My drug of choice is writing––writing, art, reading, inspiration, books, creativity, process, craft, blogging, grammar, linguistics, and did I mention writing?

Sunday, August 19, 2012

10,000 Thank you. Yes YOU!!!

My dearest peeps,

I honestly didn't think I'd be writing this entry until Thursday or Friday.  I thought I had more time.  But then 20 Ways To Sabotage Yourself As a Writer started getting hits.  (~in my best Neo voice~ "Lots of hits.")  Last night, things got a little crazy.  Maybe not jello-shots and "I've-never-been-with-another-woman-before" crazy but definitely more interesting than they've ever been around here.  I woke up (for some damnable reason) at 7:30 this morning looking at total pageviews that were over double what I'd ever gotten before.  In just the hour from 6-7, I had more hits than my best days a month ago.

12 hours from posting this and this number is 1,105.
That traffic is coming in from Stumbleupon.  As you can see from this screenshot, a few people have given it the thumbs up as they stumble their interests with A.D.D. alacrity.  (It's an absolutely kick ass site.  You should go sign up for it if you haven't already. Seriously.  It's the best thing to happen to the web since browsers.)  I was excited a couple of days ago when it crept up towards a hundred.  Last night it was around 130.  Then...something happened.  I don't know what. And now it's in a bit of a feedback loop.  Hits are pouring in and the number you see here is going up by 40-50 every hour.  I don't know how long it'll last or how many hits I'll have when it achieves an equilibrium, but it's exciting.

This journal is going to reach 10,000 page views in the next couple of hours.  Unless the traffic that the post in question is generating simply stops suddenly, which I doubt, I'm going to click over 10k around the time I start getting hungry for lunch.  I could quibble over some of those hits being me back before I knew not to track my own page views, but as a ten-digit-primate, I'm going to get much more excited about random bellwethers in base ten than something weird like 10,117.

And here's the important part: I couldn't have done it without you.

I'm not going to put this post on Stumbleupon, (though I suppose someone else might).  Anyone here would be here because they're actually reading my blog...at least a little.  It's you guys I want to thank.

I know...  I know...  The most exciting thing for most of you in my hitting 10k views is that I'll stop announcing every thousand hits like it's some huge ass deal, and you won't have to put up with another bit of sentimental crap like this until I'm at 100k.

But I really want you all to know how much you mean to me.

A few months ago, I graduated from San Francisco State University.  That is to say that I was mailed a piece of paper.  They asked me to come to some honors dinner ceremony, but I would have had to wear my cap and gown, and they didn't have bacon, so naturally I stayed home and read The Hunger Games instead.

And despite doing my best to give attention to my professors that could be most accurately expressed with a negative number, I seemed unable to leave the institution without absorbing a few bits of information that all seemed to point in one direction.  Everything in the publishing industry is changing, and writers need to change with it.  It's tough to grow up thinking the path is "Short stories---->Cover Letter---->Manuscript---->Agent---->Publisher---->Book Deal" and just about the time you're getting serious about being able to write someone comes along and says that's not really the way anymore--that doesn't work as well as it used to, and there are other ways now.  But I couldn't get past the fact that so many people who didn't have their head locked in some smell-of-books sentimentality were saying the EXACT same thing.

So I listened.

I set up a blog.  My short fiction is going up here.  Everything is free to read.  And when I start to get manuscripts cleaned up and professionally edited I will see what my options are for publication, but if I do go the self publishing route, I'll make them as cheap as I'm able to.

Since I was ten years old, all I ever wanted to do was write for a living.  That's all I ever wanted to do.  And even though with all this sound and fury my estimated earnings are only $ .27 for the day, that's up hundreds...even thousands of percent from the penny I would make every two or three days in the past.

This traffic coming in is fantastic and I'm really excited about it, but it's you guys that have taken my breath away.  There were days when I started where I had ten hits.  And I know some of you just clicked on links because we were friends and you wanted to be supportive.  And you can't ever know how much that meant to me.  I watched posts double in traffic because one of you shared it with your friends, and I just about wanted to cry.  And I wanted to hug every damned one of you for not sending me a "Jesus FUCK, Chris!  Enough with the damned self-pimp spam!" message.  And I know a few of you diligently clicked on a few of your favorite articles for Stumbleupon pretty much only because I asked you to.  And to whomever figured out how to send an anonymous Paypal donation, that single dollar brightened a dark week, and kept me pounding keys like John Fucking Grisham for days.

You were all great friends to me through the start of this chapter.  You were the kind of friends I'm honored and proud to call my peeps.

The fact that I'm standing here now watching a positive feedback loop is because of all of you.  These hits might be coming in from all over the world (and they are according to Analytics), but you guys brought me here. The fact that I didn't give up months ago is because of all your support (and possibly your angelic restraint in not unfriending me).  The fact that I saw growth enough to wonder if I shouldn't be figuring out new ways to get out there, and even decided to sign up for Stumbleupon in the first place is because of you.  Whether the blog will go back to modest numbers or takes off into the stratosphere, I can't say.  But wherever it's going, I owe it all to you, my peeps.

Thank you,

Chris Brecheen

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