You may notice that I write reviews here. In fact, there was a time on this blog when I wrote nothing but reviews. Reviews, reviews, reviews. Day after day and week after week. Reviews. And there’s a good reason for that: they bring people to the blog.
I may be a fairly successful writer in the UK, but I’m largely unknown in the United States, and that’s where the majority of blog traffic comes from. Consequently I don’t get a lot of web searches for sam hawken author (or whatever) and instead get a lot of searches that bring people to the many, many reviews I’ve written over the course of four years.
There’s nothing really wrong with this. I first started writing reviews for my own amusement, but they are on the blog to be read, so I’m not going to complain when people read them. Some days the only traffic I get to the blog are readers looking for my reviews. They could not give a hooting hell that I’m a prize-listed, bestselling author. They don’t have the first clue who I am. All they know is that I have a review for Forced Vengeance that they want to read.
My original goal when it came to reviews was to write a review for every book I read, every movie I watched and every game I played. From time to time this has become a serious chore, as I’ve had backlogs as high as thirty or forty reviews waiting for my attention, and all because I’ve gotten totally burned out on writing the things. Eventually I do come back to them, but burnout is seriously hard to shake.
I find myself in a similar place today. I only have a couple of reviews to write, and ordinarily I would post both of them today to clear out my review queue, but I just… don’t want to write them. I know I should write them and I know I could write them, but I’m not in the right frame of mind.
Now you may recall from many previous entries on this blog that I’m not a big fan of the “when the mood strikes me” approach to writing. A fictioneer of whatever stripe you happen to be, writing is your job and you have to treat it like one. Blogging is something of a special case, though. Unless you’re earning a living or a reputation from your blog, it’s really just an appendage to the actual work of writing. Great exposure if people actually go there and read things, but otherwise little more than a glorified hobby.