From a writer who (temporarily) said good-bye to blogging…

Reading time: Less than 1 minute

This is my weekly installment of “writing about writing,” in which I scan the world to find websites, books and articles to help other writers. Today I discuss a blog post written by L.L. Barkat…

I had never before heard of the writer and publisher L. L. Barkat (pictured above) until I read a recent guest post she wrote on Jane Friedman’s blog.

It turns out that Barkat is the author of Rumors of Water: Thoughts on Creativity & Writing, two spiritual memoirs and a book of poetry.

Barkat was also an early blogger, during what she calls “The Golden Age of Blogging.” (I’m guessing she means 2001 to 2010.) Here’s how she describes that era:

You had to read other bloggers. You had to get their buttons (and figure out how to get those buttons into your darn sidebar). You had to comment on their posts. At first, this wasn’t hard, because you were having fun (I know I was). But as the years went on, and your blog circle grew larger and larger and larger, suddenly you were no longer a writer but almost a kind of business owner (whether or not you knew it)—engaged in the constant exchange and glued to the screen as you tried to adapt to market conditions.

Barkat walked away from blogging in 2012 and is only returning now. With a different set of ground rules. For one, she’s turned off her comments section, so she feels no need to respond to remarks from her readers. For another, she’s viewing her new blog as a “public sandbox,” a place where she can play, have fun and do what she wants. Here’s how she puts it:

In the new blog … the voice is casual. The topics are variable. The tone is quietly humorous. It’s a place to play. And, at least to this publisher, the writers who know how to play are the ones whose work tends to be most vital.

If her approach interests you, check out her Jane Friedman piece or have a look at her blog. As for me, I’m going to get myself a copy of her book.

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