How My Blog Works

The other day, I wrote a blog post about how my routine got interrupted and it made me question my blog posting schedule. I’ve been thinking about how my blog works. I’ve also been trying to figure out how it WILL work. I’m afraid to specify too detailed of a specific blog schedule. I’m always trying new things and tinkering with this and that. One day I’m complaining about my Grindr profile and the next day I’m mister literary give-me-a-break. However, I have ALMOST successfully written on my blog every day for 30 days in a row. I’ve decided that blogging every day is good for me. It keeps me writing and it gives me something to do. So, I will be posting every day, unless, you know, a hole to hell opens nearby or something. And even then, I dunno, I might have something to say.

How will my blog work in the future?

The question remains: what IS my blog about? What type of content should I really focus on? Me, of course, but, I should be a little more specific, right? Or maybe not? Let’s see.

I’m probably going to post some of my short stories and creative writing a little every week, because I’ve loved doing that! But, I think I’ve also bombarded you all with my short stories a little too back-to-back, so maybe I’ll take them down to one or two a week.

I suppose at least one day a week will end up being a life update post of some sort. I can share what’s been going on with my books, with my writing, with my dating life, with my friends, or whatever.

That leaves four more days to figure out. Hmmm. I mean, maybe I can come up with four interesting blog posts about SOMETHING every week? That doesn’t sound too hard. It probably is though. I’m sure I’ll have problems sometimes: bad dates, life frustrations, et cetera.

I’ll continue figuring it out as I go along, I suppose. Again, this needs to continue being a little loosey-goosey, or it will probably implode into itself.

How will my short story posts work?

I do kinda have this part figured out. When I post new short fiction or creative writing on my blog, they are usually early drafts. They’re stories that I’ve decided to not submit to literary journals and just keep here on my blog. Most literary journals require that submissions be previously unpublished, which means they also can’t be on a blog somewhere.

I don’t have a detailed or serious process for deciding which stories to post on my blog or save to submit to literary journals. It’s usually as simple as “I’m familiar with some literary journals that this MIGHT fit into and I’m going to save it to submit to them.” If I don’t feel that way, I’ll post it. I know, groundbreaking.

I should note that, as of the date of this post, I’ve not had any pieces actually accepted anywhere. But, I still hold onto the pieces and keep submitting them for a while. If I’ve collected enough stories that haven’t been posted on my blog that keep getting rejected from journals, I will just self-publish them in a book after a year or two. (Or three. Again, very loosey-goosey.)

As for the stories that I post on my blog, again, they are usually first or second drafts. I usually edit them over time, and probably rewrite them a few times down the road. Eventually, maybe some of the stories included in my daily blog will get polished enough to graduate up into my “Free Stories” section of my blog. It definitely won’t be all the stories. It probably won’t even be three a year. I’m just guessing.

As for the speed in which it takes me to get things “polished”, which in my opinion means “done enough”, It took me three years to write and rewrite and polish the nine short stories that make up my first fiction collection, Crushes.

I think this is a good plan.

For the most part, this a good, doable, loosey-goosey enough plan for me. What do you all think? Are you into it? The goal of this blog is to mainly keep me writing. I don’t want to make too many self-imposed rules or anything. Maybe something cool will come out it one day. I’m sure there will be kinks to work out, bumps in the road, and blah-blah-blah. I suppose there’s also the fact that I’m paying money to have this domain name and web hosting, so I might as well put stuff on here.

To recap, I’ll post a few short stories, life updates, and random stuff every week. Eventually I might stop posting on the weekends? If it gets to be too much, I suppose. Or I could just post selfies on the weekends. Works for me. Hey, a blog post is a blog post.

Let me know what you think about this “plan” in the comments. I’m all for post ideas, too.

You can also follow me on Twitter and like my page on Facebook.

Eric Shay Howard in sun flare
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My Writing Routine

So this week I wrote some slightly-more-creative blog posts and it was a lot of fun. I started a new little writing routine by writing a few little stories every night before bed, sort of based on my childhood. They’re not 100% honest; I change names, try to ramp up the tension a little, and write until I feel like I’ve completed some moment. They’re fictionized enough to where the real people from my life reading them can’t really say “that was me!” or “you’re an asshole for writing about this!” Maybe some of them aren’t quite fictional enough, maybe some of them are too much. I’m not sure. I’m not worried about that probably as much as I should be.

Each morning I’ve been taking one of the little fictionized autobiographical stories from the night before and posting them on my blog. There are sometimes a bunch of typos early in the morning. I try to fix them as the morning progresses. If I worried about typos before publishing a blog post I wouldn’t post for a year, probably. Here are my thoughts on creative writing and typos, if you find that sort of thing interesting.

My writing routine got interrupted.

Lat night, I ruined the momentum I had going with my writing routine by staying up too late helping my roommate install a 65-inch television set he impulsively bought from Costco. I guess that’s going to happen sometimes: roommates will buy TVs. So, today, I’m trying to not let my routine completely fizzle out. I’m really good about things when I can establish a routine. However, I’m really bad about giving up on them forever when too many life interruptions happen. My goal is to not let that happen with this, because I really liked writing these stories every night.

I’ve been reading Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott. It’s one of those books that just about every writing teacher mentions at some point. I’ve never really read it before. I bought a physical copy of it a few years ago and never opened it. I had some Audible credits and got it, and I’ve been listening to it. I’ll put an ad so you can buy the book from Amazon below if you want. Just so you know, I’m a member of the Amazon Associates Program and I earn money from qualifying purchases with the ad below.

I’ve also successfully blogged every day for about 20 days or so. I’d like to make it all the way to 30 days, then eventually every day for three months, six months, a year. For my own sanity, and for when days like yesterday happen when roommates impulsively buy new TVs, I’m going to have to pick a day or a few days where my blog posts are in more of a “life update” style. I don’t think it would be very realistic for me to try to write a creative, fictionized, autobiographical “piece” every night. I mean I can try? But, maybe on the weekends I’ll just talk to you all like this, because this is kind of fun, too.

Eric Shay Howard selfie with coffee
Here is a selfie of me with my coffee in Downtown Louisville yesterday, because I also have a coffee routine.

Comment below! What is your creative craft, and what is your routine for it? Do you have a writing routine? How do you deal with interruptions and starting up again after them? Do you think breaks are helpful? I worry sometimes that if I take too long of a break, like I did last year, I’ll go way too long without writing. If you’re not very creative, let me know what you’re up to anyway.

You can also follow me on Twitter and like my page on Facebook.

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If My Blog Was As Good As The Others I’d Not Have Posted This

If my blog was a good as that other blog you read, I wouldn’t be posting about how I’d normally save Wednesdays for an author interview, or maybe a book review. But since I have no book reviews or author interviews, I’ll just have to post about what I post on Mondays, which is usually about how my writing is going.

I’m writing. It’s sentence by sentence. It’s slow. I don’t have ideas. I just sit down and write words. I get ideas from reading my first drafts.

If this was an author interview, I’d probably ask them if they got ideas first. If they said yes, I’d probably ask them where their ideas come from. Then I’d ask about their writing process. Their daily structure. I suspect most don’t have daily structures. I don’t. Well, not yet. Don’t think I want it. In hindsight, this author interview would probably end up being more about me than them. I guess I’d be a terrible interviewer. It doesn’t matter. My only standard right now is my worst story. Besides, this is my blog. I can write whatever the hell I want. I couldn’t if this blog was as good as the other blogs.

(At the end of the author interview, there’d be a link to their book and their website and all of that stuff. I’d thank them for coming. Well, for listening. It’d probably be done remotely. I’m pretty introverted. Unrelated, I suppose. The bigger reason would be because of the distance. And then I’d end it somehow making it about me again. IF this blog was as good as those other blogs by writers who blog about their writing.)

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I wrote this because I wanted to post an author interview but didn’t have one. I know, I need better shit. Give me a minute. I write stuff like I drink beer. Slow. My professors and writer friends all say I have to write all the time and all my blog friends say I have to post a lot of blogs, so I’m sure you understand. At least Friday is short story day. I’ve been busy editing fiction. I’m sure that’s why this didn’t go so well. Just come back Friday to read a new short story.

Use my contact form to contact me about my editing services, a creative project, literary stuff, or blog related things. Or whatever. You can also follow me on Twitter and Instagram, and like my page on Facebook.

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I Went To A Bar And Now I’m Self-Employed

I went out over the weekend to the Highlands neighborhood here in Louisville.

I made a new friend at one of the many gay bars there, called Chill Bar. It has this enormous tree out in the patio with Christmas tree lights wrapped around it. We sat at the bar around the tree and drank Budweiser and Guinness, people watched, and talked about our creative ambitions. He’s a musician. He also has a day job, something with pipe organs. I talked to him about how I’m just really not that good at traditional jobs and just sort of want to write things. Basically, I’d rather be self-employed. Actually, I need to be self-employed.

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I’m Taking A Hard Look At My Blogging

I’ve been posting on and off on this blog since 2014. It’s time to take a hard look at what my blog is and how to get it closer to what I want it to be. I’ve been avoiding this since I started it because I was in college. I didn’t have enough time to focus on it the way I felt like I needed to. A blogger has a lot of cool things, like making my own work schedule, working from home, writing every day, and building a community. I wanted and expected at least some of those things, but I didn’t do any work to get them. As a result, my blog has just sort of existed for three years. Now that I’ve graduated college and have more time to devote to blogging, there’s no excuse.

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Book Reviews: How Soon Is Too Soon?

Well, it finally happened. I got to read a book for a book review early.

Well, sort of. The book’s UK release date was this month. The book doesn’t come out in the US until November. I’m reading it from the US publisher. I don’t THINK the US publisher would care if I went ahead and posted the review, but I think it’s good practice to wait until closer to the “official” release date for the publisher that I’m providing the review for. So, I’m embargoing myself. You’ll get to know what I think of the book in November. Maybe October. To be honest, this whole thing is all up in the air I have no idea what I’m doing.

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Graduating, Starting A Freelance Writing Business, and Launching A Literary Magazine

I woke up this morning with absolutely nothing to do. Well, except move. Oh, and read submissions for Likely Red Magazine, an online literary magazine that just released its first issue this week. And I need to job hunt. And promote my blog on social media. And work on more content for here and possibly a few other blogs. Oh and write more on my novel manuscript and edit some of my short stories. It’s getting to be about time to submit some of them to other journals and publishers, too. You know what? I guess I have a lot of crap I need to work on. And Now that my classes

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