Friday, February 24, 2012

Writer's Stock

I find myself lately on a precipice, the safe ground of private writing behind, and the leap of writing for the masses ahead. There's a stack of notebooks in my home right now filled with writing I've done over the years, their covers in need of dusting. It's not that I'm scared to have my words read by so many, I just don't know how to go about finding that audience.

When I write for Websites like Examiner and Patch, I get some, but very little feedback. Some articles are more popular than others, and I track them to see which ones are only shared a little bit, and which are shared scores of times. It's hard to guess which articles people will like most, but I'm already studying the trends seriously, and learning a lot.

Yesterday I spent two hours collecting data from various pieces I've written, documenting their locations, statistics, and comments on the World Wide Web. It's fascinating to see which topics people seem to care most about, and which ones get snubbed due to disinterest. That isn't to say I'll stop writing about something just because it's an unpopular topic, but it does mean that I need to focus my energies on the "big ticket" stories that people will want to share on Facebook and Twitter with their friends.

I've studied high-traffic reports on other Websites too, and learned what kinds of titles encourage people to "click through" to read more. Getting people to view your article is one thing, but writing so well that they want to tell others about your article is another.

Anyway, this whole blog today is really just my way of letting you know what I'm up to lately. My writing is voracious, and I'm excited about what my future holds. Besides Examiner and Patch, I wrote something for another Website in September which earned me over 3,000 views and over 2,000 Facebook shares. The site staff are difficult to deal with and don't respond to e-mails well, so I don't know if I'll write for them again, but the taste of a greater audience has stayed with me.

I also have two or three books I'm working on right now. I say two or three because I'm honestly not sure yet if two of them might be pointing themselves toward one another for a cool merger. I guess time will tell.

So that's where I am. Writing, writing, writing. The feedback and scope are still slim to none so far, but I'm not discouraged. The amount of pages that I've created from thin air is encouraging me to keep going. And I continue to trust that a very cool future waits for me just up the road.

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