.”

I committed to continuing to blog on projects that gave me personal satisfaction, regardless of whether anyone else was reading them:

  • The Lesbian Historic Motif Project
  • The LaForge diaries
  • Reviews (although without the absolute commitment to review everything I read)
  • Information and discussions about my writing projects (though not on any obligatory schedule)
  • I also made a vague resolution to set up an author’s newsletter and do some new things for promoting my writing.

So how did I do? Working from my blog tracking spreadsheet, I posted 228 substantial blogs (i.e., not including administrative posts and the like), so if my goal was to post fewer than an average of 5 blogs per week, I succeeded, though not by a large margin since it comes up to about four and a half per week.

I posted 54 LHMP entries (including the tag essays at the beginning of the year that I posted while the other content was suspended for the website migration). But I upped the number of LHMP podcast-related blogs, with a total of 32 blog entries covering 29 separate podcasts, largely due to the expansion of the podcast to a weekly schedule. And I’m just beginning to get a trickle of second-hand evidence that the podcasts are getting an active specific audience as opposed simply being part of the Lesbian Talk Show feed. The show has been mentioned online at some websites and I've seen it recommended to people interested in lesbian history, both authors and not. There's still obviously a discoverability problem and a dearth of direct feedback. It isn't clear that people are successfully tracking back from the podcast to the website or that they're making the connection between the history project and my fiction output.

I posted 15 items for the LaForge Civil War diaries series, although I dropped that ball in May when travel plans and other projects intruded and haven’t picked it up again. I posted 32 reviews, mostly novels, and started participating in the Short SFF Reviews website (which doesn’t show up in my blog stats). I wrote 23 blogs about my writing (not counting minor updates and promo pieces). About a third of them were  finishing up the chapter-by-chapter teasers for Mother of Souls. (Unlike The Mystic Marriage I couldn’t time the teasers to conclude with the release date.) The rest of the writing blogs were mostly sparked by reader questions. Reader questions are great because I’ll blather on about any topic that comes to me, but reader-inspired posts guaratee that someone’s actually interested in the topic.

After a great deal of dithering around, I completed my last two irresolutions by tackling Hootsuite to automate the posting of a rotating schedule of promotional material to Twitter and facebook. It’ll be a while before I can have a sense of how that’s working out, but at least it provides a consistent public presence in people’s faces that doesn’t require me to take the emotional hit of crafting it one item at a time. And I set up a monthly Alpennia newsletter to help provide a more direct line to the people who are actively interested in my writing and to provide them with some exclusive content as a reward.

So there you are. Any suggestions of what I should commit to in 2018? (No promises, but my deep dark secret is that I am willing to do all sorts of things to try to impress people who do actually care.)

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