How’s that for hyperbole? If you’ve been here a while, you’re probably guessing that by great I mean middling and by experiment I mean absolutely nothing scientific. Still, looking at the year’s blogtivities–what you liked*, what you liked less–could help us all achieve blog bliss in 2019. It could happen. But, first, some preliminary stats, because numbers are fun so long as WordPress is doing the crunching.
I published a perfectly round 100 posts in 2018 (not counting this one) to receive 9,736 views from 5,434 visitors. Thank you for being here; without you, I’m a complete narcissist. Likes: 2,515, and my favorite thing in the world: Comments: 924. (Yep, they still count if I’m the one commenting.)
Your Favorite Posts from 2018 (in descending order, based on views)
- My interview with FURNISHING ETERNITY author David Giffels was a WordPress Discover feature, so there’s that. Plus, the author has so many useful things to say about writing memoir, writing about place, about grief, about making your own casket (true story)…
- “Sleeping Naked”: the final snippet (catchy title, right?) is the last part of a story of mine that appeared in Carve magazine many moons ago.
- My interview with author Amy Jo Burns was a joy to conduct, and I’m glad her take on her memoir, Cinderland, struck a chord; watch out for her first novel, Shiner, coming soon.
- In praise of twice-tolling timepieces and other miracles of invention: reading A GENTLEMAN IN MOSCOW is a gush-fest of a post, where I laud Amor Towles for his brilliant bits of imagery, description, and humor in one of the best books I read all year.
- Rust Belt Girl guest: Maresa Whitehead with “Layers” features a place poem set in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, by one of the coolest Rust Belt poets I know.
Your Least Favorite Post from 2018
The Sunshine Blogger Award: Woot (if tardy)! featured my take on 11 probing questions and my nominations of 11 blogs that are totally worth your time. (Bad post timing? Too much in your reading queue? Are we tired of the award posts? What do you think?)
OK, I’m no statistician, but I’m seeing a trend: gimme more writerly guests, you say. I’m so glad you asked! Coming up in early 2019, I will be featuring an interview with Ohio’s Poet Laureate and hopefully one with a small press publisher. Inquiring minds and all…
So, next up on the old arcade Love Meter: Uncontrollable! I can’t picture just what an uncontrollable blog looks like, but you can help me get there. The American Rust Belt is a big place with a lot of worthy lit–stories real and imagined, memoir, poetry and more. Know a Rust Belt writer with a story to tell? Let me know in the comments.
Other bloggish lessons learned in 2018
Share the work of others and you will be recognized (see above). It’s not just about garnering views, comments, and followers–the stuff of stats. It’s about being a good citizen in this writing life, wherever and whatever you write. I’ll never forget the blogger who responded to one of my very first blog posts by saying something along the lines of “blogging isn’t just writing, it’s communicating.” This is two-way street stuff. This is our blog.
Because I truly believe that, I spend a lot of time out on the WordPress Reader scoping out new blogs; I drop comments; and I share what I love. Case in point: WordPress Discover shared their 2018 roundup: A Year of Great Writing: The Most-Read Editors’ Picks of 2018, which is a great list btw, and in conclusion the editors asked for our picks. I didn’t have to think twice before hyping in the comments Ella Ames’ blog Not Enough Middle Fingers (and not just for the name). I was thrilled to maybe send a few bloggers Ella’s way for funny, poignant, deep, and daring writing plus her homegrown illustrations. Know what happened next? My comment drew visitors–and even a few new followers–to my site. (Welcome!) So, let’s all spread the blog love in 2019.
Will next year be the year my writing hits Uncontrollable on the Love Meter? I don’t know. But, together, we can make connections that count for a lot.
All the best to you and yours for a safe, happy, and healthy New Year!
*Thanks to K.M. Allan and her 2018 Blog Roundup for this post idea