Today I'm proud to introduce the first guest post on this blog, by the redoubtable Sarah Hoyt (who normally blogs at According to Hoyt). Riffing off my blog title, she tells us what sorts of things she says when it's just the caffeine talking, and her new book:
It’s Just the Caffeine Talking
About two years ago I started blogging daily. I think originally I had something like sixty daily readers. Now, except for strange and unexplained dips, I have around two thousand individual ip hits per day, not counting the people who get it on email.
So . . . what am I doing that is so wonderful?
Mostly? Showing up. The routine goes something like this: Stumble out of bed, cross the room to my desk, start typing. Sometimes I have caffeine first.
What comes out is usually what has been in my brain for a while, or something that has.just.got.under.my.skin at that time. Usually visiting Facebook is enough to get something under my skin (and it looks sorta like Alien, getting out.)
The posts range from stuff that just happened in my household to whatever bit of politician or publisher has got stuck between my teeth.
Occasionally there are even cute cat pictures.
So, what do I have to say about my blog as a promotional tour?
Uh . . . I don’t know.
I was told when I started this – which I grant you is a while back – that a blog with a thousand daily readers provided an adequate platform for launching a book. And maybe it does. I just don’t know at this point.
I’ll be able to tell you more clearly once I’ve seen figures on the laydown of my next two traditionally published books. As far as the indie goes, right now I get more mileage out of taking things free on Amazon – but perhaps that’s just me.
On the other hand I enjoy the blog and there’s a good chance I’m creating the sort of dedicated readers who will evangelize a writer – and not just her blog.
And yet on the other hand perhaps it is time I got an annual fundraiser and a subscription system. Perhaps this is needed because of the sheer massive work that goes into the blog.
Work? you say. Work. Look, I don’t write short. Yes, I know, I could. But writing short in non-fiction involves a lot of cutting and rearranging for me. I simply don’t have the time for that. So my blog posts run around 1.5k to 2k words. A day. Weekends included. That is, on the very low side and accounting for the days of cute cat pictures and guest posts at least two very fat novels a year.
Now, that’s not how you measure writing, and it’s entirely possible that fiction and non-fiction come from different parts of my brain. But the truth is when the daily blogging started, the fiction output decreased. Related? I don’t know. If I knew how this here “writer’s thing” worked, I could control it better.
The other consequence of the daily blog is of course that I can no longer be enigmatic as a sphinx when it comes to my personal beliefs. If you write every day, you’re going to end up writing about something you care about. Well, unless you’re really good at contemplating your belly button lint, and mine is too clean to have any.
Which brings us to the function of a fiction writer being to entertain while the function of a nonfiction writer being to inform, to polemicize and/or to incite. At least nonfiction as I write it.
Will the second interfere with the first? Who knows? Of course if I had to choose I would choose fiction over nonfiction. It’s more fun.
But does the nonfiction publicize the fiction? Don’t know.
Mostly I write by the grace of caffeine, and most of the time not even real caffeine, but promised caffeine, i.e. the one I’m going to get truly, as soon as the blog post is written.
And until I get better data, this is what I’ll continue doing.
I do know that boring people at other people’s blogs on a blog tour DOES seem to work. So – clears throat – my book, Darkship Renegades comes out from Baen Books on Monday.
The book is supposedly about a bunch of serious stuff, but really, it’s about space travel, ray guns and a mad cyborg. (And who doesn’t need a mad cyborg?)
So, buy the book. And maybe I’ll continue to be able to afford caffeine.