Monday, February 04, 2008

Writers's Blogs: Madam Mayo's Top 6 Peeves

This Saturday I'll be chairing the panel (with Wendi "The Happy Booker" Kaufman, Leslie "Work-in-Progress" Pietrzyk, Deborah "32 Poems" Ager, and Shawn Westfall, on writers blogs for the Washington Independent Writers All-Day Fiction Seminar at Washington DC's American University. So, I'm thinking a lot about writers's blogs... (here, by the way, is a list of 10 excellent examples of the genre). So, as a reader of writers's blogs, herewith my top 6 peeves--- the things that make me surf on (and rarely, if ever, return):

#1. Black backgrounds.
So sleek, yet such a strain to read. Forget the fancy stuff, make it easy on the eyes for your readers.

#2. "Me, me, me, and mine, blah blah and when I was contemplating the lint in my navel, blah-be-de-blah"
I'm looking for quality content, and that includes good links. Interestingly, a number of well-known literary writers have blogs that are very poor examples of the genre.

#3. Ginormous jpegs which take--- so I am guessing but I'm not going to wait to find out--- anymore than I would watch paint dry--- eleven cen-tu-rie-sssss to dooooooooow-n-n-n-n-load
Many readers have a dial-up connection, sometimes or all the time. But even still, they can surf away, click.

#4. Long strings of even more ginormous jpegs.
Please God, why?

#5. Inconsistent / infrequent posting.
It's a canard that to attract readers, a blog needs to be updated daily. Some excellent and very popular writers's blogs, such as James Howard Kunstler's, are updated once a week; others, such as Jeff Gomez's Print is Dead, frequently, but not necessarily daily. But a writers's blog that appears to have been abandoned, weeks or even months ago, with no explanation... well, it's about as appealing as a grocery cart parked on a front lawn.

#6. Opening a blog post with an apology
"Sorry not to have been posting as I should"--- oh, yecch. (Re: peeve #2). Just blog.

Less peevishly... more anon.

---> Read Madam Mayo's previous "Gone to the Litblogs" posts here.