As I make the rounds of the blogs I've not been reading for the last few months, I've noticed a disturbing trend. Some have gone dark. Not dark the way I disappeared, but dark as in over. POD-dy Mouth, a fabulous blog about finding good books in the mass of dreck that is self publishing, has closed her doors for good. The fabulous and always entertaining Miss Snark has bid adieu to her adoring masses. Squawk Radio, a popular blog by some NYT bestselling romance writers, has pulled the plug. What, or who, is next?
Is the thrill of the blog gone? I don't mean just for the individual posters, but for the readers as well. Blogging was all the rage two years ago when I began, and it was widely seen as a way for authors to interact with their readers. Is that still going on, or have readers become disenchanted by the ease with which they can contact their favorite writer? Should there be some mystery between an author and her public? I'm just asking the questions. I certainly don't know the answers, and I can't speak as an author with a public. Do I hang out on favorite author blogs? No. Some of the authors I like I discovered as a fellow writer going to writing blogs.
I still enjoy the way blogging makes me feel like I'm part of a community, the way doing the rounds makes me feel like I'm sitting at a table and shooting the breeze with other writers. But I can see how blogging can detract from the real business of writers — writing. Ultimately, we are supposed to be typing words into a file that will hopefully become a book. Any other use of our time is extra-curricular. It's necessary for sanity, perhaps, but not strictly necessary.
The thrill isn't gone for me yet. What about you?