Home > Dispatches > Daily Dispatches 2015 >Daily Dispatch 68

March 13, 2015: Blogging Sustainably

So I hit the wall. Big deal. This happens to everyone at one time or another, with the exception of Pete, who always remains on an even keel. He’s the sort of guy who if he ran a marathon would move at a steady pace and slowly pass everyone else. Slow and steady is the pace, a motto for the human race.

Earlier today I shared a revised version of my If Wishes were Horses proposal with the group. This was a good thing to do. Barbara, who is very into structure had some very good advice. Also, when I share work, I see what I perceive others to see. What I saw as I looked down at my copy of this letter was one

very long honking first paragraph. There wasn’t (again) anything there that caught anyone’s attention, so back to the drawing board.

Anyhow, later, another group member, Ray, mentioned that PVD Press in Anchorage is looking for publishable work. So I looked this press up once I arrived home. It’s a reputable press, but like many presses nowadays, it publishes a handful of good books and then offers writers the option of formatting their lesser book. The former is the draw and the latter is their bread and butter money. So they’ve designed their website in such a way as to make writers think that they’re exclusively a publishing house.

As I was examining the PVD website, I got to thinking that my Writing Sustainably book might be a better fit for this press than my If Wishes were Horses or Returning Rider books. Recall that after two years, James Engelhardt at the University of Alaska Press rejected my Writing Sustainably proposal. This was a low blow, and of course made me think that it wasn’t any good.

Pete had recently suggested that I should reframe Writing Sustainably and instead call it Blogging Sustainably. I immediately agreed with him – this made perfect sense to me. But by then I was already at work on If Wishes were Horses. When I read it and considered it in relation to PVD Press, this made even more sense.

I do feel like I’m taking yet another step backwards. I now have three proposals that I’m working on. I have to think that my leapfrogging is a good thing for when I again get stuck (as happened a few days ago) I will be able to get unstuck by looking at the other two projects anew.

My now reframing the Writing Sustainably book will provide it with a framework that the other proposal lacked. James Engelhardt was right – it did lack focus. He just didn’t have the time or inclination to talk further with me about how I might make it have focus. I can write about how blogging enables me to generate ideas. This is because its low stakes writing, or writing in which my initial audience is me. Focusing on blogging will also better enable me to make the subject matter that is the writing/homesteading connection.

I might also take a close look at other blogs, and make note of others who are also living off the grid and writing about writing and sustainability related issues.

Another interesting thing happened at the writing group meeting. This fellow Ray shared a draft of his essay about being down in a bayou in Louisiana and being in a boat. He then digressed a bit, and wrote about taking literal unexpected turns, and life going in differing directions. Well, his telling me this press and my deciding to return to working on what is now the blog proposal – this is a good example of this. I do think that anything will come of my sending a query letter/proposal to VPD Press. What will come of my sending it to Epicenter Press, or revised, back to The University of Alaska Press might be a different matter entirely. Gotta keep writing. This is what is now most important.

Next: 69. 3/14/15: Dick, Jokla, and Karmen

Horse Care Home About Us Dispatches Trips Alys's Articles