Yes, I write fantasy, and yes, I’m bad at talking about it

After being called out for not writing enough about fantasy, I outline why my blog is slightly more technical than creative in nature and ask myself (and my readers) what I need to change.

Yes, I write fantasy, and yes, I’m bad at talking about it

As a visitor to my website, I can forgive for missing the minor detail that I have written and published two fantasy books and have a couple more on the way. I say this because Mark Timmony pointed out that I rarely write about fantasy. I don’t comment on trends in the industry or genre, and I’ve long-since given up reviewing fantasy books and interviewing their authors. I admit I’m pretty bad at talking about my fantasy, much less anyone else’s.

There are several reasons for this glaring omission. Firstly, I have grown quite disillusioned with fantasy as a genre, and I haven’t read a published fantasy book in ten years. Today I’m far more inclined to read a modern thriller or a historical novel. I don’t feel I have the authority, nor do I feel tempted to comment on a topic I would likely deal with quite negatively. I may comment on the source of weariness with the genre at a future date.

Secondly, it’s a matter of time vs reward. Since I work full time and have a family, I have to choose how I spend my little time carefully. While I generally blog on whatever takes my fancy, I have years of analytics that tell me what works and what doesn’t. Quite honestly, my blog’s technical content does much better than anything I’ve ever written on the subject of fantasy. I get a lot of drive-by traffic from Google, where people come for my reviews and tutorials. A lot of the returning visitors and my site’s members similarly come for this content.

I get far more traffic this way than I do from my newsletter subscribers, most of whom signed up to get free chapters/copies of my books. Still, I am very thankful for my subscribers, and I try hard to keep them engaged. If anyone wants more fantasy content, my guess is it is them. Yet, I am acutely aware that I have two different audiences that don’t align and keeping both engaged with my limited time is taxing.

Thirdly, what I do write, even the technical content, is not entirely divorced from fantasy, and indeed not my experience as both a creative and professional writer. My reviews cover the tools of the writer’s trade. My tutorials begin life out of some need I had as a writer or after I solved a problem another writer or I have faced.

Fourthly, the problem multiplied when I migrated to Ghost and didn’t bring across more than ten years of posts. I archived many of my book reviews, author interviews, and occasional commentary on the genre. I have made them available on an archive site, but I don’t see the point in bringing it across.

So, what, if anything, should I do about it?

Naturally, I must ask if you, dear reader, want to see more fantasy on my website — be it mine (more likely) or my commentary on the fantasy of others (less likely)?

I have plans to share more stories and resurrect my codex (my fantasy setting’s world build). The medium by which I share this content is still open for debate. Should I deliver this exclusively to my newsletter subs, to my site members, or do I make it publicly available in my blog? Do I go to the effort of splitting my content into two separate sites, or at least attempt to compartmentalise Scriptorium a little better than it is now?

Regardless of what I do, I don’t think I’ll pivot completely to make my blog’ fantasy first’. I started blogging to serve my ambitions as an author. Yet, in the last five years, my perspectives about who and what I am as a writer have changed. The physical changes of the site in that time have reflected the shift within me as I reconcile the knowledge that I’m no longer an author who blogs but rather a blogger who occasionally authors books.