Popularity, Friends and Readers

I’ve never been the type to worry overly much about blog traffic. I’ve always maintained that I write what I write, and I do it for me. If others enjoy it, that’s great. For the most part, I post and try not to worry overly much about it afterwards. I do wonder at times if it’s worth it or if I shouldn’t be doing more to increase readership.

I know I am not alone in terms of lack of readership. There are blogs that I follow written by truly lovely people, and it breaks my heart every time I like something or comment on a witty, beautiful or interesting post and find that I am either the only one to do so or only one of two. I’ve noticed a few blogs written by published authors that also have no likes or comments. Why does that happen?

audiencePerhaps it’s because there are just so many blogs out there to read, or it could be that the blogger isn’t assertive or aggressive in promoting what they do, or it could be that the blogger’s content is too broad or even too specialized, or maybe they just don’t have a huge circle of friends (personal or virtual). Maybe blogging has just been done to death.

I hate the popularity thing. I had more than my share of that crap back in high school, and one of the things that I like about being online is that you are as anonymous as you choose to be. You can share a little or you can share a lot, you can write from the heart or you can make things up. No one, other than folks who know you in real life, know the truth. There are many bloggers who blog under a pseudonym. No one knows the real person behind the blog.

I try to be honest in what I write, but there are times I have to pull punches. I had a discussion online the other day with a friend about cuss words. I use them a lot in real life. Sorry, that’s just me, but I don’t use them very much online. Why? Because I still have elderly relatives who sometimes read what I write. They don’t need to read me dropping the f-bomb repeatedly. I don’t swear in posts for the same reason that I waited until after my mother had passed on to get my first tattoo. I try to save tender feelings where I can.

That doesn’t mean that my feelings aren’t sometimes hurt after I post. I agonize over things I write. I write and revise and write and revise. I don’t think I’ve ever posted off the cuff. I think hard about what I’ve written, and yes, even though I’ve said repeatedly that it does not matter, I look to see whether anyone liked it or not. When they don’t, I feel bad.

I feel bad enough sometimes to wonder why I bother. I get fed up or burned out every so often and walk away from blogging. My posts come in fits and starts sometimes. Maybe that’s why readership isn’t huge. But then again even when I post every day, the results are pretty much the same. I have a core group of friends who have stuck with me, and I love each and every one of you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your support.

I know my blog is sometimes all over the place (too broad). It’s a blog of squirrel photos, book reviews, creative writing, random musings and nonsense, but it’s mine. I’m proud of it. My blog was begun on August 12, 2012 on Blogger as “Reflections from a Middle-Aged Lady”. The first post was a musing on whether or not I should let my hair go completely gray. It wasn’t earth-shaking stuff, but it was a start. I’d been encouraged to write by a friend of mine.

I got my writing start in high school when I’d write silly romantic stories about hockey players starring me and my friends. My friends and I all wrote them. We’d gather at lunchtime and read each other’s offerings. It was a hoot. I was a shy kid, and I was pretty embarrassed when the official class prophecy for Charlotte High School’s graduating class of 1977 stated that I was destined to one day marry one of the Boston Bruins hockey players. We all know that didn’t happen, but my scribblings then were the precursor to my writing today.

I write because I have to. It’s part of who I am. Some days I’m more popular than others. That’s okay, too.

Image courtesy of Pinterest

Don’t Hit Send (or Publish)

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Delete. Delete. Delete. Delete. Delete. Delete from WordPress. Delete from my Facebook page. Delete from the blog’s Facebook page. Delete from Tumblr. Delete from Twitter.

I should know better than to try to compose posts when I’m sleepy at the end of a long, tiring day. I should know better than to compose posts on my iPhone’s WordPress app where there doesn’t appear to be a save button anywhere.  It’s too easy to hit Publish when you aren’t ready yet. It’s up there in the upper right corner masquerading as a save button.

God, that’s frustrating. Now after accidentally posting what I didn’t want to post, I’ve totally lost my draft and totally lost my train of thought. Oh, well, It wasn’t a stellar post to begin with, but I might’ve been able to make it work with some editing. I think I’ll let that one percolate a few days longer. Someone’s way of giving me a do-over, I guess.

I’ve been doing well consistently posting. Even if they aren’t all gems, I’ve been happy with my output. Oops. I didn’t mean to post three times on Monday. I wrote the love poem for my hubby on Sunday and I always schedule things to post early the next morning. It’s just a habit of mine. The picture with the fly was too good to pass up Monday morning. The ‘none of the above’ post was meant for Tuesday. There again I hit publish by mistake, but that time I left it alone rather than deleting it all (from five different places). So, then I had to rethink Tuesday.

I was writing Wednesday based on a quote I’d found, and then I foolishly hit publish again by mistake. That’s when I decided it was time to go to bed. Zzzzzzzzzzz.

Image courtesy of Pinterest

Available on Smashwords

cover2My collection of short stories is also available on Smashwords now.  I had to create a new cover for it so I thought I’d use a photo from a long-ago family vacation to Quebec.  I thought it looked a little like a park and the side of a building that might be an apartment building. It was my own photo so I didn’t have to worry about permission to use it.

I’ve also been fiddling around on different websites.  I updated my writing.com account. I upgraded from the free account, and I updated my profile information. I also found a local writers group that meets once a month right here in my town (Gates). I filled out a membership application and sent that in.  Now I just have to work up my courage to attend the May meeting in 2 weeks’ time.

smashwordsHere’s the order page from Smashwords. I am still working on getting published on Nook.

This has been a lot of fun so far.  Even if I never make any money off of it, it’s fun just to say I did it. My next step is to write something that I can actually call a full novel.

 

Birthday Eve

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On this, my birthday eve

If I can just believe

That 56 is young,

Then I have just begun

I’ll go outside and play

And worries go away

No more responsibility

From it all, I’m free

I miss the skip and jump

Before I grew so plump

Birthdays come and go

The years, they never slow

I do prefer this age

I have become a sage

Would not relive the bad

Some things are gone, I’m glad

I do wish for more time

To spend just making rhyme

Or with my nose in book

My favorite place to look

So I will end this verse

My skip, I must rehearse

Or perhaps I will sit and be

And watch the squirrel in tree

Image courtesy of clker.com