Deep in It

For those whose blogs I’ve not visited recently, please know I’ve not lost interest. I’m deep in an ocean of work and trying to swim to the surface. One book is in the can, so to speak, and I have two others I’m working simultaneously. Effectively, I have time to produce, but little to consume.

When I can again see the dim rays of sun through the still blue, I will resurface. Thanks.

I Have Too Many Blogs

Bill Jones, Jr.:

I’ve started some blogs and will be phasing out a couple of others.

Originally posted on Just Me:

I also have ADHD. As a result, I have three things I can do with my almost boundless energy: 1.) Try to ignore it, and watch myself self-destruct in a ball of fiery tension, 2.) Use it to worry about things over which I have no control, or, 3.) Use it as an outlet for creative energy. I’ve chosen to use it for Good instead of Evil (that’s pronounced EE ville).

Anyway, I want to use this post to introduce you to some new blogs, and others that I’ll be phasing out.

First of all is THIS Blog – “Just Me” – I list this first because I will be reblogging the hell out of this post on my other blogs. This is the only blog on which I will try to post “behind the scenes” stuff — that is, longer bits that explain more of the process…

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2013 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 22,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 8 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

 

Many thanks to my Top 5 Commenters:

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Spam Spam Spam Spam & Spam

Yeah, piss off.

Just a bit of an alert and notice. The “new” way to spam people on WordDepress is for companies to create blogs and then randomly follow you so that you will reciprocate and view their daily spam adverts posts.

Um, not gonna happen (at least for me). The one sure giveaway is that these folks are auto following you, without “liking” anything or commenting. Just as a notice, if you follow one of my blogs and we’ve never interacted, in even an indirect way, expect me to ignore you.

Cheers.

I’m Still Blogging

I clearly sent a confusing message with my last post. To make it clear: I have no intention of killing my blog. Instead, I’ve decided to stop my web serial, as I could tell that people (those interested) were having trouble keeping up. My initial thought was to slow it down, but there is no way to know how frequently to post, as I was being spammed by fake likes.

That was the real intention of last night’s post – to say “please just stop the fakery.” I will be here; I’ll just focus on shorter things that don’t rely so much on interaction.

Just to Be Clear

I’ve had quite a few people follow my blogs lately, mainly, I believe, because I’ve been a lot more active. However, I’m finding photographers follow my writing blog and vice versa. Now, I’m fine with that, but I wonder if people are doing so only to be polite. No need; if you don’t want to follow me, my ego will remain intact.

I’m 54, and I’m actually cool without praise. :)

Nonetheless, for those who might be interested and confused as to why a writer is clicking on photos (or who thinks it’s because photos are less work to view than words – don’t you hate that?) let me assure you. I have A LOT of blogs. However, specifically, I have 3 that I keep active.

There is this one, “This Blog Blank,” which I devote to my writing, as well as griping about writing, book marketing, with some tips I’ve picked up along the way. I’ll probably be whining about the editing process for my current work in progress, Hard as Roxx, or the next book I may or may not write. This will be interspersed with crap that pops into my head, like trying to get people to STOP MAKING THE GRAMMAR ERRORS THAT BUG ME! And stuff.

My photography blog is “Ordinary Luminary,” which I devote mainly to street photography. I’m not sure why it’s only street photography, since I do more cityscapes these days and I’m probably better at shooting animals than people (with a camera), but it is. It looks like this:

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The other blog I update (less regularly, but increasingly) is called “Fix Your Mirror.” It is devoted to life coaching, specializing in (hopefully) inspiration and essays on changing yourself. This blog looks like this:

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Those are my parents on the front page of the blog, on their 1st date. My dad called me this week to say he’s personally taking credit for my photography since he bought me my first camera. I told him he gets credit for pretty much everything I do right. The stuff I screwed up, I did on my own.

I have a blog specifically set up for Hard as Roxx, but I’ve pretty much shut it down. Editing on the book has stalled, and I’ll be looking for a proofreader soon. So, nothing to update really. The readers “like the story” and “think it’s well written,” but nobody’s finished it. Talk about freaking mixed messages. I’ve also shut down Charlie and Robin’s (lead characters from The Stream) Tumblr blog, primarily due to lack of interest.

Can you tell I (1) have ADHD, (2) never get tired, and (3) am single? I thought you could. :)

Anyway, I hope this clears up the blog situation. Feel free to follow (or unfollow) as things interest you. Feedback is always welcome.

Get Your Snake Oil … Not Here

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Contrary to popular belief, not all people wanting to connect are desperate. In fact, more than a few are looking for genuine, bilateral relationships. We don’t all have a crippled social skills. Some of us have robust lives, real friends, and successful careers. Our lives and self worth do not turn with the numbers of “likes” we get on posts. Therefore, if what we put out there is not your cup of tea, you should feel no guilt in ignoring it. I promise you I won’t like yours if I’m not feeling it.

So, it is with no trepidation at all that I turn once again to the Snake Oil salesmen of the interwebs, bloggers. No, not you, the other guy. The bloggers I’m talking about have already stopped reading, because only a few words shows up in their reader after they pop in their search terms, and “like” 115,000 posts so that we hicks like theirs back, and drive up their web traffic.

You know how it goes. You spend minutes hours crafting your improvised tightly honed post, which you put out there without editing, crawl through draft after draft,  just to make it perfect.imgres-3 Then, some huckster in a faux silk suit and a chimney-shaped hat clicks “like” and you think all your efforts have been rewarded.

Good on ya.

Except, let’s say, like me, you have tools that track views and visitors, and you notice that no one actually clicked on the post, and it’s 1,500 words long, and therefore, the jerk who “liked” it could not have read it. Well fuck you very much.

Even worse, let’s say you have a photography blog. No, bump that; let’s say I have a photography blog, because I do. Is it fair, in the world of interwebs reciprocity, for someone to like my post — which consists of 1 photo and ten words — to expect me to like theirs back, when the shortest of their posts is just north of War and Fucking Peace? (Editor’s note: I used Tolstoy’s manuscript title, not the final version.)

No, it the hell is not. I. Ain’t. Reading. Your. Novel. Son. Why? Because, you clicked on my photo precisely because it was quick. What you liked was that it required NOTHING on your part. That’s really lame.

Even worse, I spent some time this week looking for other street photographers who might have set up blogs. I’ve used most of the photo social media sites, and have tired of them. What I wanted was a simple way to see other shooters’ work, without complexity, while setting up my blog as a sort of a street photography portfolio. Simple in concept, no? Well, an interesting thing happened. I found a photographer whose work I really liked. I found myself clicking on 6 or 7 shots, all of which I liked. I followed the blog; things were looking up. I figured if the shooter liked my work, they would click on some of mine, or not. To my surprise, he did in fact follow my blog. This one. This has happened more than once.

Um, guess which blog you should have followed?

Um, guess which blog you should have followed?

Now, perhaps the delightful raw, barely edited, grade-C, stream-of-consciousness prose on this blog attracted them. More likely, however, the person only spent 2 seconds on my profile, and clicked “follow” on the 1st blog he saw (RalphtheDog.Wordpress.com) instead of my lovely (ChristShootstheStreet.Wordpress.com) photo blog. In effect, he was selling the snake oil that if I continue to “like” his stuff every day, my life would improve because he liked me back. My brain would produce endorphins, and the 100 likes per post would bring in droves of new readers.

But I have a question? WHO GIVES A SHIT?

Do people really care about numbers instead of improvement? Is the idea of sharing art in the hopes of reaching people who get your vision so alien? Are we all producers and not consumers? You know which stats I like? I like that my #1 and #2 viewed posts get ZERO comments. That’s because people searched on the 100 greatest writers, or dragons, and read (or not) because they are interested in the subject matter.

Getting fake likes on the interwebs is like finding out your close friend really hasn’t felt anything for you (or anything) in five years. The best case is you never find out. The worst case is that you question all the joy you thought you brought, the self-improvement you believed you made, and wonder if anything is real. Frankly, I’d rather have the snake.

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Theda Bara as “Cleopatra”

The simple truth is that despite what we bloggers want to believe, The Public rarely reads blogs. When they do, they have no Blogger/Wordpress/OpenID, so you’ll rarely know when they loved your post. They may read it over and over, perhaps it will change their life. In extraordinarily rare instances, they will leave a comment, or send you an email thanking you for adding a bit to their life.

And, my friends, that will need to be enough.

You write because God gave you the words. If you’re doing this for any other reason, then it’s time to stop drinking the Snake Oil, and get your head right.