Wednesday, December 31, 2014

14 of 193 of 1815

There are times to live by numbers, and times to go by feel. If you want to improve at something, you almost always need numbers. Exactly how fast is that 100 m freestyle swim compared to last month? That's the only way to know if you've improved.

Some bloggers go by the numbers, always looking to increase their readership, because, well readership. Or something. Or maybe they have "monetized" their blog and need the click views. I look at my numbers, but since I'm never really quite sure what Blogger is measuring, or even if it's measuring the same thing from period to period, I take it with a big grain of salt.

I have as many readers as I do, and I thank you all for reading. Commenting happens a bit more sporadically, and I really love to get comments. My policy is to moderate all comments, so they don't show up right away, but it should be soon. The only thing I actually delete is spam, even amusing spam.

This year has not been a big blogging year for me, for whatever reason. I still love blogging, and plan to continue, but didn't produce anywhere near as many blogs. There is no convenient way to count words, so I don't really know how the word count compares. I suppose it doesn't really matter. I publish when I feel like publishing and when I have something to say. I'd rather do that than try to do a blog a day, or every other day, filling it with babble if necessary. I don't think that's a good reading experience.

The so called pro bloggers talk about ways to increase your readership, and from what they say, I'm breaking all the rules. (Yay me!) I don't stick to a single topic, I'm not especially funny unless your sense of humour is just as quirky as mine, and while I might talk about boobs periodically, there are no photos of them. I talk about whatever amuses me for whatever reason, and it can be really short, or really long. One of my readers has told me she takes a quick look, and if she sees the "great wall of text" she gets a coffee and sets aside a few minutes to read. Gotta love that!

Much of my writing energy has gone into the books I'm working. The odd thing there is that the more I do, the more I see that there is to do. At this rate that rock is never going to be rolled all the way up the hill. While I figured out who dunnit and how for the first book, that doesn't actually get me that much further ahead. Since I know now how the two main characters end up, I can write for that goal too. But I'm still struggling with the actual plot. I actually went back into some of the scenes that I set aside, and one of them almost works now, to set up some conflict. Not what I originally intended, but it can be modified.

There are no numbers in writing a book. Each writer has to think about what they are trying to do and arrange the words accordingly. Some writers and publishers talk about structure in enough detail to know there has to be a fight on page 33, and a plot twist on page 50, a red herring on page 83, and a fake conclusion on page 102. I'm appalled, of course.

Mostly in life in general there are no numbers. There is no calculation that tells you who to smile at, and how toothy it should be. No numbers go into saying thank you to someone that helped you. Some people are cynical enough to track favors, and they shovel their neighbor's walk one day to be able to asked them to do something later. I sometimes shoveled my neighbor's walk because he's in his late 70's and was at the stage where either he or his son thought they could do it, and were wrong. This year they've hired a service, so I'm not so willing anymore.

One of the things that distresses me about modern life is that much of what we are exposed to is the worst of humanity. I don't need to give any examples. Listening to any newscast will provide all the examples you need, and it doesn't even have to be the Fox network. There are times we've turned the news off because we didn't want to know.

It rolls over into movies and books. They are full of horribleness. Even worse, a movie that graphically portrays actual crimes is rated so children can see them, yet a movie that shows boobs, or uses the F word, or portrays actual adult interactions, is only rated for adults. So to increase the audience, movies are full of shootings, explosions, car chases, and people generally behaving horribly. If that's the examples that people are exposed to, no wonder there is so much horrible in the world.

It appalls me that far more people know how to inflict pain on other people, than know how to give a good back or foot rub. That doesn't mean I expect people to be all sugar sweet all the time, but I do expect people to be polite and considerate to those around them. It used to be that society in general enforced those conventions, but that doesn't seem to happen much. Too bad. Maybe we need a Mrs Grundy revival party.

I'm not a resolutions kind of guy, but that's my resolution for this year. To be kinder to other people, and try to push back on people being rude and horrible to each other. Maybe those people just need a cat to cuddle.


  1. Everyone needs something or someone to cuddle. Cats are pretty awesome to cuddle.

    I love text, enjoy pics, but for some reason, I do not enjoy vlogs of any kind, on any kind of social media. Unless my daughter is in it (preferably bc I'm the one shooting the video) I don't want to see anyone else's video.

    So I'm a busy person, but I enjoy your posts. Precisely bc they break all the rules, content is in some portion or other unpredictable, and sometimes they are entertaining, and sometimes they make me think. I will read it even if I do not agree with it (rare, but it happens).

    So keep on doing what you do, I'll just keep on reading. One day I might actually get inspired to write in my blog again. Or my daughter can ghostwrite it for me. In fact, I but that will score more readership, haha!

    1. Thanks for reading Sophia! I like vlogs but they have to be short. If the material is better presented as text, that's the way I want it. Maybe I should look up more of the "blogger rules" and see which of them I can break in the coming year.

  2. I agree! Keep writing, Keith. I don't always find time to comment but I nearly always read and enjoy it.

    Love your resolution! It's simple but gets to the root of really important stuff. I'm still trying to sort out what I want this year to be about. Of course, if it's anything like 2014, what I "want" and what happens will be entirely different things.

    Hope our paths cross in the "real" world again this year. Spending time with you and Linda here in NS was a high point of 2014 for sure.

    Best wishes for a New Year filled with laughter, love and light!


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