A number of people have emailed me, wondering why I’ve been so quiet lately. And it’s true that, except for my usual bi-weekly posts over on Murderati, I haven’t been posting much online. Partly, it’s because I’ve been trying to finish the first draft of my new Jane and Maura book, while keeping up with travel and speaking engagements.
But mostly, it’s because I’ve developed a fear of blogging.
Columnist Michael Kinsley, who writes frequently about online journalism, recently wrote: “The more concerned you are to avoid saying anything wrong or offensive, the less likely you are to say anything inspiring or true.” I’ve been thinking about that statement a lot lately. And remembering how some of my past blog posts were received.
Over the past year or so, other bloggers have called me a “fucktard,” a “fuckwit”, a “drama queen,” and a “whiny attention whore” because of things I’ve written here. As a result, I found myself editing and re-editing my posts until I was sure they couldn’t possibly offend anyone. I’ve pared away anything even remotely controversial, shied away from any blogs having to do with book reviews, authorial angst, or publishing anxiety because those topics are just so, well, whiny and offensive.
The result? There’s hardly anything left to blog about that isn’t bland, touristy, or blatantly promotional. In other words, this blog has turned into just another marketing tool, which wasn’t how it started. Its original purpose was to reflect upon the business, good and bad, and about the writer’s life, with its ups and downs.
Some people don’t want to know how sausage is made. Others are offended by what writers think. I’m coming around to thinking that both should be kept strictly out of sight.