“Writing is a socially accepted form of schizophrenia.” ~ E.L. Doctorow
Yesterday was a milestone of sorts at www.stevenwwatkins.com
As my primary blog established back in February of this year the total hits surpassed 5,000 with readers in 39 countries across the world.
Honestly, it’s a little embarrassing to put that number out there as a milestone. I read of bloggers who get 10’s of thousands of visits a month. I long to know your secret. Oh, how I long to be Freshly Pressed at www.wordpress.com. Maybe one day…
Five thousand is a small number for the all-star bloggers across www.wordpress.com but nevertheless I counted it as a personal achievement.
So much so that I launched a second blog allowing more specific focus on another
project adventure in which I’m currently engaged … and you can view the new blog here at http://wp.me/P2tJ80-2
www.stevenwwatkins has evolved into a simple, relatively unfocused blog that allows me to share opinions and ideas and thoughts about any number of topics on any given day.
It got me thinking on a basic level about the reasons why blogging is an important piece of my life’s puzzle and a cornerstone of my life every day.
So without paper handy, a used napkin worked just fine, and I jotted down the Top 10 Reasons I Blog. Oftentimes asking certain questions of myself helps me better understand who I am … and I suppose that notion’s at the heart of why I’m a blogger.
10 Reasons I Blog:
1. TIME: There’s no schedule to my sleep pattern. Consistently I go to bed around 8:30 p.m., watch a little “Everybody Loves Raymond,” and then fall off. But waking is a different story. It may be 2 a.m. It may be 6 a.m. There’s only so much CMT, HGTV and Discovery Channel a guy can watch. Because my best thinking comes early in the morning, it’s a good time to think and write and simply fill the void of time.
2. EGO: If you’re a reader, I’ll admit this up front. I have an ego. If you’re a blogger, please go ahead and acknowledge you have an ego too. YOU KNOW YOU DO!!! It’s a thrill to post your work and put it out there for the world to see. www.wordpress.com puts us out there, literally all over the world. When I go to my stats page and see that someone in Gibraltar or Tunisia or Morocco has read my blog, well, it’s the cheapest, most natural and legal high I can get.
3. TRANSPARENCY: It’s something that doesn’t come naturally to us all. Personally, I’m transparent to a fault. (I just told you I have an ego, right?) And the blogosphere is a great place to be transparent regardless of your extraverted or introverted personality. Saying certain things on a keyboard is oftentimes easier than saying them in a more personal or intimate situation.
4. RELATIONSHIPS: I’m moving upwards to a hundred followers now and I follow almost equally as many. Blogging has been a great tool to help develop relationships here at home and across the world. I once thought the art of writing was a dying art, and perhaps it is to some degree, but there are some absolutely brilliant and wonderful writers and thinkers out there in the B-Sphere. God designed us for relationships, and I’ve encountered some good ones at WordPress.
5. I’M OPINIONATED: …interestingly about some of the most controversial topics. I love writing about religion and politics. Those topics have probably generated the highest number of hits on my blog. When you have a certain type personality and that personality is highly opinionated, you really need somewhere to put it out there. The B-Sphere is a great place to do just that.
6. TO MAKE YOU THINK: There’s something about causing people to stop and think. If you’ve had a profound experience with something such as death, divorce, charity or loss or success of any kind, there’s a great reward in sharing that with others, so at some point they may stop for a brief moment and consider a change of heart in their thinking. For me, the highest reward is a blog comment that tells me my post caused them to do just that, and take action to do something differently and work to be better.
7. TO HONE MY WRITING SKILLS: That’s a given, right. On average, I blog 4-5 times weekly. I’m not caught up in the notion as some are, that I have something important to say every day. Blogging is great practice for other means of writing or similar communication. Simply said, blogging makes me a better writer.
8. TESTING AND MEASURING: Some of my posts are designed as tests. When I have an idea for a significant writing project, I’ll often test the notion in the B-Sphere. It’s a cheap method for testing, there’s feedback at your fingertips and it’s a great way to see that even what you view as a brilliant idea – well it can fall flat on its face in the marketplace.
9. BOOK PROMOTION AND IDEA GATHERING: I’m now about 5 months into writing my first book manuscript and many of my posts tease concepts of the book so I can get a reaction. For most of you this is a no-brainer, but a blog is essential to your social media platform in promoting and selling books.
10. TO SIMPLY LEARN: While I follow a hundred or so bloggers, there are a handful I always read. With the right approach everyone in the blogging world makes everyone else better at what they do. It’s win-win.