In this blog, I’m going to lay out a roadmap of sorts of how I see my blogs progressing. I’ve identified a few broad topics that I’ll come back to repeatedly:
- What I’m writing (other than this blog)
- What I’m reading (research)
- What I’m reading (fiction)
- What I’m reading about writing
- Who I’m following
- Writer’s support
I won’t necessarily follow this order and you may not see each of the six each month, but I’ll address each topic several times a year.
I’m planning to blog about my other writing and my reading because I think it’s important to make transparent how and why I so what I do. My undergraduate mentor always came to lecture with a stack of books. He’d put them on the table and list their titles, and the titles of the ones he couldn’t carry, on the board and then begin lecture. He explained that he did this because he didn’t like professors who pretended they just knew everything. I don’t like people who do that either. Writing is a process; writers continually learn how to write. Reading is a huge part of writing well; thus, I’m blogging about both.
I’m blogging about which bloggers I follow because I think it’s important for us to support each other and to highlight the posts I learn a lot from.
Hopefully the writer’s support blogs are more or less self-explanatory—I write those to help you become better and happier writers.
Now, I’ll give you some idea of what’s coming up in each category over the following weeks:
- Writing: I’m finishing two related pieces, both of which come out of my thesis. These are on orphan characters in George Eliot’s novels. When I finish these, I’ll start drafting sample chapters for the book I’m writing on representations of anaesthesia in the nineteenth-century popular press. My blog posts about what I’m writing will be chiefly about the anaesthesia project. I’ve been working on the Eliot material since 2004 and though I still love her work, I’m a bit bored of writing about the topic; I’m much more excited about the medical/surgical stuff I’m currently researching.
- Research: This will focus on research on the Victorian popular press and Victorian medicine. I’m not quite up to date with Quacks on BBC (UK readers will find it on the iPlayer here), but from what I have seen, though they’re playing for laughs, it’s fairly accurate. Nineteenth-century ideas about medicine seem as peculiar to a twenty-first-century audience as I’m sure our ideas will seem to a twenty-second or twenty-third-century audience.
- Fiction: I’m finally reading Ben Aaronovitch’s The Hanging Tree and loving it. I’ll write a more detailed reaction soon.
- Writing texts: I’m still looking for a good text to blog about. I do read style guides and grammar books, but writing about those might not make good reading for you.
- Other Bloggers: I’ve got a growing list. Many of the bloggers I write about will be others in editorial fields or writers. Hopefully you’ll find new favourites amongst my favourites.
- Writer’s support: topics will include (in no particular order) the importance to taking your writing one step (or word) at a time, tips on how to stay on topic, tips on generating more material when you think you’ve exhausted your topic (but haven’t met the desired/required word count), and developing a writing practice.
Finally, I’m happy to write blogs in response to your questions and comments, so let me know if there’s a topic you’d like to see me address on here.
Until next time, take care.