When looking at TimeHop today I saw I had written a post about pet peeves during a writing challenge. I thought “Maybe I should revisit those and talk about how it has changed.” Turns out it hasn’t changed. I listed three: lateness, bad drivers and people who say they don’t have time to read. All still accurate. I’m sure there are more as well, but I had nothing new to say about any of the pet peeves.
There is now in the forecast for today. Not enough to close anything, but enough snow talk to bring snow days to mind. I had some thoughts about the difference between a planned day off and an unplanned snow day. Guess what? I’ve written about snow days and how special they feel. I think I’ve written about it a few times.
I’m in a stretch of time where I have nothing of note on my schedule. I will go to a Ravens playoff game Saturday night. I guess that is noteworthy. Otherwise, I have no trips planned. I have no days off planned outside of the random winter holidays and eventually my birthday leave day. I will likely spend those sitting at home watching TV. This stretch of nothing of note will continue to summer when we have our trip home to Kentucky. I don’t anticipate anything happening that will inspire a post.
I need to take the time tomorrow to plan out some writing ideas or just give up on expecting a new post from me every day. The planning part needs to start with a decision on what I want to write about. This was easier back before I had written so much.
After I published my last post(My Christmas Vacation) I received a notification from WordPress that I had reached 1000 posts on this blog. At one point not too long ago I realized I was close and thought that I should come up with something special for the 1000th post. I then completely forgot and had a boring recap of my Christmas trip for my milestone post.
I have no idea what I would have done differently if I had remembered that it was a milestone post. I have no idea what I plan to do now that I am starting my second thousand posts. All I know is that I want to get back to posting on a regular basis. I know I want to get back to more of my “Tater Takes” on news and pop culture. I know I want to spend less time writing about how much I dislike my real job and how desperately I wish I could retire early. I know I want to be better about not just reading but interacting with the other blogs I read. I know I want to figure out how to extend my reach and get more people reading what I write. I know I want to work on trying to write something more than a standard blog post. I don’t know what that would be, but I have a lot of time alone these days and I feel like I could use it for more than watching TV. Maybe I discover this is all I can do, but at least then I would know.
So, thanks for being here for my first 1000 posts. I hope you stay with me on my journey to discover where my next 1000 will take me.
If you would like to support my journey to the next 1000 you can click here.
Setting: The North Pole, Santa’s Compound
It is going to be hard to infiltrate Santa’s bunker. His intelligence department is one of the best in the world. They see you when you’re sleeping. They know when you’re awake. Trying to take down Santa could be a big mistake. Luckily, the Happy Holiday Alliance had a man on the inside. A disgruntled elf has promised to provide inside information in exchange for asylum in the states and admittance to dental school. We thought we could turn a member of the Reindeer Force, but he was promoted to lead reindeer and guide, so that is no longer an option.
Another issue – their secret weapon – the Christmas Cheer. We’re not really sure what it is, but it seems to give them extra power. We’ve also hear that is spreads when people sing loud for all to hear. We have distributed noise canceling headphones to the troops to combat the issue. Our corporate sponsor Starbucks is lending a hand by distributing non-specific holiday cups and wishing people happy holidays as we’ve heard that saying Merry Christmas and putting non-religious, but Christmas specific symbols on the cup also increases the Christmas Cheer quotient.
With all of these precautions in place, we are ready to take the compound and finally win the war on Christmas. Hopefully, tomorrow I will check in during a victory dinner of grilled reindeer and Santa will be defeated.
I didn’t get any official notification from WordPress that it is today, but my Facebook memories told me that last year was 10 years on WordPress. My math is good enough to theorize that today would now be 11 years. 11 years of babbling about nothing. Before that I babbled a lot on LiveJournal, but under the name Demoncatch. I’ve been boring people online for years. Yay me.
As I enter the next year of blogging, I think maybe I should consider again the point of the blog.
Do I continue what I do which is post whatever pops in my head whenever I have time to do it even though it is not exactly a successful formula?
Do I veer more towards pop culture and media and do more TV/movie/book/music reviews, recaps, etc with a little more general pop culture thoughts thrown in?
Do I go back to posting more thoughts on current events, but take more time on crafting an essay and not just vomiting my thoughts out for 10 minutes and posting?
Do I just stop thinking about it and do whatever makes me happy because no matter what only about 20 people are going to read it anyway?
You would think after 11 years I would have more of a sense of what I want to do here.
I will begin this by saying that I am a nobody when it comes to blogging. I have no following. I feel like it is a success if I average 20 views a day. That is peanuts when it comes to blogging and I don’t see it ever changing. So, what I’m saying is that I’m the last person you should ever go to for blogging advice. Good news! I’m here to tell you to stop looking for blogging advice. I’ve been there. I’ve read posts about being a successful blogger. I’ve written a post about how to fail at blogging. Guess what? I’m still lucky to get 20 views a day. I don’t think there is a formula for being a success if you want to maintain your individuality. I’ve seen so many different takes on how to be successful:
Don’t write too much. People will get tired of you and your posts will not be quality posts – Everyone was tired of me before I started blogging and my posts have never been quality posts.
Write every day or people will forget about you – I could write every day or stop writing and still be invisible.
Find a niche. Only write about one thing – I am not an expert on anything. I write whatever pops in my weird little brain. A niche would be forced and artificial.
Post pictures, post videos, promote your old posts! Self-host! Learn how to maximize your random acronyms I can’t remember! That sounds exhausting.
In theory, I would love to have hundreds of views a day or more. In theory, I would love to be so popular that I could make money doing this. In real life, making money or even getting more views than I do is not something that will ever happen for me. I don’t have the skills nor the energy to get there.
I guess if there is a point to this post it is to relax, write what makes you happy and if you have the time do what you need to do to increase your numbers.
I know it’s not the beginning of a new year or anything, but as I thought about posting this morning and had nothing pop in my head, I decided I should probably reconsider how I do this. So, the following are some things I will try to do to make the blog better(it can’t get any worse)
- Stop pressuring myself to post – It’s better to post nothing than to force a post. I would like to have something to say every day, but that might not be realistic. If I’ve got nothing I will move along and go about my day postless.
- Jot down ideas – As I think of things throughout the day I will try to write them down or record something on my phone. I tend to have my better ideas at inopportune times.
- Plan my weekly posts all week – Write down my thoughts on movies, books and TV all week so I’m ready for my week in review posts. Write down good things as they happen for my What’s Good posts. They should be easier.
- Use my alone time – I have two hours alone every night. Seems that would be a better time to write than the short amount of time I have in the morning before work. It might make the posts better if I take my time.
- Be better at interacting with others online – I read a lot of blogs, but rarely comment. I should be better about interacting with other bloggers.
- Be more willing to write about every day life – I sometimes start to write a more mundane post about y daily life and decide it’s too boring. I should let the readers decide that. Write it if I want.to write it.
- Stop over thinking – posts like this will show you that I over think things. Just write when I feel like writing.
I don’t know if I will follow through in any of these, but I will try.
Today should have been the day I was able to write a decent post. I work 1-9. I had all morning. I was not in the right head space to write this morning. I got out of the house and got coffee and read my book for a while, but it didn’t help. So, instead, here are the five posts that have been viewed the most over the past 365 days.
My Philly Adventure
Photos from my trip to Philadelphia for the Public Library Association Conference. Likely the most viewed because I shared it in the conference’s Facebook group. There is a video in there of me at the ax throwing fundraiser.
My Life As a Jailbrarian: Library Fight Club
A series I guess I have discontinued since I haven’t written one in a while in which I talked about my life working in a jail library. This one is about the fights in the library.
Please Read Before You Comment
In which I complain about people commenting on posts without reading the post first.
Photo Challenge: Cheeky
One of my posts in response to a now dead photo challenge.
A Short Rant
In which I complain about people complaining about books because they have words they don’t like in them.
Laptop is open. Glimpses of ideas pop in and out of my head. I write a title. I write a sentence. I delete the sentence, think for a minute, and delete the title. I can’t seem to get past a general idea and form a coherent post. Some ideas are just not great ideas. Here are some of my rejected ideas from this morning:
A post about the rain – using the word moist a lot because I know people don’t like it.
A post about how I enjoyed being in the city for a conference and wish I was in the city every day for work.
A “what I’ve done over the last few days post” – it would have been very boring.
A post about some current events, about which I have no expertise and when I thought about them had no idea where to go with the post.
Something funny – I’m nowhere near the proper head space to write funny right now.
A post about my good sports streak(Braves still in 1st, Ravens blow out win, Kentucky beats Florida for the first time in 32 years)
A post about what I didn’t post about – Here it is in all its terrible “glory”
Maybe tomorrow I will wake up and be ready to write something real….probably not.
One of my blog friends posted this morning about why she blogs. She also discussed the prospect of making money blogging She correctly pointed out that it takes a lot of work and a specific type of blog to make money doing this. I would love to be able to make money blogging, but I know that will never happen for a few reasons:
- Work – She correctly points out that you can’t make money blogging if you are spending a few minutes a day on the blog. You need to take a lot of time thinking about what you will write, writing it, editing it, tailoring it to your audience, etc. I have a full-time job. Some days I barely have time to spend the 15 minutes or so I spend churning out my mediocre posts. I could probably spend more time on it at night, but after work I’m tired and just want to watch TV or read. Maybe in August when my daughter leaves for college I can spend a little more time on it, but I will never have the time it takes to build a money-making blog.
- Specific blog type – I want to write about what I want to write about when I want to write about it. Most of the experts say that to build a following you really need to narrow the focus of your blog. I can’t do that. Partly because I want to write about everything and partly because I have no specific expertise. My blog will always be a meandering, confused mess. Me in blog form.
- Me no write good – I’m just not a good enough writer to inspire thousands of people to follow me and that is what it takes to make money. I could probably be better if I spent more time on my posts, but see #1.
So, why do I blog if I know I will never make money doing it? Why do I blog when I’m lucky to get 20 views a day? Why do I blog when I have struggled to get over 200 followers and others have thousands after blogging for a year? I blog for the same reason I still post a lot on Facebook. I have things to say(on Facebook it’s more trying to be funny) and I want people to read it. I blog because it feels good to see those 20 people read my post. I blog because I enjoy the writing process, even though my process is 15 minutes of vomiting my thoughts on a page and posting. Honestly, there is always the small thought that if I keep it up and send more time with it I might eventually get a post that gets shared by more famous people and the thousands will follow me.
So, I will keep posting and being read by a handful of people. I might work harder on it in the fall and see if I can get two handfuls of people.
Speaking of money – My periodic sharing of my link if you would like to support my blogging habit or buy me a cup of coffee – click here
Many thanks to my to my two friends who actually did donate. I appreciate the support.