The sun’s risen, coffee’s been brewed and my Mini, booted. James and Dash are very aptly singing, “Summer breeze, makes me feel fine, blowing through the jasmine in my mind,” in the background. It’s another mild midmorning in August and I’m at the keyboard once again, knuckles cracked, hopeful to earn yet another day’s dollar.

Image

I read recently a publisher's quote on what makes a successful writer. It read something like, "Ass in chair!" So, I dutifully put in the hours, expecting that they will pay off in the end. Telecommuting isn’t new to me nor is writing for a living. It’s not even the first time I’ve been crazy enough to follow through on one of my wacky entrepreneurial ideas. What is new is earning money through creative freelance writing, which depending on who you speak to is probably the wackiest notion I’ve pursued to date. Imagine being paid for superimposed emotion infused dribble or cerebral ramblings. Pretty nuts, right?

Only, it’s not, because we are all searching for reason and are reaching out to others in hopes of finding it. We as a human race are doing this all around the world. Here’s how I know.

At the recommendation of fellow road warriors who mostly were just interested in being able to follow my wanderings, I finally created a writer’s blog. My main purpose in doing so though was to post examples of my writing and photographs in a single accessible place for publishers who might be interested in reviewing my work. In less than four months, with no additional advertising and very minimal social networking, my site’s had hits from almost two thousand viewers from almost every state in the U.S. and from more than twenty countries. Today’s new country was Indonesia. Last week’s were Russia, Brazil, Slovakia and Azerbaijan.

By marketing standards, these numbers are laughable. If I were trying to sell a product those numbers would need to be significantly increased in order to ensure lucrative sales volume. Yet, low as they comparatively are my blog stats tell me something.

Image

If a stranger who happened upon my site by chance reads the Google translations of my essays only to become a subscribed member of my blog, a “follower”, then I must be saying something worthwhile, or at least saying the mundane with a new twist. Although the content of my material is hardly novel, it seems to be interesting enough to those who stumble upon it. I’ve been told by many a reader that they live vicariously through my writing. The comment that interested me most though was from an anonymous reader who said that reading my work was like reading their best friend’s diary.

Why? Why would anyone want to read anyone else’s deepest most private thoughts and emotional impressions of their daily struggles, I wondered? Why?

My meager guess is that we are drawn to seek validation that we aren’t alone in our struggle to live the lives we’ve been granted, that we are drawn to seek affirmation that others have a hard time of it as we do. That others may have found answers to living more freely or happily I think is only a small part of what draws us to read each other’s personal diatribes, whether in books or virtually online. But, read we do, everyday, everywhere.

Image

According to BlogPulse, there are an estimated 168,059,462 public blogs on the World Wide Web today, 98,181 of which were created in the last 24 hours. According to renown user interface engineer Jakob Nielsen, five percent of all Internet users create these blogs. Although blog subject matter varies greatly, the number one topic that draws readers is, you’ve got it, diaries! People read them three times more than postings in political or entertainment categories. In fact, the blogging phenomena has spawned more than 40 statistical companies that specialize in tracking blog stats and documenting infographic and data visualization information for corporate clients. Presumably, these eMetrics are then used for marketing purposes.

It’s not that we’re all nosey; it’s that we’re basically empathetic tribal beings who now live largely virtual existences from within “the box”. It’s also that we have an unquenchable desire to understand. Nothing new with that as we humans have been asking How, Why, When, What and Where for eons. In fact, I think it’s more than obvious that we want to comprehend more than we want good ol’ fashioned human connection, if not authentic out of the box interaction. Case in point, Nielsen indicates that only one in a hundred viewers actually comments on the blog posts they read. In geek terms, this one percent is referred to as ‘contributors’ whereas the remaining 90 percent has earned the leery term, ‘lurkers’.

Image

Lurking--schmirking; from a writer's perspective, a reader's a reader regardless. I'll watch the view counter go up as the day progresses and hope that a portion of those viewers are publishers, having received my query letters, logged on to assess the quality and style of my writing as much as the content. I, too, will read the posts of others looking for the affirmation I need in making this career transition, confirmation that my writing is, indeed, marketable. I’ll check my inbox for acceptance notifications and direct payment transaction reports. But, I have all day to do so and for now, there’s a humus, spinach, and cucumber whole wheat roll-up waiting and a sultry palm lined pool calling my name.

Comments

nan shartel Aug. 16, 2011 @ 3:48 p.m.

ur work is marketable Roody...now it's just finding the market...

it's a tough road even for the best of us

commercialism tears at the fabric of so many good writers making their work pale and innocuous

just keep reading and writing and investigating the possibilities

Namaste...Nan ;-D

http://www.sandiegoreader.com/weblogs/beyond-the-big-metal-fence/2010/apr/09/spare-me/

read this guy...he knows being on the ropes all too well

and he's won first second and third prizes a plenty with his writing here at the READER

he doesn't write here often anymore...which is really too bad he is a lovely insightful writer

the world need writers like u because u r a communicator...ur heart and mind on ur sleeve stuff....the best!!

so continue 3>

0

Ruth Newell Aug. 16, 2011 @ 5:03 p.m.

I meant...it sure sounds from reading his article that he knows about 'being on the ropes'. Thank you for referring his story to me.

And thanks for your kind words--had to laugh at the last bit as there are those on this planet that would adamantly disagree with you about being a communicator--at least an effective one at any rate. lol

0

Ruth Newell Aug. 16, 2011 @ 5:04 p.m.

lol WOW--I mean about MY being a communicator.

Geez...see what I mean? Think I'm done for the day!

0

Rags Aug. 16, 2011 @ 7:18 p.m.

Was thoroughly enchanted by "your" story, and, because of the way you wrote it,quickly perused a number of your others. Now I am extremely envious of your lifestyle and ambition, not to mention talent. And,I might add, quite a photographer. I have a feeling there are a few million others out there that will share this opinion once they find you,

0

nan shartel Aug. 17, 2011 @ 8:28 a.m.

ditto Rags and BohemianOpus

this is a beautifully put together blog Roody...well balanced

perhaps writing is ur best way of communicating...u do it so well (♥‿♥)

0

Ruth Newell Aug. 17, 2011 @ 10:57 a.m.

Hmmm, now that I'm thinking about it--I could never write a diary when I was young...just could not do it. Yet, in College, a professor required one from us to be handed in on Friday and returned to us on Monday...told me she would always read mine first. Since then, my diaries are written to someone and that does seem to help...not that I then hand it on over to them to be graded or anything. Hmmm. Interesting.

I'm ever glad you are enjoying my blog here at the Reader. Turns out, I am too...it's different from my personal one. (Getting slack though that I'm not posting there anymore lol). And as we've previously discussed, the interaction with other writers--yourself included-- has been inspirational.

Thanks again!

0

nan shartel Aug. 17, 2011 @ 11:10 a.m.

interaction is the key to unraveling uncertainties ;-D

John Grey The Porch at Sunset

In a sunset, I tell myself it's light that matters, the light shining here casting its superiority over roses, oak trees, earth and rock, that cannot withstand the unknown message, their textures to unfelt reverberations, unseen harmonies.

From the porch, I see everything gathered in by shadow, but the dim moon, a world made secret at my door step. And yet the dark cannot quite have me, not with my lamp and my book, as if I have something left to give, despite the ache in my ankles, the gilded blue of my heart, the sheer bulk of yours behind me.

Eventually, the night will have me. Eventually, my life which seems so ordered with this production line of pain and remembering will be shown up for the disorder it truly is. Sure, there were nights from which I emerged so immaculately certain of myself and my place but this oncoming one… who knows? Who wants to know?

Those were the nights that shrewdly showed me dreams, that carefully blueprinted tomorrow with wealth and honor and lush ladies in my arms. But what of the dull matrix of the next dream? It will be a pit for thoughts to fall into and stare up pointlessly at the head that engineered them. There'll be no glamorous youth stepping shiny from the ocean at this rear-end of the cosmic plan.

The night is full-blown now. I cling to the light, devour its pages while pretending to read the book. Once this light would have seemed enough, would have matched the disappearing sun glow for the glow and stood so staunchly by its followers.

Now, it's one cold switch away from dousing. I look out at the world, each night an accumulation of all the nights I've lived, black, blacker and blacker still, and wonder where is the cold, cold switch these fingers tremble for.

0

richzombie Aug. 17, 2011 @ 9:02 a.m.

roody - seems to me you got-it an interesting persona coupled with an ability to convey that interesting-ness ...for me its enjoyable reading and for that i am grateful. thanks !

0

Ruth Newell Aug. 17, 2011 @ 11:06 a.m.

Welcome, although you said it better than I did using a single sentence--a single phrase: persona reading. John Gray was right! Thanks again, ramblin' zombie man and have a chocolate glaze on me.

0

Twister Aug. 17, 2011 @ 2:31 p.m.

There are two kinds of professional; one puts the buck first, the other the work.

If you write something exceptional enough, it will get sent around; if you're consistent (I'm not), you will acquire a "following." It will never amount to a mountain, but a molehill of quality and beauty beats a Queen-high flush.

And, don't forget, BREVITY (elegance of simplicity) is the soul of wit.

0

Ruth Newell Aug. 18, 2011 @ 10:10 a.m.

Exceptional...now there's the catch. :)

Thanks once again Twister, for reading and commenting.

0

Sign in to comment

Join our
newsletter list

Enter to win $25 at Broken Yolk Cafe

Each newsletter subscription
means another chance to win!

Close