My Cemeteries and Pajamas blog is a work in progress, as is the nature of blogs, I suppose. For a few weeks I’ve been content simply to have a site, knowing that its focus and voice will develop the more I blog. Enter Create Your Writer Platform by Chuck Sambuchino, which has been one of several invaluable tools helping me navigate the world of professional writing.
Sambuchino outlines three potential niches for blogs (in chapter five for those of you wanting a closer look):
- the “loose subject connection” niche, where the blogger writes about a subject that’s the major theme of her/his book
- the “altogether different” niche, where the blogger writes about a passion that’s unrelated to her/his book
- the “writing focus” niche, where the blogger focuses on her/his writing journey
Here’s the sentence that caught my attention: “What a blogger will not likely realize is that there must be more than five thousand of these ‘new writer’ blogs out there.” (p. 85)
I never wanted Cemeteries and Pajamas to be a blog solely about my writing journey. Do you really want to hear how many words I wrote today? Or the tricky plot knot I unraveled over breakfast? Snoozefest. I have nothing against blogs like this (and I actually enjoy reading about other people’s writing journey), but I don’t want to be blog number 5,001.
I considered the “altogether different” route and blog about a passion of mine, but there are already some stellar Bruce Springsteen fan sites out there.
Which leaves the “loose subject connection” niche. I write fantasy fiction. I visit cemeteries, libraries and archives. I do research related to my planned historical fiction novels. I wear pajamas a lot. I’m on sabbatical and am already worried about how my professional writing life and my professional library life will intersect in a few months.
Then it hit me – Cemeteries and Pajamas will focus on ways to support and enhance the writing life. At first I’ll mainly write about ways I’m supporting my own writing, whether discussing research trips, contemplating work/life balance or reviewing pajamas. I hope my discoveries will help others, who will in turn inspire me with more techniques for fostering the writing life. It’ll be a big, happy writing life support group.
Okay, so I’m still mainly writing a “writing focus” blog, but hey, at least I have some direction now, plus a new blog tag line. Look for posts about archival finding aids soon! (It’ll be fun – I promise.)