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The State of the Blog: Anniversary Edition

It occurs to me that, about a year ago (give or take a week), I began writing this blog. This seems as good a time as any to reflect upon it, so here we go:

For one thing, traffic has gone up a lot. Last time I did this (about four months in or so), I was averaging 40 views a day. Now I average between 70-100 and I had a stretch or two there where I was between 300-1000. I don’t think these are necessarily unique page views and, in the scheme of blog-dom, this is really small potatoes, but more is more. Traffic has lagged a bit the last few weeks, but I think that has something to do with the Publicize feature not working right and me not noticing for a while.

Anyway, more views, more followers, and it seems to be more-or-less sustaining itself. Good.

I’ve largely eliminated my fiction contributions to this blog. I still write a little bitty scene here or there, but that’s about it. They do not seem to be missed, by and large, and those posts always got the fewest views, anyway. I try not to take this personally and tell myself that much of the blog-reading world is pretty firmly in the ‘tl;dr’ camp. Anything I post over a thousand words gets fewer hits; attention spans ain’t what they used to be.

In writing news, I didn’t wind up winning the Writers of the Future contest this time around. Though most rejections roll off my back, this hasn’t. This is much because it wasn’t a rejection–I placed as a finalist, which is good. It also means I didn’t win, which my hyper-competitive nature inherently interprets as ‘losing’, even though it isn’t. Finishing as a finalist is a great honor and good for my career…

…even though I feel almost precisely like this.

I’ve landed another story, this time with Stupefying Stories, which is also good. I can now send out all that stuff I was holding back from submission while I was waiting for the contest results, this time with the moniker ‘Writers of the Future Finalist’ attached to the queries, which should help. Onward and upward, though I’m getting very tired of finishing second-tier in my writing career. My novel queries make it past the initial round of readers, make their way to editors’ desks…and then ‘aren’t right for them’. My stories make it through the first round of cuts and I get wonderful, personalized rejection letters. These are good signs, ultimately, but they are uniquely frustrating. I’d almost prefer the form, pat rejections, since then I don’t have to live with the knowledge of just how close I came.

(Actually, no, I wouldn’t prefer that. This frustration in my guts is a good motivator.)  

In between my bouts of ‘almost getting there,’ though, there is this blog here, wherein I can publish things and pontificate about stuff my wife would never want to listen to and people read it. That, as it happens, helps a bit and also keeps me in the writing zone, which is important. The semester is looming, and I’m sure my classes will be packed full of students–staying in the zone is very, very difficult, believe me.

Anyway, thank you all for reading. I hope you have enjoyed the blog, and I’m interested to hear your feedback overall or about anything in particular. Thanks again!