06 April 2012

Things That Are True - List the First

I don't know the first thing about building a readership for this space.

Well, that's not entirely true. I do know a few things. I know I'm supposed to write keyword-rich post titles, I'm supposed to know what my niche is, I'm supposed to post new things here on a regular schedule, I'm supposed to reply to every comment, I'm supposed to strategically hit publish at the right time of day on the right day of the week, and pimp out my posts no more than three times a day on each of my social networks.  I know what I'm supposed to do. And yet, I blunder along, not posting for weeks at a time, not writing post titles that are in any way google-friendly, and not having any idea what my "niche" is. I don't have one. Sometimes I write about food, sometimes about the absurdities of parenting, sometimes about social issues. Mostly I just write.

Actually, mostly I just avoid writing, but I'm working on that.

Hell, I'm still surprised and grateful that there are people who bear no familial relation to me that come to visit these pages from time to time.

I know that writing a new post and hitting publish at ten o'clock on a Friday night is completely useless.

Yet here I am. More often than not, here I am. Since I seem to love the quiet wasteland of the Friday night post, instead of berating myself about my ridiculous writing habits, I'm going to celebrate them. Celeberate! Hey everyone, it's a CELEBERATION! A hybrid of congratulatory self-loathing!

(Cue Kool and the Gang, y'all. There's a party going on, right here.)

For the last few weeks, I've been making lists on index cards (I know. Pens! Paper! How delightfully Neo-Victorian of me!) as a sort of personal project, an exploration of subject matters and aspirations and other things that make no sense to anyone but me. So from now on, I'm going to type out those lists on Friday nights, and publish them after ten pm. To embrace (and also mock, a little) my own eccentricities.

I love arbitrary rules that I set in place for myself - an idea I totally stole, by the way, from Schmutzie. (I mean, she talked about it publicly in a session at Blissdom Canada last year, so it was an idea ripe for annexing is my defense, your honour.)

The arbitrary rules I just made up are simple:
1) 100 lists
2) 10 items each list
3) 1 list published every Friday, after everyone's shut down their computer for the day and will never see it

And here's my first list:

I've Done a Lot of Stuff in My Life But Here Are Ten Things I Want to Do But Never Have*:
  • spontaneously join a street musician/busker and sing harmonies for no reason at all
  • successfully knit somethinganything
  • have read all the books I own
  • take an introductory photography class
  • take fencing lessons
  • post every day for a year at Vancouver Daily Photo
  • get past week 3 of The Artist's Way
  • make ravioli from scratch
  • live in Paris for a year (and yes, even I gag at the cliche of it, but there it is)
  • climb the Grouse Grind in under an hour

Feel free to join me, if arbitrary rules are your thing too. 

*See? That title is not google-friendly. Not even a little bit.


  1. Yay for the power of the arbitrary!

  2. My ONE arbitrary rule is to do something EVERY DAY that does not have to be done again tomorrow. Big or small that something may be, doing it means moving forward. Can't count any of life maintenance. Can count even small efforts related to my projects.
    My father put it this way: "The road to success is effort every day" but that could include life maintenance so I take it further.

  3. You may publish after 10 but the beauty is it will show up in google reader whenever I log on. :)

    I'd settle for even getting past week 1 of the Artists Way. And I've always wanted to have read every book I own. Never going to happen.

  4. I will always come to this space (or read it in my google reader;)). I always look forward to your posts whether they are search google friendly or not. What I really like is that you post what you want when you want. This blog is you.

  5. (a) I have the most SEO unfriendly blog posts and titles in the history of unfriendly SEO blog posts and titles.

    (b) I actually get more traffic when I write on the weekends

    (c) If you write well, people will come.

    I'm glad you're back at it :)

  6. I set up some blogging rules for myself too. Before I started daily posts I knew I needed more structure to get something out every day. I did it over time by adding themed posts in on particular days of the week. Monday I do lists & will for a whole year (stole this idea from a friend). I *was* doing the Wordless Wednesday (excuse to publish cute kid pic) until I started writing too much for Wednesdays to be wordless, Fridays I do a review of something (sometimes a book, sometimes a product, sometimes something DIY). Then one of the other days I write about my son & what he's gotten up to (the baby book I'd intended to create with photos & keepsakes is gathering dust--this blog is it, really). The rest of the week just seems to get filled in with ideas sparked from reading other blogs & stuff.

    As for the rules on how to drive traffic to a blog, I sometimes get more hits on weekends too. I ignore SEO. I put up my post links on Twitter & FB, occasionally on other pages or forums if it seems appropriate. I write whenever & schedule my posts (mostly) to publish at 9am, but I don't know if that's optimal. When I read other people's blogs, it's in my Google Reader, generally, so it doesn't really matter what time they publish.

  7. Going to steal your idea of 10 things I want to do for my weekly lists, by the way... :D