The Lies Bloggers Tell

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Mulled over whether I wanted to make this a funny post but the funny words weren’t flowing from the fingers and I didn’t feel like making funny faces to use for pictures.

So instead you’ll get a link to a fine old post called Cheaper Than A $5 Whore With Less Risk of Infection and some commentary that is worth far more than the $5 quoted above.

A few of the fellas and some of the ladies asked me if I could tell them about publishing on Huffpo and were shocked because I said they haven’t ever asked me to submit anything nor have I ever tried.

One suggested it was a huge mistake on my part and when I said I prefer to be paid for my work they told me I was being ridiculous and that anyone who wants to be a professional writer is published there.

They couldn’t see me roll my eyes at that remark. I thought it short sighted, provincial, mean spirited and wrong. Then for good measure I stamped my feet and screamed that I am a professional writer.

Ok, I didn’t stamp my feet because that is silly. I don’t need to be published in Huffpo to feel like a professional writer because I have been published and paid for my work many times.

But I haven’t accomplished all I want to professionally and I sometimes wonder if a Huffpo byline or two would make a significant impact.

Is There A Huffpo Bounce Rate?

Some of the people I know who have been published there say it has led to a ton of new followers, readers and subscribers.

I don’t doubt that to be true but I wonder about the bounce rate. How many of those new people stick around for more than a short while?

I know from my stats that I have all sorts of subscribers to this blog who are signed up via email, RSS or WordPress but I see very few of them comment.

That might be because commenting is down in general or because they aren’t the kind of bloggers who leave comments on other blogs.

Or it might be they signed up for a bunch of blogs and they don’t read all they signed up for. I subscribe to a bunch of magazines and no matter what I do I find a short stack on my desk that remind me I have more reading material than time.

Or maybe it is more accurate to say those magazines I don’t get to don’t provide enough value for me to consistently make time for them.

People might say that about our blogs.

Some people tell me they read my posts but that sometimes they just can’t figure out what to say so they don’t say anything.

The Lonely Blogger
Those words keep bouncing around inside my head more than I would like. That pinball wizard keeps banging away at the bumpers and the ball keeps setting off the lights, beeps and whistles.

It is because I am wrestling with what has to be done and what must be done. I am wrestling with what my heart desires and with what is required.

Perhaps the two will intersect but I can’t quite see it with the clarity I want and I am concerned.

Concerned because I am too damn old to mess around with the crap I don’t want to do. It feels peculiar to say that because I don’t consider myself to be old.

So maybe it is best to say I am old enough to have enough experience to know what is right for me and what isn’t.

Fear and uncertainty are driving part of this.

I intentionally set out to chart a new course and sail new seas and am afraid I am being sent back to where I have been.

It is one thing to double back when you feel like the sun you look at has barely risen and another to look at the sky and see the sun is dead center or gasp, a hair to the right of it.

I tried to use it as a teaching moment. Told my son that sometimes we do what is required because we have to and for no other reason but it left a bitter and metallic taste in my mouth.

What Kind Of Writer Are You?

Someone asked me what kind of writer I want to be and I said the kind you read.

They told me that wasn’t an answer so I said I want to be the kind of writer that can make any topic interesting and every story interesting.

Maybe I should have said I want to be the kind of writer that Huffpo wants to write for them. The kind they chase because he is too damn snooty to submit his own work.

Writing is a funny art because the measure for what is good, great and awful is subjective.

Some of you will love these words and some will hate them while others will find a nice fence to sit upon.

I’ll tell you a million times I’ll blog whether you read or not and say I don’t care if you like what I write but that is not entirely true either, now is it.

Sure I’ll write whether you read or comment but I’ll feel better when I get comments because it helps me measure whether my words make you feel anything. Helps me figure out if I am more effective than a baboon with a keyboard or some guy from the Valley.

How To Be Happy

I tell my kids the best way to be happy is to learn to be happy with what you have and to not compare yourself to others.

If you don’t like what you have got you need to figure it out and work it out. You want more than you have got you need to be prepared to work hard to go get it.

Most days I am good about following my own advice but there are those moments and right now I seem to be stuck in one of them.

An extended dream that is heading towards nightmare land. I keep trying to wake myself up only to remember I am not sleeping.

I look in the mirror and say this is not what I want. I promise to work hard to change it and do all that I can but the chain around my waist keeps dragging me back towards the cliff.

The weight of the past has already fallen over the side and I don’t want to follow it. I just want to let it go, let it rest.

What was is done and I want my fresh start.

I am blogger hear me roar.

I am not published in Huffpo does that mean my roar is actually a squeak.

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7 Comments

  1. Scott Allen April 14, 2015 at 11:14 am

    Even as a professional writer (which I am, and have been for 14 years), there may come times that you need to market yourself. Frankly, if those times ever come, then you should be marketing yourself all along. And one of the ways to do that is exposure — to go where the readers are. Right now, that’s Huffington Post.

    To acknowledge it and manage it as what it is — marketing for your business — is not the same as buying into the hype about “exposure” that content mills routinely use to try to get free/cheap content.

    • Jack April 14, 2015 at 11:17 pm

      I agree with you about the importance of marketing ourselves and doing what we can to effectively position ourselves in a way that we can benefit from.

      What I am not yet convinced of is the impact that writing for free on Huffpo provides.

      Every story of success I hear is mixed in tales of a minor bump in traffic followed by silence.

      Maybe I am wrong and there is far more success coming from those opportunities than I am aware of, wouldn’t be the first time I got it wrong/

  2. Jens-Petter Berget April 12, 2015 at 2:06 am

    I don’t read Huffpo, but I keep reading your blog. So, this means to me, that you’re blog is more interesting than the Huffpo. Eventually they’ll be chasing you, that’s my personal opinion.

  3. Nancy Davis April 9, 2015 at 3:26 am

    Jack,

    I loved this. I am a writer who wants to be read as well. Over the past few years, my readership has gone down. Now, my focus is on doing quality posts, and rebuilding my following. Occasionally, my work insults someone and they do not come back. That is the chance you take when you make a statement in front of me that makes me think. Those posts however, are not about that person. What they are, is my viewpoint on the situation, be it good or bad.

    My biggest goal is to be a paid writer. One day it will happen for me. The line in the sand between good, bad, and when will you realize how great you are is highly subjective. I push all the time to better myself, as I know you do as well.

    I do lurk in the shadows on many days, but I had to comment on this one.

    • Jack April 9, 2015 at 10:11 pm

      Hi Nancy,

      Your comment about insults made me think of

      “If you expect to succeed as a writer, rudeness should be the second-to-least of your concerns. The least of all should be polite society and what it expects. If you intend to write as truthfully as you can, your days as a member of polite society are numbered, anyway.” ― Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

      I think the most important thing we can do is keep pushing to reach that next step. Half the battle isn’t letting rejection define us.

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