New Directions – November 7 2011

by Nalini Haynes

I’m currently doing a short course in writing for the web. I figured that it’s probably time I learnt to write instead of just doing it. All my study and training has not taught me how to use the web or write for it, I’ve just been winging it and hoping for the best.

It’s difficult to know sometimes how good DMF is and if people enjoy reading. From time to time, especially after publishing some issues of DMF, I receive emails from people. Some of these emails have been suggestions for improving DMF (put more pictures in, write about comics/anime/someone’s pet project) to which I have usually replied with asking that person to contribute according to their interests. My response is usually along the lines of ‘Are you volunteering?’ To which they inevitably reply, ‘No, I just think you should include more [insert interest or hobby here]’ So I muddle through, hoping to make an interesting zine and facebook page, not really knowing how things are going, all the while trying to cover a broader range of topics and feeling somewhat inadequate.

I should add here that a few emails are from people who seem to have read every page and are trying to respond to as much of the content as they can. These are great emails from people who are looking to support the SF/Fantasy and zine culture, but the majority of people don’t have the time or energy to sink into epic letter-writing. And it’s the silent majority for whom I’m not sure if I’m hitting the mark. I have plans for the future too, like writing essays instead of just short reviews, but if I do, will they be read? What topics should I attempt? I’m groping in the dark here. (Note: I’m happy to receive ‘post-card’ length emails instead of epic length emails if that helps.)

So anyway, I’m attending this short course on writing for the web. Guess what the homework is? Writing a blog and publishing it. I’m hoping to have a website running soon-ish, so I don’t want to start a blog on a new site somewhere. I want to blog on DMF’s own site when that starts. Until then, I’m sticking with facebook and Google Plus for blogs, to minimise disruption when I try to centralise.

This blog is an attempt to break the fourth wall (Dr Horrible: Commentary the Musical reference) whilst fulfilling my homework criteria. So. Homework done. And it’s Monday. The class in on Thursday. How awesome is that?

Now I’m going to go and ride the stationary bike in front of the TV. I’ll catch up on some Doctor Who I think. With the 50th anniversary coming soon, I think DMF will need a number of celebratory Doctor Who articles. I’m starting a tad early with the interview with Rob Lloyd; we talk about Rob, acting and Doctor Who, right down to some Doctor Who trivia that I’m sure Whovians will enjoy. I might have even confessed that I had the traditional Doctor Who induction – hiding behind a chair when I was very little. So I’m off to get my fix.

Previously published in Dark Matter issue 6, November 2011.  This blog post has been pre-dated to reflect the original publication date.