The great Greek-Persian philosopher Demothechakakhan (known as Chaka to his buds) once said that a person could write on a cartload of papyrus and still not say shite. (Bear with me, I’ve been watching Scottish TV lately.) He didn’t say those exact words, but the sentiment is accurate. Chaka’s idea is valid, and he would have made a decent blogger.
The prevailing wisdom regarding novelists today, particularly indie/self-published writers, is that they must have a blog. And they must blog at least once a week. The idea, if I understand it correctly, is to allow readers and potential readers to get to know the writer in a way that was not feasible pre-social media. (Even if there were such an avenue back in the day, it’s hard to imagine someone like Norman Mailer blogging weekly. But whatever.)
Writers always have something to say.That’s why we write. The problem, in my case anyway, is most of my energy goes to saying it in my books. Therefore, when it comes that time of the week when I feel I need to post something, I don’t always have anything in mind.
Subsequently, to meet this self-assigned obligation, I’m in danger of writing about some of the more mundane aspects of my life. For example, my decision to wear blue pants today instead of gray. I was a little lazy in choosing coordinating colors, so I wondered if I could get away with mixing blue with brown. That reminded me of Mikhail Gorbachev, former head honcho of the Soviet Union, when he paid a visit to America in the early nineties. He wore a navy suit with shoes the color of a chestnut horse. I wondered if that was an acceptable shoe color with a navy suit in Russia. I would have gone with oxblood shoes, but what did I know? The more I thought about it, however, the more I decided the navy/chestnut combo worked. Still, I would never write about that in a blog. I have standards.
I could also write about how it may be time to replace my can of shaving cream, and how it’s hard to know when the can is about empty. Even when it feels light, there could be a good two weeks worth of shaving left. On the other hand, you can tell when your stick of deodorant is nearly used up. Maybe someone could create a way to have shaving cream work like a stick of deodorant so you would know exactly when you’re running out. I keep worrying I’ll be surprised one morning soon, running out of shaving gel before I can complete the task. Then I remember that I go without shaving once or twice a week anyway, much to the chagrin of my wife, so why worry about it?
The point is, it would be silly to write about that stuff to meet a fake obligation to fill this space with five hundred words each week. I promise I will never do that.
P.S. If you’re interested in books that don’t simply fill space, I can help you here, here and here.