I find it equally interesting and confusing: So many people only take stock of their lives once a year. I take stock of my life on a regular basis. Where this blog is concerned I do it each time I publish a post. If you want to make something of your life, why not take stock of your life on a regular basis instead of waiting for the New Year to do so?
Since starting this blog, this virtual book tour, I have received a number of responses. Most of them have been polite and expected. Praise and accolade for my writings. A few have been rude and obnoxious. (In case you wonder: If you decide to send me a note through this blog and it could get you a smack upside the head from your grandmother for language unbecoming, you will get a block from me and no response. Just because some Social Media platforms condone that sort of thing does not make it acceptable and will not be tolerated by me.)
When I decided to use a blog to promote my writing and mentioned my intention to others I assumed might be interested it was pointed out that the blogging platform in general does not generate the same amount of attention as, oh, Fakebook. When I pointed out that more than ninety percent of the so-called traffic on Fakebook is fake – the reason for the appropriate nickname – and when that fact is taken into account a blog such as this one generates more real traffic. Also, Fakebook is a bare-knuckle reality compared to this one. A blog, I have learned through first-hand experience, tends to encourage a more conducive environment when compared to Fakebook or Disqus. Notes sent to me regarding my writing have been civil and respectful. They have also been genuine and honest about wanting to learn, know, and understand.
Which brings me back to the original point of this post: Taking stock of things in my life. A few critics of this blog and my writing have sent less-than respectful notes wanting – demanding, really – to know if I think this blog has actually helped me with promoting my writing.
The answer, without exception: Yes.
If I had chosen to promote my writing on Fakebook or Disqus or another platform I believe the result would have been failure. There are supposedly more than two billion accounts on Fakebook. Subtract at least ninety percent of that because they are fake, and of the remaining 200 million at least ninety percent are not used for anything worthwhile – like learning. The number of accounts remaining is about twenty million (I am being generous. If I were being absolutely honest it is likely the math would be more conservative: Ninety-nine percent of the accounts on Fakebook are fake, and that would leave twenty million. Of twenty million ninety-nine percent are not used for anything worthwhile, leaving two hundred thousand Fakebook accounts. Of two hundred thousand worthwhile accounts one percent, or two thousand accounts consist of worthwhile original content. Spread two thousand accounts across the planet and those results in very few Fakebook accounts in your part of the world.) To get to that number involves plodding through the white noise generated by the millions and millions of fake and useless Fakebook pages.
Of course, a blog, like any Social Media platform, requires effort on the individual’s part. You have to produce and publish original, worthwhile content. You have to publish on a regular basis or your followers will lose interest. In the reality of Social Media this can happen in less than a day.
Which brings me again to taking stock of my life, and doing so each time I publish a post: Unlike some who give up on blogging after a few months, I pace myself. I only check my e-mail once a day and I only post to this blog an average of once a day. The rest of the time is spent doing other things. I note which posts generate responses and how many responses. This does not affect what I write or how I write, but it does provide me with explanation for why some topics I choose to write about seem to be more appealing than others, and it helps me to understand the world around me.
For example, before I started this blog I mentioned to a Writer I know that I had plans to promote the Jhon Collector Mysteries, which are set in the American West. It was put to me that many Americans do not like Westerns, they do not like mysteries, and there is, unfortunately, a prejudice against those collectively called “Native Americans”. It was also noted that all of this was preface to Good News: The number of readers elsewhere on the planet was growing, the French love the American West, and there is an almost obsessive interest in the “Native American” outside of the United States of America.
The blogging platform has allowed me to reach this particular audience, and for that I am always and forever grateful.
More to come on this topic: May the New Year be yours, and may you realize your potential in it.
UNFORGIVEN, theatrically released August 7, 1992, directed by Clint Eastwood, was the end of the “Western” as we know it.