The Red-Headed Step Child’s Anger

March 9, 2011 at 8:00 am 3 comments

Writing a blog is a curious undertaking. Blogging is in its infancy but is slowly emerging from the muck at the bottom of the writing profession. It has long been regarded as a step below personal journaling and not professional at all. There’s truth to that too because many billions of worthless words have been slung out to litter the World Wide Web. That is slowly changing though as the electronic media overtakes the hard print media. Many blog writers are now gaining paid employment on established websites, mostly as article writers. Some blogs floating around the Ethernet are like this one, opinion pieces and at best merely entertainment. The majority of blogs are just personal poop.

I write my weekly wanderings for a reason. I consider this forum as a way to exercise my writing muscles and develop discipline. I try to have six to eight hundred words ready to go every Wednesday morning. I figure that if I get used to creating something on a regular schedule that it will develop speed and polish my style so when an opportunity arises in the hard print or electronic media, I will be ready.

Writers love to write but it all means nothing unless there is a reader. One reader is all it takes but sometimes Mom is away so I post my blog on WordPress where the world can see it. I think last Wednesday there were 477,861 new posts and mine was one. I wonder how many eyeballs saw mine. The voice I push to the back of my head says, “None…” and that’s why I ignore the smartass. However, it’s also why I mine my email contacts and social sites to make a list letting people know there is a new thrill in their inbox. I like to think they all read my submissions and can’t wait for next week’s gem. Unfortunately, when my wife, Muffin (an avid reader) asks people if they’ve read such and such in my blog, I notice the blank stares, stammers and absence of eye contact in most cases. The rest are pretty good bluffers.

What truly makes it worthwhile are the comments. I remember getting my first comment ever and the feeling of accomplishment that filled my heart. Just because it was from Mom meant nothing. Someone had read me. I was equally filled with accomplishment when I got my first comment from a complete stranger. I was rising up the ladder. The next rung was receiving that inevitable first negative missive. I was briefly crushed but quickly came to realise that this was part of the game and handled it very maturely by classifying these folks as crack pots. Actually some of the positive feedback was from crack pots too, but those I classed as merely overexcited. Years ago I wrote a weekly blog on the United Church sponsored website WonderCafé. I was pleased that I had a core of readers and unfailing feedback. It was in this forum that I had yet another milestone. I had readers from around the world. Around the world to me means I had one person in the UK and another in New Zealand plus some in the U.S. and a bunch from across Canada, so that counts, doesn’t it? At the very least it takes in most time zones around the world.

Just this past week I reached another, although dubious, landmark. I got my first hate mail. It was from someone who read one or more blogs but has a personal vendetta against me and now knew how to reach me. This too is a part of the game, I guess, but it’s still disquieting. I’ve had to create a new file to add to those of ‘regular’ comments and ‘crackpots’. I hope the new ‘wacko’ file stays slim. After taking some preventative steps I am able to consider the good side. The hate mail seems to have come from B.C. so I can count my reach as countrywide.

I like doing my blog and I love hearing from my readers. Since I don’t get paid, they are my reward. As I struggle with the red-headed step child of the writing business I have to expect some whipping. I still hope for a day when I will actually get a steady paid gig in this profession. Until then, it’s like the tourist in New York who stopped a fellow carrying a guitar case and asked him, “How do I get to Carnegie Hall?” “Practice, man. Practice.” Thanks for reading.


© Dave Jones/ Thunderbridge Productions 2011


Entry filed under: Articles. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , .

The Plot Thickens Hockey Fight in Canada

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Lisa Llamrei  |  March 9, 2011 at 8:33 am

    Way to focus on the good side, Dave. Some people are just so messed up the only way they can feel good about themselves is to make others feel bad. Don’t give it to ’em.

    BTW, I stopped getting my weekly announcement in my inbox. I found this entry on Facebook and had to go back for the one I missed last week.

  • 2. Dale Long  |  March 9, 2011 at 9:55 am

    The internet is a great thing isn’t it? It gives idiots a great mask to hide behind while they spew venom.
    Glad to see you didn’t let some misguided words knock you out of the saddle.

  • 3. rose527  |  March 9, 2011 at 11:03 pm

    Don’t get discouraged, some people are just idiots.

    Just keep blogging.

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