This is a post about “no post today”. Or maybe this is a Seinfeld post. Its about nothing.
A particular number of years ago that my friend Lorraine Shanley of Market Partners could tell you and I can’t — but I would say about 15 — she confided that she thought it would be smart for her company to start a newsletter. And I said, “what do you want to do THAT for? A monthly deadline? To go along with all the other deadlines?”
Lorraine was smart enough not to take my advice and she and her partner (and also my friend), Connie Sayre, are still putting out Publishing Trends monthly and it has been a success, financially and otherwise, from about Day One.
So, 15 (or whatever) years later, totally voluntarily — with nobody forcing me, nobody even suggesting it was a good idea! (and the few that were asked actually telling me it was a bad idea) — I gave myself a daily deadline for this self-publishing effort (to go along with all the other deadlines, which rather inconveniently have refused to diminish to make way for the blog.) And I don’t think anybody noticed when I cut back from the six days I posted the first two weeks to the five I have maintained since.
This “no post today” post is the signal that I now consider four a full week. And I might not make a full week every week.
Richard Charkin (also a friend) wrote a daily blog when he was MD at Macmillan in the UK. I told him it blew me away that he could come up with something every day. He saw as his advantage that he could “always talk about a book” they were publishing. Those stories were always there to tell. Charkin stopped blogging when he moved over to Bloomsbury a couple of years ago; I suspect he’s relieved not to have the daily burden any more (even though at Bloomsbury he’s still got plenty of books to talk about.)
The indefatigable Mr. Cader (uh, yeah, we also know each other) was smart enough to build “except when not” into his promise of a daily newsletter when he started Publishers Lunch. My dad (yup, knew him pretty well too) used to get a newsletter called Winners and Sinners that was “published occasionally from the southeast corner of the New York Times newsroom” by a managing editor named Theodore Bernstein (whom I never met).
So, I’m making a very unconventional move when I say that any implied promise of a daily post is now officially withdrawn.
Which isn’t to say I don’t have a list of things I’m working on. It’s just that I am planning ahead to not work on any of them this weekend. (Baseball pool draft all day Saturday and hanging out with friends not in any way connected with publishing — I have some of those too — all day Sunday and I might not be doing any writing…)