To expand my horizons, I have joined See Jane Write, a local blogging group. The first event of the year was a goal-setting workshop. Content & photos here. I’m in the back corner with grey hair & blue glasses.
We met at Desert Island Supply Co., a free creative writing and tutoring center for local students. The decor was tres Robinson Crusoe. The place was lovely and welcoming and creative. It made me sad. Wouldn’t it be nice if our schools already included such things? A strong system would not need supplementation. Why are good schools so hard for us, collectively, to get behind? An educated society is in everyone’s best interest. But I digress.
Explicit Lesson: Blogging Goals
Many attendees talked about growing their blogs in order to monetize.
I have no desire to expand. I would love to write an essay along the lines of Whatever: Being Poor or My Friend Teresa Photography: So you’re feeling too fat to be photographed . . .. Aren’t familiar with these? Go read. As for numbers, “Being Poor” was written in 2005. In 2014, it was Scalzi’s second most visited post [Top Ten]. On her About page, Teresa says, “Her blog post ‘So You’re Feeling Too Fat to be Photographed’ has reached over 3 million people (and counting!).” That would be awesome. I would love to see my words ping-ponging to every corner of the Web. Short of being touched by Internet magic, I am comfortable with my rate of posting, the length of my posts, and the effort put into same.
As for monetizing, I’m too small for that to be a realistic choice. From what I have gathered anecdotally, I’d be selling out for nickels. I would need much bigger numbers or a more mainstream subject to be worth the hassle. As for the moral high ground, I haven’t a toehold. Since I started this adventure as a commercial column [Back To Eventing], my position on artistic autonomy versus cash is a matter of record.
I went in knowing most of this. I went to meet local bloggers. Which leads me to …
Implicit lesson: Interpersonal Relations
I need to get out more.
I have completely lost the knack for extemporaneous conversation with strangers. I’m at home a lot. When I get off the farm, I go to horse show or to a LEGO meeting. This automatically gives me a topic of discussion. Plus, I don’t have to explain who I am, what I’m doing, or why I am there. So much is already assumed.
Yes, the attendees had blogging in common. Beyond that, we were all over the map. A fitness & fashion blog: Stellar Fashion and Fitness. A book blog: Fixed Baroque. A cocktail blog: Write, Claire, Write!. When asked about myself, I floundered. About the blog. About my writing. About living in the South. I have no elevator speeches for social situations.
My inner curmudgeon is slowly winning.