If I told you I once responded to a request for writing references with a verbal exclamation of “I am the Shmata Queen’s favorite writer” you’d scrunch up your face and tell me that was meaningless to you.
Because unless you are among a select group you won’t know who I am referring to and have no way to determine whether that is a significant reference or not.
I relate to your head scratching because I have engaged in conversations about writing in which people have told me that someone with Internet Fame has once praised their work.
Sometimes I smiled and asked who they were referring to and they would look at me like I was crazy for not knowing who they are referring to.
“Everyone knows Winston W. Cumpston, The Dumbass of Dumbassery.”
“Sorry, haven’t a clue. Who is he and what has he done?”
“He has a five day writing course that I paid $239 for that is going to teach me how to make money online. 198,000 people have purchased it.”
I usually try to maintain a poker face so as to not allow them to see my skepticism, sometimes it works and sometimes…not so much.
Useless Writing Advice Given By Fools & Dopes
You need to know I have been blogging online since 2004 and that my efforts have generated thousands of dollars.
I have been called many things including dad blogger, parent blogger, Jewish/Israel blogger and a handful of other more colorful terms.
I have outlasted most who started with me and many who came later which might mean I know something about this or it might mean I have never grown tired of it.
Some of you will circle back to the money and get fixated on the thousands of dollars part but you’ll miss the key question.
How much is thousands of dollars?
If I told you it is about $5,000 dollars and told you to divide it by the 14 years I have been doing it you might be impressed or you might not be.
You might be less impressed if I told you I have probably written around 25,000 posts and put in thousands upon thousand of hours.
Confession: I don’t know exactly how much I have made or exactly how many posts I have written.
Hell, I don’t think I made a time for the first two or three years I did this and there have been long chunks where I might not have made a dime.
But I didn’t get into this gig for any of that and for a long time I looked askance at those who jumped on board to get swag and go on trips.
The low barrier of entry made it easy for a lot of hacks to get into the game.
Some people have described me as being one of them and I am ok with that because writing is so personal.
You never know what is going to hit and what is going to flop.
I really liked this post and have been thinking about promoting it a bit.
But I also know that according to some of the Useless Writing Advice Given By Fools & Dopes it has issues.
What kind of Issues?
They’ll claim the headline isn’t specific enough, that the content isn’t as succinct as it could be and that people won’t read it because there is too much content out there.
That is patently false because 14 years of doing this has repeatedly demonstrated that readers will keep reading my stuff.
Some will tell me they love it and some will say they hate it. Most won’t ever comment or engage at all but I will see them in the stats, at least when I remember to check.
Dreams, Mistakes & Moments
The inspiration for the headline for this post comes from a couple of posts I saw floating around this week in which people promised to help others figure out how to become successful writers online.
One of those authors has been doing this for a relatively short time and keeps touting how many followers they have as proof of success.
I roll my eyes because without a consensus on what constitutes success the discussion is severely handicapped.
We have no idea whether he/she purchase those followers, what sort of engagement he/she has with them and whether any of that has led to financial compensation.
See this is where the marketer in me comes out because when I start hearing/reading such things I want to see the data.
I want to know what happens if said author issues a call to action.
What happens if they tell their people to go buy/read/see/tweet? Is there a response?
True influence is based upon the response to a call to action and not upon how big a bullhorn you carry.
I skipped going to the gym yesterday because I have a funny feeling in my left arm and I wanted to see if it would go away.
It doesn’t hurt enough to prevent me from doing what I want to do but I have begun to see dividends in being more prudent in how I treat a body approaching middle age.
Skipping wasn’t easy.
I am starting to see significant changes and don’t want to miss out on the rewards of my hard work.
You 982,848,993 followers know I am starting to become more aware of the passage of time and how what once seemed endless shows some limitations.
Got less than a month before I turn 49 and start the final lap into that half century mark. I suppose it’s the obvious reason for some of the introspection but it is not the only thing.
There is a mental to-do list in my head that includes chasing down some dreams, trying to avoid mistakes and enjoying the ordinary moments of life.
Hell, some of those ordinary turn into extraordinary and I hate recognizing later that I missed appreciating something cool now.
It is why I put some music on and go out and do.
Some are meant to help motivate and or focus and some are just because.
Before the tick-tocking of the clock got to be so loud in my head I often gave that idea whatever time was required to put the notes upon the page, but it happens less and less now.
Got too much to do and too little time to do it in…at least for now.
Things change and you never know what comes next.