YOU KNOW HOW I love a good milestone. This is blog post #100. It’s also the blog’s 100th week, which I guess means I’ve been pretty good at getting something up on here weekly. Sometimes I go longer, and sometimes post more often, so it’s a little bit of a coincidence that it balances out to exactly a post a week.
I’m also wrapping up playing my 1975 records today with my favorite Aerosmith album, Toys in the Attic, on the turntable, so I’m halfway through the ’70s. (I realize that most people would be more than halfway through the 1970s if they just finished playing their 1975 records; the statement only makes sense if one is playing them in reverse chronological order, which I am.)
I went to two great Valentine’s Day–related events this past weekend that connected indirectly to the blog and to my favorite topic, love. The first was a talk called Love without Pain by Gen Kelsang Jampa. He opened by quoting from ’70s and ’80s pop music, and the first example he gave was none other than “Love Hurts,” which happens to be the featured song and title of my first of two blog posts from last year on the same subject.
Jampa gave some other great examples of fallacious songs, “Thin Line between Love and Hate,” “Love Stinks,” and “Love Is a Battlefield” among them. Perhaps the most contradictory lyric of all, at least from a Buddhist point of view, was Blondie’s love is so confusing, there’s no peace of mind from “Heart of Glass.” Gen Jampa and I had a great chat about it all at the reception after the talk.
The other great event was a love-themed salon held by my friend and writing coach, where several of us were asked to read or otherwise perform something to do with love. It was my first time reading my fiction out loud to a group, and it was such an exciting and affirming experience, I could hardly wait to get home and write some more. It’s always nice to hear that what you’re putting out in the world is read or heard and appreciated by someone, and it happened several times at this event.
These two boosts of affirmation came at a good time. As anyone with a blog probably knows, Google changed its image search platform a few weeks ago such that people who would have gone to your blog by searching for one of its images now get the image without ever hitting your page. Granted, a lot of those people never stayed and read your page, but some of them probably did. Like many other bloggers, my traffic took a serious nosedive the day Google made the change, and it hasn’t rebounded.
The good news is that people who were coming to my blog on purpose are still doing so, and so the statistics are now a better reflection of who’s actually reading it…but still, for a stats nut like me, seeing my numbers bomb felt like failure. There’s nothing like hearing from real people first-hand that they’ve read your stuff and that they like it, and I got that this weekend. So keep the feedback coming. Dialog is what this is all about. It keeps you runnin’.