"What do you plan to do with your one, wild, precious life?" -Mary Oliver

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Buzz

I noticed about two weeks ago that I'd passed the hundred mark (in posts, not followers!). I hadn't really been keeping track or thought about it before, but it suddenly hit me. That's a lot of writing. It gave me pause. And then I had this thought....wouldn't it be cool if my number of followers someday surpassed my number of posts? It seems unlikely, unless my fortune soars like the Challenger, and I land an agent. That usually stirs up some interest.

Sometimes in the dead of night I think it's amazing that I have any followers at all. You know . . . when all those nasty little doubts come scratching at the windowpane like a night bird attack and you know your writing sucks and your life sucks and your chance of ever getting an agent who thinks they can sell your novel is as remote as getting a ride on the space shuttle.

Have any of you compared your number of posts to the number of followers your blog has? Have you ever joined a blog just to enter a contest and then gone back and deleted yourself? To me that seems a little dishonest but is it an acceptable thing to do? What do you think of contests that are geared to increase the number of followers? You know the routine: one point for following, one point for posting a link, one for a tweet, and so on. Is this the best way to generate buzz? I'm not saying it is or isn't, I'm just curious. Some people enjoy a stupendous following and it always amazes me how they keep up.

What I guess I'm trying to say is I think I need a blog holiday. Not only do I have to do more agent research to find the perfect one, I have to dig my asparagus bed and wash my windows and my mother's windows and plant lettuce and radishes and spinach. I have to scope out the pond and look for frogs and walk the lane and visit a tree.

I have to write.

So if I'm a little absent for a while please know I'm not really gone. Nor am I only trying to let my # of followers tag my # of posts! (Besides, that would be a little self-defeating. Who wants to join a dormant blog?) I have gained quite a few followers in the last few weeks and I am grateful beyond measure and constantly amazed by your generosity and the wisdom and encouragement of all who comment here. This thing we're doing is addictive (something to do with the instant feedback I reckon) so while we may take a vacation, we're never really gone.

One more thing before I sign off tonight, I would like to give Poets & Writers a shout-out. If you're a writer, you should be reading Poets and Writers. There is some great content from their May/June issue (the writing contests issue) currently online, including the Top Ten Topics For Writers.

Onwards and upwards. Bring on the night sweats.

19 comments:

Lynn said...

I haven't experience, yet, the contest trick, but will keep it in mind. :) To me, the intention of blogging is to write, and gain information and inspiration. But there comes a time when you have to USE the tools gained, and write! Best wishes with your agent research and queries.

Yvonne Osborne said...

Lynn,
Thank you for reiterating what I suspect I knew! That is why I started blogging in the first place, to get some exposure and gain info. and inspiration. You're exactly right. Thank you again for commenting!

Jemi Fraser said...

I enjoy blogging, but it is very time consuming. I mostly blog on weeknights when I'm too wiped out by day job and life to focus on my ms anyway. I think everyone has to find their own rhythm. There's nothing wrong with taking a break, changing your pattern... - we all need to do what works for us. Good luck!

foldingfields said...

lots of stuff to comment on...I don't "join" sites for contests. I join because I connect with the writing and/or writer.
However, it is great to have some followers...and comments. It sort of validates putting your writing out there. whatever works?
I am in a similar mode to you...there's lots of living to do, busy time of year, gotsta write, yup. (you could always just stick with your friday post, since you're so good at them). Have fun in the green world!

järnebrand said...

Your post made me smile... Now go hug a tree and tell the frogs in the pond I said "hi"... :)
Hugs/ Jo.

Liza said...

You're ahead of me. I've only got 68 follower though I have written over 300 posts. Maybe it's because my writing isn't good enough...which I hope is not the case. But regardless, I've made a decision to see if I can get my followers organically...I mean, for now, without the bells and whistles of contests. In my mind, it takes nothing to click on a few buttons to become a follower...but how many of them actually read? I want the ones who follow because they like what they feel when they read me. Perhaps that's being stubborn...but so be it. Enjoy your gardening. I'll be reading you when you return.

Travener said...

I seem to be stuck at around 40 followers. Haven't been posting as much lately cuz I've got little to say.

catwoods said...

Yvonne,

Take care. A break is always acceptable and when you return, we will be waiting.

As to followers, I love comments more than the number of people who subscribe to my blog. For me, blogging is about the connection, not the numbers. This attitude won't win the interest of agents or editors, but it keeps things real and focused.

Enjoy your frogs~

Mayowa said...

Take a load off maam, we'll be here when you get back

Save us some asparagus.

Wine and Words said...

To me, blogging is not a contest. She with the most posts may have watery content. He with the most followers may find them all to be fair-weather. I am happy with my few of each, for they are truly special...well the followers anyway :) Have a nice holiday.

Suzanne Casamento said...

I am now following your blog. Not for a contest and not to be deleted later. I'm following it because I like how you write and you do not suck and your writing doesn't suck and you will get an agent and you will publish your work.

Meanwhile, I like that you will plant lettuce, radishes and spinach. I'll follow a gardener anywhere.

Yvonne Osborne said...

Jemi,
Thanks for your wise words. Of course, you're right.

Sarah,
I feel the same way. Thanks for the kinds words. I do enjoy the Friday thing.

Jo,
Thanks! The pond is tomorrow. Maybe I'll take some pics!!

Liza,
Wow! That is a lot of posts. I like that....getting followers organically. A small percentage of people actually comment. I started tracking stats, and comments is only like 10-15 pct of page loads. That's just the way it is. Thanks for your kind words.

Trav,
When you do post I always read it. Always. Maybe because you don't post every day. Maybe because you have a different approach and tone. Maybe just because I like you. Thanks for being here!

Cat,
Thank you. See what I mean by words of wisdom? They're just pouring in. I agree about the connection vs. numbers game. Keeping it real. That's what I want. I hope to see some frogs tomorrow.

Yvonne Osborne said...

Mayowa,
Thank you so much!! Asparagus harvest will begin next year!

W&W
Thank you. It's funny how I feel a connection to every follower. Even those who don't comment. Every time I press "publish" I do it with all of you in mind. Thanks.

Suzanne,
OMG! I have a big smile on my face. Thank you so much. What a lovely thing to say. I feel like the little engine who could!!

I planted radishes and lettuce and argula today and harvested enough rhubarb for two pies. Thanks again, Suzanne. You've made my night!

Suzanne Casamento said...

Hey Yvonne! I used your question, "Which are cooler, tattoos or scars?" today. Great question. Thanks for the inspiration! Come check out the answers. : )

http://suzannecasament.blogspot.com

Wendy aka Quillfeather. said...

A break away, is a 'must' to recharge the batteries. In my opinion.

Best of luck with your queries.

PS. I've left you a little something on my blog :)

Yvonne Osborne said...

Wendy,
Thanks a bunch. And thanks for the AWESOME award.

Here's wishing us both luck!

cafelopez said...

I started our rifling through blogs, trying to remember all the 'increase your numbers' tips, and I soon came across quality stuff (not unlike your own). Now I'm not so much addicted to the numbers game as I am curious to find what new nugget of creative gold I'll find next. Don't be gone to long...I only just discovered you.

Yvonne Osborne said...

Cafe Lopez,
Hello! It's always so nice to meet a new blogger, and it is so nice of you to say that. Thanks! I won't be gone long. I promise.

kanishk said...

there comes a time when you have to USE the tools gained, and write! Best wishes with your agent research and queries.
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