A month ago, I called to see how my "stats" were looking on my blog at My Kawartha.com. I had stopped promoting my blog posts via Facebook and I was curious to see if it had made an impact. I expected a little bit of a decline but I aghast to find my posts were getting approximately zero to five "views".
Yikes! This was a "call to action" moment if ever I saw one.
I already had a strategy in mind before I discovered the need to set it into motion. I was uncomfortable promoting my writing on my personal Facebook page so I thought if I deemed it necessary to support my writing habit by promoting what I write, I would set up a Facebook page for that specific purpose.
And that is exactly what I did:
I invited all my friends to "Like" my page and to my delight a few "Friends of Friends" joined in as well. Even though I can't see how my stats are doing on my actual blog, I can follow the stats that Facebook provides and I was pretty sure there should be a noticeable difference.
I checked in yesterday, to see how this affected last month's stats. The increase was a substantial one. I guess there is a reason there is a "sales and promotion" department within companies. Products and services don't sell themselves. They need to be highlighted and promoted.
Statistics provide a measurable tool to enable a person to see what works and what doesn't. Apparently, I need to promote myself.
This goes against everything I want to be and who I thought I was. I enjoy the quiet little life I lead. Each time I think of the audience I am gaining a little bit of fear is infused into my writing. "What would my aunt think of this?" "Would my children authorize this piece of writing?" "What would my sister's friends think if I published this?" The list of questions feels endless.
Perhaps this is the reason I write about our cats as much as I do. Our cat's lives can be scrutinized, I can write anything I want about them and they don't feel exposed and exploited. I can be free with my thoughts and words.
My reading audience is expanding and it is a little bit frightening.
"This" space here is my safer place to write. But I still have so many censors going off in my mind. I don't want to violate anyone's privacy or offend or worry anyone.
I have a friend who keeps giving me journals. I think she realizes I need to write in private and is quietly encouraging me to find a safe place to write. A place where I can write without worrying about an audience. I believe she is right.
As much as I do need an "audience", if I'm going to continue down this writing out loud and in public gig, I still need a place to write without thinking. A place to let my fingers fly and write out loud to myself. I often don't know what I am thinking until I write it down. The connection between my brain and fingertips is an amazing one. Sometimes my fingers know what my head hasn't figured out yet.
I know I have to write about what is close to my heart, what I know about and what I feel strongly about. So much of "all of the above" is intertwined with people who are close to my heart and these are not my stories to tell. Yet this is where the best of my writing comes from - a place of caring and concern.
It is no wonder when people ask me if I have any future writing project in mind, my answer is "I may write about our original Little Black Kitty". That sounds like a very good place to start.