One third down

I started this project of posting something to my blog every
day on February 25, four months ago. So if it ends up being a one-year
project, it’s one third done.

I have been successful at making a post every day. The only
one that was a real “I can’t post today” post was last Saturday.
And I really was over half way done with a fairly long and
difficult post
which I really did post the next day. John Scalzi, one of my
role models for doing this, is known for posting a picture of
his cat when he doesn’t feel like writing, but he’s also done,
“I don’t feel like writing today” posts.

You as readers can tell better than I can how well it’s worked
for entertaining the readers, but there do seem to be some
readers. I started keeping track of how many hits things have
gotten in April sometime. And it looks like even the most
inconsequential posts get a couple of dozen readers, and the
ones that get hit by a search, or have been pointed to in a
large mailing list, get hundreds.

Speaking as a writer, it has done some of what I wanted it to
— I now know a lot more than I did a few months ago how to pick
a subject I can write about in less than an hour, and how to
polish the 20-30 minutes of writing into coherence and then stop
and publish.

I was thinking it would be possible to see what the blogging
has done for my writing by reading the blogs from the Boston
Early Music Festival two years ago
and this
year.
Actually, there wasn’t as much difference in quality
of writing as I’d hoped for. The editing was definitely better
this year, and I think I’m more comfortable letting my
personality come out now. The quantity was definitely more two
years ago, but I remember that quantity as being very
difficult. This year I just decided it wasn’t possible to blog
and do 11 PM concerts and do morning concerts, so I just didn’t
do anything in the morning.

One disappointment about the blog as a way to connect with
people is that there really isn’t as much feedback as with the
other kinds of internet writing I do. If you post to a mailing
list or email a friend, it immediately becomes obvious if you haven’t
made your point. If you write a post on your blog, it’s quite
likely that you won’t get any comments at all. But it looks
like my audience has doubled in the last four months, so maybe
if I keep going I’ll eventually get an audience that
comments.

In terms of using the numbers of readers as a guide to what to
post about, it’s pretty inconclusive. It looks like of the easy
categories, the ones about food are read more than the ones
about the garden. The ones about using technology are also read
pretty often, probably because it’s something that people are
used to using google as a way to find answers for.

Another thing I hoped to accomplish was writing about my
experiences being involved in Bonnie’s death. That has
certainly happened more than it would have otherwise, but less
than I expected. This is partly because I still don’t have the
knack of breaking that subject up into small enough topics that
I can make those posts easy ones. Maybe I’ll get better at
it. Or maybe I’ll clear more time for hard posts, but that
doesn’t sound very likely. I’m still in the throes of the Serpent Publications
website
redesign, and when that’s done, I’ll have to move on
to redesigning this site.

The posts about books and movies are usually pretty easy, and
seem to get read fairly often. For the
most read one, about Little Dorrit, I
took the precaution of taking brief notes over the week or so I
was reading the book, so I ended up with several interesting
things already written. I should try to be more organized about
doing that.

One surprising thing is that none of the people who actually
know me personally seems to read the blog regularly. This
actually makes it easier — I don’t use anyone’s actual name
when I write about them, but I certainly sometimes say enough to
make it clear to someone who knows my friends who I’m talking
about.

So, Gentle Reader, do let me know what you think. If there’s a
topic you’d like more (or fewer) posts about, let me know. If
you’d rather have pictures of Sunny or the garden than “I can’t
post today” posts, let me know. If I’m being completely
incomprehensible about something, tell me and I’ll try to clarify.

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