My initial position toward writing a blog here on WordPress was tentative and a little hostile. I was living in tentative and hostile circumstances. I’d just published my first novel Martin of Gfenn, a process I’d fucked up from the get go and had to redeem through long and difficult penance (but I did it). I was about to publish my second novel, Savior, and having learned a lot from my first publishing debacle (one could call it an experience) I sought help. I hired an editor, I read books, I followed instructions.
I’d learned that I didn’t know everything after all and I was not God’s gift to writing. Still… A book I read said, “Publishing a blog on WordPress is absolutely necessary to succeed selling your self-published novel.”
So there I was.
My first blog post was on December 21, 2013. It was based on the Daily Prompt; it was “Forgive and Forget — Share a story where it was very difficult for you to forgive the perpetrator for wronging you, but you did it — you forgave them.”
Back then, WP gave real writing prompts, not just single words. I like the single words better because I often found the prompts constricting. My perspective on the Daily Post was that it was stupid and I didn’t need it and only losers wrote it, but I was going to do it every single day, dammit, to sell my books.
So here we are, five years later, and WordPress has decided to kill the Daily Post as they’ve killed other things over the years. You can read their marketing message (because that’s what it is) here if you haven’t read it already.
How did the Daily Post work for me in my stated goal of selling books? I have sold some books because of the Daily Post. Not a lot of books. I don’t write bestsellers. And while that has been a benefit the big benefit for me as a writer has been the surprisingly good short stories that have come out of the Daily Post. I wouldn’t have written them if I hadn’t developed the habit of sitting down with my coffee and smoothie every morning, checking the Daily Post, and writing my thing.
There would be no Lamont and Dude. No bleak stories of failed love relationships. No somewhat funny stories about small town cops. I wrote them purely as recreation. I’m not the person to write mysteries or time-travel stories, but now I’ve written those, too. How cool is that?
The other aspect of the Daily Post is that it connects people because people write about themselves. In the beginning, I found this particularly lame, but over time, I saw it is not lame at all. It wasn’t long before my blog had attracted a small network of readers, some of whom have now been “with” me for the whole time. They are people I have actually come to know and to like. In my dark times, some of them have offered moral support and kindness that I didn’t expect. That happened yesterday when I was so blue about the slow (not really slow, just feels slow) progress healing from my hip replacement and from missing my dogs. A dog-loving woman in Australia, Tracy of Reflections of an Untidy Mind, has read my blog since she signed up. She’s also reviewed (and loved) two of my books. She’s talented artist — with mosaic no less — and a person I wish lived across the street because we’d have a lot of fun together. She read my post yesterday, and, on her blog, wrote something caring, insightful and loving just to help me out of the doldrums and to remind me that it will get better. She even included a song she has correctly identified as my “anthem.” When I read Running Up that Hill and listened to “my anthem,” I cried. I needed a good cry. I cried from the happiness of being understood and a little bit from the sadness of knowing I probably will not be running up that hill.
So here’s stupid WordPress with an element on their blogging platform that’s very popular and that creates connections between people. I suppose their decision to kill it is money motivated, but I pay for all my blogs. I don’t have to, but I chose, to put the websites for my novels her on WordPress and I pay for all four of them.
Makes no sense to me at all.