Toot the horns, don the pointy hats, treat yourself by reading every post from first to last, or do what many do: read this first paragraph, decide “This sucks!”, click the obligatory “like” icon and move on to better things. Celebrate in any way you see fit – for the brunt of you, this means avoiding this blog at any cost – for today is the one year anniversary of Thestrugglershandbook.
Some interesting statistics from The Struggler’s first year: seventy-five posts, or an average of one every five days (you can kiss that stat goodbye); Over seventy thousand words, many of them misused or poorly chosen; almost seventeen thousand views, from over eighty different countries (so cool), including 3,180 in a single day when Cat’s in the Cradle was Freshly Pressed; over twelve hundred comments, half of them mine; six or seven different blog awards (which seem less impressive when I see that most other bloggers have at least some of them as well); and, at last count, two hundred eighty-nine followers (though admittedly, some of them are lagging waaay behind).
And what have I gotten from it all? Well, no book or magazine deals or, for that matter, no life-altering experiences of any kind and my writing future, mired in obscurity and secured for eternity; a few pat on the backs and ego-padding comments, which I eat up with gluttonous pleasure; several “Not my cup of tea” critiques, and a couple of “crass, offensive gutter trash” type condemnations. (From the same person). I have also been fortunate enough to have “met” several other writers, whose work and apparent character I find pleasing to me.
I’ve learned how the game is played: to expand your audience, you need to visit other blogs regularly, comment whenever possible and really put yourself out there. Frankly, I haven’t the time nor the inclination; I don’t see how some of them do it. I’ve got kids, a wife, a veritable zoo of hairy, needy domestic beasts, coaching basketball, and a life of toil unto death; all are more deserving of my time. I suspect that’s partly why my audience hasn’t grown to stadium proportions: like me, people have busy lives and more important things to do than to simply park it and eat the tripe I serve up. And maybe, just maybe, I’m not as enrapturing as I think I am…psssh. As if.
Basketball season starts on Monday. Work is good. I will likely write very little in the next few months, but that’s okay. When I do, I’ll write for myself, and for you if you care to read it. Feel free to comment if anything I have to say moves you spiritually, emotionally or even intestinally; I would love to know who’s really out there. Thanks to the faithful, and for those writers whose blogs I follow, you are the ones I mentioned before. Keep writing and I’ll visit when I can!