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

Monday, July 8, 2013

Sally Struthand Helps Us Out

Hi.  I'm Sally Struthand.  You might recognize me from my famous seventies sitcom called, "Racism is Hella Funny!" or from all those starving kid and unemployment commercials in the eighties.  Work's been a little...hard to come by lately, so I'm going to help Writing About Writing and say some things that Chris is a little to embarrassed to say himself.

Do you want to get more entertainment and laughter?  Sure.  We all do!

Chris works hard to keep these articles coming, and he only makes about 25 cents an hour.  Now you can support the heart of independent art and entertainment.  Yes, I know Chris's blog can hardly be called art...but let's talk about that.

Chris has already talked about his plans to get a web designer and possibly even a copy editor here at W.A.W. and bring the place a touch of class.  Nothing says "real blog" like using an appositive phrase comma correctly.  He really does want you to have an experience that involves the right their/there/they're.  Really.

But what you may not know is that Chris is still waiting to see if W.A.W. is going to be a wonderful hobby, a supplement/promotion for his "real" writing endeavors, or something he does as a day job.  He gave himself a couple of years of really trying his hand at the blogging thing to see how it goes.

The jury is still out.

Yeah, we're not sure.  Send in more tea and scones and we'll keep talking it over.
If Chris's numbers can improve in a way that he thinks W.A.W. has a potential future, he wants to be able to bring you more "meaty" articles each week (instead of just one or two), more fiction, and even more than just his short stories.  He hopes to bring you some of his longer works, including two manuscripts that are onto their third draft and might be ready soon to meet the public.

Whether those manuscripts meet the public here or in a bookstore is entirely up to you!

How Chris does on the blog that will determine if he proceeds with his longer fiction through venues like serial posting or possibly PDF file downloads, investigate e-pub and self publishing routes and attempt to offer his works as cheaply as possible, or simply hope that the blog gets him some "street cred" as he pursues traditional routes.  It's also possible that if numbers stay dreadfully modest, or stop improving at a fairly decent clip, that he may decide W.A.W. is never going to be anything more than a charming diversion (until/unless he has a larger audience of interest from those who like his fiction), and will go down to something more like a few meaty articles a month instead of pouring so much effort into blogging.  Right now blogging is really taking a lot of time and energy away from his fiction.

How can you help?
Not that Chris could blame you for spending
that money on actual coffee.

1- For less than the price of a cup of coffee, you can ensure W.A.W.'s survival, and possibly growth- Do you like getting paid more than twenty-five cents an hour?  Sure. We all do.

You don't have to give the price of a cup of coffee each day either.  Just like the price of a cup of coffee "in to-to" to quote Mr. Furious.  Perhaps you could donate the price of a cup of coffee each month if you're feeling crazy generous or want to be counted among the ranks of my patron/muses (who are straight up amazaballs awesome).  Chris makes less than $2/day here at W.A.W., so even small donations make a big difference.

The Paypal button is easy to find on the left side of the screen.  Literally nothing will ensure W.A.W.'s survival more than a few dollars.  Hey, you have to spend ten bucks to get two hours of entertainment at a movie whether you like it or not, so a couple of dollars, only if you're up to it, after ten, twenty, perhaps dozens of hours of entertainment is a pretty good deal.

And for those who DO donate (depending on the denomination) I regularly ask questions about the direction people would like to see W.A.W. go, give tie breaking votes in polls, and even write these folks into stories (usually as people who survive the zombie apocalypse or something).

There may even be swag at some point.

If you don't have money to spare, there are still lots of ways to help Writing About Writing make survive, and even thrive.

2- +1 this blog (the blog itself)-  Hit the "home" button up in the top left corner.  (It may look like nothing changed but now you're at the "blog" page instead of just this article's page.)  Hit +1 on Google.  Like it on Stumbleupon.  Give it a thumb up on Facebook.  If you do these things for THE BLOG ITSELF instead of just an article you help tremendously when it comes to blog listings, search engines, and general holistic stuff.

3-Turn Off Your Ad Blocker For the Sites You Like*-  Do you like free entertainment?  Sure.  We all do.

This doesn't just go for Writing About Writing, but any online sites you wish to support.  Everyone likes to complain about how mainstream venues don't take chances and they are so overbearing about forcing people to view ads.

But really mainstream sites are just running a "red queen race" against ad-blocking technology and no one without those resources (or gobs of fame) can make much money at all unless you turn that crap off.   Literally ad-block is killing what is awesome about the internet--especially when it comes to arts and entertainment.

A penny per 100 views are so can add up quickly, but those views only "count" if the viewer doesn't have an ad-blocker running.

Consumers don't realize how ad blockers kill independent efforts, and how impossible it is for artists to navigate a world where consumers not only demand free entertainment, but don't want to even be inconvenienced by ads either.  But you can help the sites you love by understanding this.  If you like something, the best way to keep seeing it is to help it make money.  You don't have to navigate the web without an ad blocker--just turn it off for those sites you wish to support.
Artists aren't actually particularly greedy in most cases.
(Certainly not compared to publishers or banks or something.)
But nothing kills that abundant creative flow
 like needing a day job to eat and cover the rent.

*Chris asked me to make it clear that he is not asking for blind clicks on his ad links.  That actually doesn't help him.  It can mess up his numbers and lead to problems with Adsense.  He just asks that you turn off the ad-blockers.  (And maybe then you see something you really are interested in.)

4- Subscribe- From publishers to advertisers, people who are looking at W.A.W. to decide whether they might take a chance on it will use certain bellwethers to decide.  Things like the subscribers, subscribers to feedproxy, and those who subscribe to it's various social media endeavors.

You don't even have to look at the subscription once you've got it.  You can just sign up and set it to ignore.  Being a subscriber at all is the supportive part.  If that's how you roll.

You cross-posted your damned blog again????
Get a rope.
5- Help W.A.W. Spread by Sharing Content- Social media proliferation is the hardest part about creating an online presence.  There's only so much you can do yourself before all your friends come to hate you and twitch at the sight of your avatar.  Helping a good article get to a few more eyeballs is one of the most supportive things you can do.  If you like something, share it.  And if you like a site or want to support an artist, be a little more liberal about what you share.

Help the things you love find new fans in YOUR friends.

It's easy.  It's free.  And it helps more than you can imagine.  So if you see an article you like--or just think it would resonate with a few friends, share that bad boy.

Chris has had a single person share an article that then got ten times the normal traffic because one of those people put it on twitter and then it bounced around.  One of my best performing articles of this year happened simply because Amanda Paterson pinned an image from one of my Mailbox articles.

It really makes a difference.

6- Click Buttons Do you like to click buttons?  Sure.  We all do.  I'll be honest with you.  Chris has no idea how search algorithms work, and I'm not much better.  He has no idea how Google decides where to put a page.  He has no idea how many people see an article on Facebook if it gets three likes vs. four.  But what he does know is that that stuff helps.  It makes articles get listed higher in search engines and helps random people find them.  Stumbleupon Likes....Google +1's....Facebook Likes....they all help.

And if you call now, and you can get your degree in gun repair right over the phone.


  1. Only reason I have Ad blocker on is because between February 2011 and June 2011, I ended up with not one, not two, but THREE of those malwares that hold your computer hostage. Plus other assorted malware (Google Redirect Virus, and some thing that plays random goofy sound files, a few others) because of people using ads on legitimate sites to spread their malware and viruses.

    The first two times I had to take the computer to get it fixed, which was expensive. The third time, Malwarebytes thankfully caught it.

    I don't have a lot of income to spare getting that shit out of my system, unfortunately, so I block ads to keep it safe. Anti-virus and anti-malware don't always catch things :(

    I went ahead an unblocked ads here, though. I think your blog is safe.

    1. Yikes. That really, really sucks. I hope Blogger cracks right down on that sort of thing and bans accounts and IP's. Sheesh.

      See, that's why we can't have nice things!

    2. IKR? Hell, once it was on DeviantArt, I was trying to find some Dwarf Fortress fan art for a project and found a virus instead. Lots of places had that problem.