Monday, March 8, 2010

Be Careful What You Wish For; You Might Get It

A year and a half ago, I started this blog. I started it, but I still wondered what the point was.

Would anyone read "Pretty Freaky?"  It sure didn't seem as if anyone was reading it (not that I knew, at the outset, how to calculate hits).

I remember attending an Edtech (that's educational technology, or teaching with technology) conference and hearing a lecture about how great it would be if more teachers blogged.

"Hey, I'm blogging," I wanted to pipe up. "But how do I get readers?"

Seven or so months later, I "met" a fellow writer online (we sometimes write for the same blog, not the Pretty Freaky blog) and I asked him what the secret was to self-promotion.

He (his name is Nick Belardes, and he wrote a very popular serialized novel, "Small Places," on Twitter! That was cool) seemed to understand it very well. He had plenty of readers/followers and people who commented on his postings.

It's basically a part-time job, he told me. It should be a full-time job. It's a big pain in the neck.

You do it to get readers. You do it to establish your career.

Nick convinced me to start Tweeting, and it took me a while to see the point of that, too, but I did it.  Twitter has helped me to get many more blog readers.

While I don't like to Tweet too much about my own blog, I will do it when I have a new post up. Once, maybe twice. I don't want to be ridiculous.

Read the blog or don't; I'm sort of too busy to care. (All that much.)

I do want readers, though, because I want to know that my words are reaching people. I want to know that I've made a difference, however small.

In a perfect world, the point of the blog would be to sell my book(s).  Maybe it will come to that. If so, great.

In the meantime, however, sometimes I think it's too much trouble. My own blog makes me feel paranoid, lately, and I know that other people sometimes feel paranoid reading it. Was she talking about me, they wonder?

Was I? Well, I didn't name anyone, and I never will, so how would you know?

And anyway, it's not all about you. The blog is about me. It's about my life; it's about my teaching, my writing, my ideas.

I would never want to embarrass anyone through my blog posts.

I am not averse to embarrassing myself a bit, if the need ever arises, because I find self-deprecation (in small amounts) to be refreshing.

In case you haven't noticed: I have a good sense of humor.  My head is screwed on straight.

Still, the other night, I finally Googled myself (which I only ever do every once in a great while).

I was alarmed to see myself pop up all over the place. There was "Pretty Freaky;" there were other essays; there were my AP NING postings.

I made myself sick.

There was even my picture.

"It's Mommy!" one of my daughters yelled. "She's famous!"

I hope not. Not for this, anyway.

So what changed? The last time I Googled myself, I didn't come up for 20 or so pages. I have a rather common name.

But now: there I am. I think that you make it to the top of the list (in Google searches) when there are many searches for you, for your blog.

I can't be sure if I should be happy or scared.

It's a little of both. Or a feeling of resignation.

I asked for this. I established this platform.

Now the pressure is on: keep it up. Make it worthwhile. Serve a purpose.

Time will tell.


  1. We read your blog at the office every day, or we check it every day in case there's something new. It's always worthwhile!!

  2. Thanks for the kind words. I appreciate it.