Friday, December 9, 2011

Promoting a blog is like falling through a Portal to Hell and ending up back at middle school.

I have been trying (for maybe two whole weeks now) to promote my blog. This sounds very independent and artistic, but it turns out to be a lot more like being a door-to-door salesman for your own soul.
Here are the reasons I want to promote my blog:

1. All my life I have wanted to be a writer. Even when I was two and couldn't write. Before I could scribble down my own illegible thoughts, I used to make my mom take dictation. Some of my early stuff was pretty good. It mostly dealt with the Big Bad Wolf.

But then, disconcertingly, when I "grew up", I just ended up getting pregnant over and over again, like some sort of queen termite, and producing male children with ADHD.

So I ended up not getting to be famous after all.

2. Even worse, last year, I noticed that all my children obviously regarded me as a mentally challenged maid and personal assistant.

For years, they have tended to ask me stupid, pointless questions like "What causes thunder?", "Is Uzbekistan in Europe or in Asia?", and "How do I solve this simple math problem?"

To avoid wasting my life in a flurry of Wikipedia searches, my strategy had been to refer them to my husband, and wait for them to ask something interesting that I could answer like "What do you think about the nature of reality?', "Would this sentence be stronger if I ended it here or there?' or "How much butter should I put in this cookie batter?"

Sadly, this day has never come.

I realized last winter, to my horror, that I had accidentally allowed my children to believe that I am an outright imbecile due to my total lack of interest in math, geography, physical sciences, construction, practical matters, and sports. It occurred to me that perhaps, I should begin to point out those areas in which I have actually developed some mastery. Basically, these come down to list-making and writing.

After attempting to show them all how to make lists, and giving up, due to their lack of interest and poor hand-writing, I started a blog.

Have you noticed how good I am at both list-making and writing?? I have worked both of these skill sets into this post in order to show off the diverse skills I possess at putting letters (and numbers) onto pages.

3. I seem to be suffering from some sort of Unknown Illness, something glamorous, very much like a famous author might have. This additional qualification really is a slam-dunk for me. Puts me right over the edge into greatness.

Actually, I have a very real concern that some day I might not be able to keep a job that involves walking up and down hallways, and this is my back-up plan. That might sound stupid, but if you consider that my take-home pay is perhaps less than most people who beg for change on the street of any major city, it sets the bar pretty low for my ultimately being able to replace that income.

And a low bar is just the right height for me.

So, I am trying, with the enormous support of my father, my husband, and my kids, to get people who don't know me to read my blog somehow. The idea being, I guess, that after they start doing this, they will begin sending me checks in the mail. (This part is not fully fleshed out.)

The Portal to Hell

Here is my thought on promoting my blog so far: It is very much like falling through a Portal to Hell and returning to middle school. Here's why:

1.  I am now obsessed with becoming popular with the right people. Here is a snapshot of this:
Two bloggers whom I admire greatly have followed me on Twitter. Right now it is pretty much them, my dad and eighteen hot bisexual women who want to chat with me right now spammers. The fact that one of them, the Bloggess, follows 16,285 people is a bit discouraging, but I still think she really likes me! In fact, this is all so exciting to me that I feel like a boy just kissed me.

2. Snapshot #2:
As a result of noticing that some people other than my family and friends are reading my blog, I am fighting to avoid imbuing all my writing with enormous self-consciousness, to make sure I sound clever and funny enough in case the right people are reading me. I think I will take a page from my son and begin adding "That's what she said." every few lines. It seems to impress the eighth grade boys chicks.

3. In middle school, I was riddled with angst. If there were stats I could have clicked on repeatedly to see how much people liked me now....and now...and now, I would have done that. And now I can. Thank you, Google Analytics! It's like a Popularity Index for writers with mild OCD and anxiety disorder.

Middle school was not the best time of my life. I will leave it at that, since some of my very sweet family read this blog and perhaps do not want me to recount the blow-by-blow details of that particular descent into Hades.

 In order to avoid repeating a period of my life which ended with a drug-riddled high school episode which seemed favorable by comparison, I am going to make a commitment. Two very good things came out of middle school. And, although I lost them, I later found them again on Facebook.

I am planning to address my next several posts to Lorien and Hope (my best friends from sixth grade), who always "like" my blog posts and laugh at my jokes and never take offense at my crass sarcasm. For them, and for all of the sweet friends and loving family who read my stuff, like it and remember to tell me so, thank you. 

Writing publicly from your life is like jumping out of an airplane wearing a parachute made of some idea you have called "Self-expression." Either that fucker will slow your fall or you die in a blaze of bloody glory. If I had to do without anyone telling me "Go for it!"...pretty much daily...I would have given up long ago and returned to alphabetizing my kids' socks and looking up Asian countries on Wikipedia.

So, here's to you. Thanks for slowing that hard fall, guys.


  1. Ha Ha "Portal to Hell".......yep.....

  2. You are so funny. I don't know about your other skills, but your writing is top-notch. And I feel exactly the same way with the whole blog promotion thing. It's excruciating. I'm not entirely sure blogdom is the portal to actually writing and getting paid. It seems to be like a very large Facebook type situation with much longer statuses.

  3. I guess at least if it is a new type of Facebook situation people's statuses tend to be better written, with much less misuse of apostrophes and many fewer references to their weekend skiing plans. For that, I guess, I feel grateful.

  4. This is too too true. Sadly, the only way to get readers is to read, read, read and comment, comment, comment on other people's blogs. You will lose a year of your life and stop reading literature (because, yes, you may still have time for Twilight-type books) and the NYTimes and maybe your kids will even fall behind in school... but your blog will thrive. ;)

    Loved the post! And, OMG, the analytics killed me the first year of blogging. Scary, scary middle school-type behavior on parade.


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Faith in Ambiguity by Tara Adams is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License