I never thought I’d want a blog or a website; however, a writers’ forum I belong to stresses that all writers need one because we need to promote ourselves and our books. I understand that, but I’m not one to brag about myself and my accomplishments (well, sometimes maybe…).
So…last year I began work on a website. I took my time designing it, not in any rush, not quite sure what I wanted in it. A perfectionist, I spent many an hour changing little, inconsequential things, never too pleased with my result.
Then, finally, once finished to my satisfaction, I didn’t know what to do with it. I’m not one to reveal too much of myself to strangers. Privacy is important to me, as well as identity theft. How much information did I want out there, anyhow? As well, how did I inform people I had a website without coming off as a braggart or hinting for purchases of my books? I wasn’t sure I wanted to broadcast my site to the world, perhaps a little insecure about people’s reactions to my writings. (Like most people, I don’t enjoy criticism, although I don’t like unwarranted praise either.)
When a couple of my short stories/poems were accepted for anthologies, I felt forced to add my URL to my bio. But it wasn’t until December of last year (2011) when I gave my site to a select few. Since that time, I’ve had over 500 hits. I love going to my site and checking the stats; I love seeing how the numbers increase, sometimes hourly.
But – who are these 500+ people? Are they really reading my words? I have only one follower, which is a bit embarrassing. And only three comments, another embarrassment. And I realize 500 hits in two months isn’t a great deal, but considering I haven’t “advertised” my site, I’m pleased.
At the start, I envisioned my site as a static website, not a blog. I didn’t want to spend (waste?) time adding steady posts to a blog, and, even if I wanted to, I had no clue what I could write about every day or even once a week.
I’m on Facebook, and although I may visit there a couple of times a day, I rarely post anything. I have over 240 “friends,” but do any of them really care about my opinions? What earth-shattering words would Little Ole Me have to say? And, a tiny bit of me worries about posting something embarrassing or upsetting to someone. I feel the same way about my website.
My website, against my original intentions, has slowly turned into a blog, at least one section of it: “Wicker Chitter.” (Don’t even ask where that name came from!) It turns out I do have something to say – every day, in fact – probably more than my one measly follower (hi and thanks DA!) wants to read. It doesn’t take me long to come up with a topic; there’s always something on my mind it seems. And, somehow, I manage to turn that one idea into a post. Whether or not it is an earth-shattering post, worthy of posting and reading, is the million dollar question.
Nevertheless, I am enjoying this new creation of mine. I feel like it is my “baby,” my new toy, another phase of my life. It gives me something to look forward to each day, a place where I can express myself as I like; after all, it IS mine! I still haven’t shared the URL with my family (other than with one of my three brothers, who has “promised” to become a follower), although I have given it to a couple of my long-distance friends so they can keep up with my writing news.
I wonder who these 500+ visitors are. Strangers obviously stop in for a peek, since I don’t have over 500 friends (even on Facebook), although I realize some may be repeat visitors. But repeat visitors are good, aren’t they? They must see something they like or they wouldn’t return.
But…I wish more people would leave comments. I wish I had more than one follower. Perhaps that’ll all come with time, once I feel more secure about my site and promote it. I can hardly complain about the lack of followers and traffic if I hide the URL at the back of my secret notebook.
In the meantime, if nothing else, Wicker Chitter is forcing me to write. However, it is taking time away from my real writing – away from prospective paid writings and real/imagined masterpieces. I need to take a break from chittering, at least for a little while, but it has become very addictive to my addictive personality.