Advertisements

Tag Archives: posts

Time to Rumpus Most Royally!

Well, here it is officially June 10, and two years ago, bored at work because everyone was off at a conference or something and I was left to man the phones, I started this foolish blog, knowing nothing about blogging whatsoever. I started originally on Blogger, but quickly got frustrated when the formatting would randomly go wonky, the photos would disappear with no warning, and when I’d schedule posts, they just wouldn’t post. WordPress beckoned and I answered the call and haven’t looked back.

Two years, you guys. That’s a long time. So much has happened over the last two years. Things that I could never have imagined when I was sitting at the reception desk of my office looking for something to do to make the hours go by more quickly and thought, “Well, you could start a blog.” I’ve met some of the world’s most amazing people. I have friends in my life I’d never have met without my blog; friends that I was meant to know, and without my blog? They wouldn’t be here. I’d have never met them. The thought of that breaks my heart, because my life would be such an emptier place without them in it.

Today’s advice to you? Well, I of course saved the best for last. Did you doubt I would?

The most important thing I’ve learned over the past two years of blogging?

Ignore all the advice. Write.

I know, right? Totally bait-and-switched you.

Hee, I love that the first thing to pop up in Image Seach for "bait and switch" is Lucy and her football. Fortuitous!

Hee, I love that the first thing to pop up in Image Seach for “bait and switch” is Lucy and her football. Fortuitous!

Listen. You can read a million how-to-blog articles. How long your posts should be. When you should post. How frequently you should post. How you should or shouldn’t market your blog or yourself. Your use of social media. What you should write about. What you SHOULDN’T write about. There are plenty of places that will give you advice – sometimes conflicting advice – until you’re so confused you’re running around like a chicken with its head cut off, all squawky and discombobulated. Also, it is very hard to count chickens with their heads cut off. All that blood makes for incorrect chicken headcounts.

But the way you’re going to learn all these things, the best way, the way it’s going to stick with you, is to just DO it. To sit at your computer and write out the words in your head, whatever those words might be. Are you going to fail? I’m not going to sugar-coat it. Yes. You are probably going to fail. Probably more than once. You’re going to make mistakes. You’re going to do things you’re not proud of, looking back on them; freshman mistakes, I suppose you could call them. These things happen. They’ll continue to happen. Even when you’re no longer a freshman. It’s life. Life’s one long learning experience, so take the lessons as they come.

Just like the Game of Life. With the little pegs and shit. Learn your lessons, chickadees.

Just like the Game of Life. With the little pegs and shit. Learn your lessons, chickadees.

You’ll know when it’s working. It’s something you feel inside; this click, this feeling of rightness. You’ll know because you’ll start building a community. Your words will resonate with others. You’ll start…I don’t know how best to explain this. Ripples. You’ll start creating ripples. And those ripples reach others. And on and on and on and you connect, and you have this whole network around you. All these points of life. All these people whose lives you’ve touched, whose lives you touch. It feels very good. It feels very safe. And you did this. You did this with your words and your work and putting yourself out there.

You can read all the advice; you can even follow some if you want. Yes, you’ll get less hits if you post on a weekend. Yes, it’s good to network with other bloggers. Yes, a presence on social media is a good thing.

But mostly? Just get out there and write. Take the words inside you and get them out of you. Share them with the world, where they can take root and grow and touch others and on and on and on it goes.

It’s the start of a grand adventure. It’s your own royal rumpus. The only thing I know for sure is that your life will never be the same for it.

Thank you to everyone who’s come along with me on my royal rumpus over the last two years. Everyone who’s read a post, who’s commented, who’s shared something I’ve written, who’s been here. Thank you to my friends, who I found along the way and who are so precious to me, so dear, I don’t even have the words.

Thank you. Just, thank you.

Now, finally, my top post for the past two years. Some of you might have already guessed this, I think, and if you haven’t, it’ll make sense once you see it.

Top post in the past two years!

With 3,490 hits – almost 3,500 hits, you guys, is that not insane? – in the past three months…

You’re gonna carry that weight, carry that weight a long time

Freshly Pressed did a lot of that, and you guys did the rest, with your comments and your shares and your reblogs. You’re a glorious group of people. A brave, strong group of people, who feel things deeply, who connect deeply with things, who want to make a change in things that are broken in the world.

I’m glad this post connected with people; I’m glad this post helped people connect. I’m glad Freshly Pressed decided to share it with a larger audience so more people could see it. I’m glad you were all here for it.

Thank you for the past two years, my most beloved little chickadees. I don’t know what the next year will bring; that’s the joy of the future. It’s as-yet unwritten. It’s a shiny new blank journal, waiting for you to start your chicken-scratching.

Off I go to start chicken-scratching all over my shiny new year.

I hope you come along. It wouldn’t be the same without you.

Advertisements

Royal Rumpus, Day Five: Selling crazy somewhere else and what, exactly, I’ll do for pageviews. No, not that. Ew.

Well, we made it to the weekend. We ALSO made it to the LAST THREE DAYS OF BLOGGIVERSARY WEEK! Whew, home stretch now, kiddos. Deep breaths. Deeeeep breaths.

I am very pleased with the weekend ahead of me. No part-time job; wedding shower for friend K. tomorrow; shopping and writing and reading and staying up late and sleeping in and television-watching and all good things. It’s my last full weekend off until the end of July so I’m living it up, baby. Also, I’m totally going to buy some cute shoes. LIKE A GIRL. But they will have no heel and be practical. LIKE A GROWN-ASS WOMAN. I’m an enigma. Don’t try to pin me down!

This is the type of shoe I favor from April to October every year, pretty much. Practical yet cute. Yep. That's me.

This is the type of shoe I favor from April to October every year, pretty much. Practical yet cute. Yep. That’s me.

(Side note: when I told Dad I was going shoe-shopping, he said, in a horrified tone, “You’ll be sure they’re not SLIPPERY shoes, right?” “What are you implying, beloved father?” I asked him. “Um. Just that…well, you in shoes that are slippery…could be catastrophic…because of falling…” “I’m a walking disaster zone. Just say it,” I said. “Well. Maybe a little,” Dad conceded. I assured him that every pair of shoes I’d ever purchased in the past ten years, no matter how cute and girly on top, had very practical rubbery/sneakery soles. “That’s smart,” Dad said. “Yes. I know my limitations,” I replied.)

So, what shall we talk about today? What sarcastic wisdom shall I pass down to you, oh readers of the Football?

Today, gleaned from two years of blogging goodness, let’s talk about…

Here Be Crazies

And also dragons. Also maybe dragons. One can never tell, on the interwebs.

And also dragons. Also maybe dragons. One can never tell, on the interwebs.

OK, you know how old people are all, “You’d never catch me on the intertubes. Because of the crazymurderers. That’s where the crazymurderers hang out. They would stab you in the eyeball if you talked to them.” (It doesn’t have to be crazymurderers. It could also be sexmurderers or pornomurders or stabmurderers. It’s usually something velcroed to “murderers,” though.)

Well, I’m happy to report I have not yet met a stab/crazy/sex/pornomurderer yet on the interweb. I think that might be a little old-person overkill. Just a little. Plus it doesn’t help that there are all those Dateline and 20/20 episodes about people being sex-trolled or killed by internet denizens. Old people get scared by such things. (Hell, *I* get scared by such things, if I watch them right before bed. I always imagine there’s a stabmurderer in my closet. *shudder* It’s mostly the announcer’s voices that get to me. They’re all rumbly bass and creepy as shit like a horror movie.)

However, there are a lot of people on the internet. And, just like in real life, some of those people you’re going to connect with, some of those people you’re not going to connect with, and some of those people are…um. Well, some of those people have…what I would nicely describe as a tenuous grip on reality.

Hi. Hi. HI. HI HI HI HI HI LOVE ME LOVE ME HI HI HI HIIIIII!I!I1

But here’s the thing. THEY don’t think they’re holding onto reality by finger- and toenails. They think they’re FINE. And when you don’t engage with their particular brand of…whatever it is they’re doing…they don’t take the rejection well. No, not well at all.

I’m not going to go into personal detail, because a., that’s tacky, and b., I know for a fact that some of these people still read my blog and make passive-aggressive comments about me elsewhere. And you know what? Cool. That’s cool. If that helps you sleep at night, go to. I know I sleep better at night knowing I no longer engage with your particular brand of lunacy all up in my face on a regular basis; so if for whatever reason you feel the need to blast about me on the internet, have at it. Once and a while I see these things and I have a momentary flash of “I SHOULD DEFEND MYSELF!” but it passes. Because hanging onto that for this long…well, it’s not healthy. But you know what? It’s cool. I can’t say I wish you well, but I can say I wish you to get well.

As a blogger, you put yourself out there. You make friends. That’s the good part. You make honest, true friends. Real friends. People who would, at a moment’s notice, go to the mat for you. Without a second thought. I’ve been humbled time and again by the selfless actions of some of my friends I’ve met through blogging. You also build a community – maybe not close friends, but allies. Like-minded individuals. The crazy people are few and far between. And you meet them in real life, too. It’s just on the internet, they’re a little more concentrated. And they don’t seem to know when to stop.

They seem to have a little Bachmann-crazy going on. Very avid. Worrisome.

They seem to have a little Bachmann-crazy going on. Very avid. Worrisome.

Andreas and I talked about this when we met in New York in March. Up until that point, we had both been just internet people, you know? Albeit very close internet people. We discussed the craziness on the interwebs, as we know some of the same people. “People are very lonely,” Andreas said, very wisely. “And they don’t know how to relate to people. And they don’t realize how they’re coming across. I mean, we’re all a little weird. But some people are a little…well, MORE weird.”

(Andreas has the best advice and/or observations, seriously. He’s my go-to when I need someone to set me straight on something. Well, let’s be honest, he’s my go-to for just about everything, because he’s one of my dearest friends in all the world. But when it comes to advice, he’s pretty unparalleled.)

It all boils down to this. You’ll relate to some people you meet online; you won’t relate to others. You cannot take this shit personally. Unless they start making it personal, of course – trolling you, threatening you, being way too personal and/or creepy with you – anything that makes you feel uncomfortable – none of that is ok, and of course that’s personal. If it’s a low-grade annoyance, just cut it off and let it go. If it’s a bigger scale thing – well, still cut it off. Still let it go. Do it as well as you can. The other person is not likely to take it well; that’s a risk you run. However, it’s either that, or that person is in your life, well, forever, and maybe you can be BFFs for LIFE with this person, which I think you can agree is not the best option? So it’s best to end it, whatever way you need to do that. Just try to be classy, if you can? Classiness is best. Always. Except for when you’re eating ribs. Then it’s every woman for herself.

Om nom nom.

Om nom nom.

(Also, and this might be just me, but if you hurt one of my friends, you’re pretty much dead to me. I just want to put that out there. My friends are very important to me, and I’m very loyal to them. If you aren’t careful with their heart? I no longer want to know you. Sorry. There are, of course, exceptions to that rule; if I’m friends with members of a couple separately before they get together, and they break up, I could potentially stay friends with them both after the breakup. But those exceptions are few and far between. So be as careful with my friends’ hearts as you are with mine, current and potential friends. Warning delivered.)

And of course watch out for the stabmurderers in your closet, because what a way to go that’d be, right?

OK, let’s see. THIRD-most popular post on the Football, here, over the past two years. This one was where I did something PERSONALLY PAINFUL for HUMOROUS RESULTS. No, not the time I blogged about going to see the gynecologist. Although that was not funtimes, either, for me OR my ladybits.

So! The THIRD-MOST POPULAR POST…

…over the past two years…

…with 884 hits in the past little-less-than-a-year…

Yep, you got it. It is “Truly, I am a marionette, and he is a master puppeteer.”

OMG THIS IS A THING MY EYES MY EYEEEESSSSS

OMG THIS IS A THING MY EYES MY EYEEEESSSSS

I totally suffered through the first book in the 50 Shades trilogy for you guys. And look, apparently it was ALL WORTH IT! It’s ALL FOR THE INTERNETTY LOVE, BABY!

(Yet, not enough to read the other two books. Sorry, guys, apparently I’m slightly masochistic, but not masochistic enough to force myself through two more books of that garbage.)

Apparently, this post made you guys laugh. A lot. And I do so like to make you laugh. So, thanks for that. It made suffering through “arghs” and inner goddess monologues and “laters, baby” totally worth it.

Well, mostly.

Back tomorrow. What WILL our top two posts be? Are you totally on pins and needles here? If so, get off those, you’ll get tetanus. Happy Saturday, my little cheese doodles.


Royal Rumpus, Day Four: Livin’ in Beverly Hills on your blogging millions. Also, thanks, you guys.

OK, I have to be quick like a bunny tonight. I went shopping and took WAY TOO LONG in the craft store. Like, insanely long. I’m a goofball. See, I had to buy craft supplies for the thing I’m doing for the Zombiecorn fiction contest? Which you’re all going to totally enter, because you want a piece of artwork by me in your home, correct? And then I’d get distracted by things like this…

I think this is for scrapbooking? Or maybe for a bumper sticker, I don’t know. Why’s it so huge? There were a lot of God things. I was just informed that religious people own Hobby Lobby. I only went there because it’s new and really big and I thought it might have a better selection of unicorns and zombies and skulls and rainbows. The answer is, it had none of those things (no, I take that back, it had some awesome skull stickers that I snatched up), but I found a workaround, so whoever wins this prize is really going to be super-impressed and they’d better put a photo of the most epic piece of artwork ever to grace their home on the interwebs, is all that I’m saying.

ANYWAY, today is day FOUR of the seven-day bloggiversary extravaganza, and my head’s not really in the game today. I’ll try to shake it around a little for you like a Magic 8-Ball or something. TRY AGAIN LATER, says Amy’s brain! Dammit.

I feel like a lot of days are Outlook Not So Good days, to be honest. I should probably get a tattoo of this somewhere.

I feel like a lot of days are Outlook Not So Good days, to be honest. I should probably get a tattoo of this somewhere.

What will we talk about today? You will be pleased to know I actually wrote down some ideas here on a post-it for what to discuss. You will be less pleased to know I spilled frozen dinner on it tonight so it’s sticky. Gravy, if you must know. I spilled gravy on it. I never said I was a gourmet chef, and I was in a hurry. ALSO, I was totally going to treat myself to new shoes tonight but my shoe store I always go to closed. Dammit. I think that’s because no one ever went there but me and I buy shoes every three years or so. But that’s why I LIKED it. Because it was always QUIET and I could shop in PEACE. Sigh. Now I have to go to the damn mall and I hate the mall.

Today, in our continuing series of things I have learned in the last almost 730 days of my life (that’s two years, aren’t you so proud I figured that out all on my own?) of blogging, is…

Don’t quit your day job, jellybean. (Although you might get fired from your day job.)

Blogging’s not going to make you your millions. I was recently reading the blog of a woman who purported to have been able to quit her job (come to find out she was downsized out of it) and makes a living blogging. But a little digging (I’m a digger, me, I think I have some mole in my bloodline) led me to find out that she’s not making a living just BLOGGING. She also freelances, sells a bunch of shady ads, solicits endlessly for donations (begging “please, if you like what you see, Paypal me some money!”), writes “books” (I say that in quotes because they’re not very good so they’re really, in my estimation, only books in that they have pages and words on them; they seem to be a self-help series that she wrote in about a week, and it shows)…it’s not like she magically started getting a paycheck for blogging. (I unfollowed her blog. It was a lot like reading a sales pitch every day. It was off-putting.)

It's ME, you guys! I AM THE PRODUCT BUY ME LOVE MEEEEEE! *unfollow*

It’s ME, you guys! I AM THE PRODUCT BUY ME LOVE MEEEEEE! *unfollow*

Yes, some people get paid for blogging. Again, I’ll invoke The Bloggess. She makes money blogging. By selling ads, mostly, I think. But she also wrote a best-selling book, and writes freelance articles, and does a lot of other things on the side, and I think that’s all part of her “blogging” paycheck. I think Dooce makes a living blogging now, I don’t read her blog, but someone recently bemoaned the fact that her blog’s nothing but ads and shilling. I never much liked her writing, so I can neither confirm or deny that, and I don’t care enough to research it. If she’s making a living blogging, it sounds about right.

If you go into blogging expecting a fat paycheck…well, you’re going to either get really hungry or really depressed, depending on whether or not you quit your job. There are ways to make a LITTLE money from blogging, but they take work, and not all of them leave a good taste in your mouth. (Ew. I just realized I made it sound like you have to give blow jobs in order to make money from blogging. Please know that was not an intentional euphemism, although it is a very funny and a very good one, and that I don’t advocate you prostituting yourself for blogging revenue.)

Do not, I repeat, DO NOT, sell yourself to this guy for blogging revenue. You just know he'd pay you in shoe insoles or old shrimp or something weird.

Do not, I repeat, DO NOT, sell yourself to this guy for blogging revenue. You just know he’d pay you in shoe insoles or old shrimp or something weird.

I’ve been blogging for two years. Over those years, I’ve made…drumroll…$125. I’ve spent probably $100-ish on the domain and the custom blogging package and what-have-you, so really I only made $25 and I spent that almost immediately on my cell phone bill. Oh, shit, and then I did a giveaway and there was postage so, yeah. I’m in the red. IN. THE. RED. (I have a friend that can’t remember if “in the red” is good or bad and always has to ask me so the other day I told her “it’s like a stop light. You don’t drive when it’s red, right? Because red is bad. Also if a teacher gives you a test all marked up, what color do they use? Red” and she was super-impressed with my helpfulness.)

Well, bloggers, anyway, I think. Not ALL of us. Some of you might have some money, what do I know?

Well, bloggers, anyway, I think. Not ALL of us. Some of you might have some money, what do I know?

How did I make that money? Ads. Those ads you see at the top (and I think bottom? or side? I don’t know, I have an ad blocker, and I recommend everyone get one, even though it cuts down on my revenue, it’s the best) of my blog get me a few pennies every time you open my homepage (and a few MORE pennies every time you click on them.) Once I get to $100 or more, WordPress Paypals me the money. It took almost two years to get that money. Yep. I know. I’m fancy.

There are ways to get more money, however. And goods. And services. I do get free books/ebooks for book blogging (but one could argue I’m doing them a service, so it’s not so much a gift, but a trade – their book, my writing about it.) I’ve also gotten numerous shady emails from companies that want me to do sponsored posts. They’ll send me goods, I write about how much I love the goods. They never say, “You try the goods and write an unbiased review,” like publishers do. It’s always, “We’ll send you the goods in exchange for a sponsored post telling your readers how much you love them.” So far, I’ve been offered free sunglasses (which I can’t wear, as I wear glasses); free bumper stickers (I don’t approve of putting propaganda on my car); free business cards (fine, but you can buy those for like $6, and I think my soul is worth more than that); and, my most favorite, SOMETHING I WAS NOT INFORMED ABOUT. She was from a travel company and wanted me to work with her client but said “please note, we are not offering free travel.” Well, shit, what ARE you offering? I’d totally travel and blog about it for you if you were offering, but if it’s NOT free travel, what, you want me to pay for my travel and THEN write about how much I like your client? I don’t see that there’s a win for me here.

(Except not. Not at all free.)

(Except not. Not at all free.)

Otherwise, I hear you. “BUT AMY!” you’re asking. “HOW CAN I MAKE MY BLOGGING MILLIONS?”

Well, first, I think you either have to have a husband or wife with a lot of money to support you while you don’t have a revenue stream for a while, or at least a fat bank account. Do you have that? What? No? Hmm. This is going to be tough.

Then I think you have to get a massive following, because you’re going to market to these people. I don’t care how you get it. Write posts that you know will get in readers. Don’t believe in anything you say. Never write anything that will piss anyone off! You can’t afford to lose a single one of those potential consumers! Write things that are middle-of-the-road and that everyone can relate to. Read up on search engine optimization. You see a lot of things about SEO, right? DO THAT. Write about shit everyone’s searching for that day, even if you find it personally repugnant. Do you think same sex marriage should be legal? Well, you’ll get a lot more hits if you say it should be ILLEGAL! So you know which one you need to do! YOU NEED THOSE HITS! Be #teamfollowback on Twitter, that seems to bring a lot of people in, I mean, it’s not like you care about quality.

I know, it's going to be tough, but you're the one who wants to make blogging millions, so step it up, buckaroo!

I know, it’s going to be tough, but you’re the one who wants to make blogging millions, so step it up, buckaroo!

Then, once you’ve hook, line, and sinkered those people in, start marketing to them. Sell so many ads that you barely have room on your blog for text. Because listen, text’s not paying the rent. Put a huge, egregious Paypal donate button on your blog. Not one that you have there because you’re raising money for a charity or for a crisis; one that you’re relying on to pay your rent. Beseech your readers constantly to give you money. Partner with a lot of shady companies and write sponsored posts about how much you like Cream of Wheat, vibrators, and Polident (or all three at once, what the hell.)

The money’s going to start ROLLING IN. You can just backstroke along on it like Scrooge McDuck.

What? What’s that? You don’t want to do this because you think it sounds cheap and dirty and like you’re whoring yourself out and no one will take you seriously and you’d lose both cred and friends?

WHAT DID I TELL YOU AT THE TOP OF THIS SECTION.

You’re not going to make a living from blogging. Not and be happy about the result. Yes, Dooce and The Bloggess might have, but think of all the bloggers there are out there, and I can only think of two who’ve really made a living from it (and I’m pretty sure Jennie works her ass off with all of her projects – I don’t know anything about Dooce, but I can’t imagine she sits around all day and eats bonbons.)

You write because you love it, because you love the community you’ve created, and because you can’t NOT write. And that’s that. If you make a little money from it here and there – well, that’s just a happy side-effect, is all. Buy yourself a happy new hat or something.

(Also, you can get fired for blogging. Dooce did. I did – although I’m pretty sure they wanted me gone and saying it was for blogging was just the excuse they decided to go with because “we hate you, you hate it here, and this is obviously a terrible fit for all of us” isn’t really the way you fire someone, not unless you want to pay unemployment – and I’m sure there are plenty of other people out there with similar stories. I don’t do anything blog-wise from work anymore; I barely mention my job on here anymore. Did I wise up? Eh. I don’t know if I so much “wised up” as I like my job now and would like to keep it a good long time. I was kind of purposely sabotaging myself at the old one, I think, because I knew I’d never have the courage to quit. Nice job, subconscious! So if you blog, and you do it about/from work? BE CAREFUL MY LITTLE LADYBUGS!)

FIRED! Be cautious, unless you want to eat popcorn and water for dinner for a while. What? Is there butter on the popcorn? NO OF COURSE THERE ISN'T!!! You can't afford BUTTER!

FIRED! Be cautious, unless you want to eat popcorn and water for dinner for a while. What? Is there butter on the popcorn? NO OF COURSE THERE ISN’T!!! You can’t afford BUTTER!

OK, this is getting ranty-long. So before I fall asleep and/or you lose all interest, let’s talk about my FOURTH-MOST POPULAR POST OF ALL TIME!

Guesses? This one makes me proud as hell of you guys.

Fourth-most-popular post, with 807 views in just three months (you all shared the hell out of this one, and I appreciate that)…is…

An Open Letter to Jane Doe, the Victim of the Steubenville Rape Case (Trigger Warning)

It took me longer than it should to get to the point where I could write this post. A lot of other people had already written posts about this. A lot of other people had already written AMAZING posts about this. But I just couldn’t let it go. I saved an article from the New York Times when the story first broke for the longest time, trying to build up the courage to write the post. I drafted it in my head a number of times. I talked myself into, then out of, writing it, over and over.

But when the verdict came down, and it seemed that the loudest voices were not supporting the victim, but bemoaning the lack of a bright potential future for the convicted rapists…

Well, there are things I keep quiet about because I don’t think I’ll do them justice, or because I think they’ve been done to death, or because I tend to jump on the bandwagon once it’s already full and I tumble right off the back. But this girl. This brave girl. We were doing a disservice to her. She stood against an entire town, amidst death threats, and told what she remembered to have happened to her; I at least owed her a post. It was the least I could do.

And your response was more than I could have hoped for. I thank you all so much for that. Every comment, every share, every private message about it – thank you. It’s a subject very near to my heart, and I can’t thank you all enough.

OK. To bed with me. It’s Friday! And I get the whole weekend off! Because Saturday I’m going to a wedding shower so therefore I can’t work and that means I actually get a weekend this week! OMG IT IS UTTER INSANITY!!!

Happy Friday, everyone. And if any of you DO make your blogging millions, and you want to throw a little my way, I wouldn’t turn you down. I could use some new shoes, and the really fancy chocolate, you know, the kind that even TASTES expensive? Yum.


Royal Rumpus, Day Two: How Not to Get Famous, Zombiecorn Artwork, Barbies, and Book-Chompery.

Well! Here we are. It is…what. Wednesday? Yes. Wednesday it is. The weather has cooled down quite a bit and I can actually turn off the air conditioning and open the windows. This is a lovely development. I am so pleased. Thank you, June!

Before we get started with the Bloggiversary Extravaganza, you all need to pop on over to Snobbery and see what’s cooking. No, seriously. Click on this. I MEAN IT. If you right click and choose “open in a new tab” you won’t even lose your place on this page. GO GO GO.

I hope you clicked because this isn’t going to make sense if you didn’t. sj and Susie are having a contest! It is a ZOMBIECORN FICTION CONTEST! What do the winners win? Well, all manner of awesome things, like a Zombiecorn teeshirt and magnets and actual UNICORN MEAT ZOMG, but on top of THAT, you could win an ORIGINAL PIECE OF ARTWORK BY ME! Yes, it is true. I am going to make a piece of zombiecorn artwork and frame that sucker and YOU COULD WIN IT! How? Write something about a zombie that is a unicorn or a unicorn that is a zombie. No more than 1,200 words. Full details on the post I linked you to, which is WHY you were supposed to CLICK, you rule-breaking yahoos.

Don’t you want a piece of Amy-artwork in your house? Don’t you even say “but…um…Amy? You’re a terrible artist and you can’t even draw a straight line, so…I don’t really want that?” LISTEN SLAPPY. I have a PLAN, ok? And it’s going to be AWESOME. And you are going to be SO ENVIOUS of the winner. I can’t even tell you how envious you’re going to be. Like, perhaps so envious you can’t SLEEP. Do you really want to lock yourself out of future good nights of sleep? Well? DO YOU?I didn’t THINK so. I don’t want to give away the whole thing, here, but I will assure you it will be a thing of magnificent wonder to behold. I will most likely show it to you next week, so THEN you’ll want to enter. Oh, yes, you will.

ANYWAY, on with the show. I have a billion things to do tonight, not the least of which is to start the new Stephen King book which is seriously calling to me as I write this. “AMY I AM WAITING FOR YOU TO PICK ME UP!” says Joyland. It’s a siren song I find hard to resist, you guys.

So today’s very sage bit of blogging advice that I have learned from two full years of bloggity bloggery is:

Very few people care that you are a blogging superstar, yo.

Before I start, I know what you’re thinking. “People care about The Bloggess! People care about Wil Wheaton!” Yes. Wait. You haven’t even let me talk yet. Shush, interrupty, you’re jumping the gun. That’s not a euphemism in this case, but could be, if used alternately.

I was petrified to tell real life people I was blogging, once I started. I had a respectable following by the time I finally did. People were commenting. I had made friends through blogging, real ones. I had formed a community. So at that point, I started thinking more about marketing than I had in the past. “I need to start commenting more on other people’s blogs,” thought Amy of about a year and a half ago. “And cross-posting my posts on more places, like Facebook and Tumblr. And…shit. I SHOULD TELL MY FRIENDS I HAVE A BLOG.”

SCARY!!!

This scared me, because sometimes I wrote about my real-life friends (in a nice way – if there was someone I hated, I just didn’t mention them, in case it somehow got back to them. I can be a dick, but I try to mind my Ps and Qs as much as I can.) What if the real-life friends were all “WHAT? I OBJECT TO BEING ON YOUR BLOG EVEN THOUGH YOU ONLY USED MY FIRST INITIAL AND MADE ME SEEM REALLY AWESOME?” or what if they read it and HATED it or what if they read one of my more personal posts and (ugh) tried to give me COMFORT or SYMPATHY which are two things I hate so much they give me the vapors?

But I figured, hell, they’re a built-in audience. They love me! They will want to read what I’ve written, right?

So I put it up on Facebook and was all scared-faced and nervous and guess what happened. No, seriously, guess.

Two of my real-life friends read my blog. TWO.

Well, I already had two real-life friends reading my blog, but they don’t live around here, they are long-distance friends and I love them both to distraction and they are supportive of all my endeavors so I told them early on about the blog. After my big Facebook announcement, two others started reading. That makes the total of people I really know in real life four. (And I’ve met two bloggers since then, so six, I suppose.)

This is how most people feel about you having a blog. Sorry to break your heart.

This is how most people feel about you having a blog. Sorry to break your heart.

People don’t care if you’re a big-time blogger, you guys. The world’s a busy place and unless you’re internetty (and most of my friends aren’t) they don’t care about what’s happening in the blogosphere. I’m willing to bet that even Wil Wheaton and The Bloggess have a number of friends who are all, “Oh, you’re still big into that internet thing? That’s so WEIRD. Telling things to people you don’t even know. Huh.”

Recently one of my theater friends (who has the most impressive Facebook following on this group he runs) reposted one of my theatery posts on his page. People I knew came out of the woodwork to read that one. However, none of them commented on my blog. They commented either on his post, or sent me private Facebook messages about the post. Which I’m not bagging on. It’s nice that they commented at all. But it felt weird to have people I know reading the blog, because they just don’t. It’s not a secret – almost everyone I know knows I spend WAY too much time doing this on a regular basis, and are almost completely uniformly confused as to why – it’s just that they don’t care. “Huh, blogging, you say?” my friends say. “Well, that’s a thing I heard about once on 20/20, I think.”

Don’t go into blogging thinking you’re going to be a superstar. Even if you get a decent follower count and commenter count and such, you’re still just this schmo in real life. (Or you’re awesome in your day-to-day, whatever. I don’t know your life.) You’re only a big deal on the little glowing box with a keyboard attached, for as much as that’s worth. Yes, it’s awesome. Yes, I love my online community more than just about anything. But there’s also a whole real life out there, and you need to tend to that as well. You can’t live in your computer, as comforting as it might seem, sometimes.

Nope. You can't even live in here, no matter how hard you try. Apartment prices are sky-high, and I think you have to pay with Bitcoin.

Nope. You can’t even live in here, no matter how hard you try. Apartment prices are sky-high, and I think you have to pay with Bitcoin.

Off my soapbox for the day. NOW! What do you think is the SIXTH-most popular post of the past two years? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? What the hell, Bueller didn’t show up today? Where the hell could that kid BE?

The sixth-most popular post of the past two years…

…with 739 hits in the past 9 months…

IS…

Life in plastic, it’s fantastic.

OK, much like yesterday’s post, this post isn’t getting all the hits because people are interested in my take on plastic surgery, or my biting commentary on social events, or even because we, as a culture, are curious why women would want to do things like this to themselves when they’re beautiful to begin with.

Nope. This post has such high stats because the pervs like it.

I get search terms every month for “Barbie girl naked” and “Barbie girl and anime girl naked” and I’d tell you more of the search terms but THINK OF THE CHILDREN WHAT ABOUT THE CHILDREN. Things like “I’d like to take the Barbie girl snorkeling.” Only snorkeling is a euphemism and everything in the search term is spelled way worse than that. You get my drift.

I know there are pervs online. Andreas nicely explained Rule 34 to me one day and I was all “NO. Andreas! That is not a thing. Um. Is that…Andreas, please tell me that is not a thing.” Andreas very kindly broke it to me that yes, it is a thing. It’s nice to have a Science Fellow who knows about everything and is good about explaining it to you without you needing to bleach your brain afterward, I just have to say.

(Remind me once bloggiversary week is over to tell you about the guy in my parents’ town and the shoe and my grandmother’s reaction. Seriously, if you don’t remind me, I’ll forget, and it’s a good one.)

However, pervs, the Barbie girl and the anime girl? Seriously? You keep searching for them and I’m pretty sure you want spank-pics and you’re not finding them here. But no matter WHAT pics you find of these poor, delusional, sad chicks, they’re not going to be spank-pics. Because these girls have transformed themselves into cartoons of the lovely young women they used to be.

But, you know, pervs. I don’t know what’s worse, these searches, or the searches you keep doing for wild boar porn, sincerely. It’s like you have a sexy death-wish.

Stay tuned, people of bloggonia. More coming your way tomorrow. WHAT WILL BE NEXT? Shit, I don’t know, I just want to go take a big old bite out of my King book.

Om nom nom.

Om nom nom.


Let the Royal Rumpus Start

Well, here we are. In just seven short days it will be my second bloggiversary. Two whole years blogging. I know, it’s a little mind-blowing, right? I have trouble wrapping my brain around it myself. Two years! Seven hundred and thirty days! 8 seasons! Many life changes! Coming and going! This, that and the other! Callooh callay!

Last year, for those of you that were around and remember such things, we did a whole week-long celebration. This year things are a little different and I’m in another place (mentally, emotionally, physically, take that as you will) so things will be a little less traditionally-Amy-hyper and a little more low-key. But hopefully still awesome. I mean, when you’re this awesome, how can you just erase that? You can’t, is the answer. I’ve tried. It’s still there. It never fully disappears.

So this week, we’ll talk about some things I’ve learned from blogging, and we’ll talk about my top seven posts over the past two years, with some behind-the-scenes goings-on, and maybe do some other things. I fly by the seat of my pants here. It’s just the way I am. Very pants-seat-flying. It’s either dangerous or fun; I haven’t decided yet.

Without further ado…

Today’s thing I’ve learned from blogging:

You cannot blog in a bubble.

Not even if you're Jake Gyllenhaal in a very ill-advised early-life role choice.

Not even if you’re Jake Gyllenhaal in a very ill-advised early-life role choice.

So when I started blogging many and many a moon ago, I just kind of did my thing. I wrote, and a few people would comment, and I thought that’s all that blogging was, because I didn’t know any better. I read a few other blogs – mainly the big ones – but was too afraid to comment, both because I thought what I had to say was probably idiotic, and that if I commented, and put a link to my blog with my Gravatar, the fancy blogging people would read my blog and would be SO DISGUSTED WITH HOW DORKY I WAS and was I ready to have fancy people read my blog? Was I really?

After a while, I connected with other bloggers (mainly through Twitter) and since I had talked to them on Twitter, I wasn’t as afraid to comment on their blogs. And huzzah! They reciprocated! And we had conversations in the comments! And they told people they knew to read my blog! And I started getting more readers! Some of whom had blogs of their own, and therefore, more blogs to read and comment on and more readers and on and on and on and so it goes!

It's the CIRCLE of LIIIIIIIFE!

It’s the CIRCLE of LIIIIIIIFE!

And sometimes, you make friends with the bloggers! Not just casual friends, but real friends, the kind that check on you when you’re down and send you things they saw online that made them think of you and that you have real, true friendships with. My closest online friends are all bloggers; I don’t think that’s a coincidence. I think I’d find it hard to relate to someone who didn’t use words as their primary attack on life online.

(And we’ve talked about this before, but I don’t think there’s much delineation between online friends and face-area friends, not really. If you talk to someone almost daily, if you share in their lives, if they share in yours, if you love them, if they love you? You’re friends. It doesn’t matter if you’ve met face-to-face or not. It’s wonderful when you CAN, but it’s still a friendship, and it’s still just as valid.)

Yeah, kind of like this, only less clinical. If I love you to distraction and would willingly jump in front of a speeding locomotive to save your life? Doesn't matter if you live in my computer or not. You're my people.

Yeah, kind of like this, only less clinical. If I love you to distraction and would willingly jump in front of a speeding locomotive to save your life? Doesn’t matter if you live in my computer or not. You’re my people.

Also, teaming up with other bloggers, be it guest-posting or actually collaborating with them on a blog, is another excellent way to make the blogosphere work for you. My guest-posting has brought me new readers and introduced me to new blogs to read and has also taught me how to work well with others (something I did NOT get good marks for in kindergarten, I can tell you that right now.) It’s also pushed me to create some of the work I’m most proud of that I’ve done since I started blogging.

So, yes. You can blog without getting engaged with other bloggers and/or your commenters, but why would you want to? Engaging with the internet is over half the fun of blogging. Sincerely. Bloggers that cut themselves off from that perplex the hell out of me.

Now…drumroll please…for my seventh most popular post of ALL TIME…all time being TWO WHOLE YEARS…

…from March 2012…

…with 538 total views in the past 15 months…

…which I realize to you fancy high-profile blogger types is like CHUMP CHANGE, don’t be snotty, I’ll smack you with a rolled-up newspaper…

To Dad, on his birthday (since I can’t be there to say it in person)

OK, here’s what’s weird about this one being in the top seven posts of all time. (And, actually, except for one or two, all of the top posts fall under this umbrella of weirdness.)

This post is not popular because of the subject matter or because of the awesome photo of young-Amy and young-Amy’s-Dad with killer 70’s facial hair going on.

No, this post is popular because I get searches EVERY MONTH for people who want to know what to say to THEIR dads on his birthday.

Listen, this utterly kills me. I can’t tell you this. If you copy/paste what I said to my dad? You’re doing it wrong. WRONG.

This cat disapproves of you not speaking from the heart.

This cat disapproves of you not speaking from the heart.

Only you can decide what’s right to say to your dad on his birthday. Only you can make this decision. My relationship with my father is not YOUR relationship with YOUR father. That’s what’s beautiful about us as the human race, my little strawberry shortcakes. We’re all different, and no one has the same relationship with anyone in their lives.

I appreciate the clicks and the reads, sure I do. I like this post, even if Dad never read it because “you tell the internet too much of your personal life on there and you’re going to be murdered, Amy.” But it makes me sad you can’t just be honest with yourself, and your father, and just say to him what’s in your heart to say.

And if you can’t think of anything else? How about telling him you love him? And you appreciate him?

Stay tuned, jellybeans. Much more to come. More sage blogging advice. Or at least blogging advice, I can’t promise sagacity. More perplexing “really? This is the post you guys like most? OK, then.” More bloggiversary week antics. ALL FOR YOU, DAMIEN!


%d bloggers like this: