Friday, 22 June 2012

This blog it is a-changing

Some recent thoughts and happenings have come together to produce a conclusion. And the conclusion affects the fundamental nature and perhaps existence of this blog. Perhaps the blog is having an existential crisis.

Thoughts and happenings
  • I've been doing this for three and a half years. There are over 600 posts, a million words etc etc. 
  • I've probably said it all. 
  • I'm feeling stale. Less crabbit, more jaded?
  • It takes a huge amount of time. 
  • I've got some writing projects and exciting things on the horizon with my existing books, which badly need my attention.
  • I love helping people and I love teaching, but my energy isn't endless.
  • Although most people are extremely appreciative of the fact that all this advice is free and that all the above is true, I get the occasional spiteful remark. I had a hate email the other day, along the lines of "Who do you think you are giving advice?" (But nastier! Much nastier...)
  • I really really need to write, so, somehow, I have to give less time to the blog.
  • I don't want to stop doing it, but I need it to change, to simplify. And I don't want to bore regular readers.
So, I've had an idea.

You ask me questions (by email). I try to answer them on the blog. Like an agony aunt, but for writers. I would answer them anonymously (unless for a specific reason we agreed that your name/link should appear.) So it could be a general question or one very specific to your situation. I can't promise to answer them all, but there would be a good chance that your question would be answered.

That way, I will be writing about the things YOU want to know about. I will answer as many questions a week as I have time for.

Interested? See the ASK A QUESTION page above. You can start asking me questions as soon as you like - I have a few posts scheduled ahead but I'll start being your crabbit aunt very soon.


31 comments:

Shauna said...

That is awful (the nasty email that is), I'm sure you already know how much the readers of this blog appreciate the time and effort you put into your crabbitness and great advice.

However that doesn't remove the hurt that comes from nasty email comments. I do hope that 'what goes around, comes around'
But out of everything has come a great idea. I think you'll make a wonderfully crabbit agony aunt.

Here's to questions answered and books written.

All the very best Nicola.

Leela Soma said...

Aw... Nicola, I'll miss your blog. It kept me entertained and informed. Glad you are not giving it up completely. All the best for your writerly future!

Squidge said...

So sorry that certain folk could be so unappreciative of your advice and feel that they have the right to be downright rude. I for one have found this blog nothing but useful - thank you for all the time and energy you DO give to us aspiring writers.

At the end of the day you're a writer - and you need to give yourself time on your own projects. So I'm wishing you all the best for the change of blogging direction, and plenty of time in the Crabbit Hutch for more story-telling.

Rebecca Alexander said...

I'm astonished that anyone can be spiteful when you've put a million words out there FOR FREE! Being kind, are they mentally ill - or jealous? Reb x

Nicola Morgan said...

Actually, I didn't want to draw attention to the nasty email - that was just one small thing. I've no idea what the motivation was, as I'm just not on that wavelength. One thing I've learnt is that most people are decent and good and a few people behave in ways I just can't get my head round. I've stopped trying to.

Thank you all for your lovely comments, but honestly I didn't write this post to get lots of affirmation - just to explain why I'm changing the nature of the blog. I plan to carry on giving advice on anything people ask me. So, bring it on!

And do tell your writing friends to ask Crabbit a question!

Lesley Richardson said...

I'm quite sure Mr/Ms Nasty Knickers hasn't seen you talk or met you in person, otherwise they'd know just how qualified you are to give advice.

Your blog has been a revelation to me and was wholly responsible for getting me blogging too - so thank you.

Your Crabbity Agony Aunt concept is a great idea. I have question I've been wanting to quietly ask for a while now, but haven't been brave enough - so I shall definitely be asking for some Crabbit advice.

Good luck - and thanks again.

Lesley :)

Vanessa Harbour said...

I think your idea is a brilliant one. A writers' agony aunt - truly inspired. Blogging is draining and trying to think of new, relevant ideas can be so hard. Your blog has been incredibly useful and one I use and direct my students to on a regular basis as a good source of information. I can totally understand your decision (and can't believe the nasty email) and will wait with anticipation your answers to many a writers' questions.

Nicola Morgan said...

Vanessa - do get your students to email a question, too!

Lesley - I'm waiting with eager anticipation!

Again, thanks for all your comments. It's people like you that I'm trying to help. Basically, I'm trying to be the person I needed to hear when i was struggling to become published.

Anne Mackle (cassam) said...

Nicola I have only been writing for a year mostly on my blog and some flash fiction. I am never going to write a book but I love reading your blog and all your advice is so interesting, I think your idea of answering questions is great. I'm glad you haven't decided to stop altogether although I really don't know where you find the time. If only we had another few hours each day.

Laura Mary said...

Ooh, that's a really good idea! Nicola you know I will have so many questions!!! Some about writing, some about shoes...
Glad this blog isn't going anywhere - I am still reading my way through your old posts!

As someone who is looking for as much free information as I can get my hands on, I have read a lot that has been helpful, some that I've disagreed with but ALL of it has been appreciated!

Sally Zigmond said...

I'm not surprised you are ready for a change of direction, Nicola, and more time to concentrate on other things. You have always been so generous with your time, her expertise and your advice and I, for one, have always come away feeling better about myself and my writing after reading your blog.

I'm so pleased, though, that you're not disappearing for good!

Annalisa Crawford said...

I think that sounds great! Your blog is a wealth of great information, it's a pity that a minority can't see that.

I'll start thinking of questions to email :-)

Thomas Taylor said...

Nicola, I'm so sorry to hear about that nasty e-mail. Why do people do things like that? I don't comment here much but this blog is a fabulous resource, and you are incredibly generous to offer it up to those who need it. I Often point new writers this way, and to your books.

T

Nicola Morgan said...

Again, thanks everyone. You are v kind. However, I really really don't want to focus on the silly email - I'm afraid most writers come up against such things every now and then and I've been very lucky not to get more of it. The more one says things in public - eg on a blog - the more one makes oneself vulnerable. I can handle it with a bit of silent eye-rolling! Please don't mention it any more - it's forgiven :)

Lisa Shambrook said...

When I've had a writing question pop into my head...yours is the first blog search bar I turn to! The time you've taken to give advice is fantastic and your new idea is most welcome. If I can't find an answer on your blog then I'll ask the question directly!
Thank you, Nicola, for the time and effort you've already put in!

Captain Black said...

A great big Thank You to Nicola for all her hard work on this blog. It's a fantastic source of informed information and discussion. I'm looking forward to the new format…

Vee said...

Another thank you Nicola. I've loved reading your blog. Everything you've written is informative and thought provoking and I'm sure the new 'direction' will be no different. Well, different, yes, but still informative and thought provoking, if you see what I mean!

Helen said...

Thank you for all the generous advice you've given here over the years. I'm glad you aren't going to give up blogging completely. The agony aunt idea sounds great!

Mary-Jane Riley said...

I can't tell you how much inspiration/advice I have taken from your blog over the years - and I am still hoping to become a blog baby (tho an old one!) but good luck to you, Nicola, and I don't blame you for wanting to spend a little more time on your own stuff... and I will still want to know Crabbit views...

Joy said...

Thank you so so so much for taking the time to make the writerly-thing less daunting, and for all the super-fab advice! I know my writing-tech know-how wouldn't have come as far as it has without your blog and your wonderful books :D
I LOVE the agony aunt idea - what a clever idea!
Have fun immersing yourself in story-telling. xx

Julia said...

I love the agony aunt idea too. But, but . . . will you keep what's gone before on the blog as it is now up?? I've only scratched the surface and would love to work through through the whole lot!

Deborah Jay said...

Nicola, I also want to say a big thank you. I've only recently found your blog and already you and your readers have given me some fantastic advice on my novel pitch, for which, much gratitude.
Like Julia, I'm anxious to know that what you've already written will stay available as I've hardly read any of it yet.
Your 'agony aunt' idea will be great fun all round, I'm certain. I'm what I call a 'horsey agony aunt', answering reader's questions in HORSE magazine and it's good fun, if sometmes a bit mind boggling when you read some of the questions!
I've just signed up for the Festival of Writing in York and I see you're speaking there - maybe I'll get a chance to say hello in person - and see some of the fabulous shoe collection in real life!

Nicola Morgan said...

Julia and Deborah - fear not, the blog material won't disappear! See you in York :)

Deborah Jay said...

Excellent news, thank you. :)

Delia Lloyd said...

There's a good model for this, Nicola. An American writer has a blog called "Ask Allison" which is structured in a very similar vein about publishing issues and it works well. Good luck!

Delia Lloyd
www.realdelia.com

Clare S said...

First off, Nicola, thank you so much for all the years of advice!! I've read your blog for a really long time, though I seldom comment, so I just wanted to let you know that it really is appreciated (and that not all of us agree with the less pleasant emails you get!).

That does sound like a great idea - you're giving yourself more time to, y'know, write, but still 'giving' back to the writing community. Win-win!

Here's to many more years of wonderful advice, albeit in a different format. Cheers!!

Julia said...

That's great news. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Love the blog; it's my daily fix. But I quite understand how much time it takes up - it clearly has a massive amount of energy behind it, which is why we all appreciate it and gain so much from it.
Will Crabbit at Home remain? We've just all had such fun admiring your shed!

Nicola Morgan said...

Hi Anon
Yes, Crabbit at Home will stay! It's fairly irregular anyway, so i don't feel pressured by it. Am in the shed at the moment :)

Emma Darwin said...

Ah, Nicola, I'm not surprised you're having to switch things round a bit - but this is going to be soooo great.

Who here remembers the late Miss Snark? We now have a Miss (Ms? Mrs? Dr? Squadron Leader? Her Serene Highness?) Crabbit in her stead!

Cameron Writes said...

I don't think I have to tell you, Nicola, just how much you've helped me. I couldn't have done it without you and I point anyone asking for help in your blog's direction. I'm so glad you aren't going to stop completely and I think the specific question idea is brilliant.

I won't tell you what I'd like to do to the spite-mailer because this is a polite place ... but a Glasgow-kiss would be on the cards.