Blogging is a funny thing. You type into a box, add some pictures, hit a button and suddenly the whole world can see inside your head. It's a very unnatural act. At least for me. It took some getting used to. I tried to think of it as an opportunity to practice writing, because in the back of my head, I think being a writer is cool. So, with that inspiration, I have been able to participate and practice the craft. And for the most part, I have enjoyed it.
But it is a slippery slope. Deciding what to write and what to leave unwritten is the million dollar question. After all, I am writing onto a blank screen, which does not care what words are formed or how they make a reader feel. That information comes later. Through trial and error, I have found that I am very comfortable speaking about tangibles. Building stuff, growing stuff and raising stuff. Easy peasy.
Intangibles are another animal altogether. I'd rather pull out my eyelashes than discuss feelings and failings on a forum with complete strangers. I mean, who does that? Why would you? It's like looking at a car wreck. It's uncomfortable and yet, compelling. It's why Reality TV continues to reign. We all like to secretly look at someone else's hardship and think, better him than me, from the safety of our sofa or kitchen table.
Of course, the intangible, uncomfortable posts are the most relatable and therefore, the most popular. I get way more hits, shares and comments when I am lurking at the bottom of the world, rather than the top. Yep. You guys like to make it hard for me.
Even so, I write. And, for the most part, you read. At least, that used to be the case. Over the summer I took a break from the blog, due to a computer meltdown. I was still on FB, just not as frequent with posts and interactions. From what I can figure, that absence cost me my place in line, so to speak. My page views fell off dramatically. It didn't matter if I continued where I left off, a couple months later. The damage was done. There was no one listening.
Surprisingly, it is a blessing. Servicing the FB page takes a couple hours a day. That is necessary to keep page views up, so that when I post the blog, it will show up on everyone's page. The blog itself takes 3-4 hours to write. All those hours add up to A LOT. So what, right? It is, and has always been, a labor of love. 2+ years for the blog, almost 3 for the FB page. No one forced me to do this, I was a volunteer. I just enjoyed the give and take of ideas, and feedback from the blog posts. Now, with very little readership, it's like the oxygen has gone out of the room. I'm still typing into a box, but I am alone.
It's an Aha! moment. This was meant to be! If I let it go, gracefully, I am freed up to do other things I am interested in. Like writing about other stuff. Sewing. Cooking. Exercising! Even though I will still be here on the farm doing the stuff we do, getting off the blog wheel allows other opportunities to fall into place. It is a breath of fresh air! A brand new day.
Last week I did not post a blog. I never even mentioned it. Instead, I was working on Bob the Chicken's calendar, and it was fun! No one noticed the blog was missing. And that's ok. Really! I am relieved. I have posted what I wanted to post for as long as it was relevant. Now it is time to move on. And here is where you come in.
I'm looking to get my writing published. It is a new goal and a lofty one. It requires me to learn some new skills, networking, research, etc. I need to get a new computer and take some classes. I have the time now, and ability, but lack the revenue.
In all the time I have been writing this blog, I have not posted one advertisement, nor asked you for one dollar, for my benefit. It was a point of pride for me. I wanted you to come willingly, without concern for solicitation. Now perhaps, is not a good time to ask, but if you have enjoyed my posts over the years, you might be inclined to help.
I'm not asking for free money. If you look at the top of this page, right next to The Pocket Farmer tab you'll see a tab called TPF Store. It is brand new. On there I am offering a Bob the Chicken calendar for sale. It is $30 including shipping. Not cheap, I know. The idea is that the extra funds raised, will go towards the costs I just mentioned. In return, you get to have Bob the Chicken for a whole year! How wonderful is that?! Don't need a calendar? Perhaps you know someone who would enjoy it as a gift? Something for that hard to buy for person in your life? The Holidays are coming up. If you decide you really don't have a reason to purchase a calendar, you could still help me out in one very easy, BIG way. No cost. Just share this post with your friends. Maybe they would enjoy a calendar and perhaps while they are here, they can read through the archives, no charge. Some pretty cool stuff there, if I do say so myself.
Don't worry, I'm not really going anywhere. My FB page, The Pocket Farmer will still be alive and kicking, even if it doesn't show up in your news feed. That is where I collect all the cool ideas I find around the web, for future reference. Feel free to stop by and visit. Anytime. I might even blog occasionally, to keep you posted on how the writing 'career' is going. I'm just not going to be here every week, reminding you to get your garden planted. There are tons of other pages that will help you with that. Besides, you already know what to do, you just need a kick in the pants from time to time. :)
Thank you. I mean it! Your support has helped me get to this point where I can raise the bar even higher. It has been a gift and a blessing. I cherish the time and conversations we have shared. I look forward to the new adventure and hope some of you will come along for the ride. Who knows, you might just see my book on a best seller list someday. Now, wouldn't THAT would be cool! :)
If you feel the need, you can always reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or you can find me at fb.com/thepocketfarmer. I'm also on Twitter @thepocketfarmer. Hope to see you around! :)