Friday, January 17, 2014

Ave atque Vale

by Sheila Connolly

I first posted here almost exactly four years ago.  I was honored to be asked to join the blog, because back then I was a relatively new writer (my first book had been published a year and a half earlier), and I was still learning about the universe of writers and readers.  PDD’s writers had always struck me as thoughtful and intelligent and well-informed, and I had learned a lot from their posts.

Being part of the blog forced me to be thoughtful too. Sometimes it’s easy to toss off a quick post about whatever strikes your fancy at a given moment.  You can be cute and glib and make a few people laugh or smile, and then they forget about it.  There’s nothing wrong with entertaining people--isn’t that what fiction writers do?  But making readers take a step back and think is harder.

The world of publishing has changed dramatically in the past four years.  Early fans of Dick Tracy might have seen it coming (remember that wrist device?) but probably the rest of us who yearned to become writers had grown up with a very different model, one that involved sitting in an unheated garret with a quill pen.  No sooner did we think we had learned something than the publishing universe made a 90-degree shift and we had to start all over (more than once).  When we did master a medium, such as one of the social networking sites, it collapsed of its own weight or was taken over by somebody else or its managers decided it should be something different.

I’m sounding like a Luddite, aren’t I?  I embrace technology, and the expanded opportunities to communicate with many people in a timely fashion.  And there’s no stuffing the genie back in the bottle: the Internet is not a flash in the pan, but a part of our daily lives.  But that comes with its own problems, not the least of which is the demands that constant, instant communication place on our time.  We’re afraid we’ll miss something critical or be left out of the loop, so we’re always checking this or that.

And that can be a challenge for bloggers.  Remember when blogs were new? They were a novelty and a curiosity.  Then for a while, everyone believed they had to have a blog, or participate in multiple blogs, often egged on by their agents, editors and peers. Predictably, thousands of blogs popped up, and now it’s very hard to stand out, much less attract new followers. No one person can follow more than a handful—and that includes me.

So we at Poe’s Deadly Daughters are folding our tents and slipping away. (I was thinking of quoting Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poignant poem The Day is Done, where this image originated, but since Longfellow tended to be a bit longwinded, it’s better to read the whole thing here. Don’t worry—the Daughters will all be around, just not in this space.

Thank you all for following us.


Edith Maxwell said...

I'm sorry to see you go, especially your Friday posts, Sheila. Lucky for me, I know where you live! All my best for all of you.

Sandra Parshall said...

Sheila, it's been a pleasure to be your blog sister. I hope it's made us friends forever. I'll be talking to you all around the internet and in person. Onward to the next good thing in life!

Gail M Baugniet - Author said...

Mahalo and Aloha!

Katy McCoy said...

That's really disappointing. It was so easy to have one blog with all of you on it than to have to go to (or receive) individual blogs. Seems like the best blogs that are interesting and worth spending time with disappear the most, probably reflecting the amount of effort that one has to put into the blogs to make them good.(It's unlikely that that sentence could be parsed.)Thanks to all of you for a great read.