What I'm Doing During My Time Off (Warning: Navel Gazing Ahead)

Hi, Fatty here. Yeah, I know I said I wasn’t going to do any writing for a while, but I am perfectly comfortable with the idea of breaking promises.

When I decided to take my first extended break since I started this blog, the reason I gave was that I was (disproportionately) grumpy at what seemed to me an increase in commenting snark aimed in my direction.

But that was really only a small part of why I wanted a break. The bigger reason was that I had — for the first time since I’ve started writing this blog — run out of ideas. I’d sit down to write, and have nothing to say about biking.

That freaked me out.

The biggest reason I felt I needed a break, though, was that I felt like “Fat Cyclist” was at a sort of crossroads. I saw four choices.

  • Keep on keeping on. Do I keep doing what I’ve been doing for 18 months (write something funny about biking every weekday, more-or-less), pretty much forever? That didn’t sound appealing.
  • Good night, everybody. Do I shut the blog down, and focus my writing efforts on writing a book or for print magazines? Well, I like the idea of writing a book and writing for magazines, but I don’t really think writing “Fat Cyclist” and pursuing other writing efforts are really mutually exclusive.
  • Cool it. Do I go to a “once a week” model, posting every Monday? Nah. That’s lazy, and you’d all fall out of the habit of visiting here.
  • Counterintuitive option. What if — instead of doing the same thing, or not doing anything at all, or doing less, I really ramped up “Fat Cyclist” into something bigger?

The more I thought about it, the more I decided I liked the idea of turning Fat Cyclist into more than a blog.

FatCyclist.com Now Under Construction
So, for the past few days, I’ve been spending a moment here and there to write down ideas and install software for www.fatcyclist.com. Here’s what I’m thinking the site will have.

  • The blog. That’ll be on the home page. I’m happy to say that my “idea list” (a Word doc I keep with a bullet list of things I want to write about on my blog) now has a nice buffer of 15 items. So the writer’s fatigue thing should be over.
  • Comments. I know a lot of you readers don’t currently comment because it’s difficult to sign up with Microsoft’s Live Passport. I’ve (for now) set up my blog at www.fatcyclist.com to not require registration. Just type and post. If spam or abuse gets to be a problem, I’ll rethink that later.
  • Fatty’s Forum. I’d like to be able to have ongoing conversations with you guys, and the comments zone is kind of a weak way to do that, so I’ve got a forum at www.fatcyclist.com/forum. Please register and post something there, because it’s currently entirely empty.
  • Epic Rides Library. Long before I ever did the “Fat Cyclist” blog, I maintained a little website called “Epic Rides,” where anyone who wanted could contribute stories about long, difficult bike rides they had taken. I loved writing and reading those stories, so I’m going to make that part of the Fat Cyclist site, too. Start thinking about (and writing) your stories.
  • Training / Weight Loss Bets and Competitions: One way I’ve been able to force myself to stay on track with diets and training is by having a bet or competition with other people. I think that’s probably the case with others. So I’m planning on having an area on the site where you can either compete with me or with other Fat Cyclist readers to see who meets their goals.
  • Stuff to Sell. I’m thinking of selling T-Shirts, stickers, jerseys, and other stuff like that. I haven’t actually started getting any of that produced, yet, though. Soon.
  • Ads-for-Schwag: I’d like to put some ads on my site. Not to get money, mind you (though I wouldn’t necessarily be opposed to money). I’d like to do barter-style advertising, where small companies can advertise on my site in exchange for giving me stuff which I can then give away as competition prizes.

I’m just getting started, but the site’s now live. Leave a comment and tell me what you think of this idea.

Oh, and I’m no longer feeling fragile, so feel free to be honest.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *