This is my third first blog post, by which I mean the beginning of my third attempt at blogging.
My first attempt was nearly a decade ago, before Facebook became the gold standard for internet social networking (goodness, has it been that long?). It was a journal of the young-man-spouts-his-unfiltered-emotions-for-everyone-to-read sort, a dour exercise in egocentricism and immaturity that eventually spiraled into a much-deserved deletion. After that ill-fated attempt, I swore off blogging altogether.
My thoughts on blogging changed when I attended a writing conference some years later. I was told that it was essential for EVERY writer, if he or she wants to find ANY success in the publishing industry, to have a blog and to update it DAILY. The content of said blog was unimportant, the speaker (who happened to be selling a book on the importance of blogging for authors, and may thus have had a bit of a bias) said. What was most important was the regularity of the blog’s updates.
A blog, the speaker proclaimed, is a fan-magnet, and is the single thing any author can do to build a readership and a platform for selling books, even if said book is yet nothing more than an idea in the writer’s head. A wannabe fantasy author with an unsold (and very very very rough) novel manuscript, I was led to believe that by blogging I would instantly attract hordes of readers dying to get their hands on my material, not unlike the desperate and shameless manner in which sexy girls chase after Axe body spray users (or so the commercials would lead one to believe… such has not, in fact, been my experience). With that glorious vision dancing like sugarplums (whatever those are) in my head, I started a shiny new blog with a clever title, faithfully posting new articles every day on topics ranging from animated films to church potlucks to automotive trouble—anything to get words on the screen.
Needless to say, my discussions on the merits of Pixar’s most recent cinematic adventure and on my car’s failed transmission did not, in fact, bring me scores of new readers, which was probably just as well. I had fun with the blog, for what it was, but wound up burned out on it. Posting every day was an absurd commitment to make from the start, and it became more and more absurd as I realized that the time I spent composing blog posts was cutting drastically into time I ought to have been spending editing my novel or working on other, more-important writing. I eventually gave up blogging altogether, refocusing all my writing attempts on improving my fiction and toying with short stories. This was about four years ago.
Which leads me, at last, to today, and this first post on the joshstrnad.com blog. If you’re reading this (first of all, thanks!), chances are good you’re a friend of mine and are already aware of my upcoming publishing deal for my first novel, Pantheon (the same book that I had taken to that previously mentioned writers conference, except ten complete revisions later). My publisher, Urania Speculative Fiction, is, needless to say, a modest publishing house without a massive budget for marketing authors. With that in mind, they insist all their represented authors have blogs to use as marketing platforms—and who knows? Although I’m not naïve enough to believe that writing posts about my dentist appointments and obscure indie-rock bands I like will propel me to fame and fortune, I suppose there is a chance that this blog will serve as a fresh means to connect me with the larger community of readers and writers. It can do no harm.
At any rate, I do intend to update here fairly regularly (although by no means with the foolhardy daily commitment of before). Many blogs follow specific topics, building toward a book’s worth of material in themselves. I have no such ambitions for this blog; rather, the unifying theme here will most likely be its lack of a unifying theme.
Posts here will bounce between topics both mundane and the sublime, as the whim takes me. Any given day may provide a window into any number of life experiences or random interests: art and culture, scientific breakthroughs, Christianity and the church, philosophy, music of all kinds, movie reviews, literature, video games, family, friends, and, of course, writing (especially as it relates to speculative fiction).
If this sort of stuff interests you as it does me, then welcome, and thanks again for reading. I’m looking forward to getting back into the blogging groove. Joshblog 3.0 is a go.