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

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

"Comforting" the Blog

Yesterday, I went to visit Blog; I had put it off long enough.

When Blog first came to me with its insane idea for having an entire month of nothing but 1000+ days, I thought it was out of its mind. Blog is always trying to hit some crazy goal with page views or set some new record that we've never hit before. So the crazy aspirations were nothing new, but this time it was really ambitious and unrealistic.

Yet, against everything I thought I understood about my current levels of traffic, and despite every month prior (that wasn't riding the wave of a viral article), somehow, it just kept happening. We just kept doing it. And some days it was only by 1007 or 1004, but we still made it. And Blog just kept saying that we were going to get a whole month of nothing but 1000+ and that we had never done that before.

I'll admit, by the 20th I had gotten a little swept up in Blog's enthusiasm. I started posting pictures to Facebook of our successes each day. People began to talk about the month of 1000+ as something that had already happened. Blog began to contemplate the next big goal.

But then it happened...

Fifty-two of you out there like seeing Blog cry, don't you?

Since then, I hadn't actually checked in on Blog. The convention was a blur, and I had been pretty busy, but last night I finally had a moment. I stood outside Blog's door and took a deep, deep breath.

I tapped at the door before poking my head in. "Hey buddy, you okay?"

"Yo, C-DAWG! Good of you to stop by!  I'm awe to the sizzum." Blog said. "Come on in! I was just adding up these numbers. Did you know that we will probably go over 35,000 hits this month. That's a non-Creepy Guy record!"

"Wh-  You're okay?" I asked. "You're not in here listening to emo music and reading Emily Dickinson? Didn't you see our numbers on Sunday?"

"Yeah!" Blog said. "They were fan-damn-dizzle-lizzle-astic-tastic, and not made out of plastic.

"What?" I asked, shaking my head. "What does that even mean?"

"Man, half your friends were at conventions this weekend and were trying to save the universe from the orc's paradox bomb, it was a Sunday which is always slow, and there was that huge social media storm about misogyny man, and you couldn't get content to upload because of the hotel's wifi, but we still got 950 hits.

"But... But we didn't make it," I said. "Four ninety eight. We dropped the ball on the 25th day by fifty two people."

Blog's smile didn't even slip. "Twenty-four days in a row without a viral article in play.  BOO YAH! That's a record. That's over ten days longer than our last unbroken chain of 1000+ days. BOO YAH! We used to miss a thousand by hundreds, now we miss it by a few dozen. BOO YAH! And we're about to have our best month since last August when you were still coming down from Creepy Guy. Double BOO to the YA YA SISTERHOOD!!"

"What does that even mean?" I asked.

"How is all of that not absolutely totes awesome–like totally dude-a-cle to the max with spoon gags."

"I just really wanted to hit it. You were so excited.  You got me excited." I said.  "Oh, and don't try to do 80s valley speak; you're not very good at it."

"If there weren't a possibility of failure, it wouldn't be interesting when we succeed. I can't say BOO YAH!!! because the sun came up.  Well, I could, but everyone would find me outrageously insufferable."

"Yeah...we wouldn't want that."

"Exactamundo, Chrisalicious."

I sighed.  "The worst thing is that we could have made it.  If I had posted yesterday's article on Sunday we would have gotten the hits. It's gotten like five hundred views already."

"If you had posted it then, it would have been most heinous. You knew it was coming across too flip and making light of a mass murder. You gotta get that shit right, dude. You needed that time to work on it."

"But I–"

"Chris," Blog said, looking right at me, "if I didn't care about what you post every bit as much as how well it does, we would just post porn, click bait, and articles about home-birthing, Christian-hating atheist, homeopathy-endorsing, feminists who make lists about why everyone else is wrong and post it to Reddit. I mean...that's all Slate does."

"But...you were so excited about the first named month," I said.

"Do you remember when we were happy to get twenty hits a day?"

"Sure."

"Remember the first day we ever hit triple digits?"

I smiled. "Yeah."

"Remember the first day we hit a thousand?"

"Yeah, you were like a puppy."

"Remember when you realized that pretty much you were never going to get below 500 in a day no matter what you did."

"Yeah."

"Every one of those milestones has happened in two years and four months. Imagine where we'll be in another two years and four months."

I licked my lips.

"You know why I'm demanding copious amounts of lip zippage here, brah?" Blog asked. "In just a few days we're going to reach THREE QUARTERS OF A MILLION page views. And a little bit after that, we're going to pass the average pay that a paid writer makes in their writing career. And maybe in June or July or maybe this winter we're going to hit that goal of a month solid of 1000+. And then we're going to hit another goal. And we're just going to keep hitting goals. Because we're growing, and we're getting better, and we're building readership. Because that's what happens when you sit your ass down into the chair every day and do the work. That's how artists get better and find an audience.

"You should have seen yourself, Chris. Two posts a day. Weekend posts. Some of your best work yet. Just keep putting your ass in the chair and doing the work. You make me awesome. There'll be other months."

"Yeah, okay."

"Now do me a favor, okay," Blog said. "You've been working non stop all month. Take a couple of days off, and relax. Eat a Twix. You look like a PSA for the dangers of methamphetamine abuse."

"Not just yet," I said. "Maybe I'll do some light posts these next couple of weekends since I'll be out of town for one and having company the next. For now...I think I'm going to go write."


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