From 2009 to now, and Onwards.

I started this blog in April, 2009.

Why? One of my writing teachers told me to create a writing blog because I needed it. I think it was to build interest in my stories, but I don’t talk about the actual writing of my stories. I mean, who wants to hear that I write one sentence, then the next. And the next. That is boring.

I talk about my writing journey, the things I learn, the software that helps me, or other tools that I use to monitor all aspects of indie publishing.

During those years, I published 24 fiction books (of varying lengths) under Diane J Cornwell and 1 non fiction book under D J Mills.

During that time I was told I need to make my blog professional. I have my author blog for that. And I have Tift Publishing web site, which includes contact information, in case a foreign publisher wants to talk about translation rights, or even movie rights.

Because this blog allows visitors to sign up for notification when I publish new posts, it has grown over the years, but I realised that I have never asked my list what they want to learn in their writing journey. Or which genre stories my readers enjoy reading.

I do know I did everything relating to blogging the wrong way. I do not test titles or make interesting titles like “5 ways to …” or “7 steps to …”. I do not include lots of images, which I think are a total waste of space. I do not include enough tags with each blog. I do not include enough links to other sites. I do not advertise my books at the end of each blog.

But I checked the stats this morning and was mildly surprised.

Since 2009, I have written 229 posts in 8 categories using 450 tags. When I started I had no idea what a tag was. I had 55 signups to the blog, 4 of them email only. There have been 781 comments from 20,0652 views by visitors to this blog. The spam checker has protected my blog from 12, 096 spam comments.

And the most viewed blog posts were the ones where I wrote about using Scribus to lay out POD interiors and covers to upload as .pdf files on Createspace. The same blog posts I expanded and used in my non fiction book Creating Print on Demand Interiors & Covers using Scribus 1.4.1 by D. J. Mills.

So, first, thank you everyone who visited my blog.

Second, thank you everyone who signed up to receive notification when I published each blog.

And third, thank you everyone who purchased and read my books. I hope you enjoyed them as much as I enjoyed writing them.

I need to find time to visit the link of every person who signed up to my blog to see if they are writers so I can keep up with their writing journey blog posts. Or if they are readers. Or if they signed up by mistake.

If you want to unsubscribe from this blog, but do not know how to do it, let me know and I can delete you from this blog’s list, because I actually discovered how to do it this morning.

I deleted two sign ups because their user id was non existent and their blog link had expired.

The biggest change here is realising I do enjoy writing my blog posts once a month. I enjoy the social interaction. I enjoy helping other writers. I enjoy discussing writing processes, and news releases about changes in Indie publishing. All fun.

Even though I do not understand the workings of Goodreads, I enjoy visiting Goodreads after I publish each book to read their honest reviews.

Other social media sites? Not so much.

I do not use Instagram, or Facebook. Why? I know I do not like their TOS. And why would I want to spend a long time engaging with other writers or readers (and building trust) on other platforms then have the software shut it down to 15% of my list? I understand the platforms want me to pay to reach my list, but I based this whole writing journey on the least cost, basically, FREE.

And Twitter? I understand some people place importance on their number of Twitter followers. I don’t. But, I am very happy people want to follow me on Twitter, even though I only get on Twitter about 3 – 4 times a year because I usually have nothing to say, and I don’t want to bore everyone.

Also, Twitter it too busy for me. I get annoyed with some Twitter users only selling their books. Repeatedly! Thankfully, I do not use Twitter to sell my books. In fact, I don’t want to sell my books, at all, on any social media sites. I am happy to write the best story I can, make it look professional and publish on all distributor sites to make it easy for my readers to find and enjoy.

I know some of my Twitter followers are writers I met on writing courses. I talk to them on forums. But I guess being on Twitter, they can see the automatic Twitter announcement each time I publish another blog post here. They can visit here to read the blog post if the title of each blog generates interest. That is another area where I need to learn the correct way to title my blog posts.

Some of you are internet friends I met on tatting blogs. Or via knitting web sites/blogs. I do not blog about my hobbies on this blog. Maybe I should. Not sure.

In another ten years I might have this blogging figured out. Or I might decide to stop blogging altogether, like another author I know has done. I know it has not effected his sales numbers at all. His decision gave him more time to write his stories.

And, over the next two months I need to plan how many stories I want to write in 2018, and what areas of storytelling I need improving so I can look for free or cheap courses to take next year. And work out a list of topics to blog about.

So, right now I am thinking that maybe I should change focus, blog less and write more. Or keep blogging but include my hobbies. Or ask questions to find out where you are on your writing journey.

To sort all this out, I need you to tell me what writing subjects, software, or other tools I use that you might be interested in, so I can help you write and publish. Or just tell me where you are on your writing journey.

So, either email me, or ask me to email you, via my About Writing tab above or in the comments below. Let me know if my blog helps your writing when I talk about courses I took, blogs I read, or something else that I think helps me write better stories, or helps me publish my stories, or helps me create my covers and interiors.

In the meantime, keep writing and having fun.

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