It has been a very busy past couple of weeks up here in the windswept North, not least with me working away to bed-down and improve the content on the newly upgraded Book Depository website. And, to be honest, it's been a pretty difficult year for other more personal reasons too. Add to this the fact that the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize has robbed me of all the rest of any of the free time I might have had and you can see why RSB hasn't exactly been a hive of activity of late.

But, as I know happens with many bloggers, my busyness has coincided with thoughts about where I want RSB to go, what I want to do with it, what I want it to achieve and what I want to achieve with it, or via it; what I want to explore here and what I want to write about.

I'm somewhat in agreement with Andrew Seal when he wrote this below about his own blogging blues back in February:

This blog is much more like the blogs I don't much care for: wholly dependent on what I "happen upon" in my reading, whether that's what I found on the web today or what book I picked up for vague reasons or no reason. I've been struggling with how to change that, how to add to or change this blog in ways that will make it less adventitious, short of imposing a mandatory reading list on myself or ceasing to blog about anything but a narrow subject. I want to keep a little randomness: I don't object to randomness—I just don't like the self-satisfied surrender to entropy that comes with the idea that I'll blog about whatever catches my fancy.

I used to keep RSB ticking over with links to interesting literary things that I found on the web. I'll still do that from time to time, but I've found that Twitter is a better medium for me to chuck interestng URLs out into the world (anyway, if you want great links you can't beat wood s lot). What this should mean is that when I do write something here at RSB it is of more value and consequence than simply contextualising a link or two, but that requires more time and effort... and energy. And it is energy that I feel so desperately short of right now.

Readers Comments

  1. Nicholas Murray Tuesday 24 March 2009

    Don't fret, Mark, you are doing a great job and besides we are dying of links: a good, clear, original thought is worth a Byzantine mosaic of them

  2. Tom Wednesday 25 March 2009

    I'd rather not add to the Blues, Mark, but maybe it's a form of mid-blog-life crisis. ... I share AS's sentiments; I sense it surfaces sporadically in the absence of a structural fix to the limits of blogging. Keep your mind in Hell, despair not.

  3. Mark, the blog is unique and terrific and it even stands now as is to read slowly through and catch up on what may have missed--and to breeze through as you get your strength back! Don't worry!

  4. I seem to be seeing a lot of this lately... a kind of blog enui ? No... a need to slow down. There is no reason to post every day. Better to let thoughts accumulate, build to a critical mass... then attempt to formulate somehing of substance... the trick here... is that the immediacy, the spontanaity not possilble in print ... might be lost if we give up too much in this direction.

    There is so much stuff pumped out.. that there's no escaping the need to step back and think... evaluate.

    Maybe those of us who survive will be the few who can preserve that sense of immediacly... while offering real substance. This is not an easy balance.

  5. Thanks for all these replies -- really appreciate them...

    (Of course, I'm still doing the daily link-type blogging over on The Book Depository blog: )

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