Saturday, December 8, 2012

Same Blog Time, Same Blog Channel

I hope you will permit me a moment of self-indulgence. This is my 100th post.


Cue the celebration!

100 posts . . . and, judging by the feed counter at the bottom of the page, I must be doing something right. This blog has grown in terms of page views, with last month racking up the most views so far.

So, what do I attribute to the success of The Semi-Great Gildersleeve?  Two things: the grace of God and hard work.

Grace Under Fire

I make no apologies about it, no equivocating, no qualifications. I believe in God. I am a Christian and I attend a Christian church. This belief is part of who I am. If that offends some (as it did an acquaintance earlier this year), too bad. Deal with it.

In an age when Muslims, Jews, atheists, and others rightly and openly celebrate who they are and deplore the unthinking prejudice thrown against them, Christians should not have to apologize for who they are and what they believe, either. 

Religion has become a hot-button topic in this politically charged year, with a lot of misrepresentations and stereotypes proliferating. Now, as we move into the holidays, a lot of posts on Facebook decry the so-called war on religion and bemoan how we are supposed to greet each other without offending those of different faiths.

To my thinking, those arguments obscure the meaning of faith.  

It is, simply, my belief in God which has led me to do what I do: to view writing as a calling and to rejoice in the fact that this activity, which is so pleasurable and meaningful to me, has value to others. Students shape their own worlds through writing, and writers of both fiction and non-fiction profoundly shape the worlds of their audience.

This ability to affect others in a positive way is surely a gift from God.

Same Bat Time, Same Bat Channel

One thing I’ve learned while writing this blog is that nothing, not even a calling, happens by itself. Dreams require effort and education to bring them into the world.

Writers write, and writing involves discipline. I’m proud of the fact that I’ve published at least one post every week since starting the blog in March 2011. With few exceptions, each post has been published on Friday or Saturday morning.

Anyone who follows comics or watches TV knows the value of publishing a new issue or broadcasting a new episode at the same time on a regular basis. Your audience knows what to expect of you and when to expect it.

Education is also part of the hard work. Let’s face it: learning anything is hard. However, I’ve been blessed to learn from others who are doing what I’m doing. I’ve learned from their mistakes as well as their successes.

And education never ends. As our world changes, more and more tools become available to writers to get their work out there. Before starting this blog, I had never heard of SEO.

The Future’s so Bright . . .

There is still a lot to learn. The ads you see on your screen are supposed to generate revenue (a writer wanting to earn money from his words—whodathunkit?), but, so far, they haven’t. Very few readers, it seems, care to linger on the ads, much less click on them. 

I understand—I’ve never been fond of ads, either. But that’s how blogs make money, and learning to use them is part of this whole education thing we talked about.

Likewise, few posts have attracted comments. I’m still not sure why, as I’ve tried to model this site after the blogs of better established writers in terms of engaging readers. Perhaps it’s the fact that those writers are better established that leads to others wanting to leave comments. Or perhaps my audience is like the students who sit in the middle of the class, quietly absorbing lessons and acing the exams.

But comments or no, money or no, I couldn’t be happier with the success of The Semi-Great Gildersleeve. I’m grateful to all of you who have stopped by and continue to stop by. I hope you’ve gotten as much out of reading this blog as I’ve gotten out of writing it.

So, what does the future hold?

I certainly haven’t exhausted all I have to say about “writing, super-heroes, and this ‘n’ that,” and as I continue to learn more about writing and publishing books, I’ll share whatever bits of wisdom I glean.

However, I may scale back my posting just a tad, as I focus on a new blog I’m setting up. This blog will focus exclusively on my forthcoming novel, The Power Club  ; therein, you can read character sketches, insights into the writing of the book, and the odd story or two. When that blog is ready to launch, I’ll announce it here. Stay tuned  . . .

100 posts is only the beginning. As one of my ministers is fond of saying, “Straight ahead!”

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