Thursday, August 18, 2011

Taking Care of Business

It had to happen. I have to talk about the wonderful response I have received in the three weeks since I began this blog. The particular program I am using to create my blog is Blogspot from Google, and it gives me the ability to track some amazing statistics. Let me share some of them. As of today, over eight hundred visitors have come to look at this blog. Some of them are probably coming for the umpteenth time (thanks family), and some are coming for the first time and may never return.  I can’t track that. There have been visitors from several countries, listed here from most visitors to least visitors: USA, Canada,  Australia, Russia, Germany, Malaysia, Thailand and Slovakia. Visitors from the United States slightly outnumber visitors from Canada. Most readers are logging in during the evening. That is what the amazing stats page tells me.
Emails, comments and checkmarks in the response options (funny, cool, interesting) tell me so much more. The blog entries most visited are first, “Who is Cindy Anderson Deetz and why is she writing this blog?” followed by Growing old takes a long time”, my birthday entry. The comments and emails I have received have been so supportive, so positive and so helpful. In fact, this entry is my way of responding to this feedback. Some have asked me to specify what it is that I am looking for in feedback. Some have asked me to clarify why I am writing this blog. Several have written to me to ask how to post a comment or how to become a follower. Let me try to respond to these comments here.
“Who is Cindy Anderson Deetz and why is she writing a blog?” was my very first entry. Seems that I answered the first part of the title question very clearly and with a lot of detail (ho-hum-boring) but somehow I skipped over the second part. OK, I am writing this blog because I like to write, I would like to be published and I was told to do so. I attended two publishing conferences (one a weekend-long, another an evening) and both of them had noted authors, editors and publishers teaching us, the ‘wannabe’ writers. They said that it was almost mandatory in today’s writing world to develop a “platform” of readers. In other words, I must get my writing out in the world and see if anyone likes it and what parts they most like. If I can develop a strong and stable platform (or as we ordinary people call it, an audience), it is much more likely that a publisher will be interested in looking at my work.
So I began this blog. Two very observant readers have commented to me that I have not settled into a genre ~ am I going to be writing personal stories, information pieces or comments on current events? Each piece I have written fits into one of those areas, and I am relying a lot on the feedback from my readers to determine which genre I am better at, or which appeals most to you. At this point, the pieces that are more personal (“Who is Cindy Anderson Deetz….” and “It takes a long time to grow young”, written about my birthday) have been the most read and most commented on.
With this blog, I hope to see where my writing can go. I also belong to a weekly writing group, have attended two publishing conferences, attended a workshop on taking memories to memoirs, and I am registered for a weekend writing retreat on memoir-writing. I have always written for my own pleasure (or as a way to vent). I enjoy sharing my writing with others. There are many people that have been told this same thing, I am sure, but I have been told over and over that I should write a book. If I can find an audience and consistently write engaging pieces, I will know that I am heading in the right direction. If I find writing for this blog too difficult or my audience becomes too sparse, I will know that I am not meant to publish magazine articles let alone write a book.
I appreciate ALL feedback. For those that asked, here are more specifics. For those that choose not to comment, relax and read and enjoy the blog. No one need feel they have to comment (even though I love it and am begging for it!) That said  if you want to know what feedback  I am most interested in hearing, read on.  I really want to know how you react to any or every blog entry here. Was it boring, interesting, funny or flat? Is it the worst piece I have written or the best or just mediocre? Am I being too anything ~ too whiney, too sarcastic, too tear-jerking, too exaggerating, too drippy or whatever you can put too in front of? Please let me know what you felt or thought when you read it. Also, please please please let me know what you liked.  My goal is to produce more of what my readers like.

Lastly, because several of you have asked, let’s talk about how to become a follower and how to post comments. I think that the advantage to you of becoming a follower is that you receive an email notification whenever there is a new entry on my blog. For me, the advantage is that the more followers I can show, the more interest I can generate in the writing world.  To become a follower, look at the top right of my blog page. It says “Followers” and has a button to click to “Join This Site’. If you have a google account (gmail) or a yahoo account, complete the rest of the form. If you don’t have either, there is a link right there to get your own free google account. Another option is to look at the very bottom of the blog page, and find the box that is titled “Follow by email”. Fill it out and hit submit and it will pop up another window for you to complete and then you get notification of new entries. Finally, the last issue I have received a lot of questions about is how to post a comment. At the end of each article, click on comments (see the little envelope). Write your comment in the box. Now select your identity: you can remain anonymous, or use your google account or yahoo account name. If you don’t have a google or yahoo account, you will have to be anonymous and if that is what you want, great. Just know that you can add your first name, initials or nickname to your comment IF you want me to know who you are. After you have chosen your identity, hit preview and decide if you like your comment. Then hit submit and retype the nonsense word that appears and then hit “Post Comment”. There, that is all there is to it. Honestly, I follow several blogs and posting comments is easy after the first time or two. One more business thing before I end this. Please pass this website address on to your friends! The more the merrier! Thanks.
So here we are. The business is taken care of. I think. If you have other questions or comments or just want to tell me something, please let me know. To everyone that is reading this, THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart. I really appreciate every one of you taking the time to read my words!


1 comment:

  1. "Boring"...that word would NEVER be used in conjunction with anything you are writing on your blog or anything you have ever had to say to me for that matter. Very interesting with a dash of humor describes what I have been reading. I like the fact that I learn something from each posting, whether it be related to geography or fitness or whatever. Good job Cindy!!

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Alright, let's get this straight. I CRAVE feedback and I am thick-skinned. I thank you in advance for your words!