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Five Hundred Stories

January 23, 2015

Today marks a turning point for this blog. As longtime readers know, I don’t often talk specifically about blogging.

Going forward I have some exciting things planned. At least they are exciting to me. And I appreciate all of you lending me a few minutes of your day each Monday through Friday to attempt to entertain you. Hopefully, we’ll share a writer/reader relationship for a long time.

Okay, what’s new?

First, I’m moving to a themed layout. Not the actual layout of the blog, I don’t plan on updating that for at least another year. Instead, I’m planning to pick a topic or theme each week to write about. One week might be devoted to business travel, another one might be devoted to coaching employees. Still another might be focused on interviewing.

I attempted this a couple of times with pretty good success in the past.

Up until now, I’ve kind of written whatever took my fancy that day. I have a list of topics I draw on if I have a total brain cramp. But, most times I pick something that has happened the previous day that I can blend together with an IT topic into a single post.

This format has worked pretty well. Starting next week I’m going to put a little more structure around the process. I’m hoping this will make reading this blog less of a kinetic experience, where today you read about running a rafting company in Wisconsin and tomorrow I delve into the intricacies of the ten data areas of the Professional Project Management process.

My goal is to create a more cohesive narrative. One that is more entertaining for you and easier to repurpose into a longer form. That’s scared writer-speak for “I want to start collecting these scratchings into books.”

Don’t worry, I still intend that each day’s entry will be completely self contained. You don’t have to worry about needing to “catch up” if you miss Monday and Tuesday’s post.


You might wonder why I’m doing this and why now?

First, I’m following the Howard Tayler career path. Howard is my friend who writes the award winning Schlock Mercenary web comic. I admire Howard for his success in transitioning a hobby of drawing comics while working full time for a computer company, into a full time cartooning career.

When Howard started out, he by his own admission “didn’t draw well.” Later, he self deprecatingly described his skill as “less bad.” The fact is that he is very, very good at both drawing and storytelling. However, when he started out he simply drew what he found funny. The story moved forward, but in a somewhat random manner. After a couple of years, he started to organize his stories into “books.” Each story had a beginning, a middle and an definite ending that stretched over several months.

It was only after he started writing more complete stories that he turned his comics into books. Howard has released 11 books so far. He envisions as many as 18 in this current series. At that point he will end the story of Schlock Mercenary.

What does that have to do with me? After all I’m not a cartoonist.

It occurred to me that the first two years of this blog are a lot like some of Howard’s early work; consistent, hopefully well written, but lacking in direction. I realized that I can make the experience better for you the reader by applying some thought, structure and planning.

Do I expect to someday quit my day job and write full-time?

Ask me when I’ve been doing it for a few years.

Finally, why now.

Since March 2013 I’ve updated this blog every Monday through Friday. There are some posts that appear sporadically prior to March, but starting in March it’s been regular as clockwork. Today marks the 500th blog post. It seems like a good spot to pause, take an assessment and think about what I want the blog to become.

So, thank you for your readership. I’m continually amazed and humbled that my thoughts and writings provide some measure of entertainment or usefulness to so many people I’ve never met in person.

I’m grateful you are here as we start What’s Next.

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday at 7:00 AM Mountain Time. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and one grandchild.

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