Thursday, January 9, 2014

The Self-Aware Story of a Blog

So here we are again.

This is the story about a blog, this blog, a blog that comes from a rich pedigree of abandoned projects and waning interest. When I say rich pedigree, I mean that I've had *thinks for a second* three other blogs come before it. This is my fourth. Why have a blog at all? Well, a new Twitter acquaintance of mine, @TabKey (hey I just got that joke) posted about writers having, nay, needing a web presence. It made a lot of sense. This got me to thinking, "I've had blogs before but didn't really know what to do with them." And so, I decided to gather my focus (for you MMO Hunters out there) and try again.

I don't exactly have a good track record, but what the hey?

First, I began what I named The Nerdery. It was supposed to be a celebration of the niche interests that one can be obsessed with. Just general nerdiness like Star Trek, World of Warcraft, Lord of the Rings, that sort of thing. This was, admittedly, much too broad of a subject for just one person to cover.

Secondly, or rather, concurrently, there was my blog of Middle Earth Stories. This was meant to be a showcase for my fan fiction and Lord of the Rings Online Roleplaying writings. This, too fell by the wayside from lack of interest on my part, and complete lack of audience. Having a Blog when you are a regular puke with nothing in particular to say is a lot like standing on your roof shouting things. Someone may wander by and hear you once in awhile, but they probably aren't going to go out of their way to come back.

My third attempt was a little more focused, and I almost made it last. Part of the reason was that I was unemployed and having a buttload of time on my hands. Part of it was that I had decided that I'm a writer and writing is what I want to do. So I posted story bits and some of my limited experiences in writing, in NaNoWriMo, or just general opinions that I felt strongly enough to write about. I even linked it to my Facebook and Twitter, and I was getting a few hits here and there. Then, a thing happened. I got a job and went back to work.

A short time ago, for reasons I can't remember, I got frustrated with social networks and online things in general. I scrubbed my presence from the internet. I wanted to start over. My blog, my Twitter, my useless timesink on Tumblr, and several other things that I wasn't using at all were deleted. I even tried to delete my Facebook, but let me tell you, good luck with that. Have you ever seen a tree that grew from a sapling right next to a chain-link fence, and the tree flesh absorbs the fence into it? Well, that fence is what Facebook is. Good luck removing it. Also it's linked to Spotify, and I love Spotify.

So that pretty much brings me to now. Three days ago, I recreated my Twitter (@Ian_E_Smith) and it happened to come right before a #pitmad. For anyone who doesn't know what this is, it is an event wherein writers can use the space allowed by a tweet to pitch their finished manuscripts in Twitter, and agents and editors look on, and pick and choose tweet-sized pitches to request a full query from the poster. I think it stands for "Pitch Madness." It was very interesting. I was kind of bummed I don't have a finished manuscript.

Where was I? I've gotten off track. Oh yeah, so this blog. I read @TabKey's post and decided it was time to give this another go. But what to name it? The Nerdery, Middle Earth Stories, and Smitty's Dreams are the names of my previous failures. I decided to go with something a little more ambiguous. I thought first of "Third Time's a Charm," but then remembered that my third blog is so much empty space on Wordpress. So, okay, what's one more than three? "Fourth Time's a Charm" sounded good at first, but as I tried various permutations of the url (all of which were taken) I fell out of love with that whole deal. Then (since I'm over-explaining my thoughts already as it is) I thought about how I don't really have a specific genre of fiction that I write. So keeping with the number four, I thought of "Genre is a Four-Letter Word." Only it isn't. It has five letters. So after five whole minutes of careful thought, I just decided with the "Fifth Letter". It's fun and just meaningless enough.

So that's this Blog's origin story. Here's hoping it lasts this time.


  1. Awesome post, Ian! Keep with it. Great things come out of perseverance. Also, I love that you are a fellow nerd. I'm more of a console gamer, myself, but we can still be pals. :)

    1. Thanks, Tab. It's your fault, you know, probably.

  2. Keep it up, Ian!

    *in best Rob Schneider voice* "You can do it!!!"