There’s a guy who reads my blog every day. He reads my new posts over and over again. He rereads last month’s posts on a regular basis. And he reads through the old stuff, the stuff I wrote years ago, even when no one else does.
That guy is me. I like what I write, and I like how I write it. I enjoy reading my stories… again and again.
I’m saddled with obsessive thoughts. They linger and lurk in a corner of my mind like a hoodlum outside a seven-eleven. Always there, a little menacing, impossible to ignore. One of my obsessions is blog stats. When I wake up in the morning, as my coffee is percolating, WordPress is the first site I visit. I look to see who visited during the night. How many people, if they had anything to say.
Throughout the day, I check in hourly, often I’ll check as many as four or five times during that hour. Nothing ever changes, or almost never. A handful of times each day—on a day when I haven’t posted anything—I’ll pick up a view, maybe a like, and on rare occasions, a follower.
But these small, infrequent victories keep me returning, looking for more. At least half of the views I get are tied to three posts. These are posts with key words that get a lot of action.
The Hair Wiz: It’s a 1970s product that cuts your hair using a razor blade imbedded in a comb. There’s a small but dedicated crowd still looking for the special razor blades the Hair Wiz uses. I don’t know if they ever find the blades, but they always find my blog post. It gets three or four views each day.
The best songs you won’t hear in spin class: I wrote this years ago, midway through my career as a spin instructor. It’s my fantasy playlist of inappropriate and profane songs that I’d love to (but don’t get to) play in my class. Apparently, people are constantly looking for the best songs for spinning. But they don’t get them from me.
Sweet and Naughty: This is a review of a candy shop in Culebra, Puerto Rico. I doubt people in China are trying to find out about the store which, incidentally, was permanently put out of business by Hurricane Maria, but sweet and naughty remains a common search term.
But I’m not writing about these three posts. They get more readership than they deserve. This post is about blogs and bloggers and lost gems.
From my perspective, blogs serve two purposes: They either make a point, or they tell a story. I suppose the best blogs make a point while telling a story, but for me, the story is what matters. Like the TV show Seinfeld, resolution at the end isn’t necessary. I just want to enjoy getting there.
Because I read and reread my blog, I can honestly say that some of my posts are worth the effort. They tell a good story. Some of them even make a point. I’ve listed these stories on a Best Stuff tab of my blog, but no one ever reads this page. Because I watch my stats so carefully, I know that my Best Stuff is reviewed about once a month. And I think this is a shame. These are the posts that fill me with pride.
Recently, someone read my post Dead Man in the Surf . I wrote this a couple of years ago, and in all this time, I haven’t revisited it. When people view a story that I haven’t read in a while, I always take the time to read it. I like to refresh my memory, I like to know what people are getting. I was shocked. This is one of my best stories. When I wrote it, I saw it as a goofy little piece of no importance. Now, I know that when I next distill my blog into a memoir, this will be a prominent story in the book. Dead Man in the Surf may even be the title of the book.
We all have old posts that we consider our best posts. Those pieces we post, get thirty page-views, and then disappear into the oblivion of WordPress. How do we get people to take the time to go back and read those old posts. I’ve tried with my Best Stuff tab and it doesn’t work.
I want to know. What is your best writing? What is the one story you would hold up as your favorite piece. Right now, Dead Man in the Surf is mine, but this will change over time. Right now, what is yours?
Drop your link in my comments. I want to read the post that you think is your best.