Thursday, October 13, 2011

We're Back (?) You Decide, People...

Should we return? Do we have anything more worth saying that we haven't already said here a hundred times? We've been so busy for the last year and a half, on so many mind-numbingly cool and compelling things (writing projects, editing, coaching, speaking, you name it) that we unfortunately had to put Working With Words up there on the shelf. What was initially only going to be a week-long pause to refresh (or as my old comrade Jeff Hess -- Yo, Jeff!-- so vividly puts it on a recurring basis, Gone Thinking) turned into a month, then a year, and now more months than I care to count (okay, it's been just over 17 months). Do we feel refreshed? Invigorated? Full of enough subjects, obsessions, riffs and piss & vinegar outbursts we've been aching to share en masse, rather than one by one? Perhaps...

But enough about us. What do you think about us? Help us decide, cherished reader. Shall we or shan't we return to the battlefront? Should this be a wholly new animal, with a different approach, different platform, different personality, different voice? Should it be weekly or twice weekly rather than daily? Should we open it up to multiple writerly voices? Should it be full of inspiring and invigorating video chats, podcasts or perhaps just vivid photos of me thoughtfully scratching myself in my office? Or should we just take a virtual torch to the whole shebang? Share your comments, thoughts, rants, indecipherable mental effluvia, whatever feels appropriate for you. We'll read and consider it all with great interest. Hell, with intense fondness. Okay, you got me: with real love (the kind that's in italics, for reasons not entirely apparent to the naked eye). After all, gentle readers and friends, I found the old saying to be bracingly true: absence makes the heart grow fonder. How we've missed talking to you here. So here's your chance to do some talking right back, via the comments section. Let 'er rip...

18 Comments:

At 6:42 AM, Blogger Jim Murdoch said...

Yesterday, by fluke, I discovered a post that I’d written back in May and never uploaded. It’s a good thing too because it’s quite a good post and it would have been a shame to have lost it. The general theme is ambition but one of the things I talk about is what drives me and I find that I’m not interested in the classics like sex, mastery or even belonging; what drives me is that what I do should matter. If you have not felt the need to express yourself through this blog for seventeen months then one has to wonder how much it matters to you. I'm sure that writing still matters, however, is this particular mode of expression the right one for you? I’m not sure that catering to the desires of others is the best approach. Of course there are jobbing writers who do precisely that, write what the public wants to read, and they no doubt scrape a living doing so but, personally, I’m not that kind of writer. I write about what interests me, what matters to me and hope that it comes to matter to others. I suggest you do the same. It will also be interesting to see how many of your readers have drifted off. If I didn’t have your link in my feedreader I wouldn’t have known you were back. And so you now also have the task of attracting new readers and perhaps this is the time for a new direction.

 
At 7:17 AM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

Thanks, Jim. How fitting that the first comment should come from you, a former regular, from another continent.

 
At 7:26 AM, Blogger FreshGreenKim said...

Hello, John!

From a selfish perspective, the forum you host here is fabulous. Writing can be so solitary, but this is our virtual water cooler. I've made friends here, gotten inspired, and found like minded folks to kibbutz with.

The opportunity to commiserate or celebrate the daily trials and tribulations of writing is invaluable. Obviously, I saw this the very day you posted it. I'd rather charm you and say I was waiting with bated breath for this space to have words in it again, but the reality is I just was happy to see this on my LinkedIn feed.

I vote for sticking around.

 
At 10:39 AM, Blogger Jeff Hershberger said...

Hi there John! I'm so glad I ran across this in my feedreader. I generally *want* to read more than I actually *can* read, but it would have been a shame if this slipped through the cracks.

One of the reasons I blog is to learn to write better. To some extent I can learn by example, but your occasional explicit calling-out of a point of technique has been really valuable to me.

But, as Jim says and as I've been preaching to our little blogger group for the last two years, write what you want to write. Go where the energy is, whether it's here or elsewhere. In your heart you know it. Writing is a combination of introspection and communication that helps us to live both with ourselves and in community, simultaneously.

 
At 10:46 AM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

Thanks for that water cooler metaphor, Kim. You've of course been a leading example of how the conversations that have begun here have blossomed, first into a personal friendship, and then into some fun professional collaborations. Here's hoping there will be many more of those in the future.

Jeff, you've described it perfectly. I have indeed increasingly become downright Zen Buddhist in my approach of letting the game come to me, rather than me forcing things. When you do that over a sustained period, the kinds of things that come to you are mind-boggling and humbling. As with Kim, I wouldn't know or have become friends with you without this virtual water cooler real estate. I'm mindful of that every time I see or hear from folks like you. That too has gone into my equation.

Anyway, thank you both so much, dear friends, for sharing your thoughts.

 
At 7:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

WWW lives! Yea!

 
At 5:11 PM, Blogger LIVE TO EAT said...

Welcome back, John!

Long live, Working With Words!

 
At 12:18 PM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

How've you been, Michael?

 
At 3:17 PM, Blogger JimmyNick said...

How 'bout you and I goad each other into posting a bit more often, eh?

 
At 2:14 PM, Blogger LIVE TO EAT said...

I'm great, John and I hope you are as well. Pleased to see you're posting again.

 
At 12:15 PM, Blogger Richard said...

I used to come here every day. Like a Pavlovian subject I continued to return long after you left, getting sadder by the day, then the week, month, season, etc., until reality set in. WWW was history.

Inspired by other Ettorrian examples, I now endeavor to blog daily. Whew! No wonder you have moved on.

What I miss most was never knowing what I would find here: a small gem, a healthy discussion, a great photo, or one of those cool features like Best Lead of the Month.

Methinks you have moved on in your heart, and that if you return to blogging it will be something new and different; it will have a new rhythm, a new pulse. A new name.

 
At 2:10 PM, Blogger Kass said...

I would like it if you returned, however you want to. It's fun to respond to your prompts.

 
At 11:34 AM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

Richard, you're a shrewd fellow. Yes, that does a fairly good job of summarizing my thoughts on this issue, but who knows where that'll lead...
And Kass!! How great to see your name here again. Looking forward to renewing our conversation, one way or another.

 
At 11:31 PM, Anonymous World Bookmark said...

Nice post. I like it. Keep going. Thanks.

 
At 11:38 PM, Anonymous New World Bookmarking said...

Good afford. I appreciate it. Thanks.

 
At 11:45 PM, Anonymous Best World Bookmarking said...

Commendable work. Looking for updates.

 
At 6:40 AM, Blogger Ellie K said...

Hello Mr. John Ettore!
I don't know if you've made your decision, although the evidence is suggestive i.e. this post has a date stamp of 13 October 2011. Today is the morning after the day the world DID NOT end ~;o) 22 December 2012. I was not a regular reader, in fact, I just happened upon your blog this morning.

This is a wonderful place. I wish I had arrived half a decade earlier. I found many articles, especially one you posted in 2004, to be fascinating. I love words, word play, verbal expression. You are clearly a professional writer, but you also have a certain skill as (for lack of a better term) an online major domo, or maybe Master of Ceremonies? I don't want to say host, as that reminds me of Denny's Restaurants (for which I have great fondness)! You interact so well with your readers in comments, from what I can surmise. I can think of few examples of using the web for public good, both education and bon homie.

Anyway, I would make this request, if you should read this: Please don't take down your blogger site, Working With Words? It would be great if you resumed posting. Even if not, please consider leaving the site, with comments intact, for others to continue to learn from, and benefit? Thank you for considering my request.
Best wishes for the New Year,
Ellie

 
At 1:40 AM, Anonymous buy ebooks said...

I would really be happy if you returned. I liked your regular posts and it has already been a really long time that you're gone. Do you have a new website?

 

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