1. THINK OF IT AS TRAINING. If you’re blogging the equivalent of a perzine, don’t expect a lot of readers, at least at the beginning. During the first decade of The Metaphorager‘s existence, my maximum readership was about 30 people; due to circumstances beyond my control, I let it lapse for five or six years, and am slowly rebuilding. Thus, the chief use of this blog is to hone my lapsed writing skills. Readers would be nice, but as a compulsive writer, I can’t not do this. So I may as well do it in public.
2. I write, I post to social media the article’s link, I check my access logs, I go lay down for a bit. Such is the modern literary life. It’s not so bad; on the other hand, it is a bit discouraging to discover that WordPress‘ spell-check recognizes neither “blog” nor “blogging.” (Come to think of it, it doesn’t recognize “WordPress” either.)
3. The Metaphorager originally had two main taglines: “A Journal of Experiential Holiness and Snack Bar,” and “All That’s News To Me, I Print.” Both are correct; the first describes my unfolding “Jewish journey” and quest for mad cooking skills, while the second is about the neato things that I see and/or hear on-line and/or off- and want to share with you. For a while, and knowing that my 30 readers were concerned about my ongoing health problems, I blogged about that. But that’s boring, frankly. It’s ten years later and I’m still disabled with the same symptoms — and while I don’t think that’s going to change, I’ve more or less accepted it and, literarily at least, just want to move on.
4. A six-to-seven year case of writer’s block has been one of the hardest things I’ve ever dealt with — I mean, “WRITER” is the biggest thing on my business card and a huge part of my identity. The ‘block was largely due to the bad bout of depression I entered in late 2011 and which proceeded in a cold grey slog ’til late 2015; during and afterwards, I completely lost my “voice,” even after I was medicated. I’ve always visualized my writing process as assembling disparate Tinker-Toy pieces into a coherent structure, and it seemed I couldn’t hold any pieces in place long enough for the structure to make sense. After the last presidential election, I started healing from the Writer’s Curse, but it took the death of a close friend to really snap me out of it.
5. I once read somewhere three hard rules for aspiring writers: “1. Write every day. 2. Write every day. 3. Write every day.” I try to observe that advice religiously, but not only is that beyond my capacity, I also don’t want to unduly burden my social-media feed / subscribers. So in practice, I write in three- to five-post spurts before taking a break, and schedule them to publish one a day, five days a week; I’m actually writing this on September 6, but it won’t be seen by the public until the 27th. This way, if I’m seized by another plague of savage illiteracy, or my illness takes over, no one need ever know (at least, for a while). Pay no attention to that man behind the keyboard!