My blogging has been slacking off of late, and there have been quite a few factors that have been slowing me down. But to be honest, a lot of them are excuses more than reasons.
First up, the Day Job has grown more and more demanding. My pregnant colleague has been doing less and less as she becomes more and more, and I’ve been largely picking up the slack. (She’s due in July.) I wouldn’t object too much about her always needing to sit, and calling out sick, and insisting that she can’t do a lot of things, and complaining about all the foods she can’t have any more (coffee, fish, etc.) if she didn’t still insist on her smoke breaks. Financially, it’s been helpful, as I’ve never exactly been well off, but it is tiring (especially since I’m a morning person now working 2nd shift) and the old economic rule — “expenses rise to meet or exceed income” — is kicking me in the pants.
Next, I’m plowing away on my naval fiction story, and it’s still going strong. I just published Chapter 23, and it’s over 18,500 words. I have absolutely no idea how much longer I’m going to go with it, and I’m still not certain how it’ll end, but I have decided that I will publish it here — once it’s finished. My tentative plan is to post five chapters a day every day, like I did last time.
But I think the biggest factor is something Wretchard of The Belmont Club recently identified, a syndrome he calls “the ten thousand rule.” When a writer has a small, devoted audience, he can be very free and casual. But as the readership grows, it brings a burden and sense of responsibility.
According to the latest SiteMeter stats, Wizbang gets about 10,000 page views a day, and about 7,000 unique visitors. But that isn’t the big, round number that might have me a bit off my feed.
The way Wizbang works, each author gets an e-mail notification of all comments that are posted on their postings. Years ago, I set up filters that sort all comments into a separate folder. Then I got in the habit of tossing my own comments and contest entries and spam comments into their own folders.
As of this morning, that folder has 99,716 unique comments in it. In just over five years, I’m closing in on 100,000 comments. And that is a very intimidating number.
I find myself wondering who will make comment 100,000, and when. I’m going to say that it’ll be within a week — and if necessary, I’ll go all-out comment-whoring and deliberately write a few pieces that are guaranteed to pile up the comments. I keep track of topics that tend to push the comment button, and if I wrote something that covered Sarah Palin, abortion, and militant Islam all at once, I could probably break that barrier even on this holiday weekend.
In the meantime… I have a peaceful Sunday planned, and what could be a hell of a long piece (big surprise there) doing what I think I do best — taking several disparate stories or elements and tying them together into a common theme. And I might kick out another chapter or two of “The Old Girl’s New Tricks” — where I find it a tremendous relief to get 100% away from anything remotely political.
Pity my poor keyboard. It’s likely to get a real workout today.