Has it been 2 years already?
It is not the destination so much as the journey, they say.
While I am a man of fortune and I must seek my fortune, not all treasure is silver and gold, mate. Enough of the pirate references, Marty, but drink up me hearties yo ho and bring me that horizon as we chart the course for celebrating the second year of my writing journey and sail into uncharted waters.
That’s right, a big thank you to all, especially those who are regular readers and supporters of my work and have been there from the beginning of this exciting expedition. However, it doesn’t matter if this is the first post you’ve read (in that case, welcome!) or you’ve read over 100 of them – I appreciate you being here now!
Before this turns into an Oscar acceptance speech, let’s reminisce that very night it all began…“A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away”…sorry, wrong story. While I wouldn’t claim to be a master of the literary pen, I’m certainly no longer a fool I illustrated myself to be in my very first post “To be the master you must be willing to be the fool”, on March 6th, 2020.
I may have experimented with multiple articles per week, but I always maintained the Friday piece as the “main event” if you will. It’s funny that this should be the 93rd “QWAN” (Quality Without A Name, my mantra or moniker) which is the same number as 8-time motorcycle world champion Marc Marquez – and they start their season today too! The universe aligns itself I tell you!
I see my writing improving, partially because I’m improving as a person and I’m feeling more confident to express myself and my thoughts in varying ways. The tricky thing is learning how to integrate that into my writing, giving it colour, giving it emotion, giving it a personal voice rather than just being cold and clinical with facts and knowledge. The latter lacks mass appeal, no matter how correct, or put it another way…
“A good story will always trump great information.”
I’m slowly telling my story and inserting myself into my stories and overall, my numbers are trending upwards – and it’s not ALL about the numbers, but let me explain. Any modern-day creative person knows that online organic growth is extremely difficult – it’s like a needle in a haystack getting people to find your work. It’s part of the reason why I’ve not started a separate Facebook page and why I got rid of my Twitter account – there’s a lot of time and effort for creating and maintaining your presence on all these platforms for little result. My advice, pick two platforms and stick to making them work for you – I have with Instagram and YouTube (I also post to my personal Facebook page).
On the subject of YouTube and the videos I create, I realised that I have been inconsistent with the schedule and I apologise for that. I haven’t been entirely happy with how I’m doing them, but I don’t want to go backwards. I probably worry too much about them being not perfect and that I’m either not looking good on camera or I’m not articulating what I want to say properly. I thought I would have gotten better and more comfortable on camera, but I’m still REALLY conscious of myself and how and what I’m saying – and recording these videos takes a bit of energy (which surprises a lot of people). With my articles trending upwards and my videos stagnant / little interaction, I feel my time, effort and resources are better rewarded committing to my writing than videos.
The videos were created to give people an opportunity to listen/watch if they weren’t big readers, plus I’ve seen a lot of what I write about have success on YouTube. Do you find my videos enjoyable and would you like me to continue them? Would you prefer short or long(er) videos?
Anyway, let’s get back to the party!
It’s amazing to see a couple of my articles take off – Sometimes I sits and thinks is nearing 500 views and In praise of the quiet life is nearing 300 – these numbers may not be huge to some, but it means a lot to me.
It was near on a year ago that I wrote my most challenging article, “It’s not easy being green”, a very personal account of my childhood bullying experiences and it’s long-lasting effects (feel free to go back and read it if you haven’t already), which, looking back, was the catalyst to openly include myself in more of my posts.
As I continue to develop and grow as an individual and as a writer, I notice people responding to me differently, better even. It’s a daunting thing, opening yourself up for potential ridicule, to feel that vulnerability and do it anyway, to extend out our hand in trust is the best way, the only way, I feel, to invite the best out of people.
What would I like to see happen with my writing over the next 12 months?
I have pencilled in a post in the near future to discuss one part of what I’d like to see – so I won’t talk about that here – However, I’d like to see my audience continue to expand and reach new eyeballs. I have to do a better job networking and find new places for my work to call home, but this is also where I could use your help – interacting with my posts, sharing them amongst family and friends and other places around the internet as well as providing helpful feedback on topics.
I find the whole “Like, Comment, Subscribe” to be incredibly insincere – which is why I haven’t been able to bring myself to say it to my readers and viewers, plus I like to think they’re capable of making that judgment for themselves and don’t need their intelligence insulted.
It’s time to knuckle down and recommit as I brave the weird and haunted shores at World’s End. Let’s hope that when I sail beyond this point that I don’t go mad and believe I’m being chased by rocks.