Recently someone close to me suggested that I should revamp my website/blog. It was too cluttered, they said. It needed to be streamlined, more professional in appearance, and more intense in focus. I thought long and hard about the suggestions this person made; I pondered the ideas as I took walks around the neighborhood. We had online discussions in which he would explain his vision and I would counter with explanations about why I had initiated my blog and what I wanted to do with it.
Ultimately we came to the conclusion that we were advocating two different types of websites. His was a commercial vision; he wanted the website to draw readers and help to sell books. Mine was a literary vision; I saw the blog as an autobiography or encyclopedia that explained and cataloged my work. The streamlined look was good for commercial purposes, but I was not enthusiastic about it if it meant burying all the information and work I had already put into my blog, which now amounts to hundreds of thousands of words and many pages of material. We decided to separate the two visions: to leave my blog more or less the way it is (although perhaps with some tweaks to its appearance) and also create a new website that highlights my books (hopefully coming soon).
So what does my blog mean to me, and why do I not want to substantially change it? As I mentioned above, I see it as an autobiography or personal encyclopedia that highlights much of my literary life. It’s not a billboard that you glimpse for a few seconds as you drive by. It’s more like a huge mansion with many rooms, and each of the rooms is full of wondrous things for you to explore and enjoy.
For instance, there is a comprehensive bibliography of my works. This includes lists and details about all of my stories and articles that have appeared in magazines and anthologies, and all the books and stories I have self-published. There are pages with lists of my books and stories available for sale that include covers, descriptions of each one, and links to the websites that sell these items. There is a contact page with an email address you can use to write me and a link to my Patreon site.
Besides all these features, there are the blog articles themselves. These include memoirs of my travels around the world, essays on writing, book reviews, lists of my favorite films and short stories, compilations of year-end statistics of my publications, announcements, contemplations on the state of the world, reflections on parenting, and other writings on a variety of subjects. You can access these articles by category via a menu on the bottom of the home page.
As you can see, my blog is a place where you can stop in for a quick visit, read the latest post, and find links to my books. Alternatively, it is also a place you can enter and explore, with all sorts of fascinating corridors and chambers and hidden secrets. I’ve been working on it for ten years now, and during that time I have posted an article a week for all but a few weeks. Welcome! Have a look around. You’re bound to find something you like.
(If you want to help support my literary endeavors, buy a few of my books.)
I set up my blog to show where my influences come from, to showcase my writing style, and to connect with other writers.
Did you know you can add a “front page” to your blog? I think it’s called a Landing Page. Might be easier to manage than a separate website.