What Does Blog Want?

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Hi, guys. Can we talk?

Blogging is going to be spotty for about two weeks, starting Tuesday.  I’ll log in, and post, maybe even pictures, but I’ll be in Europe, so making it coordinate with early morning here will be difficult.

Heck, it has been difficult for about a month.

And perhaps that’s why hits on this blog have gone from 4k a day to about 200.  And why comments that were once around 300 or more are now struggling to break 50.  I don’t know.  I know we’re getting low hits, and at some point I wonder about spending an hour of my day on that.

There’s other stuff going on.  In November my mainstains for income fell apart within a week.  The later change in one of them only made things worse, as in, technically now that’s not paid at all.  (Yes, I know, and I’ll explain in private if you wish, but let’s say that my chances of getting paid anything in any month are lower than 0%)

This is a problem because we were counting on my income to not completely crash and burn the final year of supporting kids through their degrees.

And yes, I know.  I even try to find meaning in it.  Sometimes in public (but I always wash my hands afterwards.)

There is something human in trying to find meaning, to find “where I’m supposed to go” particularly when you’re in a year of “things fall apart” which seems to be the theme for 2019.  You build, it collapses. You build, it collapses.  And you think “What do you want me to build?” And “what am I supposed to do?”

Maybe there is something that wants me to do something. (NOT Ilhan Omar’s something.) Who knows.  I have trouble with “lives guided from outside” because, what part of it is hindsight? And wouldn’t it violate free will?

I don’t know.

I know some hard facts: I never wanted to do political commentary or, in fact, non-fiction.  Time there was that I worked really hard to write an article, even a blog-post-like article, and it took me about a week, while I could dash out a short story in two hours.

I felt compelled to blog, and it seems to have helped some people, but it was never something I wanted to do.  I’m still not amazingly fond of it.

Fiction writing seems to be — now — designed for my talents, since indie is a volume game, and I am/used to be a volume writer.  It’s just that between the blog and various other things going on, and particularly financial worry as we try to get through this very bad year, I don’t know how to get back “there” again.  I’m going to try again today.  But other than a story that was contracted, nothing has got finished and very little has got finished since the end of last year.

I’ve done some cover work, but that doesn’t have the joy it once had. (It pays. And I’ll have a site soon where you can order them, and I can do it when I’m about dead.  All these are helpful. They just don’t feed the “must create.”)

All of this is distorted and influenced by the fact that right now I’m having a massive auto-immune attack presenting as a head cold/massive URI.  I know it’s autoimmune because my eczema is ramping up with it, which never happens with real viruses, and also because it ramps up with each new worry/upset.

I had to stop singulair, which was giving me ADHD and memory issues (as well as depression.)  I don’t know if I’m depressed out. I’d classify it, rather, as extremely stressed.  Both work on the auto-immune, though.

Now, some of the lability is still the come down from what the singulair was doing, but the issues are real.

Unless hits on the blog pick up — and yes, I know, it might be throttling. But it could also be “one of those things.” — I can’t justify the time I spend on it. It’s a “duty” hanging over my had every morning, that consumes a lot of the energy I have, first thing.

I can do more guest bloggers (I’d need more guest bloggers, of course) but that’s not a long term solution, and the current hits are too low to attract much.

As I said, this is going to be weird till the 15th of May, which won’t help hits, but shouldn’t alarm you. I’ll just be in another time zone and probably very busy. It’s not the statement of any decision.

You guys have been here a long time, some of you from the beginning, so I thought I’d turn this over for discussion.

As I see it my options are:

1-Shutter the blog.

Pros – This would free a ton of time and remove the obligation from over my head.  Kim du Toit, in former times, advised me to do that multiple times.

Cons – I like you guys, and this blog has formed into a sort of little community.  And sometimes I do have things that must be said. This is a much-diminished platform, but it is still a platform.

2- Reduce the blogging to 3 times a week on specific days: say Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Pros – much less work, much more free time to attempt to sit down and do fiction.

Cons – my guess is that would take the hits to about 20 a day.  Blog reading is a matter of habit. If you don’t do it every day, you’ll eventually not do it at all.  And then it will not be worth to keep open. So I see 2 leading to 1.

3- Do long blog posts when the mood strikes, but post something every day.  A quote from something I’m reading; something that struck me as funny in a facebook exchange; a link to a blog post that interested me.  I mean, there is something that amuses me/interests me every day, but not necessarily something that I need to/want to write a long post about.

Pros- I’d still be posting every day, and maybe you guys would still come back every day to see what’s up.  If I make it amusing enough, maybe the discussion will be interesting, too.

Cons – is it enough? What do you guys think?  It’s not hard to do, and there would still be the occasional long post once a week or more. But is it enough to keep the blog alive, even if it just stays in this diminished state?

4- go on as I’ve been.

Pros – traffic will probably come back. We’ve gone through low times in the past for two/three months, but it always comes back.

Cons – it’s an hour and sometimes two every morning.  When I say “I haven’t written” it ignores the 1 to 2k words poured into this every morning. And since it started mostly as a vehicle of promoting my fiction, it’s counterproductive if it’s eating my fiction.

So — I’d like your opinions.  #3 is the most feasible to my mind, I just don’t know if it will be enough.

Additional to that is that I must find some way to make money.  Yes, fiction writing will do it, if I can get back to that, and I’m going to try very hard.

But I won’t lie that having say 10k in the bank right now would clear my mind wonderfully and allow me to write.  (For perspective, it’s just the cushion is gone, from well, stupid university tricks, mostly.)  It has occurred to me to teach an online workshop or two, but it would have to make a good amount of money, so I don’t know.  No, Gofundme isn’t an option. It’s not that I’m not making money from fiction (Not this last year, but I also have not written much.) It’s more that oh, at random, delivery payments, not to mention royalties are paid unpredictably in my field. And non-fic used to provide the cushion.  I feel even more need of a cushion before jumping to indie, and right now…

I realize this is mostly psychological.  And maybe Himself is trying to tell me something, lead me a new way.  I don’t know. If so, I’m an exceptionally bad listener. (What else is new.)

To fully explain how pathetic I am, the auto-immune is increasing my stress because I’m afraid of gaining weight, as I usually do when it’s going nuts.

Yes, I’m aware what I need is a long week away in the center of the city, near the museums, with my husband and just writing.  What’s actually ahead is a two week trip to Portugal, with the stresses that always brings (through no one’s fault. It just piles on the guilt and the grief to see how much everything has changed, people included. There’s also the fact the older I get the more I hate and dread traveling, no matter where REALLY.  Which is why the relaxing weekends/weeks are half and hour to an hour from home and in well-trod ground.) And then two conferences before the end of June.  If I could I’d totally fast forward to July and start writing and cocooning, but life isn’t a DVD.

So, guys, give me your wisdom (such as it is.)  And yes, prayers and well wishes much appreciated.  This year isn’t BAD like oh, 2001 was bad. People aren’t — knocks on head — dropping dead left and right.  It’s just a time of transitions, sudden inversions, things falling apart.

The way life goes through these periods is in itself interesting and almost evidence of external plotting.  If that’s the truth, then there’s something I must do, a change of course I must effect.

Well, a change of course is in the plans anyway, because what can’t go on, won’t.

But right now, I literally don’t know which way to turn, and nothing seems to work.

So…. give me your wisdom.

This too shall pass. It’s just a rough patch.

 

 

283 responses to “What Does Blog Want?

  1. Sarah, I try to keep up and comment, but it seems like real life is kicking my butt every time I turn around. It’s dozens of little things, including the fact that I need to cut down on my internet other places and focus on two or three, this blog among them.

  2. I check here less often now. Some of it has to do with my computer. Not complaining again. Some of it is to do with how I feel– tired in the afternoons. I suggest that blogging is starting to downgrade. What is the next thing? I do know from experience that if you slow down the blogging– like once during the week, then the hits get even lower. In my case, I lost the high volume.

    Is the blog helping with your sales? If not, is there something else you need to do? I would hate to lose your insights and your community. Maybe this needs to become less stressful and more community with you? I’m all for reducing stress.

    • I need to write more….

      • To be explicit, you need to publish more paying work.
        Given that Baen is no longer an option and no other house would have you for reasons totally unrelated to your abilities as a writer, your only course of action is to write and complete as much product as possible for the indie market.
        But you already know that.

      • Then you have your answer.

        • Agreed.

          We are all grown-ups. Well, we’re all adults.

          Okay, fine, we all found each other. I’m sure we’ll find a way to stay together (keys Cyn’s, Fox’s, Red’s, and Writer in Black’s blogs…among others).

          • I think I need the community, too, Herb. There’s a reason I’m inclining to #3. I mean you might get a link on “neat science stuff” or “Here is this article on an ancient civilization and why it’s crazy.” OR “This is what Rex Stout said on taxes.” and why it’s a mess. BUT I’m thinking like my longer entries at insty, 200 words, a quote and a link.

            • If you can do it quickly and without a lot of effort, this sounds like a great plan.

              • Well, my insty posting usually takes me about an hour in the evening. And there’s almost always a link or two I don’t put there for whatever reason:too silly; too much to explain; too personal, etc.
                I could at the same time cue one of those here “for the next day”. And honestly, because I have to do it for MGC, anyway, do the “big post” on Wednesday every week, with others if the spirit moves me that week.
                NONE OF THIS APPLIES FROM HERE TO MAY 15 (to be realistic 16, as I’ve been known to sleep 18 hours after such trips) when the posts will be random, probably highly strange, but hopefully entertaining:
                If the ceremony occurs (oh, you don’t want to know!) there might be wedding pics, stray cat pics, castle pics, a quote of something overheard, food pics, some weird travel story, etc. And they will be at odd hours, because I’m not going to be writing a blog by 3pm every day. You guys will have to deal with that part.

                • The ‘post is up at random time’ is completely understandable, and utterly fine.

                  Pre-caffinated me just thought: Perhaps if you find a string of topics, which you’re likely to when you start rabbit-holing with research, maybe write a bunch of short posts and queue them up? (I guess? I haven’t any clue of how your blog’s back-end works. So take this suggestion and bin it if it’s not in the least bit helpful or feasible.)

                  Let’s hope the coffee works today!

            • I’d love any links to interesting linguistic stuff. 😉

            • That being the case, #3 seems the best option, from what I can see. And who knows? I think you might enjoy the more relaxed “Oh hey, here’s this neat thing I found today!” or “Guys, look at this thing. What drugs was the article writer on, do you think? Here’s why it’s wrong.”

              Y’know how some artists do warm-up sketches before they get down to the day’s work? Think of the blog of your warm-up, perhaps?

              I visit every day simply because I like reassuring content like yours – reassuring, that there’s still some functioning brains out there. That helps with my own exhaustion-related depression quite a bit, because the discussions everyone gets into afterward, over the course of days, are fun and usually informative. On the rare day I don’t get to do much, it’s because there have been entire weeks where every day, I’m off to a medical appointment; mine, or Jaenelle’s (she’s breathing better, I hope it stays that way!) Mind, I’m telling you all this to let you know the blog and what you do isn’t going to waste, but it’s also not an obligation I’m pressing on you. There’s always PJM, and MGC.

              More guest posts are also fine too, IMHO.

              Just my 0.02 AUD.

            • I think a short blurb and a link would be a good substitute, especially if they’re short enough that you won’t feel over-done to toss them in whenever, sometimes once a day, sometimes a couple of times. But only if you don’t feel pressured to do more than one.

            • I like Door #3 myself. And we certainly seem able to commune at length about practically anything halfway interesting, so all it takes is a starter kit.

              Insty? instagram? me no use, so no idea, but is there a reason you can’t save effort by just carboning those posts over here?

      • rightasusual2003gmailcom

        If I might point out:
        – You already have written – you could easily turn your years of blog posts into a book (which, would also drive traffic here). Chapters/sections could include:
        – My childhood
        – Coming to America
        – Stumbling from beginner to published writer
        – My take on the Left
        – Fighting back against the Entrenched Publishing Matrix

        That’s just a few ideas. We could all help, by suggesting some posts we’ve found particularly helpful (with links, guys), and volunteering to proofread/assist as needed. Well, and also buying/reading/reviewing/promoting on our own blogs/social media.

        You’ve done a lot of the work already. LOTS of people would be interested in your story.

        • Leo M. Walker

          This is an excellent suggestion. Don’t know if SAH would go for it; a lot of search, cut and paste. No writing.

        • There’s a cataloggery issue – assembling these blog posts according to topic is a task akin to the Augean stables (although the blog content is far more savory) in that the early years are inadequately logged* according to content. Sadly, “Lessee, I think I wrote something on that topic in Summer of 2013” is not an effective search reference.

          *I know because I once spent several months attempting to spend spare time going through these posts and the quantity is — at 365 or so a year — staggering.

        • snelson134

          “– Fighting back against the Entrenched Publishing Matrix”

          With a business case study on how a publisher gets blue-pilled: why Baen is no longer an option.

  3. Christopher M. Chupik

    I like 3 myself.

  4. I don’t know how it reading the blog in my email impacts your ‘hit’ count. I read them all (sometimes I save the email for later, but I do get to them), but don’t always come here to comment or read comments (there are some really great commenters here).

    Sometimes, as can be seen from the number of ‘c4c’ that I use, I really, really want to see that everyone has to say.

    I’m good with whatever works for you.

    • I do the same thing. I just don’t have time to read all the comments anymore, and I never commented often, but I do read the blog in my emails. That probably doesn’t register in the traffic, so I guess I’m even more of a stealth lurker now?

      • yeah, it was never good at counting THOSE hits.

        • I usually try to catch the blog every day, and just recently started commenting (once I figured out I could do so without having to sign up for evil Facebook and Twitter or create a wordpress account since I myself don’t blog; I am probably in the minority among commentators in that I do not work in the literature/writing field) or at least every couple of days, depending on health, work businesses, etc., Sometimes I read but either don’t have the energy to write a coherent comment or have nothing that I think would add to that particular Blog’s comments thread.
          Sarah, obviously paying work and your health and family come first and foremost (not necessarily in that order). Short pieces with or without links and not blogging every day seem to be an approach that enables some balance. You would still be able to do longer blogs when you have time or feel the need for one, do shorter ones when the opportunity arises, and if thee are days with no new blogs, I think we have shown we can still find ways to add to comments on existing blog threads, especially if some new somewhat related “hot topic” comes up.

        • What!? WP does not track subscribers? A deplorable lapse. WP Delenda Est.

    • Ditto. Your blogs hit my email. I read them all, and all the comments, again, generally triggered by “c4c”. Sometimes not until way late in the day, sometimes, surprise, surprise, not long after it is posted ( always “how did that happen?”) I too really want to read what others have to say and what the responses are. Guessing if I read instead from FB that might count as a direct hit on the blog? If so, will start accessing that way to improve hits.

      I am good with whatever works for you.

      Not being a “professional writer”, of anything other than comments (not my own blog, not my own fiction, or even fan fiction) I would never presume to demand writing from anyone for any reason.

      I do know we are planning some trips ourselves this summer, off and on. I guarantee no one will see any posts from me for days after a blog post. We tend to go to what-Internet? or cell-coverage? either notion applies.

    • I read via an RSS feed. Bog knows whether that shows up in your hit count or not. That said, I’ll happily volunteer to help with the finances…

      …by purchasing any of your published writings that I don’t yet own. Sadly, I think that’s an empty set right now, so I also extend my offer to the ones you haven’t released yet—moments after I become aware of their availability.

  5. If you’d asked me I probably would have suggested something like #3. Post shorter.

    You post long. And I’ll be honest, sometimes (often, really) I have tldr sorts of days. Shorter might be better. Save long posts for when you feel really inspired. And there’s no telling what might get people talking in the comments other than cranky or controversial stuff. I don’t think that shorter posts would change that. Do an Insty style quip and link.

    And the hard question there is, do hits on the blog translate to sales *at all*?

    Certainly, if you’re not writing fiction they don’t. They can’t.

    I started blogging back when everyone did and didn’t manage to keep it up, not even a little bit, so I’m hardly one to talk. But that’s my 2 cents.

    • This is also good. 750 words is great for a blog post. Especially with this collection of fools. That’s more than enough material for us to start talking.

      • Amsel, Matthew

        True enough – you don’t need tons of research either, just get us rolling and we’ll go dig it up and share

      • 150 words.

        200 words.

        500 words is a whole page, single spaced.

    • Frankly, I’ve always wondered how you could keep up with doing such long blog posts every day. Shorter posts, with a longer one here and there when you have something you want to say, so basically #3, seems to be a more logical way (to me) of doing a blog anyway.

      There are a lot of things you could put into shorter posts that would be interesting. Bits of stories. A blurb about what you are working on, it doesn’t have to be detailed (and no spoilers! LOL!), but it would be fun to know what’s coming up. I don’t know how you feel about it… but maybe a bit of a serial if the mood hits you (I really enjoyed Dark Fate, but I don’t know if you can, or want to, do something like that).

      You probably don’t have to worry so much about commenters. I’ve seen you put out a “talk amongst yourselves” post, and the comment section went nuts anyway.

      • Keep in mind Blaise Pascal’s apology: “I have made this longer than usual because I have not had time to make it shorter.”

        Variations of this are attributed to Mark Twain and Winston Churchill, suggesting it is a common quandary of professional writers — who (like distillers) are well aware of the importance of condensation.

    • certainly, if you’re not writing fiction they [blog posts] don’t [make a sale] They can’t.

      Well… Admittedly, I am an odd duck, but I would never have given Mrs. Hoyt’s fiction a try without the blog. So..

      Which reminds me: Whatever you decide, I hope that the Sunday recs will continue. They provide the majority of my non-work-required reading now.

  6. Sarah, you are about to go walkabout for a couple of weeks.
    Take a break and concentrate on that….. Blog as you wish.
    In the long term, I think #3 is best…BUT, your mental health and financial health is more important. Concentrate on what NEEDS doing, including what makes you happy. If blogging a certain way makes you happy….well then…. asked and answered.

    Good luck.

  7. Well 4 is really just 2 which as you say leads to 1, so I’m in favor of 3.
    Peter G was having a rough patch and decided to take Sundays off from his blog so what he does now is simply post a link to music that he happens to like, generally something with a theme of one sort or another.
    I will mention that I do religiously check three blogs every day once I start the coffee maker and go online, ATH, MGC, and Peter’s blog. I’ll also note that this blog is how some of your fans know that you are still among the living which is why late or no posts is worrisome to them.

    • Yes, that’s one of the reasons I check daily.

      #3 works well for me. I spent too much time with butt in chair last year, and construction projects need to get done, so I’ll see what’s going on, and read later in the day.

  8. Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

    Like Christopher, I like 3.

    Mind you, my blog reading/comments has gone down because of stress in my life.

    While I see the value for you to Blow Off Steam in a political blog, I find it hard to comment on your political blogs.

    However, that’s not a reason for you to NOT POST political blogs.

    Take Care and I hope the trip goes better than you fear. 😀

  9. Of your options, I think #3 will work for those of us who visit every day (I do, although the press of life often prevents me from commenting). And a short post as a conversation-starter, a jumping-off-point, will work just fine for us, I think. Like you could stop us from fulminating over the least little thing!

    As for guest posts, yes, more please. I’ve talked to the other folks concerned about the guest post you requested about the moral ability to encumber future generations to a project, and I’m only waiting on one more to say OK before I write it up for you. I bet pretty much every one of your regular readers/commenters/annoyers would be willing to write a guest post or two for you, and you might even convince a goodly number of us to commit to a regular schedule of guest posts. Maybe you could roll your blog into something similar to Victory Girls…

    • I’ve now got OKs from everyone, so I’ll get something written up and off to you as a potential guest post after the weekend (it’s Pascha, so my time is pretty much spoken for from now till Sunday evening). Look out folks, she may let me harp at you at length!

    • I know I’d be willing to write at least one and probably more often. It’s deciding what would be of interest to this crowd more than anything.

  10. Maybe there’s some way to cash in on “not Facebook”. Open up comments to people who want to chat and have “community” without logging into the Pit of Satan. Maybe we could mark off topic comments with NF for not-Facebook…

  11. Write when you feel like it. Option 2.5. You don’t ‘have to’ post every day, or on scheduled days or whatever.

    Option 1… i dont want to say what i think about it.

  12. I doubt the blog actually pays for itself time-wise. They could be a lot shorter, and the time spent on work for which you are paid.
    Mostly it is preaching to the choir not the heathens.

    • Unfortunately the “shorter” take longer because it takes more time to “plot” them than just letting them flow.
      It gives the choir intellectual ammunition though, no?
      It will probably be option 3

  13. William H. Stoddard

    Write fiction, and blog mainly about writing fiction. If you haven’t anything to say about your writing, or about writing as a craft, then do short posts if you have something specific that cries out to be published, but don’t worry if you haven’t. I have Instapundit and Althouse and Samizdata for political commentary.

    • On the other hand, Sarah, don’t feel like you need to censor yourself in any direction when talking to us. Say what you want to say to us, we can take it. (We can dish it out too, but that’s another story…)

  14. Girl, you worry too much. Non Illegitemi Carborundum!

    If the blog is getting you down, write SHORTER and less often. Get more guest posts. I’ll let you re-post anything of mine you want, custom cranky posts to order on request, subject to Real World interference.

    If your traffic has suddenly and inexplicably dropped off, I would suspect enemy action. Tough to prove, probably not worth the trouble to fix. Fuck it, drive on.

    This place and MGC are my go-to blogs every day. If you cut back, I will survive and I will not stop checking in.

    By the way, I am older than you, and I’ve failed at every single goddam thing I’ve ever tried, except one. One win paid for all the losses.

    The universe is not out to get you, It doesn’t care. Also, the dice do not remember. And there’s no such thing as a free lunch, or military intelligence. Or jumbo shrimp.

    • BobtheRegisterredFool

      Yeah. This. We’ve told you that you don’t need to post as much, and should take breaks when you need to.

      I’ve been a little surprised to see you posting every day this week, considering that I’d hoped that you would accept that we would understand that you have a bunch of challenging fish to fry.

      Have I been here less, refreshing less often? Yes. I’m doing some challenging things for myself in RL, having my own art related crises. That’s me, that’s not you.

      You’ve done some stuff for me over the years with the community you’ve built, helped keep me upright and oriented. But we are big kids, and you shouldn’t feel that we would come to harm in absence of your aid.

      I’m not denying the disagreements I have with you. I also may yet get some guest posts together. You are good people.

      Please take care of yourself better.

      • Amsel, Matthew

        There’s that too – had you said “My son is getting married, so I have higher priorities than the blog for the next couple of weeks. Next post will be on DD-MM-YYYY”, we’d have all said “Mazel tov” and written the date on our calendars.

        • I’d be fine with that.

          A scheduled break is a lot different from the usual “fewer and fewer posts, until the last one was a couple of years ago” which is how most blogs seem to die off.

          And as far as hits and comments… I’m not sure I’d put a lot of trust in what the hit counter says. Given the number of unique posters, those numbers seem awfully low.

          And as far as comments dropping off… your generally post variations on maybe a dozen topics. We then reply to them. Sometimes I cruise back through old topics here; I’ve noticed I’d

          Fi said some things in almost exactly the same way several times. We’re a fairly close-knit group; all the regulars have seen by drivel before, so why inflict it upon them again? And I get the idea many you interact with many of the regulars IRL, on Facebook, or other places; you may not be getting comments here because they’ve already comments on similar topics elsewhere.

          I’m not sure I’d worry about that either. There are some interesting and worthwhile blogs I follow where half a dozen comments would be “a whole bunch”.

          I come here to read your social and political commentary, and because you’ve attracted a following of responsible adults who can discuss different viewpoints in a civilized fashion. It’s small enough to actually be a community instead of the scrum of the commercial mega-blogs where anything you see vanishes into a 3.000 comment sinkhole. Huge numbers may be good if you’re looking for advertisers, not so hot if you’re on the other end, actually trying to participate instead of sniping an occasional comment.

    • The universe is not out to get you …

      Entropy, OTOH …

  15. Very valuable blog, would hate to see it go away.

    One option might be to get a few co-authors to spread out the posting load, if you can recruit some willing people with whom you are sufficiently sympatico.

  16. I follow one blogger essayist who has always posted once a week on Wednesdays. He moderates every comment. He takes every other January off. (John Michael Greer.)
    This week’s post is at 232 comments, and will probably hit three hundred by next Wednesday. He has one week a month that’s a book club post and that drops to about a fourth of his usual comments, because a lot of his readers aren’t interested in reading that particular book. He is a writer, and he does promote his books via blog.

    I think there’s a niche for regular essayists. It might not be the most common wisdom, but it’s there. The key is posting the same time-ish same day each week (you post at ten on Wednesdays, you’ll have an inbox of “are you okay” by noon) so it’s a habit. Wedensday I have Brother Greer (he’s a Freemason) with my coffee.

    So I’d say pick a day-the day after your easiest day, whichever that is-and announce it, and go with it. Five on Thursday, every week, and we’ll go to dessert with Sarah, and you’ll probably loose a few readers but you’ll gain others because we’ll still share your essays with others.

    Also technology is ganging up on you. It’s busy season with kids’ stuff, which means I’m here on ‘droid, and if I don’t put my name in before I start typing I can’t put it in at all-the name box vanishes. I’d say wordpress, but the blogger I mentioned above is wordpress, and I don’t have that problem. Might be me, might be several commenters, don’t know.

    • There might be a little something to this. Sarah’s blog output seems on the high side, not necessarily in number of posts, but the length of the daily post. As a reader, you get used to that, so when the output drops off, even if only temporarily (and for good reasons), you lose the top of mind awareness. I know I had stopped coming by as frequently when the content slowed recently. On the other hand, Larry’s place can seem dead for weeks, but then a new post goes up and he gets a lot of activity.

    • William Newman

      A number of people in the Hacker News (news.ycombinator.com) commentariat have written or remarked about the value of blogging and/or mailing lists for their business — where in that community occasionally the business is writing text, but more commonly the business is writing software or consulting/contracting on computer-related tech stuff (software, network services, whatever). Like many of them, you are actively responsible not only for producing things people want, but for (broadly speaking) marketing what you make. It seems likely to me that for you as for them, it makes sense to put most of your labor into what you actually sell, but still to put some time into a blog can help you sell the words you sell. And running yourself ragged trying to produce a long form post three or more times a week is not the only way to do that (and, I’d guess from my impressions of your experience and theirs, not usually the best way). E.g., you might consider a bit more than one blog post a week (e.g., a thoughtful post every Tuesday, plus an average of one other random minipost per week on no particular weekday).

      Or to move beyond techie analogies, consider that commercial authors have rather commonly spent a significant amount of time per year on things like conventions or book signings: the time and distraction spent on 7 days of marketing travel, redirected wisely, could probably power a useful blog for months.

      If you want to have the impact of someone like Instapundit, posting more than once a week is probably required, but to keep in touch with a specialist community, it’s pretty clearly not required. (Maybe helpful, but pretty clearly not required.) Besides the techies I mentioned, and besides the Greer blog mentioned in the comment that I’m replying to, “Scott Alexander” (slatestarcodex) is another example of a blogger who posts more nearly “um, at least once a week I think” than once a day, and obviously has a lot of commenters and (I gather) has a lot of readers too.

  17. 3. Frankly, as has been aptly demonstrated when the Huns are given run of the place on occasion, the community can sustain itself fairly well. You just need to add some ingredients whenever the spirit moves you, or alternately when the Muse loosens her iron grip on the reins to let you, to keep the soup simmering.

    • Resolved: home made broth makes better soup than canned broth.

      Or was that not quite what you had envisioned?

      • Hater of women and children, don’t you realize if everyone switched to homemade broth most Americans wouldn’t get their daily sodium needs.

        Why do you want people to die of hyponatremia?

        🙂

      • Soup?

        Why on earth would you make SOUP on purpose, from scratch, unless someone was sick?

        Soup is a by-product of “oooh, this leftover is just tooooo good, I can’t waste it, but all the tasty stuff is stuck to the bottom of the pan!”

        Stew, for those wondering, is a midpoint– it can be “these leftovers are awesome and need something to connect them,” or in the form of things like curry are a dish in themselves. (meat, veggies and sauce in one)

        Non-homemade soup is ‘something to eat.’ Like ramen.
        ^.^

        • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

          And what’s wrong with “something to eat”? 👿

          Some of us don’t want to bother with doing more than “heat something up”. 😀

          • I eat a Thai ramen more lunches than not– I even got some tom yum broth crystals to make cup o’noodles into a decent version.

            But the only soup I make is when I go “oh, my gosh– that was so good, I can’t bear to waste these scraps.” (Say, Costco chicken.)

            • Soup – the best way to make a little into a lot. (Also, for some, to make the little completely unidentifiable as to its source…)

              Myself, I make soup so that I can have everything I want, nothing that I don’t want, and in the priority that I want. Beef vegetable soup – sirloin, carrot, celery, barley, potatoes, sweet peppers, garlic. Although when the family demands, I will separate out some and add that nasty green stuff.

              Hmmm. Soup just the way I want it. Kind of like this blog. An occasional bit of green stuff does creep in every so often, but that’s supposed to be healthy for me…

              • Everyone makes soup too thin. It tastes better thick. Stew should support a fork. Thick food fills me up better.
                For some convenience is best. disposable, cutlery, serve and bakeware. Not to mention pre-cooked food.
                I make my pasta in the microwave with chicken broth. I use a quart at a time. I usually keep a 6 pack on hand for pasta. Last time hubby went to Sam’s he bought me 2 6 packs. They’re useful and last about 18 months. They’re shelf stable.

        • I glanced past an article proclaiming the environmental superiority of “Meal Kits” over “made from scratch” the other day and I am still stewing over it.

          Admittedly, if you throw out all unused portions of a meal’s components you are better off buying a kit, just as you are better off buying boned, skinless chicken breasts instead of a whole chicken … if all you do with the “other than breasts” is trash them. Better you should give thanks to your Creator for putting you in a portion of the Sim when you have such luxury! Most of human history every last part of that chicken contributed to a meal, whether as entree, side dish, or appetizer. All the yucky parts of that chicken went into the sausage grinder or the soup stock and people gave thanks for that.

  18. As much as I might prefer option #4, to be realistic, option #3 seems the most sensible overall. There’s (almost) always *something* so then there is a Big Thing it is apt to be seen.

  19. My input should be given less weight than more veteran and more frequent commenters.

    The best option is to shuttter. It provides a clean break and gives you much more time and brain space for doing what you need to do and what you get paid for. If occasionally you feel the need to post something, other venues for your posts will become available. (I think Frank J owes you.)

    The next best option is post one small item each day and don’t feel compelled to revisit the site. Just roll that grenade into the blog and run. This is really only if you feel you need to keep the site up. It keeps the venue for the occasional long post open but never obligates you. If you get tired of it, go to the best option above.

  20. I would say #3

    At the very least, posting *something* daily lets us know that you aten’t dead, which is important to a lot of us. We don’t need a long essay, but at least a “howdy, here’s something neat” lets us know that you’re ok.

    I know I haven’t commented nearly as much lately, and that’s on me.

  21. Hi Mrs. Hoyt! I’d hate to see According to Hoyt go away, but I understand where you’re coming from. But keep in mind that a really short post might be enough to generate a tall stack of comments. You could do 50 words on, I don’t know, power steering, and 35 comments later we’re discussing salami!

  22. I like #2 then #3 then #1. If you did #2 I’d go to two days at most with a third guest “as available” day. I asked about guesting in the past and would send something your way. Big issue is I don’t know what I should send.

    #4 is unacceptable. As an internet friend, take care of yourself and your career. If those get going and then you want to come back, come back.

    The core point of blogging was to advertising for traditional publishing if I read things you have written right. Now it would be for indie, but it seems indie is better done via email list. I’d say, from a career POV, close the blog except for announcements and the weekly “here are things to read/a topic to write on” and do a monthly or bimonthly newsletter.

    I will miss coming here, even on the days I don’t post like crazy. Reading is generally done the day the post is up except Saturday, but commenting is highly variable depending on my day.

    TL;DR: As a fan, anything but #1, but as a friend #1 until you get indie going unless it is a marketing post.

  23. What this blog reader WANTS is 4, but I understand that may not be realistic for you. Of the other choices, I think I would choose 2. I’m not sure I would continue coming here every day if the majority of the time it was just going to be something short, but I would definitely come three days a week if on those days I predictably got something worth reading.

    Do what you need to do to take care of yourself. That goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway. And know that the community you’ve created here means a lot to many of us; it was worth creating, no matter what happens from here.

  24. Go for option 1. You need to do more paying work.

  25. Think it over a bit, it pretty much has to be 3.
    Why?
    Option 4 is too demanding and you (yes, you) can feel it.
    Option 2 seems limiting in two opposing bad ways:
    A. Infrequent, so is it enough for you?
    B. Constant schedule so might be too much at the same time.
    Option 1 will likely leave a hole, and not just for your readership, but for you when you have that “I need to SAY SOMETHING about $TOPIC”.

    Option 3 means no grand schedule or great time commitment, but retains the ability to go into depth when need or mood strikes. And as said above, it provides a good “I ATEN’T DED” signal.

    I suspect that you might have more guest post submissions from simply not posting on every $EVENT. I know I have a time or two started something that might have evolved into such, then I saw it already covered, and decided rehashing wasn’t worthwhile. I doubt I am alone in that.

    • BobtheRegisterredFool

      Slow is wise.

      I would highly encourage Sarah to read Orvan’s comment, and act on it, or Herb’s, or Phantom’s. Or Cyn’s.

      We all sit at the big kids table here. Something that can’t go on won’t, and trying to force it just causes the pain of changing to be worse.

  26. Meanwhile, yesterday’s post is 114 comments and climbing…

  27. I forgot to say that I like option 3 best (as if anyone cares).

    And I will try to remember to actually come here, rather than just reading it in email, so that my reading counts as a hit.

  28. #3. I love reading your posts and all the comments.

    Take care and do what you need to do.

  29. I vote for option three. I’ve been doing something similar, due to Life, and it seems to help. Maybe a book-club option every so often? Someone recommends a book that might be of interest, and we can riff off of it – what we like/don’t like, other books similar to that one… Fiction or non-fiction.

    • I’ve wanted to re-read the books I came into SF through and talk about them. Maybe I should announce it?

    • Thumbs up on Red’s Option 3. FWIW, the snippets are addictive and a great means of getting me to spend money on ebooks. 🙂 I haven’t (yet) purchased the Shikhari series, but it’s coming.

      • Oooh, orphan kittens snippets!

        Vathara’s blog ( crossoverqueen.wordpress.com ) makes great use of that, though from memory it’s all fan fiction.

        Maybe “orphan scenes that I don’t plan on using but I liked it!”
        (I’ve got entire notebooks full of those from high school. No, I couldn’t bear to throw them all away. I’ll dig through it when I’m not riding tail on a horde.)

        • BobtheRegisterredFool

          Vathara has shared some unattached thoughts on original stuff. Forex, there was a post discussing Isekai, and Vathara’s interest in doing something of that genre with flying islands.

  30. Don’t do a long post every day, but do put up something. Feel free to start it one day and continue the next. And get your tip jar fixed!
    Collect your best essays and publish them as a book (series). They are that good

    Thank you for all you’ve done.

    • scott2harrison

      I agree. Especially the posts from the point of view of an immigrant who acculturated. You may not be the Man from Mars, but you are the Woman from Portugal which is just as good.
      Even if most days you just asked “Hey guys, what do you think about this?” it would get us going on a good discussion and let us know that you are still alive.

      • Exactly. I have half expected links to the Mueller’s report and Barr’s summary … with “Well?”

      • You know, Sarah is one of the few people that I might trust with Mike’s “powers.”

        At the very least, I would again bring up the topic of retiring to Denver with the wife…

  31. Travel: First, ya gotta go the airport. OY!!. And then get onto the airplane; well, it could be worse, and likely will be. And then the airport on the other end, and then the trip back home. SHEESH.
    Depressed? You got reason to be.

  32. I’m with the majority on option #3. Pushing yourself to the point where you (burn out / go broke / start hating the blog) won’t do anyone any favors in the long run. Write what feels fun or worthwhile and don’t try to force a long or political post when you’re not feeling it. Keep a backlog of short story prompts (vignettes concepts, weird pictures, etc.) so you can just throw one out when you need a day off.

    Also, concerning the money issues: have you considered renting out your shocked face? Seems like everyone on Instapundit wants to use it.

  33. As an infrequent commenter, but near daily visitor, for what it’s worth, I’d lean toward #3.

    I always thought your Blast from the Past posts were an interesting way to keep the activity up when the outer world intruded. Perhaps some content geared toward the craft of writing, particularly yours, might provide a little more variety while providing some inspiration (no matter how slight). Guest posts are also always a good read. Writing prompts are always fun too, but sadly don’t seem to get much play. Personally, I lack the creativity to do the one-word prompts, but I like reading other submissions. The picture prompts are the most fun.

    #2 might not seem as bad once the community knows what to expect. Folks like David Thompson or, in a more extreme example, Larry don’t post every day, but they still get lots of traffic. Having more than one day to comment (and to read comments) on a post might not be a bad thing either.

    #4 is right out!

    #1 As someone who has dramatically reduced his daily internet territory to this blog and two others, and maybe two other websites, I’d hate to see this one go away. It’s also tough to see voices on the Right go away or become quieter, since I can’t shake the feeling of an enemy victory. But there’s a lot of overlap with this the ATH community and others. If you need a clean break, you need it. Should you come back, word will get back out.

    • I like the Blasts from the Past too. What’s interesting is how with the same starting point, and mostly the same participants, how different the comment threads turn out…

      • ^THIS!^ It is very interesting to see how folks’ reactions to post themes change over time.

    • “As someone who has dramatically reduced his daily internet territory to this blog and two others, and maybe two other websites”

      Ditto. In fact as far as blogs go. Exactly 2. This one and one other, and the other allows zero, none, politics; and limited current events.

      Facebook I’ve expanded a bit: Sarah’s Diner and more than a few dog training sites, specifically SD related (as came up on Sarah’s Diner, thanks to FB scrolling on me …)

  34. I vote for 3, short daily notes (if it takes more than 10 minutes you’re doing it wrong) and a weekly promo post. Drop in long posts when you need to get something out there but really, don’t worry about us.
    Now to read comments….

  35. Vatertortuga

    Long time lurker here. Love your blog and your insights. I have started reading your fiction due to the blog. I treat all blogs as a treat from the author. As Larry Correia says on his blog, concentrate on the writing that get you paid. If you cannot get your rewards (pay) for your work then we stand to lose this. I vote #3, write what you can when it strikes you. I notice an overlap on other sites I haunt with the better/more prolific commenters here. Whatever you decide, I will appreciate anything you decide to share.

    • I’ve picked up what I can from B&N. But that is limited. Need to look more at Baen, but apparently that is going away (?). At least as an option for your stuff (why?). Been avoiding Amazon, for (likely stupid) reasons

      But my main point here, is what I have, I picked up because of this blog. FWIW.

      • I don’t put DRM on Amazon. Several of the people here can tell you how to convert it to B & N format. But honestly? They’re about like B & N. Neither are wonderful, but they are what we have right now.

        • I know how to do that. I found myself double buying, when buying from multiple sources. Then Amazon pulled their random delete everything. But haven’t heard anything lately. Nice to know about the DRM. At least I won’t have to strip it … Hmmm. Will use my B&N credit card, which gives me points for free B&N gift card which can be used for books. Win.

  36. richardmcenroe

    First off, you’re free to writes as and when and what you want. This is ‘Murica, I looked it up. I’d prefer #’s two or three as works for you, but I’ll read it.

    Secondly, this has been a year for you that would stress anybody. Just keep in mind the immortal words of Mulay Achmed el-Raisuli, Lord of the Rif and Sharif of the Riffian Berbers: “Everything is changing, blowing in the wind… it’s been a bad year, and the next one will probably be worse.” And HE went on to become Sean Connery.

    • “Pedecaris alive or Raisuli dead!”
      Still one of the best ultimatums on record, and thankfully they got the first and so did not need to go on to the second.

      I think we are all voting for “Hoyt alive!” with whatever that entails.

  37. It isn’t just writing it. If you come back and read all the replies and comment on them you must shoot half a day on the whole thing.

  38. I’m in favor of #3 myself. I myself check in every day, though I don’t feel obliged to comment. Selfishly, I would miss the rest of the crowd if you were to close down entirely. Your occasional “This is not a post” posts still manage to generate entertaining commentary among your loyal Huns and Hoydens, and so do your occasional guest posts. There’s something to be said for being concise, too.

    However, I’m also in favor of trusting your own instincts. Do what feels right to you. If you don’t have the energy to write something long and political…don’t. Otherwise, you run the risk of running out of things to say, repeating yourself, and becoming **gasp** boring. If you would rather work more on your fiction, do that. Please.

  39. I hardly ever comment. I read each post but often two or three days apart. I like option 3. I also have a recommendation that long posts don’t have to be completed all the same day. You can write them in one sitting if easiest but post in 3 to 5 paragraph blocks that end with to be continued tomorrow or next time I’ll explain…

  40. I love reading this blog…BUT. If it would be better for you to let go of it, then you have my full support in doing so. I’ve learned a lot here, and I would miss it, but I’d far rather know you’re rested/less stressed/making money off writing. 😀

    That said…if you truly don’t want to shutter it entirely, options 2 or 3 seem the best bet. Heck, I’d still come read even if it was just a once-a-week post. I get notifications (at least for now, WordPress might change its mind on that at some point), and I check the email address I use for it daily. 🙂

    Do what is best for you and your family and your peace of mind!

    • I love reading this blog…BUT. If it would be better for you to let go of it, then you have my full support in doing so.

      I think most of us here agree on this.

      Because we love Sarah. In the “wishing the good of another” sense.

      Sure, we’d be sad. But the important thing is her being OK.

  41. If you stay active on Mad Genius Club we’d all have a weekly “Oh, she’s alive, I’m so glad” moment, even if this blog went away. 🙂

    And I have to say that doing separate posts for there and here seems like extra work to me. I get that MGC has a very different focus than AtH, but anything that you write there can certainly be a post for here on the same (or next) day.

  42. Theoretically, I would vote for #4, but the fact is, ever since I lost a job a few years ago, I simply couldn’t keep up with your blog. Admittedly, I also try to keep up with the comments (because they are often as important as the blog), but I can’t even check in every day, even if it’s just to read a post! And part of the problem is that I find them too long. Yet, I cannot think of a way to suggest shortening them, either, because they seem to me to be approximately the right length for the topic at hand.

    Thus, I would vote for #3. I would even have you consider this: when I’m at Instapundit, I don’t pay attention to who posts what; however, I know when I hit a series that you posted, because I’m either opening up article after article in a new tab, or I’m restraining myself from doing so. Why not do mini-instapundits as some of your “I AINT’NT DEAD YET” posts? Have a link or two or three, and very brief commentary about each link. I would expect such posts to generate conversation, too. I could even imagine setting up three or four of these things a Saturday before, and have them set to go off automatically, say on a Monday, Wednesday, or Friday….

    I can even live with #2 (perhaps even as a combination of #3); I follow a blog called “Shall Not Be Questioned”, which has been somewhat sporadically posting material these last few months. I get frustrated by the sporadic posting, but I live with it. Regular posting, even if limited, would prevent things from becoming sporadic, and if you have a need to break the rhythm to get something out of your head, the blog will still be there for that purpose.

    I have sent in guest posts every so often; indeed, I have one that I typed out, and should be reviewed, to be sent to you. I appreciate being able to provide guest posts in no small part because (1) sometimes I have something I want to get off my chest, and (2) I do not have the time to maintain a full-time blog, so it’s nice I can help someone else maintain *her* full-time blog, while getting something off of my chest.

    • I am bad at sporadic. It becomes severely irregular. So #3 with the “off posts”being insty style and (probably) the long ones written on Saturday might work best.

    • Why not do mini-instapundits as some of your “I AINT’NT DEAD YET” posts? Have a link or two or three, and very brief commentary about each link.

      I know the freebie WordPress has a post-by-email option– maybe this would work for that? ER, taht for this? Oh, wahtever.

  43. Whichever you do, you’ll stay on my bookmarked sites. Heck, Lawdog is still there, and he posts seldom-to-never these days.

  44. Meredith Dixon

    I’m going to buck the consensus and say #1 would be the best option. While I rarely comment (it seems I generally read articles too late to have anything new to say) I have been reading According to Hoyt regularly for several years now.

    If the blog posts are taking a lot of time (and it certainly sounds as though they are) and if you need that time to work on something that you’ll be paid for (and it certainly sounds as though you do), then it’s time to stop writing the blog and start writing more books.

    I blogged for thirteen years, from 1999 to 2012. I had an anti-bullying blog called *Raven Days*. Although my blog was almost all links, it took me as much time to maintain every day as your blog takes you. One day I just walked away from it and I’ve never looked back, and I’ve never been sorry. “The old order changeth, yielding place to new, / And God fulfils Himself in many ways, / Lest one good purpose should corrupt the world.”

    You have done good work with your blog, as I hope I did good work with mine. But there comes a time when it’s best to let even good things go, and I think you have reached that time with *According to Hoyt*.

    I think #2 will not work. As a rule I don’t read blogs that aren’t updated daily, and I doubt I’m unusual in this.

    #3 might work but I’m skeptical; I think it’s likely to be just as much work for you even if the posts are shorter. You’ll still have to think of topics and still have to take the time to write and upload whatever you’re going to say, and that’s time taken away from settling down to write. But of course you know your own work patterns best.

    #4 clearly will not work; if it would you would never have gotten to the point of writing today’s blog post.

    Best of luck, whatever you decide.

  45. OT random WP delenda est comment. I can log into WP from Safari but not from DuckDuckGo. And Safari turned the otto-corrupt back on, nag dabbit!

  46. Do what ya gotta do.
    We enjoy hanging out with you in your clubhouse, but anyone who would put their leisure over your life isn’t someone worth having around.

    Of the proffered options, I’d prefer option 3, followed by option 1.
    There are days when finding time to read a long post isn’t a priority for me, so I don’t necessarily see the downshift as a bad thing.
    And if you’re going to go down a road that will lead to the blog’s slow death, rip off the bandage and be done.

    But I shall be cheeky, and suggest an option 5. There’s a solid community here, that’s already oriented towards entertaining others. I’m not sure what the technical hurdles would be in shifting towards a bottom-up discussion forum from a top-down blog to create a MONSTROUS HYBRID, but there are any number of mad geniuses running about, looking for the opportunity to cackle maniacally. (What, this white jacket with long sleeves? It’s not really mine, I’m just borrowing it. But aren’t the buckles fetching? Since i have your attention, would you mind terribly scratching my nose? It’s a trifle difficult to reach at the moment.)

  47. I would go with #3 or, if even that is too much work, #2.

  48. Count me as a silent one: reading most of your posts (& books), but commenting rarely due to current life situation. My preference is for number 3, but will read whatever (and whenever) you post.

    Go enjoy Europe! Share a pic or comment if you want. I will be here when you get back.

  49. If you decide on #1 would you give us a day to talk about the Late Unpleasantness?

    I have been here less frequently because I have been super busy at work. I wonder how much the unexpectedly good economy affects your numbers.

    I think your weekly promo is a good service to us looking for indie books. I enjoy the guest posts. (Maybe you could get the Blogfather to write some;) ).

    I would suggest you cut back to “when the muse strikes” but arrange for either have more guest posts or such to keep daily content for Human Wave and Hun topics. I’m sure there are all sorts of interesting technical knowledge or experiences in this community if they could be induced to write about it. If there isn’t enough community investment for that to work then maybe #1 or 3.

  50. Rockport Conservative

    I check everyday. I comment very seldom. I have you in RSS feed and always do a direct link so that does help your count. I agree with those who say #3 although I say if the blog posts take too much time, feel free to shorten them. Say what comes easy and leave it at that. You owe none of us your time. But we do value your posts whatever they are about, or we wouldn’t be coming back.
    I blog, but like Rodney Dangerfield I get no respect and hardly any links. Yet, I am compulsively sharing links and my comments. Often sarcastic. I guess you could call it venting. I also send the same to about 80 people with emails. My son says I am not good at marketing, but that is not what drives me.
    Is it possible you blog is being somehow shadow banned? That seems a strange drop to me.
    Have a good trip to Europe, we who are elderly understand the angst our children have that we are aging and they are not with us. That is really the way the world works in this day and age. Not many stay in the same village for life.
    I wish you well, and I mean in health and spirit, whatever you decide.
    Ruth H aka

  51. Your blog hasn’t been appearing on my WordPress feed consistently lately–I usually chase it down anyway, but I’m wondering if similar things might be impacting others who find you that way.

    (I haven’t been *commenting* because… well. He turns four weeks old tomorrow. @_@ But I still really enjoy reading almost anything you put out.)

    As for what you should do? No clue. I know that I try not to make decisions when I’m in the middle of depression or Big Doings–but it kind of seems like your Big Doings keep coming without break. I’d still probably wait until after the wedding?

    Either way… I think a break is probably a good idea. Weddings are *hard*.

    • He turns four weeks old tomorrow. @_@

      *huggles*

      #6 is roughly 9 months, and it just keeps getting better. You’ll hit your stride. (Which looks remarkably like the old cartoons of characters scrambling on top of a pile of logs.)

      • There was this metaphor I read when I was a young mother. Women have a career path as wives and mothers. When you’re drowning in diaper and spit up you were just hired in manufacturing job. You wear grubby clothes, you’re tired all the time, you often smell funky. When the youngest is school age, you’re a mid-level manager. You dress a little better, and you don’t deal with muck every day, but the underlings will give you ulcers.
        When the kids are old enough to be married, you’re a senior executive. You can wear nice clothes and perfume; do your hair properly, and have lunch with the president now and then.
        I lived for that phase for years…
        No one told me the executive position comes with the worry seat, and you worry all the time about people who are self-sufficient enough you have NO control and little ability to help them….

        • I swear, every single kid I hit a point where I think I’ll never dig out again.

          And several times, total strangers (angels in disguise!) have told me I’ll hit my stride.

          And they’ve been right!

        • I love that. May I share it around with a bunch of home schoolers who are up to their eyeballs in manufacturing?

        • Wife is a noun.
          Mother is a verb.

    • *hugs!* Hurray for 4 weeks!

      Just realized that Jaenelle’s 8 months old! O_O time flies omg.

  52. If you’re still writing posts on FB, PJ and Med Geniuses, I would cut out posts on this blog unless you want to save it for venting.

    • PJ has pretty much stopped paying. The payment (at least to me. I gather other people get paid more) — shrug — is 2.50 per 1k blog hits. That means my big-hit posts will pay me $160, but most posts, with 10k hits will pay me less than I get paid in donations per blog post here, ultimately. It sucks to lose one of my base lines of income, but at this point they get posts from me only when it’s something easy/fast and or I want to promo something. That’s it.
      I didn’t get a cent for posts last month, and I gather they didn’t rise to the minimum $50. so…. not worth my time/effort.
      MGC is writing only, and in case you haven’t noticed MOST FB is posts from here.

      • Eh — been there with PJ. Early on, the original milblog earned some income from posts there, but when the traffic fell off, they dropped us from the payment scheme. Still, I was grateful for it, as the PJ income helped me over some tough spots, economically-speaking.

      • Larry C. only posts about once a week on his blog page; sometimes less than that.

      • I was worried that Townhall might go that way…. I love their radio news, but I can’t find anything I like neough to keep going back to in their blog stuff.

    • Thousand UNIQUE hits, btw, so someone coming back to comment does nothing. PJ didn’t even count hits that way before the sale, so my 80k hits, or the best I’ve ever done, 200k hits (which admittedly would be nice chunk) counted re-hits.
      I think the average post gets around 8k hits, though.
      My heinlein, all time, blackbuster post got a half a million hits, but again they didn’t count unique.

  53. I’m OK with three – some little snippits every day, plus something longer when you feel the urge.
    Alas, I have been feeling something of the same burnout the last couple of years, I used to do three fairly substantial pieces a week for a blog, plus stuff for a paid client twice weekly, plus my own writing, and the Tiny Publishing Bidness… now I’m lucky to get a post a week, cross-posted to my own mil-blog, to Chicagoboys, and something for the writing stuff/book oriented material to my book blog and the Luna City website.

  54. I’ve been reading your blog and the comments for the last five years. I’m a terrible commenter because I’m a pretty boring person, and when I do have something to add, someone has usually said it better. But it seems to satisfy the desire to see non-trolling conversation on a variety of topics (what can I say, I just don’t like FB I guess). I should probably figure out paypal so I can at least give you the price of coffee for my visits. I really hope you figure out how to make your main squeeze, fiction writing, work for you. Whatever that means for your other writing.

    I wouldn’t be surprised to see throttling though, if there’s a bunch of mostly lurkers like me, that’s way more than 200 hits a day.

    • Birthday Girl

      Ditto

    • I’m a terrible commenter because I’m a pretty boring person

      *snort*

      ******************

      But it seems to satisfy the desire to see non-trolling conversation on a variety of topics

      Yeah, it feeds the soul, here. I like it, too.

      *debates comparing it to high quality fertilizer*

  55. In my not so humble opinion, I think option three (3) is the best from my point of view. Having *something* every day, even if it is a small quip of and it will keep me checking in. and then you really have something to say letting us have it with Both Barrels would really be great! I mean, when you have something to say, you say it really well and I find it damned interesting. And I’d love to keep getting it.
    So, if that helps at all.

  56. I read daily from my Feedly, and then come back around in the WP app to read the comments and like the post. The feed, I’m afraid, is something I have to do in order to not spend all day surfing the web and get my own writing done… But I hope you at least get a hit from when I come back around?

    I will second the poster who said she had to go searching for today’s post in WP. Couldn’t tell you why.

    All of that said, if what you’re doing isn’t working, is definitely time for a change. My preference would also be for #3. I love your insights, just in general, and would hate to see them disappear entirely, but not at the expense of your getting paid.

  57. I’m a newcomer and have only posted once or twice, but I would miss this blog both for your writing and for the comments section.

    I have most of my regular reads in an RSS feed (Feedbro), so I pop on over here whenever there’s something new. It’s how I avoid missing posts from folks like Kevin over at the Smallest Minority, Larry at MHI, and others who don’t post often but are worth listening to when they do “speak”. So any frequency is good for me.

    That said, do what is best for you. I really do appreciate the free ice cream, but don’t expect you to keep it coming when it’s causing you problems. Thank you for what you have given us.

  58. Short posts work well for me. There’s no sense in spending a lot of time on a long post, not when there’s no profit in it. But a few dozen words, then throw it to the commentariat for the feeding frenzy? Plus guest pieces? That should work.

    I’ll see what I can do about a guest piece. May as well help out.

  59. I check in here everyday, and my request is to post every day. it could be a guest post, a blast from the past, or a short/long post. I can remember the comments section after the post that read “this is not a post”.
    post a picture, post a drawing, post a story, post a big question mark, post that everyone talk about RES (who every he/she is).

    keep this blog going will be easier than trying to restart it later. I am not talking about doing this instead of paying work, but taking a couple of minutes to post a picture, drawing, telling use to talk about small furry animals to keep the blog going. and when you have time for your long posts we will still be here. don’t know if this blog brings in more sales are not, but I do know reading your blog brings about a sense of hope. knowing that there is someone, some people out there that is not trying to destroy my country. and I get to laugh at some of your comments

    greyratt

  60. Looking at some of the people who comment on a regular basis, many of whom don’t have their own blogs, I’ll bet you could fill in lots of days with guest appearances. Lots of people have something they want to say- on one subject- but no place to say it. Heck, I’ve even had a guest appearance here and no one knows who I am. And it got a lot of commentary.

    Doesn’t have to be you posting. Just interesting posting. Once a day, and let the comments flow free from that.

  61. I don’t comment much here lately for reasons [reasons] and even {{[“reasons”]}}. Most of wich involve twenty one hour days. Heck, it is hard to find time to *read* now.

    Option three seems to be winning. Good for number three. Take care of you and keep doing the things that plaster a grin on your face or make others watch in wonder as you cackle wildly. Life is more fun that way.

  62. Stick to your knitting and write the fiction. I very much enjoy your blog and the insights, you name it, that come from it, but you got to eat first! Let the blog become catch as catch can. Your fans will understand.

  63. Fwiw. I have a batch of blog bookmarks that I open as a group and check daily (or very close to such) – even though most do not update even weekly. But then it’s likely been established that I… ain’t exactly normal.

    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

      Well, you’re obviously not normal compared to the mythical normal human.

      But we don’t know how you compare to a “normal” Minotaur. 😀

    • I find I can often use a blogger’s sidebar to get caught up on new content to read. The Adaptive Curmudgeon must have similar tastes to mine, since this place and Splendid Isolation both merit links.

      More on topic, while I agree our hostess should definitely focus more on stuff that gets her paid, I really enjoy this blog community. Lurking primarily, but even with all the primo random learning going on I find I have something to add occasionally.

      When I’m on break at work I even get caught up on reading the comment thread while I eat lunch. Offline reading has been really handy. This blog is my only real go-to for that now that Weaponsman is defunct. I hope Kirk is doing okay out there somewhere.

    • I am not a minotaur and I do it exactly like that.

      Speaking of, anyone know if Lawdog’s ok? He’s been kinda absent of late from the interwebs, at least in the haunts I know to look for him in.

    • This is why I love RSS — blogs automagically update and I need merely skim down the “new” column to catch the latest. Also makes me a lot more likely to subscribe, because it involves no particular effort.

      RSS neatly autosorts ’em so no need to do email filters (or find ’em lost forever in my multiple overflowing inboxen, and we won’t even discuss my bookmarks). And much appreciation to those (like here) that put the complete post in the RSS notice.

      • Oddly(?) I’ve never found RSS to be workable for me. Either there’s no RSS client that works as I prefer or it was too ‘pushy’ – telling me “Hey look NOW!” rather than letting me check on my schedule. Or it was an all-or-nothing setting rather than “Don’t bother me, with these precious few exceptions.” It is possible I missed a configuration.

        It was, to me, sort of like all the websites that pop up those “Hey can we spam the hell out of you with notices” and offer the responses of “Hell yeah!” and “Pester me again later” and NOT “No, sod off.” There are a couple place I *do* want notifications from – but only a couple. Everyone else can wait until I go look. And I’d like to reduce to number of extension I’m using rather than increase them.

        That said, any suggestions for an RSS reader/aggregator since I am willing to give such another such. Fwiw, Linux (Mint) and I prefer ‘dark theme’ when such is available. Staring into lightbulbs is unwelcome. (Huzzah for Vivaldi’s ‘Filter Invert’ option.)

        • Rockport Conservative

          I use inoreader.com for RSS, but also have theoldreader.com which has some of the older blogs that have dropped out but are still in my list. I like to check to see if they have happened to do a quick post. Seldom happens but some do and some are just good memories. I hope that doesn’t happen here. Sarah is one I would like to sit and have a chat with.

        • I like The Old Reader, it’s google’s reader reborn.

  64. c4c (forgot to click the notify box)

  65. Very consistent reader, four comments to my name. I came for the libertarian-ish politics, stayed for lots of things.
    I check irregularly updated blogs regularly. Speaking of which, thanks for telling me about L. Correia. And about your work. And for getting me to write the first bits of a story that has germinating 10 years.

    I’d miss it, if you shuttered the place. But do take care of yourself.

  66. Option #3 Then you can expand back up, shrink down, whatever, without having to agonize and ask us about it. I don’t read many other blogs, so links to interesting things are always welcome.

  67. TheOtherSean

    I’m in the middle of a divestiture at work, so along with everything else I’ve been preparing for and conducting knowledge transfer sessions to get other developers who are going to the new company up to speed on the last 14 years worth of software I’ve developed. I suspect I’ll be commenting more again once I’m no longer mentally exhausted from that.

    • “once I’m no longer mentally exhausted from that.”

      Um. Ouch? Good luck with that!!! Did that 3 years ago with my last job.

  68. I vote for option 3. As long as I get the email link, I will follow it and give you the hit. I wish you the best in whatever path you choose. It is painful to see how much the path has been full of stones.

  69. (Virtual hug.)

    Have a seat right over there, young lady. That armchair is quite comfortable, I assure you – and you are younger than I, so you are a “young lady.” What are you drinking? Make it a medium-sized one, this will take a little while, although not a long one; my thoughts are reasonably well organized, since this is the same lecture I have been delivering to myself for, lo, these many weeks.

    Now, to business… Here’s what I have to say, in (approximate) order of importance.

    First, whatever you do, do what is best for you. It is not for someone else to tell you whether that is writing fiction or non-fiction – for enjoyment or financial stress relief or both; writing blog posts – for enjoyment or community; finishing the house and helping the sons get out the door; spending time in long walks (or other exercise) with Dan. Or do all of those things, but in the proportions that are best for you.

    Second, remember that “this, too, shall pass.” Things will change, for the better – or the worse, I will not lie to you. When they do, adjust – again, in the direction that is best for you.

    Third, keep in mind the things that have changed, and many of those for the better. The “year of three (or was it four?) moves” is in the past, you are no longer a refugee in your own town. One son is married off, both are close to being out on their own (and what a great start that you and Dan have given them). The house is coming together, including a “last resort” refuge so that you don’t have to worry about the sons having nowhere to go when and if they have a major stumble out there. The health is, in general, improving, despite the setbacks that come to all of us.

    Fourth, consider that it may not be you – it may be us. Things get crazy out here, too! I know that I’ve been “hitting” here maybe every three days. I am still reading every last post, and most of the comments. But my life right now is such insanity that I have reduced my frequency – and am all too frequently too tired and/or harried to contribute commentary (and have an ingrained fear of saying something absolutely stupid, to which I am very prone when tired and/or harried). I’m not getting to my writing, either – which is annoying, as The Muse starts sending me extremely strange dreams when she is unsatisfied.

    Fifth (and last, unless I happen to think of something else), do not be afraid to ask for a bit of help. This is a community – whether you call it the community of Huns, or USAians, or just Hoyt followers. The Muse will eventually get me kicked into gear, and I’ll get these novels whipped into shape – and I’ll be perfectly happy to trade money for covers. It takes me three or four days to do what you can do in a couple of hours – and far better than I. I have about three dozen blog post summaries sitting on this computer right now, and my poor blog is getting no attention. If you don’t mind a thoroughly random schedule on when I send them to you, I’d be happy to fill some blank spaces here and there.

    Sixth (yep, something else – bad habit, the daughter asked me the other day why I had a “P.P.P.P.P.P.P.S” on something), whenever you feel the need to “vent” your stress on us, do not hesitate. We’re much cheaper than a shrink – and, in my honest opinion, although not claiming it for myself, much better.

    Okay, that is finally it. I’m done. Finish your drink, get up out of that armchair (if you haven’t fallen asleep yet), go out that door and beat that life out there into a more pleasing shape. You can do it, you shall do it.

  70. 3-ish
    blog when you want. but don’t feel overly obligated to post every day

    Life seems a tad full for many of us lately, no?

  71. Sintra E'Drien

    Rushing to post here, just to say this blog is a lot of my daily reading, and I would hope to continue that, however, it may be more practical/healthy with your option 3 (I think?) with a daily post, but not necessarily a lengthy column (sort of like Sundays). It means a lot to me to know that I am not alone.

  72. Do long blog posts when the mood strikes, but post something every day. A quote from something I’m reading; something that struck me as funny in a facebook exchange; a link to a blog post that interested me.

    I like this one!

    Maybe with a side-bar for folks sending you stuff to cue up that they think will interest the group. (Basically, the Diner but here.)

    Then you can auto-post and anything extra is, well, extra.

    *****

    I’m obviously not here due to moving across the country. Again. Hopefully the last time until we have a teenager.

    • And once you have a teenager, you flee the state under assumed names and hope you are not found? 😉 Not that I overheard a parent swearing to do similar if [offspring] “wore THAT” to the prom.

      • We promised we’d buy a Winnebago when the younger turned eighteen, and we’d NEVER have an address again.
        …. but you know… we haven’t.

      • We always swore when kid toddled off to college we were moving and not leaving a forwarding address … Didn’t, but you know, was worth watching the kid’s eyes roll 🙂

  73. I usually sneak a little time to web-surf while I am infront if my work computer – and I cannot always connect to accordingtohoyt.com because our system’s security settings do not like what they “see.” This decreases how often I get here. 😦
    And I have purchased some of the Hoyt oeuvre *only* because of seeing it here.
    Obviously, I have no idea how representative I am if your lurkers.

  74. I don’t write but can send a monthly contribution instead. It does not need to be acknowledged in any way.

  75. as many others have said, I would go with “three”. I, like others, get you as an email dump during the day and usually get to read it that evening. Lately, some of your blog work has become less than your best. More words and less meaning. I’ve put that on your not feeling well. I would rather read your work at it’s best than read goat gagers just because they have your byline.
    Write something every day, to keep the traffic up, but only write five-thousand-word tomes for a blog when it really needs it.

  76. Geoff Withnell

    #3 sounds good. I don’t comment a lot, but I enjoy reading. And I’m an old Marine, I take what I can get, when I can get it.

  77. I’ve only ever lurked here, and as much as I like reading your posts (my habit is weekly, which means I spend a lot of time catching up!), if ramping up the fiction requires ramping down the blog, that is more than a fair trade.

  78. I favor #3. I have you and MGC permanently up in tabs so I see it every time I open my browser. I like the idea of interesting links, etc. mixed every so often with longer posts. Don’t beat yourself up over this break. Enjoy Portugal, enjoy the wedding festivities, and try to get some sleep!

    I’m leaping into indie from academia. I totally get the nerves bit. Plus we’re moving out of Philly. This is going to be an interesting year.

  79. I’d be good with Option #3, quite honestly I don’t have the time to read blogs on a daily basis, heck, I don’t even have the time to write in mine that often. But then I don’t have a following or anything to promote.

  80. Complete lurker, nearly daily reader here. I’m with “Writing Observer.” Do whatever works best for you. I’ll still check in regularly to be encouraged and enlightened.

  81. I read this via an RSS feed, probably doesn’t get counted.

    You don’t owe us anything. We are not paying you to do this. We’ll miss you, but you should do whatever is best for you. I think it’s clear option 4 isn’t working for you, so choose from the other options.

  82. I’m not qualified to give advice but as a longtime reader, I want you to do whatever is best for you and your family, Mrs. Hoyt. I would miss the community here but that’s not important in comparison.

  83. You’ve got my sympathies — I understand way too well what you’re talking about. My life’s been in disarray since my mother went into her final decline mid-2017, and in the following year I missed a bunch of early symptoms of my own medical issues because I thought “you’re just mourning your mother.” At least now I’m getting treatment and am getting back to something resembling normal in a few months, but right now I’ve had no new indie publications in over a year, and my “day job” selling at comic and anime conventions has taken a huge downturn in income.

    While I’ve been in the doldrums, I’ve kept my blog up by posting just short links. So I’d suggest that might be enough to keep yours alive, if you don’t want to shutter it for good. And where you’ve built a real community here, I’d really hate to see it fall apart. I haven’t commented nearly as much as I would’ve liked, but I come here and look for your posts every day.

  84. 2 or 3 would both meet my approval.

  85. I like #3, too.

  86. Be not afraid.
    In the end, we have already won.

  87. I had a bad two or three months at the end of last year; I *knew* it was going to be okay (got Reassured), but I was kinda wondering. Then whammo, status quo ante. Sure, I’m still working two jobs, and the IRS thinks I made serious bank last year, but it’s keeping me out of trouble.

    It’ll work out.

  88. Regarding “Himself”, it helps to realize he has a weird sense of humor. It is best explained by Elijah’s journeys found in Kings. First, the brook Elijah has relied on dries up. Sound familiar?
    God gives very specific directions to a widow who will take care of Elijah. It turns out the widow when he arrives is preparing her last meal. “I am out here gathering twigs, so my son and I will eat and die.” This seems a strange answer to prayer, yet seems the way the world works. Will they trust when the brook dries up?

    Just enough to survive is provided. I find this very helpful advice for today. What do we rely on? What do we do when our brooks dry up? Will we trust when our brook dries up? I found this very helpful when my beloved son was diagnosed with the cancer that killed him last year.

  89. First thoughts: Unless Insty is paying serious clamola, give the blog space at least one of those insty links only with a pithy paragraph instead of a tagline every day. If the mood strikes, and you want to write more on any given day, do that.

    That should hit the min/max of competing objectives listed.

    For my part, I really enjoy your non-fiction, and the fiction (Shifters, Dyce Dare, most of your shorts) that has the “sarah-hoyt-iest” voice coming through. Because that’s just what I like. They’re what I own (when I can get it) on paper for re-reading. So I’d be sad if you wrote much fewer blog posts.

    As for the community… that’s one of those intangibles it would be wise to maintain (trust me, they’re hard to rebuild). At least, that’s how it looks from the outside. I’ve only been here for 3 or 4 years, so actual members should weigh in.

  90. Sarah, do what you have to do. I know: that’s no help.
    But I get your blog via mailing list, and while I generally at least scan it for content, I usually get it later in the day, so comments aren’t going to be timely. So I don’t
    But there’ve been times, in the last year, where checking over your blog has helped keep me sane.
    So there’s an implied debt that I support your attempts at sanity.
    I’d say take the month of May off – except for highlights and pics of the ceremony, etc. – but allow your friends and guest contributors to hold down the fort. We’ll survive the hiatus; but we need you to survive as well.
    Go. Have fun. Introduce you new daughter to your kin.
    And build up a store of experiences to share, no earlier than June.

  91. Second thoughts: What do we do? We do the hard things.

    Write the non fiction. Set the boundaries, but do it. Mrs. Hoyt, you may be better at fiction (and love it more) than writing essays, but you’re a damn fine essayist. However you structure this blog space, find time to write them.

    God speed.

  92. Another note, when your collaboration with Larry hits, I can’t imagine it will hurt. 😉

    I went to his SotBS signing in KC and he plugged you pretty darn good in front of the >100 folks that showed up. Multiply that by the number of signings he did on that tour, and that’s some fine word of mouth.

  93. Chris Nelson

    Do what you will
    Blog won’t pay a single bill.
    Stop giving so much away for free
    And blog as often as Larry C.

  94. New commenter; long-time reader. If you can manage #3, that would be good I think.

  95. Remember even the greats had this problem. From the top of my head, one wrote in a “monk cell” while another wrote naked in his attic. There’s a reason Kuttner got so much written (in such a short time); journalists (of his day) wrote and wrote a lot.

    Life isn’t fun. The autoimmune business has got me too and I eventually lost my fight. No productivity for me. You don’t know what you’re body has in store for you; certainly not fun. Reading and writing has trickled away for me to near nothing. I miss reading.

    You’re a mom. Take care of your kids through college. They’re on their own after that. Part-time jobs aren’t a bad idea for them, especially if they are versed enough in something and can tutor freshman and international students.

    And while I am inserting myself into your life, come back to the Church. (We miss you.) How could you leave the protection of The Lady of Fatima? I’d imagine your brain uses lots of cycles hiding from that question. She is with me every day here in the Americas that didn’t replenish its horses until the Spanish started to explore. Been to SLC where they were nice to me and to Navoo where I was treated like a criminal. I slunk my way back down the block to sit with the Real Presence until mass started. I just wanted to look at the art and experience that point of view.

    The Rosary helps all things and is not in the least bit silly or rote.

    • What on Earth makes you think I left the church? Other than the fact the pope is a commie…
      I mean, we’re going through all this to give the kid a religious wedding.

    • I’m sorry WHY do so many people ACTUALLY think I’m a Mormon, just because the left says so?
      Given that I move ONLY by the grace of coffee, that’s one of the funniest things you can say.
      As for the rosary it’s none of your business, but grandma prayed it for the whole family. HOW could I leave her work undone?

      • I just know you via your writing, fiction and non-, and the assumption in that post that you’re a Mormon struck me as very odd.

        • It’s a lie the left started with “She’s a white Mormon male” and it’s now widespread because people thought, no, she’s Latin, obviously not male, so something must be true at the bottom of it — no smoke without fire, you know? — so “She’s a Mormon.”
          Head>desk.

          • As God is my witness I’ve never even seen her on a bicycle.

          • Just remember, the same people who mock Mormons and believe merely being Mormon is an offense to the universe are the same ones who denounce any criticism of Islam, including criticism of violent Jihadism and Jihadist ideology, no matter how well founded or reasoned as being Islamophobia. Truth is irrelevant to the left.
            The left loves the play “The Book of Mormon” which mocks Mormons, but would burn the theater down if the play was “The Book of Muhammad”.

          • It randomly occurred to me today, whilst doing chores, that we took the assumption/malicious lie and made it into a joke (Mormon white male, with a great rack!) took mock the stupidity of our detractors…

            …and my brain went “…wouldn’t they claim transgender appropriation as part of your crimes of existence then?”

            */picard maneuver*

  96. The non-fiction/essays are wonderful. Maybe experiment with #3 for a specific time frame and see if it helps the hits and helps the life too.

  97. I read pretty often, but only comment rarely.

    You should do what seems best for you. It sounds like (3) might work well.

  98. #3 here. I’ve read your blogs via email for years and find them worthwhile, whatever the topic. I don’t always have time to read them in full, so something interesting and brief everyday would be great. Take a break and save the lengthy blogs for once or twice a week!

  99. Walter C Holloway

    Please don’t go forever Blog when it pleases you

  100. Anyone notice that there’s nearly 250 comments on a post about other posts not having many comments? 🙂

  101. Really, I wonder if WordPress is simply not counting the hits correctly. While I haven’t been commenting as much for a while (because I keep getting tangled in other things), I have a hard time believing that hits have dropped off as much as 90+%.

  102. And if you’re up for much shorter things, I’d be happy to add some links about new science or tech and what I think they mean in the long run.

    • Sure. Send them to me on pm or email.
      I will have some of those too. I read them anyway.

      • ‘most anything is better than nothing and this lot can have fun with whatever, batting it about like kittens with ping-pong balls.


        Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

        • BTW: we probably want a limit on the quantity of cat videos permitted in any given day.


          It wouldn’t be good for this to become known as “that cat lady blog.”

  103. Another random tidbit, hopefully useful food for thought. I started reading here because I’d found some really insightful things, coming here from Jerry Pournelle’s Chaos Manor. I loved his site: always interesting and well-reasoned. And enough to keep me coming back but not so much that I felt it was consuming time better spent on other things. View, and mail, all worth my time. After his passing, I missed that so much I became a regular reader here – there’s a similar flavor of insight and sanity. But I come here just a couple times a week because I know that if I stopped by every day, I’d read every article and every comment, and not get done things that really need doing. Option 2 or 3 would make me more likely to check in daily — but I guess I’m the exception rather than the rule.

    Thanks for hosting, and posting.

    • Nah. We’re going with #3. Except for the next two weeks or so, as I prepare to and go back to Portugal for 2 weeks to visit family and hopefully (TWO bureaucracies) have older son’s religious ceremony. For that you’ll get — irregularly because hours are different — pictures, occasional insight, and light posting.
      After that we’re going to posts in the style of today’s two most of the time and probably 2 or occasionally three long posts a week.
      As for Jerry he was a very dear friend and I miss him a lot. We’ll see each other again in that bright land to which we all aspire. At least if I make the cut.

  104. So — I’d like your opinions. #3 is the most feasible to my mind, I just don’t know if it will be enough.

    If it is most feasible it will have to suffice. Even if the blog has become an exercise in wrestling alligators, that is not its primary purpose.

  105. I’ve been reading your blog regularly since before the Puppies kerfuffle, but this is my first comment. (Yes, I’m shy.) As others have said, I value your Man-from-Mars / Woman-from-Portugal viewpoint and your love of our country. You’ve gathered a community of commenters on this blog as good as any I’ve seen, right up there with Wretchard’s.

    You don’t know me from Adam’s off ox, so I’ll abstain from voting on your choices except to say that I’ll miss this place if it’s gone. But there’s one thing you should know before you make big decisions: your hit counter is not giving you accurate information.

    This may not be deliberate. Others above have said they read your blog through email or RSS feeds. We don’t know how those bump your counter. After some bad experiences, I read the Internet (including your blog) through a browser with as many shields up as I can arrange (script blockers, ad blockers, tracker blockers, etc.) Unless your hit counter is running on your own web server and using no additional scripts, it’s probably not counting me. I doubt I’m alone in that. More and more of us are using shields. Your commentariat seems like the sort of people who would.

    On the other hand, it might be deliberate. We know that tech workers tend lefty. We’ve seen various conservatives lose their Twitter accounts, their YouTube ads, etc. The “battlespace prep” (to use Insty’s phrase) for the next election is starting. They want their voters fired up and angry, and they want our voters discouraged and dismayed. Shutting down conservative blogs by dismaying their authors with low hit counts would be a clever, plausibly-deniable form of censorship, with excellent multiplier effects against the rest of us. It would be amazing if they weren’t trying that.

    If your hit counter uses a script or server controlled by lefty-techy-land, consider the possibility that it’s deliberately lying to you. It’s simply not plausible that your posts get only two hundred hits. Most of them have that many comments. (Heck, I check your page several times a day, and you’ve never heard of me.)

    One of the things I’ve always liked about your posts is the way you end them on an optimistic note. On occasion, those optimistic notes have kept me going through some dark times. It seems strange for me to be returning the favor, but … don’t lose heart. Your hit counter is telling lies. Your audience hasn’t gone anywhere.

    Oh, and if you’d accept a guest post from someone you’ve never “met”, I’ll try to contribute one. No obligation, just trash it if you don’t like it. What’s the easiest format for you to use (plain text, HTML, Word, Markdown, something else?) And does it go to the hotmail you’ve mentioned in the past?

    • Word. Hotmail is fine or the scifihoyt one mentioned in another comment on this page.

    • “This may not be deliberate. Others above have said they read your blog through email or RSS feeds. We don’t know how those bump your counter. After some bad experiences, I read the Internet (including your blog) through a browser with as many shields up as I can arrange (script blockers, ad blockers, tracker blockers, etc.)”

      Also guilty of. I don’t have any reason other than “I hate ads.”

      • This should not have ads. I pay through the nose for no ads.

        • Emails don’t definitely. When I read comments, through the link, I get taken directly to the Blog. Granted, haven’t noticed Ads, but without you saying something, would not know that.

          Which brings up a point. Since I at minimum reply “c4c” to every post, I eventually get to the actual blog site, even tho I’m reading it through email. That should count as a hit. Ditto for anyone reading the main blog article through email, to read the comments, I also have to go to the blog, at least at first. Do not get more comments to email unless you leave a comment. Do not know if the RSS work that way too.

          FWIW. Makes me feel a little better on how I’m reading your blog. Should not be preventing hits unless I only read it and never go to comments. Rarely do that.

  106. Leo M. Walker

    I am not a regular, I stop by once or twice a week these days. Chasing down provender and dragging it home for the wife to process takes most of my time, along with volunteer work with my parish away from my parish and political activities, oh, and I am an inveterate information junkie and have a blog of my own. The main value to me is that through this blog I have come to know and love you (nothing creepy romantic, honest admiration, affection and respect) and buy some of your stuff. Weird, I know, but knowing that you are in the world makes me very happy. I come around to see what my secret friend Sarah is up to and get a hit of happiness. Thank you for that. Blog or not as you please, you are in the world and that is enough for me.

  107. Leo M. Walker

    Oh, and lest I forget: Himself has His funny little ways; ask Him what’s up sometime. Your mileage may vary but I have always found that scary interesting.

    • Mostly I get amusement. I think I’m the comic relief.

      • Leo M. Walker

        Maybe, but He did create the elephant and the platypus after all. It might mean, “You’re doing fine, kid. If you get wildly off track I’ll get your attention but otherwise just follow the instincts and good sense I gave you. Let’s chat again sometime.”

  108. I am glad to hear that you will go with #3 when you get home. Reading your posts and the comment threads from all of the regulars, this is a group where I feel right at home, and I would sorely miss it if you eventually decided not to continue at some level.

    That said, I hope your excursion goes smoothly and as planned. Enjoy the break and don’t sweat the blogging. We will be here to welcome you when you get back. 😉

  109. Sarah, I just realized that I don’t always get a New Post notification via email; for example I saw the Unfinished Cathedrals post, but not the We SEE You post, and then I saw the What Does Blog Want?

    My tendency is to go to the post via the email link; does that count hits for you, or does going to the .com register the hits then going to the link via the main site register hits, but not register going to the post via link?

    Coz Wayne’s comment about WordPress possibly not registering hits made me think about this. Maybe there’s a new thing WordPress is messing up? Just my random, probably wrong-direction thought, but mentioning the possibility anyway.

  110. I think the dowturn has to do with the Meulller nothing burger release.

    When we feel surrounded and oppressed, there is a need to seek out like-minded views from others, as reassurance. When the threat dissipates, we relax and go back to life.

    My vote is blog less and write more good books.