1500 views of my blog. Wow, I hit that milestone last night. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I’m thrilled, humbled, honoured. If it wasn’t Monday and the weekend hadn’t been kinda harsh . . . I’d be opening the bubbly.
When I started writing I never thought I’d get even one reader – well maybe one or two from my friends who took pity on me, but 1500 hits in 9 months, I’m blown away. Those might not be huge numbers for some bloggers, but for my little blog that’s just about my life, my thoughts, my random moments, I’m amazed. I even have a couple of international subscribers now. How awesome is that. If I wanted the big numbers I’d have to sell out and start writing trash about trash and next thing you know I’d be Perez Hilton . . .eeeewww, no thanks, I’ll stay with what’s real and true for me and take my chances.
Despite having written 64 posts now, (really, 64!) one thing I still haven’t quite figured out is which posts will be really popular and which will only ever get a few hits. I have laboured and anguished over publishing some posts that got almost no reaction, but were such a huge deal for me to write (“The Dealbreaker Lists” – those were in drafts for quite a few months). Then there are others that are quick, funny throw-aways that I toss off in an hour when I’m bored and they get a huge reaction. If I’m being honest there have been times when I thought about deliberately writing a post just for numbers or to get Freshly Pressed, that blogging Holy Grail, but I just can’t seem make myself do it. If it’s not real, it’s no good. Be real, be honest, put your heart out there. I truly believe people know sincerity when they read it, or hear it, just as surely as they can sense fake a mile away. There’s me in my Pollyanna glasses again.
What is most rewarding are the comments I get from the honest, diligently written and laboured over, personally revealing posts. It still sit with my finger hovering over the Publish button for those. It’s not easy to put yourself out there for public consumption, but if you can’t write honestly, from your own heart and experience, it’s just not worth it at all. When I posted “Love Letters” I got a lot of comments, and they were not all favourable. One friend asked how I could possibly write something so personally revealing. My answer is still “How could I not?”. My favourite comment came from my friend K who said that she was sitting reading the post, listening to the Bad Timing video I’d added and sobbing her eyes out. If you can write so powerfully that you move even one person to tears, it’s not a bad day. And it gives me some faith that I should keep this up. Bebo, your grace and good humour in helping me put that behind me was an unlooked-for blessing, thank you for that. I appreciate each and every comment I get, even a quick “love reading your blog”. It’s what keeps me banging away on the keyboard late at night and thinking about new posts everywhere I go and in all the things I do.
There is a section of the Dashboard – that’s the behind the scenes part where I work on the posts – that gives you all your site stats. Have to say it’s a blast to watch the numbers tally up and to go back over the year and see which posts got the most interest – and the least. The all time leader, with 51 views in a single day, was “Trimming the Topiary” – my humourous little expose on manscaping is right on top of the leaderboard and it took me all of an hour to write. You just never know what will pique your audience’s fancy (apparently a Pinocchio penis tattoo does!!) but I sure had a good time doing the research and writing the post, and for the record, I’m a fan. **Insert Huge Grin**
That was closely followed by “The Punk Rock Princess Party Playlist” – I got a ton of comments on that one as well as “We’re not Groupies, we’re Band Aids”. One of my guy friends wrote “you know guys would never get away with that” referring to crashing a private Blue Rodeo party and you know, he’s right. But we got away with it and it was a riot. “Facts you Never Knew About Roberto Luongo” also gets a lot of hits and searches – though for some strange reason those have dropped of lately . . . something about a riot . . .
Another section of the Dashboard I love shows you the search terms being used on browsers that land people on your blog. It can be totally hilarious depending on what you are writing about – like say manscaping. My search stats looked like a porn section for a week after that one. Honest to god, the things people put into their search engines . . .incredible. I think I learned some new stuff just from reading those. **Insert another Huge Grin**
I owe a huge debt of gratitude to my great friend and partner in crime, W. I call her the wingman when I’m writing, but in truth she’s just as much a leader and me her wingman in our adventures. I know without a shadow of doubt that each of us on our own would not get up to half of the high jinks we do together. And I know that she will always have my back, no matter what, even if it’s a total Train-wreck night. I had this “OMG” moment the other day when I was driving home, minding my own business, when I suddenly thought “What if the last four years of my life had never happened to me. What if I’d never had the courage to get out of the bad situation I was in and went to my grave without ever having the adventures of the last four years”. It was more than a random thought – it was one of those moments of crystal clear clarity when you KNOW, without a shadow of a doubt, you made the right choices. I have never been happier, I have never had more fun and if it all ended tomorrow, well it would have been a heck of a ride. But I’m sure looking forward to the next few years – we just have to keep upping the ante – who knows where that’s going to end . . . .**Insert Huge Grin #3**
A final huge thank you goes to T, who got me started blogging. We all go about our daily lives and I don’t know if any of us can really know, or appreciate, how our actions can affect and change someone else’s life. I’m sure (actually really sure!) that when you were writing your blog you never for a second imagined what a huge impact it would make on me. But it did. Your voice in my head keeps me honest and I still double-check my spelling and grammar every single time – wouldn’t want to fall afoul of the grammar police. **Insert Final Huge Grin** And I’m so happy that you have found your own metier in songwriting – can’t wait to see the fruit of those labours. Post them up. Live boldly.
About the hardest part of this post has been coming up with a soundtrack – one that doesn’t tip over into schmaltzy. Hmmmm. I love Blue Rodeo and Head Over Heels always makes me want to a) jump up and dance and b) get naked and get happy – though not necessarily at the same time. One of my fav verses of all time:
Well I know, one night together won’t make up for ten apart
I’ve been steady as rain nothing ever changes in my heart
Throw off the covers, open the window, I don’t care what we do
I’ve been standing for days, now I get to fall down with you.
And in a truly, truly serendipitous moment, I went YouTubing for a video and what came up – this rather dubious version shot on a camera phone at The Mint in LA – when the wingchick and I were there. That blonde heading bobbing in and out of frame at the bottom left is W and I can hear my enthusiastic cheering over top of Jim’s singing – it was the first night of our first road trip and we bonded over a true appreciation of good music and Patron.
**Really final last HUGE grin**. Notes from Just Past Normal.