I believe that writers have a responsibility to share their truth and life experiences with their readers. Herman Melville wrote long sections of whaling history into Moby Dick and James Joyce made inside jokes in dead languages. Nowadays, we tend to write blogs, which leaves our works open for only the truly relevant information.
But there are some things that it’s hard to tell if they’d be good for the story or if they belong in just a blog post. Clearly, I’ll have very few opportunities to wax poetic about the proper care of hermit crabs in a novel, so that was blog post material. The Diva Cup, for example, is something that literally any of my cis-women or trans-men characters could be using. I could describe it in passing or have two of them talk to each other about it or I could have an unfortunate mishap occur. Options: I have them.
But should I write a blog post about the Diva Cup even though I fully plan to have one of my characters in a novel struggle with it? Should I write a blog post about anything that my characters will be dealing with in a story?
If I cared about being redundant, the answer would be NO.
But I don’t give a shit if I repeat myself. Repetition keeps a message top of mind, so it’s not a bad thing. I just have to be careful of beating you to death with it.
So I’ll likely be writing blog posts for the foreseeable future, and I’m likely to run out of things to write at some point and be left with nothing but “Hey, I’m on the rag and want to tell you about this thing!” I’ll repeat myself sometimes and I’ll give you too much information about things you didn’t want to know, but that’s the risk that both the reader and the writer take for a blog.
So I probably will write that blog post. But the question remains on whether I SHOULD. I do a lot of things I shouldn’t, after all. Just like I’ll keep using the Diva Cup as an example, though I probably shouldn’t.
Most of the information we have about Diva Cups are in blog posts. The majority of information available lives on LiveJournal. But I would really like to see it represented not as a cool new thing to sell to people but as a thing that is used by normal and extraordinary folks in normal and extraordinary circumstances without being too vague or preachy. So I know I definitely SHOULD put it in my fiction, that’s obvious.
But should I write yet another blog post?
I’ll turn to the worth-it scale.
I set up this idea a while back, and it has stopped a few of my blog posts and many short stories in their tracks.
The worth-it scale consists of 3 parts:
Audience Relevance: Will my readers appreciate reading this?
External Media Saturation: How much has this been said before?
Internal Saturation: Have I said this before?
So for the Diva Cup, I’ll answer the questions.
Audience Relevance: My audience is mostly geeky girls aged 15-30, so they would benefit from the information
External Media Saturation: I’ve seen it places but it’s not everywhere
Internal Saturation: I plan only one in-depth scene of the Diva Cup, but it may be mentioned in passing in a few different places. I haven’t gone on about it on my blog yet.
Worth-it factor for the Diva Cup blog post is pretty high, so it’ll definitely go on the to-do list.
But how about that Hermit Crabs post?
Audience Relevance: My audience will likely not care much but they might be curious
External Media Saturation: NO ONE TALKS ABOUT THIS. CRABS DIE ALL THE TIME CAUSE NO ONE TELLS ANYONE HOW TO CARE FOR THEM.
Internal Saturation: (not counting the one I wrote) I’ve talked about this briefly in my Galveston Trip post, but I didn’t go into useful detail.
The worth-it scale was not terribly high, I’ll admit, but another factor can be added to decide an iffy worth-it level: Personal Interest.
Do I want to write this blog about Hermit Crabs? Fuck yeah, let’s do this thing!
And that’s how I decide what to put in my blog posts.