September 2015


Fall trees and sky

I about fell out of my chair.  Good thing my tumble was cushioned by a wide swath of bare linoleum, or I might have hurt myself.

Really.  Last time I checked my follower stats – which I do about every time Hailey’s Comet appears – I had a couple hundred followers.  As in, bigger than a bread box but not by much.

Well, another comet just passed, so I checked the stats and found I’m well into 4 digits. And counting.  Hence the chair-falling thing.

What did I do to increase my followers?   Did I buy or import any lists?  Offer new subscribers some smoke and mirrors, a fancy floor show or round-trip tickets to Hawaii?  Did I bribe friends, relatives, Romans or fellow country men to sign up?

Naw.

Truthfully, I didn’t “do” anything.  I just tried to post content that might be interesting, useful, helpful, entertaining, or otherwise brilliant. So no one’s more surprised at the follower “bump” than I am.

My point: If I can do it, so can you.  Here a few suggestions for building your blog:

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Fall sky off Riverside Bridge

“Good writing is supposed to evoke sensation in the reader, not the fact that it’s raining, but the feeling of being rained upon.”

– E.L. Doctorow

Writers are a rare breed.  As I’ve said before, a real writer is more of a writing “addict” than a hobbyist.  He or she writes because s/he can’t not write.  A real writer feels compelled to write, is bursting with ideas, stories, plots, metaphors, characters, a clever turn of the phrase.  One way to spot an amateur is someone who, when asked why they write, responds with something like, “Because I want to be famous” “I’m expressing myself;” or the omnipresent, “I have something to say.”  When you hear that, you’re not hearing from a real writer, but a writer wannabee.  As master editor Sol Stein explains:

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