Readers and followers of Fiction Forge Indy are a mystery to me.
Who are you?
I only know a handful of you personally. You are locals. Hoosiers. You are colleagues, and some of you are my closest friends and family. Hello, colleagues, friends, and family.
Yet, many of our FFI readers are not Hoosiers (people from Indiana). Many FFI readers are sitting in their homes or at their office desks while living their lives in Europe, or Australia, or China...even the Ukraine?
We know this, because Blogger allows us to see visitor information that Google gathers on a daily basis. How accurate this information is, we Forgers do not know. We had some spamming bots, but Mike took care of that years ago. Certainly, we have no reason to doubt the visitors stats now and, frankly, why should we? The stats can be pretty detailed - but only up to a point. For example, we can ascertain what browser and what traffic source was utilized and from what country - even the number of pageviews per post - but nothing much more than that. Still...
Fiction Forge Indy has a small, yet consistent intra-and-international readership. And, again: this is pretty cool. But, let me be frank. Regardless of where you reside, I think you are following mostly Keith, Mike, and Heather's posts.
Why do I suspect as such?
Because I write strangely. I write oddly. I am unpredictable between posts in what form and subjects that I will publish next. I perform experiments, and I hook only the observers who have the interest and, just as importantly, who have the time to read them. Although it is never my desire, apparently I make some readers work. Work is not always fun.
This is what I suspect.
I don't know if my suspicion is true with any amount of certainty. What I actually know about my particular blogging is more of a feel than a reveal. Hmm... So, if I think that I scare people off with my writing style and oddball subject matter, then why do I blog at all?
In a previous post of mine, I attempted to answer that (see: Connections). Back then, I make an incredibly naked revelation. I want to write well and uniquely because I wish to be respected for it. What I want from readers is validation.
"I share my struggles," I wrote, "and update my status and trajectory because I want your feedback and, really, validation."
I still want (and still need) your feedback. I still want (and truly still desire) your validation. Yet, something in me has changed since February 12th, 2015.
I may not have realized it fully as I do now that accolades and publishing success does not a good writer make - nor can a good writer expect publishing success and accolades. As I wrote, "Whether I get (validation) or not, seeing my writing in print is like medicine. A wicked medicine that feeds a writing fever. Or, maybe it just gives me a swollen head."
Truth is, I don't need medicine. My head is permanently swelled! I value honest and fair feedback more than I do the accolades. I would rather have your truthful, yet balanced, suggestions than be regarded as someone who has mastered the art of Fiction. Not gonna happen. I've never mastered a thing! So, no aspirin for me. I need only your care. And some of your time.
I do see my writing as work that can eventually earn success, regardless if that success is quantified by Penguin and Amazon or by the faithful readership of this blog. As I wrote in Connections:
"...I like the passion (that writing and writing in FFI) elicits in me to know that someone other than me is reading my art."
This has always been true. Even behind the oddest post, I always have you in mind. I imagine how you might interpret the story...or leave you guessing, if with a spark of interest. Sometimes, I write with the idea that you might wonder if what I wrote is part of a larger story that either I'm currently working on or a story that I should be working on -- because you have found it interesting enough and unique enough and worthy enough for further reading.
I imagine that I do leave some of you frustrated and shaking your head. If so, then I apologize. Still, I hope the head-shaking is not because I am a bad writer...just that I am strange writer...at least, this week... And I hope that you will read my next post despite the strange and, perhaps, give me feedback on how to improve it or my writing style, in general... or, simply, to share that you appreciated my writing in some way -- or understood the meaning for the sake of art and that uniqueness within the art.
So, thank you Hoosier colleagues, friends, and family; and fellow Americans, Europeans, Ukrainians, Chinese, Australians, Koreans, and anybody in the world who gave me a few precious moments of their lovely life to read something that I wrote. Truly - very truly - I appreciate you giving a damn and reading this blog in the hopes of finding something interesting to you.
My guess is that you are inspiring writers, too. You see this blog as informative, if experimental, if an odd collection of writers and their writing material. If so, then you are not so mysterious to me after all!
Now as for Patricia... She's still a mystery, at least to you. Let me just say, "Patty, My dear... You 'liked' your own comment. Who does that? Tootles!"
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