To Blog or Not to Blog? What’s Coming for 2016

Have you ever wished you could clone yourself, so that you could do everything you wanted to do?

Yep, me too.

This is the longest I’ve ever gone without blogging, and it’s amazing how much I’ve missed it. I’ve missed the fun of challenging myself to write creatively about grammar. I’ve missed the conversations I’ve had in the comments. I’ve missed the joy of discovering wonderful new posts written by my fellow bloggers (because I haven’t had time to read, let alone write).

But I’m happy to have had this break, because I’ve been able to avoid missing other things that are important in my life.

And I’ve come to a realization: With everything I’m trying to do right now, it’s just not possible for me to blog every week any more. In fact, I may only be able to blog once a month sometimes.

And that’s okay.

What do you mean, it's okay? I'm having a genuine Shakespearian crisis over this here...

What do you mean, it’s okay? I’m having a genuine Shakespearean crisis over this here…

Like me, you’ve probably run across a zillion articles that might as well have titles like

Start a Blog or Lose All Hope of Ever Selling Yourself!

Blog Every Day or Google Will Rip You to Shreds and Eat You!

Master Building Your Platform if You Don’t Want to Be That Kid Who’s All Alone At Recess!

What a bunch of hooey. (I love that word!)

I firmly believe that writing good, meaningful content is more important than racing on a writing treadmill to stay at the top of the hit list.

My initial goal in blogging was to share what I know about communication in a fun and informative way. I hope I’ve done some of that.

But I’ve discovered along the way that I have gained another complementary goal in blogging that’s just as important – to read and learn from my fellow bloggers and to share their words with others.

So I’ve decided to make a change in my approach this year. I’m still going to write creative posts about grammar, hold conversations about communication with other writers, and let you know about helpful writing resources. But I’m going to do it less often. I’ll be posting on a Monday if I have a post for the week. I’ll also be writing occasional posts about editing on my editing website.

In parallel, I’m going to make more use of Twitter as a tool to share words from other writers and editors.

If you’re interested in learning more about communication from people other than me (as well as from me, I hope!), I invite you to follow me at @dbwcomm. I promise to make it worth your while – no clickbait articles or promotional madness!

Thank you for being so supportive of my blog. I hope to see you here again before January is out!

Cheers,

Sue

A Status Update

Hello everyone,

Sorry for dropping off the map for a few weeks! Maybe there’s a blogging curse when you reach one hundred posts, because ever since I celebrated that milestone, I’ve been too busy to blog. It’s been a good sort of busy, though.

My freelance editing business has been going gangbusters, which is fantastic. Thank you to all of you who have supported me in this venture, especially those who have had me over for guest posts.

After constantly writing at my day job and editing in the evenings, I found I needed a break from my computer, otherwise I was pretty sure my eyes were going to fall out. Thus my absence from the blogging scene.

Secretary_at_typewriter

Ah, for the days of typewriters…

I’ve settled into more of an equilibrium now, though, so I should be back to writing posts (albeit less frequently) in the next couple of weeks. I’m currently planning out my series about Captain Comma and her crew. I’ve also been reading more writing resources, so stay tuned for another DBW Review, as well as a new Conversation Corner.

I hope all is well with you. I’ll see you soon!

Sue

 

Public domain image via Wikimedia Commons

One Hundred Posts, Three Quotes, and One Big Thank You!

I can’t believe Doorway Between Words is celebrating its 100th post!

100

Back when I started this blog in March 2014, I had a goal to write once a week. I managed to stick to that schedule most of the time. I even took up the gauntlet and wrote for twenty-six days in April during the 2015 A to Z Challenge.

What’s kept me motivated to write is my incredible community — all of you who have read, liked, and commented on my posts. I hope you’ll all still be with me when I reach 200 posts. 🙂

It seems appropriate that I have also just reached 300 blog followers. Thank you to all of you!

I have been remiss lately in posting additional thanks to those of you who have given me blog awards. I appreciate each and every nomination, even if I don’t always have the time to write up seventeen random facts about myself.

Here are some special individuals who have nominated me for awards in the past few months:

Alex Hurst, for her must-see Must-Read Blog Award

Lori MacLaughlin, for the Creative Blogger Award

Bradscribe, for the Liebster Award

Shawn, for the Real Neat Blog Award

Nimmi, for the Premio Dardos Award

I have also received a request from La Sabrosona to participate in the Three-Day Quote Challenge. I thought I’d share three of my favourite quotes that seem appropriate today:

Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.

Mahatma Gandhi

I wrote about the importance of integrity and communication in Would Your Captain Be Proud? It’s still one of my favourite serious posts. When I write this blog, I feel like I can be me in all my forms — my serious side, my zany side, my scholarly side, my imaginative side. Thanks for making me feel comfortable being me.

The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.

George Bernard Shaw

I have this one up on my sidebar for a reason. It reminds me that communicating involves more than one person, and that thinking about your audience is the single most important thing you can do when writing. You are why I am here. Otherwise I’d be writing to the coldness of cyberspace, and who needs that?

Just do it.

Nike

I dithered a bit before I created this blog. What if I didn’t like it? What if I didn’t know what to write? What if it was a spectacular failure?

Sometimes, you just need to do it — take on those challenges and see where they take you.

This one’s taken me to a really great place. And I’m glad you were here to come along with me for the ride. 🙂

 

Love to you all,

Sue

 

Image by Kirsty Hall via Flickr/Creative Commons

Most Annoying Punctuation Mark: Poll Results

And the results are in! Thanks to everyone who voted in my poll on the most annoying punctuation mark. For several days, the comma had the clear lead, but then the semi-colon pulled up from behind, until they were neck and neck for a final finish! Here are the results:

Comma: 41%

Semi-Colon: 38%

Hyphen: 21%

Comma cartoon by Debbie Ridpath OhiImage terms of use

Some of you also pointed your fingers at other punctuation marks, like the ellipsis, the colon, and quotes. (And then there were those of us who freely admitted to abusing the exclamation mark!)

Thank you for all your comments and suggestions. I will now be retreating to my writerly cave for a little while to plan out this series, which will likely start with the comma. I look forward to the challenge of making punctuation rules entertaining!

 

Yours in punctuation angst,

Sue

Quick Poll: Most Annoying Punctuation Mark

Writing a series on how to deal with rogue words was a lot of fun, and now I’m thinking of taking on punctuation. I’ve already talked about everyone’s favourite, the apostrophe, in a few popular posts: Night of the Apostrophe Ninja, Separating Siblings With Apostrophe S, and You’re Not a Yutz. Now I’d like to see if I can make other punctuation marks fun to learn about!

keep-calm-and-use-an-apostrophe

To help me figure out what to focus on, I’d love it if you could let me know which punctuation mark drives you crazy:

 

Please feel free to share any of your punctuation horror stories below, and I’ll do my best to write some tips that will help!

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P.S. For those of you who are interested in learning about how art books are edited, I have an interview with award-winning editor Grace Yaginuma this week on the Editors’ Weekly.

Announcement: My New Editing Site

Dear readers,

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned I was working on a new project. Well, here it is — my brand new editing site — Sue Archer, Wordsmith. I’m excited to share it here with all of you!

In addition to my day job, I have recently started up my own freelance editing business. Collaborating with self-publishing authors has been such a rewarding experience for me. I’d love to have the opportunity to work with some of you someday. 🙂

If you have the time and the interest, I’d appreciate it if you could visit my site and let me know what you think in the comments below. Please be honest — I consider it a work in progress. I have also started up a blog on my new site that will be focused on editing and self-publishing tips for writers. If you feel that’s something that would be useful for you, please feel free to follow.

Doorway Between Worlds won’t be changing – I’ll be continuing to blog about communication here, and I won’t be doing any more posts advertising my services.

And finally — in the spirit of “the big reveal,” I thought it was time that I showed all of you the real me behind the avatar:

Sue Archer, Wordsmith and Editor

Thank you to all of you for your support!

 

Sue

Reader Poll Results: Blog Changes for Year 2

Circle_question_markThanks to everyone who participated in my reader survey. I’d like to share the results with you and talk about some upcoming changes to my blog. (Don’t worry – things aren’t going to change that much!)

Poll Question 1: I love sci-fi/fantasy, but I’m thinking about expanding to include references to other genres I enjoy, like mystery or romance. What say you?

73% of you said expand away. The rest of you are not big sci-fi/fantasy fans, so you would be happy if I wrote about other things.

I expect I will still be using a lot of sci-fi and fantasy references in my posts, but I am going to leave the door open for other inspirations to come to me as I write.

My tagline now says “Communication tips with a creative twist.” It’s official. Time to explore!

Poll Question 2: I’m thinking about occasionally posting some short stories / flash fiction. What do you think?

92% said of you said to go for it. Thank you for your faith in my capability to write good fiction stories! For those of you who like things the way they are, I’m not planning on going crazy with writing fiction. I see it as a once-in-a-while thing where I post something that I feel my readers would like. It may not happen right away, but stay tuned!

Poll Question 3: I’m thinking about posting on a regular weekly schedule. Which time of the week works best for you?

This one kind of surprised me. 75% of you said any time, any day, random goodness is fine with you. Only 8% of you wanted a consistent day. In a way that’s reassuring, since most of you will find me regardless of when I post. To keep myself honest and help me write consistently, I will pick a standard post day, with the idea that there may be the occasional extra posts thrown in. I’ll announce the new posting day after the April A to Z Blogging Challenge.

Poll Question 4: Which of these post types would you like to see more of in the future? (You can pick as many as you like. Hopefully, there’s at least one!)

Here’s what you asked for:
Grammar and writing tips with a creative twist     38%
Conversation Corner: interviews with tips from others 19%
Personal stories about communication         19%
DBW Reviews: Reviews of writing resources     16%
Tips on presenting and public speaking          6%
Observations on building relationships          3%

This fits nicely with what I’ve already been doing. I’ll continue to focus on creative tips, with (hopefully) regular interviews and resource reviews added in to the mix, along with some of my personal stories about communication.

Thanks again for letting me know what you think. I hope you enjoy the second year as much as I’ve enjoyed writing the first.

All the best,

Sue

 

Image source: Wikimedia Commons