Looking for feedback

I’d love your feedback on something.  I do hope you’ll express your opinion. Here’s the outline:

Most of the people who follow this blog are here for the poetry. At least, that’s what I believe.
I’m still working on polishing “Breakfast Under the Boddhi Tree”, my forthcoming book about Việt Nam.
The trouble is, I’d usually rather be writing poetry. It’s easier. I’m always inspired. It’s fun to post and then visit other poets’ blogs to see what they’re doing, especially for the dVerse Poets Open Link Night on Tuesdays. The more I read and write poetry, the more I’m inspired to write more poetry.
Once I’ve done this, tweeted a little and taken care of my email, I’ve either run out of time or my eyes start to cross from looking at the screen for too long.

For these reasons, I’m thinking of devoting my blogging time to various topics concerning Việt Nam, at least until I get my book out. I think this will help me to stay in the mindset that I need to be in to work on my book. Blog posts would include reviews of Vietnamese cookbooks and other books, garden and food photos, recipes for food I make at home, tips on growing and using Vietnamese herbs, and short articles about places. And more. When I have time, I’ll still post a poem for Open Link Night.

So here’s what I’d like to know:
Are you here only for poetry? Would you come to read about all things Việt Nam? Should I start a new blog? All comments appreciated.


About Chris Galvin

Chris Galvin is a Canadian writer, editor and photographer dividing her time between Canada and Viet Nam. Her essay Flood Season was a finalist for the 2012 Best of the Net prize, and Discovering Hến Rice in Central Việt Nam won third place (shared) and a Readers’ Choice Award in the 2015 I Must Be Off! Travel Essay Contest. Her work has appeared in various anthologies and literary journals, including Descant, Asian Cha, PRISM International, Room, and others. She has written in Vietnamese and English for Vietnam Tourism Review/Kham Pha Du Lich Vietnam Magazine, Travellive, and Du Lich Giai Tri. Chris is currently looking for a home for her recently completed manuscript, Breakfast Under the Bodhi Tree, a book about living, eating, and tour-guiding in Viet Nam.
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22 Responses to Looking for feedback

  1. D. D. Syrdal says:

    Hmm, good question. I think if you have an established following of poets and poetry fans, a separate blog on all things Viet Nam might not be a bad idea. I have a separate Tarot blog, because I know that’s a topic that freaks some people out. I also think it puts people off to go back and forth between writing topics and the Tarot stuff that comes up. A lot of people seem to read only one or the other, but not both (although that’s not absolute, many do visit both blogs).

    • chris says:

      I seem to have a mix of people coming to read various topics, but since April, a lot of new people have followed just for the poetry. On the other hand, some of my old food posts still get the most traffic. You’re right that it could put people off to have the topics swinging back and forth though. Dilemma, dilemma. ‘Course, I could just change drastically, lose some readers and gain others. Think I’ll go look at your tarot blog to see how you run it…:) Thanks so much for the input.

  2. Chef Shane says:

    I’d love your insights and perspective of Vietnam.
    Go for it.
    Here’s subscriber 1 🙂

    • chris says:

      Thanks so much for taking time to respond! I have three cookbook reviews lined up too! 🙂 And quite likely an interview with a famous person who moves in gourmet circles. 😉

  3. Pat Hatt says:

    You know it all factors into your audience. If it is all poets then maybe you might want to try another blog. But if you want to break the mold go for it. As a blog that has tons of things is always good, that way you can get poets to like this and that and non poets to maybe like poetry. With mine I can get away with posting anything on any topic I wish and they still come. You just need to build that type of audience. And from experience, no matter what you post you still aren’t going to wanna write the book. Only way to do that is to unplug your internet cord/router and just write.

    • chris says:

      Well that last point is right on Pat. Fortunately, the book is pretty much written, and it’s been in the polishing stages for ages. There are many final decisions to make. I do find that when I’m thinking Viet Nam all the time, it’s much easier to stick with working on editing my book on the topic.

      I think your blog works so well because even though you cover different topics, you almost always rhyme, and that’s the soul of your blog. I’m considering your line “You just need to build that type of audience.” Maybe that’s the answer. Thanks for leaving your thoughts here, Pat.

  4. I say go for it.
    Whatever it is
    As long as it is
    You writing
    Whatever you write is fine

  5. For my personal taste, non poetry 😀

    From an objective view, go for whatever you like. Whatever that inspire you. I believe most people will enjoy both style.

  6. Sisyphus47 says:

    Why not dedicate a blog to your book on Viet-Nam? This reader is here for both! 🙂

  7. Quirina says:

    I am here to read EVERYTHING you write, whether it is poetry, flash fiction, short stories. I love your writing, Chris. I will also read anything about Viet-Nam too. Other cultures always fascinate me. Once a week I go to a Vietnamese restaurant here in Freiberg with a particular friend of mine and we philosophize about life in a very zen way. He has recently come back from Viet-Nam and yesterday we spent an hour with the restaurant owners going through the photo album and talking about it. It was such a lovely experience. I have a particular fascination for South East Asia, because my father was born in Java, Indonesia (when it was a Dutch colony). Indonesia shaped him as a person, I would say, profoundly, in a way that I deeply relate to. So, give me the chop sticks and I shall be your guest in Viet-Nam … 🙂 xx

  8. Quirina says:

    PS. But having said all that, there is nothing wrong with 2 blogs and linking them on the menus. That is what I have done with my translation website (although it is not strictly speaking a blog). I hope my opinion helped you. 🙂

    • chris says:

      Awesome response, Quirina! Yes, your opinion is very helpful, and your words are much appreciated. Have you been to Java? I haven’t been to Indonesia yet. Hope to go someday. And to Freiberg, too. Was in Freiburg im Breisgau for a long stay, loved it there! Now, I’m getting off topic…

  9. raneedillon says:

    From a branding standpoint, it’s better to stay consistent. Though readers might be interested in an occasional diversion from your usual topics, the following you’ve built is conditioned to see you as a poet, not a novelist. This was a difficult lesson for me to learn. I built a following on mainly poetry and poetic prose, but when I started to change some of my content the traffic slowed considerably.

    I suggest starting a second blog for your Việt Nam content with a link here for crossover traffic.

    • chris says:

      Ranee, thanks so much for opining here! The responses I’m getting seem to be so divided. Strangely, (or maybe not so strange) this blog started with small stone poetry, morphed into my writing blog a month or two later, relapsed into poetry during Poetry Month two years in a row…so I’m not sure how readers see me–the ones who know me know that I write fiction, non-fiction and poetry. Maybe I’m just afraid that if I start another blog, this one will fall by the wayside. And I like it here! 🙂 Silly, isn’t it. Yeah, maybe I’d better just start the new blog. Your response has given me plenty to think about.

  10. Libby says:

    That’s the advantage of ‘categories’ – you can do several different things. I confess I come for the poetry – perhaps you could have a regular poetry day or two interspersed with the other stuff so that we know when to visit if it is poetry we want.

  11. northernchick says:

    Very intriguing and an excellent way for you to totally immerse and write. I’m here to read the words you write and the ideas you share in any form

  12. Berit says:

    I wouldn’t mind seeing a mix of poetry and posts about Viet Nam here.

    I don’t mind when people blog about different things in their blogs.

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