Sunday, June 22, 2014

Changes to My Blogs

I've been blogging regularly and steadily on both of my blogs since each one's inception. Both were created to serve several purposes from the outset. One was to bookmark experiences regarding life in Japan so that I could remember them as well as share my perspective on things both trivial and important with others. Another was to set myself a task such that I would develop my writing skills in different directions by focusing on a particular niche (Japanese snacks) or a particular style (short form for 1000 Things About Japan). Still another was in hopes of generating some income for my writing work. Despite my spotty proof-reading, I do put a lot of time and energy into my blogs.

I have realized two of my three goals. For various reasons, I make nearly nothing from my blogs despite having a pretty decent readership that has continued to grow at a slow pace. This is disappointing, but not the primary reason for the changes that are to come.

For some time, I've been writing a book. It's well over 100 pages now, but I keep having problems finishing it. The primary reason for this is that I tell myself each week that I'll do my eight blog posts (five for Japanese Snack Reviews and three for 1000 Things About Japan) and then I'll work on my book. All of my energy and time is taken by the blogs such that there is not enough left for the book and I have decided that has to change.

I've always been the sort of person who believes in structure and discipline. One of the reasons that my posting is regular is that I think that you have to set a goal and stick with it in order to make sure you achieve it. On 1000 Things About Japan, I met that goal awhile back when I hit 500 "Won't Miss" and 500 "Will Miss" posts, but I kept going and added in other content. On this blog, my goal was the number and type of posts and I've steadily stuck with each of my goals for a long time. It is time for my goals to change to getting the books I want to write finished instead of writing a certain number of blog posts each week for each blog.

In terms of what this means, I'll say first what it does not mean. It does not mean these blogs are ending or dying. I will continue to post, but I will be posting like most other bloggers do from now on. That is, these blogs will be second or third in my writing priorities rather than occupy first place as they have for so long. I will blog essentially when I feel like it rather than according to a self-imposed rigorous schedule.

For my kind and faithful readers, this means you'll have to track changes in some way rather than know when something new will be here. I recommend using an RSS reader (like Feedly) as it will automatically notify you of new content when it arrives, but you could simply pop in occasionally to see if anything has been posted. My best guess is that you'll see at least one post per week, but I can't say now as I haven't yet embarked on this new path.

As a postscript, I have to also say that this sort of change was inevitable since I knew at some point that I'd have to start leaving my connection to Japan behind and focus on making new and different ones. That connection will always be there as I spent so much of my adult life there, but it will fade. I love to write, so I will continue to do so, but it will likely branch into other areas rather than be monopolized by all things Japan. I hope you'll stick with me and read when I have something to say. I appreciate all of the kindness and support I've been shown over the years and look forward to continuing to offer something to those who enjoy my writing, albeit on a less frequent basis.


  1. I understand exactly how you feel. I think you should be proud of how rigorously you have been writing your blog. I have several on the go, and wonder if I will always be able to find time to do them.
    I am surprised that you aren't making more money from your blog--I did look at your site meter and thought that your traffic is fantastic. I am making absolutely nothing from mine, but thought yours would at least provide some spending money,
    Good luck on your other writing endeavours. I will continue to read your blog whenever you write a post.
    Thank you so much for everything you have done so far.

    1. My traffic is good, but my readers do things which deny me ad revenue (and some are pretty proud of doing it). They block the ads, even though they are unobtrusive and not obnoxious (no pop-ups, and no covering of content). Others use readers that strip the entire post so that they don't have to visit the site and the ads don't load. I don't get "paid" commensurate with my traffic. I'm not complaining. It's a fact of life, but that's at least part of the reason why I don't make much.

  2. Hi there, it's great to hear you are writing a book, I hope you can find publishing if you haven't already. Your writing deserves to, no question.

    Will your book also be "about Japan" - in whatever way?

    Anyway, I wish you good luck with your efforts, and I have your site on RSS. To be honest, you wrote so frequently that I had a hard time to keep up ;-)

  3. I have enjoyed reading your 1000 things blog for about a year now. The content, the excellent writing, and the consistency with which you have posted have all contributed to the pleasure I have gotten out of it. So, I will miss not having it to read it as often in the (very early) AM when I am waking up with a hot cup of coffee. Having lived and worked in Japan from 1969-71 I have found it interesting to compare notes, so to speak. And to learn about how the experience of living there as a foreigner has changed.

    THANK YOU for having invested so much of your time and energy into having done this with as much skill and perceptiveness as you have!

    Congratulations, as well, on making a decision to invest more of yourself in other kinds of writing. I have heard 'famous' writers say that they devote 'x' number of hours to writing everyday. Ie, discipline and commitment to honing one's skills are crucial to finding success. I wish you the best in that regard. And I hope you will let us who read your blog know when you get something published somewhere.

  4. I've just clicked on a couple of ads for you :)

    Sad to hear that your regular posting will go down, but if it means we have a book to look forward to... well I might just let you off ;-)

  5. It was painful adjusting when you went to a three-times-a-week frequency, and I am sure it will be equally painful to adjust to the new arrangement. Your blog has been one of the highlights of my week, and I am looking forward to your book. And will follow you anywhere.

  6. I generally save all your posts to read on Saturday morning with my coffee. Though I'm sad there will be less for me to read, I wish you the best of luck and success with your book.


Comments are moderated and will not show up immediately. If you want to make sure that your comment survives moderation, be respectful. Pretend you're giving feedback to your boss and would like a raise when you're speaking. Comments that reflect anger or a bad attitude on the part of the poster will not be posted. I strongly recommend reading the posts "What This Blog Is and Is Not" and "Why There Were No Comments" (in the sidebar under "FYI") before commenting.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.