What I’ve been doing here since May just isn’t working. It’s not a bad blog, but it’s one piece of a byzantine maze of social media accounts that Diana, Jeremy, and myself are using with specific goals in mind. The approach I adopted here in the beginning was based on the idea that Sourcerer would take a year to get off the ground, and this blog would need to post frequently for a few months until contributors came on board and Part Time Monster was thoroughly established.

I chose to make it a writing blog because we already had two with much wider spectrums of content. I felt like I needed a narrow focus here. Since writing is the thing I’m most qualified to focus on, and since I love to talk to writers about writing, it seemed like a no-brainer. In general, the larger project has developed as I expected it to. Both Sourcerer and Part Time Monster have evolved distinctive characters and attracted regular readers more quickly than I dared imagine they would, and I realized at some point that the focus I chose for this blog is too narrow.

The consequences of all this are two-fold.

  1. There’s nothing I can do from this blog to help the others, and pretty much everyone who reads the others is aware this blog exists and has made their decision about following it by now, so they can’t really help me here, either.
  2. Since PTM and Sourcerer have developed in very interesting and unanticipated directions, this blog as it exists doesn’t fit into the overall scheme as well as it did in the beginning. It’s out of synch. I’m amazed that it’s still, inexplicably, picking up at least one follower on most days.

This means that unless I want to shutter it and hope the people who like Just Gene’O best will follow along at Sourcerer, I need to take three steps if I want to help this blog:

  1. Revamp it so that it looks and feels as good as the other two,
  2. Adopt a realistic posting schedule, and
  3. Make sure that when I do post, the content is of the highest quality, including a significant amount of the blogging focused on reading, writing, and literature.

So, here’s my to-do list to get Just Gene’O back on its feet.

  • Change the theme to be more reflective of my personality, incorporate real menus and make it easier to navigate the “Collected Works” pages.
  • Look at my content – particularly what I posted here in June and the early part of this month – and develop a more coherent and appealing content plan.
  • Figure out how often I can post and get myself prepared to stick to it. If that means once a week, that’s what I can do. This blog can survive until spring with once-a-week posting, especially if I get a little more savvy about sharing links to appropriate places.
  • Change all references to The Writing Catalog to Just Gene’O on my social media. This should have already been done.

In short, I need to re-imagine this blog the way you re-imagine a story that isn’t working. I need to keep the best parts but turn it into something different.

Here are a few ideas I’m toying with.

  • Setting it up to display a static front page rather than the most recent posts.
  • Making it solely a weekend blog for awhile, and arranging my schedule to post here on either Saturday or Sunday, or
  • Since it’s somewhat-focused on reading, writing, and books, moving the Top Ten Tuesday feature over here and letting that be the weekly post, aside from occasional personal things and writing chatter.

That last idea makes sense for several reasons:

  1. Sourcerer rarely has a shortage of content on Tuesdays.
  2. Tuesday, organically, seems to be the best day of the week to post.
  3. The Top Ten Tuesdays allow me to list a link at the Broke and the Bookish. This is helpful to Sourcerer, but I’m wondering if it might be even more helpful, long-term, here.

Just thinking on these things. I figured since I had to write all this down to get it straight in my head, I might as well do it here instead of in a notebook. That way, anyone who cares about the nuts-and-bolts of blogging can follow along with this process.

15 thoughts on “Re-imagining

  1. I would second Natacha’s thoughts. I’m excited about your growth and I’m looking forward to the change. I have a lot of confidence that you’ll come up with a great idea.
    On a different note, I worry that you might work too hard. I hope this doesn’t create stress for you, Gene’O.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Nah. One of the reasons I slowed this one down as much as I did was because I was looking ahead at the next couple of months and realizing that if I didn’t do that, it would become a source of stress.

      This one will likely not be back to anything like full speed before October at the earliest.


    • Something you can’t really tell just from looking at all this stuff I’m doing. Everything of my own that I published this week through Friday, except the quick-and-easy stuff like the open thread, was finished and ready to schedule by last Saturday afternoon. I haven’t done as well today, but I frequently sit down on a Saturday or a Sunday and write 3-5 posts.


  2. Have you tried out The Gallery Theme? Might not be your cup of tea but with the right creative tweaks it makes a really inviting first page for written pieces. Been toying with the idea of a change of theme myself.

    Liked by 1 person

    • No, I haven’t looked at that one, but I will. I’ve been considering Twenty-Eleven for a while because I know a couple of people who have created some nice blogs using that one.

      Thanks for the tip!


  3. I agree with all of the above comments. I can’t wait to see where your new direction goes. I don’t see why it would be a problem to limit posting on Just Gene’O until you’re ready to post more.


    • Thanks 🙂 The problem, if we come right down to it, is time. It’s not that I don’t want to post here, it’s that so many other things are pulling me in so many different directions. And fall is going to be a busy, buys time for me. From about Aug. 15 until the end of September, the job is all that matters. So, I’m trying to circle the wagons a bit beforehand and think about what I can do for this blog that will make a big difference when it comes roaring back to life. (Am I making sense? sometimes it is difficult to tell.)


  4. A couple of recommendations from my own experience with my own writing blog.

    For one, I tried the static home page. While I had that up, I feel like I had very few people browsing through stuff, and very few actual views. It cuts people off from the blog.

    For my other thought, a realistic and useful posting strategy is an incredibly good thing. It cuts down stress a lot. And this would be the best sort of blog to try cutting back, being consistent, and seeing what happens.

    Good luck, whatever you decide to do here!


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