The Gooseyard

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Blogito ergo sum

Photo credit: Kristina B via photopin cc

Photo credit: Kristina B via photopin cc

My love / hate affair with blogging continues.

I was hesitant to even start a blog in the first place — see my first-ever post on this site back in February (https://philipjefferson.wordpress.com/2013/02/03/on-writing-2/). And, as it turned out, all the worries that I started with have actually become realities — especially my prediction that blogging would begin to leech time away from my other writing. Which it has. In spades!

Surprisingly, however, — well, to my surprise anyway — it’s also been a fantastic learning experience. I think blogging has really helped me hone some emerging skills. Chief among these would be developing the discipline to write regularly (i.e. trying to turn out a fresh blog every week or so) and, perhaps most importantly for me, actually learning to let stuff go into the ether. Screwing up my courage and finally hitting the “Publish” button rather than simply holding on to something forever and editing it into non-existence because I’m afraid it’s not quite ready yet. Not as perfect as I could, ultimately, make it. If I worked on it for the ret of my life, that is.

But blogging also drives me nuts. Maybe it’s because I still don’t truly understand or appreciate the medium. My 13-year-old son tells me my posts are probably too long. People are on the internet for instant gratification. Most of my posts are at least 1,000 words or more. And typically require some concerted effort on the part of the reader to follow and appreciate whatever thesis I happen to be laying out at the time. And maybe when someone — magically, because I still haven’t quite figured out how this happens — stumbles across my blog at 11:30 at night, having previously enjoyed several of the latest YouTube offerings, or just finished updating the images on their Pintrest  homepage, the thought of tackling 1,000+ words, compressed tightly into a minimal number of densely-packed paragraphs (even with a nice, evocative photo at the top) is simply too daunting.

Should I dumb it down?

Should I, like many of my fellow bloggers seem to do, revert to staccato one-sentence paragraphs like some remedial virtual newspaper so as not to tax my poor readers’ ability to take it all in at one glance?

 

Use More Sub-Headers 

Or use sub-headers within the post to break things down into bite-sized, easily digestible pieces?

Or pepper the blog with ever-popular grumpy cat photos?

Photo credit: Scott Beale via photopin cc

Photo credit: Scott Beale via photopin cc

Or maybe, instead of trying to actually attempt to weave together a thoughtful, critical — and, hopefully, often humorous — approach to something that interests me, simply revert to banal, sophomoric clichés about the way we appear to live in the world. This seems to be a staple of many a blog with thousands of followers:

“It’s rainy this morning and I’m blue. I don’t even want to get out of bed today, so I’m just going to call in sick and work on my blog instead. Only through such rebellion can I embrace my inner “Creator”. Life is hard, isn’t it? Here’s a dancing cat video that helps me out when I feel this way.”

Likes: 425 (within eight minutes of posting somehow).

Comments: 87 and counting (most of which applaud the writer for his / her deft handling of the intrinsic meaning-of-life question and involve an emoticon of some sort in response to the cat video).

 

Another Strategic Sub-Heading to Focus My Readers’ Attention

WTF!?

 

In Which Our Hero Attempts to Extricate Himself from this Morass

I, on the other hand, with my complicated, long-winded, over-earnest blogs, typically average only a couple of “Likes” per upload (friends and writing buddies not included), though I do, somehow, seem to gain at least one new “Follower” every post or so. Given that part of my rationale for starting this blog in the first place was to create a platform — and an audience — from which launch a “lucrative writing career” (sorry, is than an oxymoron?), and that to do so, I calculate, would require somewhere in the vicinity of 250,000 potential readers, and allowing for writing a blog a week, I should pretty much achieve my goal, at this rate, in another 4,800 years. Though I’m probably being overly-optimistic here as I’m not sure in what capacity several of my existing 30 recorded “Followers” actually or still exist as viable “WordPress” entities.

And with these happy thoughts in mind, I’m going to close for today — under 800 words for a change, so I don’t scare anyone away.

And since, apparently, the only way I’m ever going to gain enough readers to make this whole blogging thing worthwhile is if The Gooseyard somehow goes viral, please enjoy the requisite cat video. 😉

 

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6 Comments

  1. My mind is aglow with multiple cosmic thoughts about blogs, blogging, platforms, and all the butt load of work it takes to create a following, or even find a following, and the ever popular cat video. What if a kitty cat walked along the banister during the President’s Inaugural Address in January 1961, would people have heard “Ask not what your country could do for you, but what you can do for your country.”

    Or would they be whispering to one another, “Look at the cute kitty cat. Isn’t she so cute?” Then there would have been no famous words which people can quote in a reply on someone’s blog bemoaning the unfairness of it all. Could you change history by making an animal time machine?

    Maybe the Secret Service made sure no cute kitty cats were allowed on the grounds that day. But that does not deal with the ever present problem: nobody is reading my blog! Though it poses an interesting story idea. Something young adult, with an evil pet mastermind sending cute kitties and puppies back in time to sabotage important moments in history.

    I’m impressed people are at least starting to follow you. I’ve only had one, and that was my wife. I appreciative that she liked what I’ve done enough to follow. Is this the moment we get in the wheelchair and head for the meadow in Bloom County to ponder life’s injustices? There were animals there too! I’m beginning to see a pattern.

    • Philster999 says:

      Dude, you just wrote nearly a whole blog simply in response to my blog (again)! Stop wasting your time in the Comment section of The Gooseyard and start posting these musings over at thomascmarsall.com where they belong! (Like how I dropped that plug in for ya? Pretty clever, eh?)

  2. My head is bowed and bloodied.

  3. bronxboy55 says:

    Not everyone is looking for instant gratification. Maybe most, but not all. Your audience is out there, Phil, and it’s made up of people who enjoy reading and thinking and savoring words (savouring, for the ones in Canada and the UK). Whatever you do, don’t dumb it down!

    On the other hand, I wouldn’t push the Latin headline thing too far.

    • Philster999 says:

      Maybe the problem is that you’re hogging all the non-instant-gratification-seeking thoughtful reader-and-commenter-types over at Mostly Bright Ideas! LOL — just kidding. They obviously know quality when they stumble upon it! PJ

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