Friday, August 21, 2009

Someone is reading my stuff

As I feared, my work writing articles for has consumed most of my creative writing time. It's even consumed most of my pleasure reading time. It's even consumed my recreational time. Last weekend, for example, Lynda and I made a quick visit to Hobbs State Park in eastern Benton County. We went through the newly opened Visitors Center and walked the Van Winkle Hollow historical trail (just a half mile). After we got home, I realized I could write two articles on our visit for Suite 101, which would allow me to count the mileage as a tax deduction. Of course, I didn't think to bring our camera to obtain pictures to illustrate the article.

As another example, take the book I reviewed recently on this blog, The Presidency of George Washington. As I was reading it--which I intended strictly for pleasure, ideas for five articles on the history of this period came to mind and found their way to a sheet of paper that served as an idea capture medium. I've written and posted two of those articles at Suite. The other three are rolling around in my mind, waiting for their chance to get out.

Or, take the Harmony of the Gospels I recently finished. I've pulled two articles out of that, and could easily pull out a hundred or two.

All of which makes me wonder: Will I ever be normal again, doing things just for enjoyment and not to serve as freelance fodder? Will I ever get back to that point in the yellow wood, where the two roads diverged, and get back to the type of writing I want to do, rather than writing I'm doing for platform building and a little bit of money?

I've only been down this path for two months. I've written 38 articles at Suite, probably about 27,000 words. I haven't yet earned $10, the threshold at which they pay-out your earnings, though I'm getting closer. I don't know that I'll reach the threshold before the end of the month cut-off, so my first Suite paycheck might not be until October.

But in the process, my articles at Suite have had 2,630 page views during that time. For the seven day period ending today, for the first time I will cross the 500 mark for page views in the period. I don't think that counts mine, which the software strips out. I don't have many page views from family, because none of them check it much if at all. So this for the most part represents page views resulting from search engine searches. People searching for "FEMA flood maps", and my article URL ranks high in Google, and I get a read. Or any of the 37 other articles. That compares to about 545 page views on this blog, which includes my own page views. So at least at Suite I'm getting some readers. Maybe not followers, but at least readers.

I'll continue writing at a good pace at Suite 101 for a while yet, for sure till I reach 50 articles, and maybe till I get to 100, then I'll evaluate whether the time has been well spent, and whether I should continue at a good pace, possibly try to accelerate, or back off some. I can still see the fork in the road, over my shoulder, whereas I don't see the roads converging up ahead. Not yet at least.

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