Bye Bye, By the Way and Ficlets Blog
Posted on December 7, 2007 Posted by John Scalzi 27 Comments
Because many of you who read Whatever also read By The Way and Ficlets Blog, I’ll mention here what I’ve mentioned there: December 31 will be my last day writing in both of those blogs. You can read my notice the readers of By the Way here, and to Ficlets readers here.
I’m drawing down my work there for two reasons. First, AOL is going through a number of structural changes and the group I’ve been working with is figuring out where they’re going from here, and in the short run that means letting my contracts expire. My thought on that: these things happen. The good news is that it’s a business issue rather than because they’re tired of me; we’re parting on what I think are excellent terms, and I think it’s not at all unlikely I’ll work with AOL in some capacity again at some point in the future. Certainly I wouldn’t mind.
The other reason is that at this point in time I want to focus on book writing and fiction. I’m fortunate to be in a place in my career where I have more opportunities than I have time, and I need to prioritize those opportunities. Right now, books and fiction have the highest priority. In one of those moments of synchronicity, AOL started talking to me about their changes just as I was thinking of how best to tell them I wanted to step away partially or completely. I’m not a believer in signs, but I’m certainly aware my life has been blessed with a number of useful coincidences, and this, I think, is another one of them.
I’m very excited about what this means for my next year. I am slightly apprehensive on the money management front: the one nice thing about the AOL gig was that it was a regular amount of money on a regular basis; my bookwriting income is more than adequate but, well, spurty is the best word for how it comes in. Fortunately we here in the Scalzi household are fiscally paranoid and have over time saved up a buffer which we can draw on for bills and the like. Yes, that’s right, we planned ahead. Call us crazy. But it does put us in a good position for this transition. So for all of you who keep telling me to write more: you’re about to get your wish.
One thing I do want to address is the Author Interviews and Big Idea segments I currently do at the Ficlets blog. Basically, my plan is to keep doing them, and just do them over here. In fact, you didn’t know this, but one of the reasons I did the Month of Writers was to get an idea of how Whatever readers would take to writing features. The answer seems to be: Very well, thank you very much, since the visitor numbers for this last week are up significantly from the week before. Readers like ’em, and I like ’em, since I like promoting other writers. So: they’ll be here.
And, naturally, the Whatever will keep on going as it has. If I’m going to spend most of my time writing books and fiction, I’m going to need someplace to come up for air. Guess what? This is it.
This is my big news for today, and it’s pretty big news. I’m looking forward to giving By the Way and my work on Ficlets blog the proper sendoffs that they deserve, and moving on to the wide open writing spaces of 2008. This is exciting stuff. I can’t wait.
I don’t know if this is the appropriate place to ask, but you did bring up increasing your fiction writing time. Do you have any plans to revisit the universe of Android Dreams?
I’d like to go on record as being rather excited about the Month of Writers—- because, honestly, I haven’t had time in the last several years to do much if any recreational reading.
Thanks, John, for helping me make a shopping list for my next bookstore run.
Congratulations on reaching a point where you can support your electronic gadget habit by writing fiction!
A crossroads of synchronicity that leads to more novel writing? Yeah. A Sign. Definitely a Sign! ; ) (Gratz!)
Just a question of internet etiquette here, should I have typed ‘First!’?
Rigel: He’s working on a sequel: The High Castle. Appropriately enough…
Randomscrub: Thanks for the info. There’s so many possibilities in that universe I really wanna see where he goes next with it. Cool title.
Wasn’t “Fiction-related Income Comes In Spurts” a hit for Richard Hell and the Heartbreakers?
Ah, well, it’s a bittersweet ending to things. I enjoyed my brief time on both of those sites during the Whatever’s hiatus. It’s sad to see them go.
But I think you’re going to do just fine from now on.
I, for one, welcome our book-and-fiction-writing-prioritized overlord.
And if others get the impulse to buy every hardcover edition of your books they see like I do, then I think you’re okay.
Oh, and you can charge higher admissions at Scalzifest!
You write books?
More books! Faster books! For me, since I don’t have to pay your bills every month, there is no downside.
Congratulations on the next step, Mr. Scalzi.
Good for you, John. It’s awesome that you’ll be able to focus on what’s important to you.
I’m kinda sad to see them both change, but at the same time, I have all my Scalzi in (mostly) one place, and that happens to be my primary Scalzi source to begin with.
I’ve definitely enjoyed seeing you highlight other authors. :) I think that’s great.
Good Luck and Good Smarts!! (Because luck will beat skill any day of the week, just not EVERY day . . . )
Well, I guess this means all those guys who told you ‘don’t quit your day job’ are queuing up for crow,eh? Congratulations.
(As an aside, isn’t queuing a cool looking word? And far more alliterative than ‘lining’. Oh dear God, deliver me from college! I’m analyzing my blog comments now.)
Having read all three of your sites on a daily basis for the past year or so, I’d have to say I’m okay with this. I like your tone on the Whatever best of the three sites, and your commenters here (excluding myself for purposes of objectivity) are also top-notch.
I hope your posts here (and your bank account, for that matter) become even richer as a result of your newfound focus. Change is exciting, and I wish you the best of luck!
I don’t follow your other online outlets (Whtvr4life, yo!), mostly due to time constraints, so I’m glad to hear that I won’t be missing out on other random Scalziness anymore. And yeah, the month of writers has been a great feature, I look forward to seeing what other writing-related content you have up your sleeve.
Not that anyone is asking, but I thought that “By The Way” highlighted something pretty neat, and that was John’s professional persona. He had a particular AOL audience, and it was good fun. I too, like Whatever more. Maybe it’s the “You kids get offa my lawn!” sorta vibe it gives off. I dunno, but I am sorry about not having both examples any longer.
You don’t believe in signs? Not even the octagonal red ones that say STOP in the middle?
Definitely feeling great about you writing more. And I’ve decided to purchase more hardcovers of yours from now on. I have a LOT of catching up to do, still need to get TLC and TAD and probably will need to find TGB on ebay or half.com.
Just think, this time next year (isn’t that when the Whatever book is coming out?) I’ll have a veritable Scalzi collection! That means you get your own shelf on my bookcase. Wait – you might have to share with JK Rowling. It’s a small bookcase. :P
On the one hand, I’m sorry to see them go. On the other, more fiction? Very good!
And some of us weren’t visiting regularly the last week in November (or indeed, much of November at all) because of NaNoWriMo, which might also have a bearing on the increased number of visitors the first week of December.
Easy contest… more books! Not that I don’t enjoy your writing online, it’s just that I have ADD. When I finish one of your books I get into fits of confusion and sadness; If you write faster this won’t happen as often. Get to work! Haha.
hye whats up chicka
Interesting test of the strange comingup.
I’ve always enjoyed By The Way,and most of it is because I like your writing. I’d say that I have a pretty good claim for By The Way’s biggest fan.This would naturally lead one to assume that I’ll be doing most of my bothering-of-you here at Wut-Ev..
But I’m one of those stereotypical AOL users who is too stupid computer-wise to visit non-AOL sites. I have lots of friends who left AOL,and lost touch with me 100% because I can’t figure out how to comment in their new format or- most often- I can’tr ead the little word verification thingy.
The only AOL Editor blog I visited more than yours was Jamie Mottram’s Mr.Irrelevant. He’s also fun to read- and he writes about sports, which I enjoy. But since he fled Dulles for the ‘Hoo,” I’ve stopped reading him. I also stopped reading Joe Loong, who I also thought was very nice. Same reason.
I know it’s both wrong and stupid, but I am what I am.
Either way… don’t think that I started disliking your work if you don’t see much of me after the schism. Just know that I’m a creature of habit. Also, BTW was near the top of my Favorites List, while Whatever sort of ended up way down in the middle… and that has an effect on my blog visitations.
Either way,best of luck to you and yours. I have the sense that you’re doing the right thing.