Here I Come: The Evolution of a Blog

Posted on: October 9th, 2012 by Anthony Rapino 18 Comments

It’s late, and I need to sleep, but something is nagging at me.

This blog has changed, and I’m not sure it’s for the better.

Every now and then I check statcounter, a website that tracks page views on your website.  Just now, I clicked a link to a page someone had discovered through Google, and found myself face to face with words I wrote five years ago.  They were the words of a scared, depressed, and uncertain young writer.  A person at war with himself, pondering the path he chose, and whether or not it would ever lead to that golden city of publication.

Oh, if I could only go back and warn that young writer.  I’d tell him that getting published is only the beginning of his worries.  I’d tell him, “You think getting rejection letters suck?  Try publishing a novel that won’t sell.  Try promoting so hard and so often that you chase all of your loyal blog readers away.”

I’d tell him to screw that shit, and just focus on the writing.

I’d tell him all of that, because the hard part of reading that old post wasn’t remembering the insecurity and fear of being unpublished.  The hard part was noting the stark contrast between my then intimate voice and style of blog writing compared to my now cold and calculating pitchman tone:

Step right up ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls!  Do not be afraid of the novel you see before you.  It is the most surprising  amazing, mind-blazing book to hit shelves in two decades!  

I looked back at that old post and I saw over a dozen comments.  I look at my blog posts from the past month or two, and I see big, fat zeros staring back from the comment sections.  I’ve strayed.  I’ve pounded the drum too hard and too long.

It’s time for me to get back to the real work of writing, putting honest to god words into my stagnant second novel’s manuscript and leaving this sacred place to the tree-ripened fruit of a deranged writer’s mind.  The apples of which are sickly sweet and nearly rotten, but oh so heavy with sugar.

I still have a couple weeks left to this blog tour.  It will continue because it has to.  But I’m going to strive to get back to my blogging roots, and hope that some of my old friends will return.  Buy my book or don’t, it doesn’t matter anymore.  What matters is the community, friendship, and camaraderie that I remember so well.

Happy October, my friends.  It’s time to carve a Jack O’ Lantern out of this rotten blog, and stick a motherfucking candle in it to light my way.

Here I come.

18 Responses

  1. That is the honest and bravest blog post I’ve read from anybody for a long, long time. Way to go, Anthony. (By the way, your last line SLAYED me!)

    • Thanks, Cathy, I really appreciate that. And that sorta of illustrates my point. I used to *always* write blog posts like that, but somehow strayed from the path. Thanks for commenting 🙂

  2. Marsha Shapiro-Marra says:

    It takes heart to sit back and critique oneself for both the positive and negative. Thank u for posting, it made me think. We all get stuck per se behind those invisible gates in lifes walk. We alone can re-focus and bring a visibility to that which was once overlooked. Cudos Tony, for posting such words that speak to so many.

  3. I stopped believing it gets easier after publication once I was standing in front of it. I say fuck it. It won’t change who I am, like it or not here I come. =) I look forward to your new old self. =)

    • Ha, thanks Liz! Yes, new old me is here and there and everywhere. 🙂

  4. Joanna says:

    This is an excellent post. I just scrolled through all my recent blog posts and every damn one of them is promotion/blog tour stuff. Though I can’t boast of ever having over a dozen comments on a post, I can say that my older posts definitely had more interesting stuff going on in them; I wasn’t trying to portray a certain persona to get people to read my books. I think it’s a really hard balancing act we indie writers have, since it’s our job not only to write, but to promote (whereas people who are published through big traditional houses tend not to have to worry about the marketing). I think a little slap in the face like this every so often is good to keep us human, but you gotta do what you gotta do. (And I totally feel ya on trying so hard to promote a book that it feels like no one is reading).

    That said, I agree about your last sentence–totally baller. Can’t wait to see what you have in store for your revitalized blogging 🙂

    • Very true. It’s part of the “job” after all. I think as long as we have proper content (and the giveaway don’t hurt!) along with the promotion, it’s probably nowhere near as bad as I feel it is. ;-P

  5. You rock, dude. I bought a dead tree copy of your book, and I enjoyed it cover to cover. It’s worth promoting. Don’t get discouraged by the short-term. Look ahead at where you’ll be years from now with plenty more books published, with readers picking up your latest and loving it and learning you have what — other books for sale? Those readers will be staggering like slobbering hordes to pick up copies of Soundtrack and Moon Hill. I know you’re in this for the long haul. Get back to your roots, sure; but don’t forget where you’re headed. You’re bound for glory!

    • Thanks, Milo. These are true words of wisdom, because it’s true, it can get discouraging sometimes. My constant fear is that I over-promote and under-write. Striking a balance is key.

  6. Laurita says:

    I agree with Milo. That book is well worth promoting. I can see how it would be discouraging, putting so much work in and not seeing the results you want. But hang in there.

    For the record, I haven’t been around your blog much, but I really haven’t been anywhere much – including my own blog. I’m still in your corner.

    • Thanks, Laurita! Yeah, I know how it goes. My own blog reading has fallen off almost completely since the new semester started. I need to make my rounds. 🙂

  7. It’s cool to do the business thing when it needs to be done, but you still gotta be true to yourself. I admire your honesty, and look forward to those carvings.

    • Thanks, man. Yeah, being able to shift between the two is key I think. I guess it’s just high time a make that shift over for a while. 🙂

  8. Jennwith2ns says:

    Rock on! This post was awesome. I’ve got a non-selling published book, but I never tried to market it that hard, I guess, so I’m still viewing the side of the fence that you’re on (which might be the same side, but I haven’t noticed I’m on it) with a little bit of envy. (See? It IS greener.) Your words strike me as wise and wistful, though–it really is about the relationships.

    • Thanks, Jenn! You know, my mind changes daily about these things. Some days it feels like no one is reading, others I find great reviews of the novel and readers telling me how much they enjoyed it. I guess the lesson here is not to be too hard on ourselves, and keep writing! 🙂

      • Jennwith2ns says:

        Yes–I suspect you are right.

  9. Red Tash says:

    So well said. So honest. You’re still lovable. We all go through seasons and cycles.

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