Why are we doing this? (or, Welcome to Longer Thoughts)

Starting a writer’s blog may seem like an odd thing for us to do. But we often have ideas that are too long for Twitter’s 140-character limit, and too “off-topic” to merit posting on paulandstorm.com. We don’t know exactly what we’re going to post yet, but it’ll likely be a mix of glib observations, thought-provoking and/or funny essays, TV and movie reviews, short stories, or even serialized stories (like “Emily and the Really Sexy Vampyre”). And yes, the occasional long-form poop joke.

Why not use Facebook and Tumblr, you say? Blech.

For me (Storm), Longer Thoughts also offers something that Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr don’t: the prospect of soul-crushing failure. (NOTE: Paul will also be making contributions, but I absolve him of any responsibility for keeping Longer Thoughts afloat.) If you open a Twitter account, tweet once, and then never use it again, what have you lost? Just three minutes of mouse clicking, really. And Twitter will roll on just fine without you. But if I post once or twice on Longer Thoughts and then let it go to seed, I’ll lose much more: a more significant amount of time (and that of our web gurus Dan and Russ), and the notion that I’m a writer.

In a too-often-cited and factually incorrect legend, the Spanish explorer Cortez set his ships on fire so that his crew would only have two choices: move forward or die. No, I won’t really die if Longer Thoughts fails. Nor have I lost any actual ships. Hell, I’m not even Spanish. But establishing this blog is enough of a commitment to motivate me to write at least 250 words a day (Monday-Friday; weekends belong to Mrs. Storm and/or the road.)

Do I expect to be successful right away, or ever be as successful as the writers whose blogs and work I admire, such as John Scalzi, Wil Wheaton, or Neil Gaiman? No, and probably not–but stranger things have happened. Do I even have a solid idea of what I’m trying to achieve? Not really! But as Adam Savage of Mythbusters fame says, “Failure is always an option”, and I’m going to embrace that philosophy wholeheartedly as I figure out what type of writer I am. And regardless of what weird shit chugs out of my brain, I promise this: I’ll do my best to make everything I write entertaining; and every word will be honest, even when I get the facts wrong (which I inevitably will from time to time).

Please be just as honest and thoughtful with your feedback, positive and negative. Gushing praise is also welcome, if and when appropriate. Although my writing decisions ultimately have to be guided by what I feel is “good”, your comments will be important in helping me gauge whether the porridge is too hot, too cool, or just right.

Well, well; nearly 500 words. Maybe this won’t be so hard after all.

Who am I kidding; yes it will.

Onward,

“S”

11 Comments

  1. Hemisphire
    Posted March 3, 2011 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

    First!

    No, wait – Firrrrrrrrrrrrrst!

    But seriously, expound, it’s a lot easier to read a blog then listen to a podcast for me these days.

  2. Lena
    Posted March 3, 2011 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

    Cool! Hurray for writing!

  3. birq
    Posted March 3, 2011 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

    Best once-and-done blog ever.

  4. Posted March 3, 2011 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

    Cool! I had a feeling this would be coming eventually. Whether you post long, well thought=out profundities or just list descriptions of the magnets you have stuck to your respective fridges, I’ll be reading with great interest.

    Actually, I really am interested in hearing about the fridge magnets.

  5. Posted March 3, 2011 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

    I think, as long as your daily posts don’t go as long as “The Captain’s Wife’s Lament”, then all things should be hunky dory and suchlike, and that.

    Welcome to the 140+ world! We’re glad to have you!

  6. Skyen
    Posted March 3, 2011 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

    This is pretty cool. I’m curious to see what you guys will produce in long-form and freestyle :)

    If a bit of constructive criticism is something you’d like, I think you should consider reformatting the reading-space. It is quite wide, and with the small font-size, I think it’s a bit hard to read naturally.
    I have to work at it to keep my eye flowing over the text, which makes reading it just a bit harder than it needs to be. If you look at sites like Blogger, Livejournal and Tumblr, their text-fields are quite narrow.
    The long lines also makes it more difficult to navigate the text, I think, as you have to seek out a lateral position in a long line of not very distinguishable symbols. Navigating vertically tends to be easier.

    So yeah. I am VERY MUCH looking forward to seeing what you come up with :)

  7. Posted March 3, 2011 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

    At least when you write something, you know it’ll get read – you guys have tons of fans. When I blog something, the only people I know will read it are my wife and my mother.

  8. Posted March 3, 2011 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

    The first thing you nee to get your web guy on is getting a clear RSS feed working so the blog-heavy of us can read you in our choice of off-site readers, iPaddies can read you in their choice of magazine-wannabes, etc. One of the advantages of blogging as a broadcast is that readers really can integrate the content with the rest of the things they follow … if you let them.

    Short version: You need RSS.

  9. Posted March 3, 2011 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

    Thank y’all for the early encouragement, and for being patient as we work out the technical kinks [insert cover band joke here].

    Skyen – thank you for the observation, and yes, webmeister Dan will be limiting the main body size, in order to keep the line lengths reasonable.

    Alexander – Absolutely we want the site to be available to any off-site reader (I’m a NewsRob guy myself.) I believe if you point your reader at http://www.paulandstorm.com/longer-thoughts/feed/ , that should hook you up. Let us know if it doesn’t work, and we’ll figure out how to get it going for you.

    Onward,

    “S”

  10. Posted March 3, 2011 at 10:53 pm | Permalink

    Remember you can’t spell failure without fun!

    Looking forward to seeing what you come up with, Storm!

  11. Posted March 7, 2011 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    I wholeheartedly support you in this crazy endeavor, Storm! Who knows, maybe this is the push I’ve needed to get me back into drawing something every day…

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