I've spilled out quite a few words since December 2005 -- and the only thing that keeps me from writing more is that this doesn't pay me anything... and I need to do stuff that does pay.
When I started this exercise I had delusions of grandeur: Some Internet talent scout for a major publishing house would be charmed by my homey and homely homilies and tender a fat book contract.
It hasn't worked out that way. And that reminds me of a post from last October, which started off like this:
I saw this question yesterday at Miss Snark's website: "Do literary agents ever prowl around blogs searching for gifted writers?"That may be the funniest joke I've written in 19 months of blogging. No wonder I haven't been discovered!
Miss Snark's answer was "no." In the comments, author P.N. Elrod chimed in with this quote from Rachel Caine: "Posting your novel (or blog) on the 'Net in the hopes that a big-time editor (or agent) will see it is like writing the perfect résumé and then tacking it to the front door of your house, hoping your future boss will walk by."
Which was a buzzkill on a couple of levels: It may also explain why I can't get a real job. I was so depressed, I almost didn't put out fresh résumés out on the front door, even though it rained here yesterday.
Miss Snark has closed up shop since last October. But I'm still here, slogging away. (Hmmmm. Slogging / blogging... no, my prose is bad enough. I'll eschew poetry for now.)
It's funny how traffic has built on this blog. This blog has been 'visited' over 14,000 times now... but so much of that traffic has been driven here by searches for topics in the news: Lately, it's Judge Pearson's pants. Before that, it was my link to a Harry Potter video spoof -- the Potter Puppet Pals -- that brought in a lot of visits. Before that, it was Chrissy Popadics, Thiago Olson, and home fusion. I don't do news topics to generate Sitemeter surges (well, OK, Bee, I don't do it anymore), I just write about topics that I find interesting. And I don't think too many return visitors have come in through those posts. In fact, I'm not entirely sure what brought you in and brings you back, but I'm truly grateful that so many of you are regulars.
I am particularly grateful for your kind attention earlier this year, when I had my health issues: Blogging was about as much as I could do on any given day -- and having actual readers helped motivate me to do that as well as I could and, I'm sure, helped hasten my recuperation.
But, now, to the future: When I started this Second Effort, one of the "hot" blogs was One Red Paperclip -- the true story of Kyle MacDonald who... eventually... traded one red paperclip for a house. (He got a book deal....) I see now that this is probably the model to adopt.
Not that I'm going to start trading paperclips for anything.... No, I'm going to keep doing what I'm doing... but I'm not going to worry about the book contract any more. Not directly, anyway: The book contract is now the house at the end of 14 trades (continuing the MacDonald/One Red Paperclip analogy). We'll start with something smaller first... and build.
Anybody know a small town newspaper editor who's looking for a curmudgeonly column on parenting... or the law... or almost anything? All I ask are (a) a byline and (b) syndication rights. For the first paper to sign me, no charge for the column for as long as the editor
And before I finish posting this new batch of résumés on the front door, let me conclude the 400th post celebration with a link love-in:
- Captain Picard's Journal -- the first blog to exchange links with me.
- Blog, blah, blah -- Heather, whose template has changed more often than just about anyone's, I think.
- Doctor Anonymous -- Doc will get a book deal one of these days.
- Muffin 53 -- Her Red-Hatted Majesty, the Empress Bee.
- Musings of a Phenomenal Webmistress -- Shel, my first Illinois link.
- A Place I call Home -- Mary Anne, of Vancouver Island. Not the first Canadian to link here; that would be Edie, a writing instructor, who, sadly, took her blog offline some time back.
- Nurse Ratched's Place -- Mother Jones, the third nurse to link here and the proud owner of an enormous paperback library.
- Crouching Mommy, Hidden Laundry -- CMHL, the first lawyer to link here. But she doesn't write about that sort of thing.
- The Geek Inside -- Sari in Arizona who doesn't mind my baseball stuff. Too much.
- Sarge Charlie -- Bee's life and travel and blogging companion.
- The Bestest Blog of All-Time -- Bobby Griffin, blogging entrepreneur.
- Skittles' Place -- Barb, blogging phenomenon!
- Tuskismom Speaks -- Cynthia Bostwick (also from Michigan, Barb) -- second lawyer link... and first poet.
- Fantasy & Sci-Fi Lovin' Blog -- SQT et al. If you like that sort of thing. Which I do.
- A Work of Art: Raising Our Exceptional Son -- Bennie, the artist (and frustrated musician), from South Carolina and his son, Ben.
- Time with Shelby -- Shelby started reading me during law school -- and doesn't blame me at all, which is very generous.
- Home Fires... by Lois Lane -- My second Illinois link. Lois is not only writing, she's actually sold some of hers.
- about a nurse -- May, in California. Interesting hospital stories.
- Ellee Seymour -- English politics. And she lets me comment anyway.
- Soapbox Jury -- Gave me a nice review when it was starting out.
- Thermal -- Chris in Scotland. Unlike Sari in Arizona, he does mind my baseball stories. An entrepreneur, yes, but he seems to enjoy the conversation just as much.
- stuff and nonsense -- Susan, from Philadelphia. Now with Pac-Man and Tetris on her front page.
- Toadally Talking -- Lawfrog, a lawyer from Houston.
- idiotfreeamerica.net -- This is Chris, Shel's husband, as opposed to Chris from Scotland.
- "Life's A Dance You Learn As You Go..." -- Star8278, also in Pennsylvania.
- The Boomer Chronicles -- Rhea, in Boston
- A little piece of me -- Claire. Currently having all sorts of problems with the Internet.
- The Beach Bum Report -- Now in Florida, but originally from Chicago.
- Are We There Yet?? -- Linda, in Connecticut, dispatching ambulances. And sometimes going to concerts.
- La La Land -- La La Land has moved: Was in Washington, now in Colorado.
- Where fiber meets mud -- Fran, the gardener in Ohio.
- The Mind Wobbles -- Hilda, in Miami, Florida.
- Letting each other go -- Leo G. About Bup mostly. Not light and frothy.
- Peppermint Energy -- IML in Singapore.
- Home in the Highlands -- Landgirl (Sharon) in the Highlands of Scotland. But formerly of Indianapolis.
- Momma's World -- It's Momma's Word... and Snow White's, too.
- Frannycakes -- Fran in Maine.
- All Blogged Up: A Moof's Tale -- As near as I can tell, Moof is kind of a Den Mother for the entire Blogosphere....
- Untwisted Vortex - Living in a Different Land -- RT in the Philippines, famed for his Blog "Drive-Bys."
- Critique My Blog! -- Billy Mac, whose blog didn't go dark the first time just because I asked for a review. It was only a coincidence.
- Late Bloomer Boomer -- Patti in Connecticut.
- When I Grow Up -- RDL. The home of Joke Friday.
- It's A Boomer Life -- Which it is. And the younger people are already counting the minutes until we're gone. Because that's when the ED commercials will finally stop.
- Talking to Myself -- Judi from Dallas.
- Airhead 55 -- Ralph, Patti's husband.
- I'm A Blogaholic -- a new group effort hosted by Dr. A.
- Rather Than Working -- Dave, a lawyer from Atlanta.
Now that I've introduced you to each other, talk among yourselves for awhile. I'm going to see about more ice....