Monday, March 9, 2015

I'm Back

Doré - Angelica Meets the Hermit
It's been more than a year I've been away--which is a lot of time to think things over, to sit and stew, to write numerous drafts of reviews and posts that just end up sitting in the vault, unread. At first it was nice to be away, to have a break--it was like graduation all over again: suddenly, no one's waiting for me to write papers, nor am I waiting for a response. It's peaceful, but there's still that itch in the back of the mind, the old voice, the old habit, continuing on no matter how you ignore it.

I do want to thank all the people who have supported me, all along--even without any response from me, the comments keep rolling in, the friend requests show up fresh in my inbox each day, and the (mostly) kind and supportive messages are as numerous as ever. It reminds me that I have not only a responsibility to myself, but also to my work, to the conversations I've started that are still going on out there--but it turns out you can't just come back from nowhere, not that easily, and especially not when the reason you left hasn't gotten any better.

We get so used to working for free on the internet--the amount of time and energy people are willing to put into their interests is remarkable, and certainly dwarfs the enthusiasm most people have for any work they're paid to do. Of course, if the internet were just some great communist paradise, that would make sense: everyone contributes knowledge and expertise, and everyone profits by the contributions of others.

Instead, we have a system where the vast number of creators on the internet never see a dime from their work, while the sites on which the work is featured make millions or even billions of dollars in profits every year--perhaps the most notorious example being the disappearance of professional journalism as more and more stories are broken by locals who do it for free.

It was one thing to create content for a community of like-minded folks, but quite another to do so for a multinational business which treats members as subordinates to be controlled, ignored, and profited from--that's the sort of thing I generally think one should be paid to do, because at least then, even if they're taking advantage of you, you're taking advantage right back--which is exactly what I'm going to try to do.

You may have noticed some changes to my blog--for one, on my List of Suggested Fantasy Books and my List of Suggested Comics, I've provided links to Amazon pages where books and comics can be ordered, and every time one of my readers clicks on one of those links and actually orders something, a small percentage will go to helping me pay bills and buy groceries. Likewise, I hope to soon have my first book up for sale as an ebook, and when it is, you'll be able to purchase it through links here on my blog.

Until then, I'm going to resume reviewing, posting on both Goodreads and Booklikes, as well as posting up new articles here. If there is any topic you'd like me to write about, please leave a comment or send a message--some of my favorite posts were inspired by questions I've gotten from my followers, including my series on writing women.

Of course, all of this isn't to say I won't take another sabbatical, some day--it is nice to have a break, once in a while--but for the moment, I'm just excited to be back in the game again. Up next, I'm finally going to finish my all-inclusive Guide to Terrible Goodreads Comments.

13 comments:

  1. I'm so excited by this news! I knew of your work on GReads only when you had left! I'm so psyched by your decision!

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  2. You gave me more reasons to keep living, with your beautiful reviews of masterpieces i had never heard of. My next reading will be your favorite comic "Shade". Keep the good work! Also love the images you use on your articles, if you could recommend more comics or 10000/10 books i would explode with happiness.

    Love from Brazil, we missed you

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    1. I am going to do some updates on my Fantasy Suggestions--I've read a few recently that belong on there. I do have some comics I'm planning to read, so hopefully I'll get to that before too much longer.

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  3. ^What they said! Much love from the nooks and crannies of the Internet - it's a blander, duller place when you're not around.

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  4. "Guide to Terrible Goodreads Comments"
    This getting me all hyped up, because I know some of them will be applicable somewhere else beside Goodreads. Anyway, happy to see you back!

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    1. Yeah, some are universal errors of discussion, others apply only to book reviews.

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  5. Glad to see you back, Keely. I've said this before, but you really do add something special to this little reading community. Sometimes when I get a little too caught up in the fire and bombs of Goodreads discussions, I just need to read something you've written and the world seems to make sense again.

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    1. Well, I guess that's also why I write--it's my way of making sense of the world.

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  6. Been at least a year since I checked up on this blog. Good to see that, as they say in some circles, "the legend never dies."

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    1. Have I passed on into legend already? And to think I never really got a chance to enjoy being the genuine article.

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