Redux

Blog stats: Ring Dings—six page views today. Published five years ago, suddenly it’s viral. Practically viral, at least for me. Did somebody email out the URL? Maybe it’s the “MORE ON WORDPRESS” recommendation at the bottom of somebody’s post. I wish I used better analytics. I’d like to know where the readers come from.

Did anyone actually read it? It’s 1,357 words. I keep my posts under eight hundred words now—bite-sized chunks. I respect your time. Ring Dings takes commitment.

I read it myself this morning, after the third page view, I forgot the story. I wanted to refresh my memory. It’s not as good as I expected. I’m a better writer now—stronger sentences, more concise. But my storytelling was better. Fueled by OCD, crazy connections formed in my head. All topics related to one another somehow, or at least I made them so.

The other blog post on my mind today is The New Math published on September 1. Using math, I charted a path to 945,000 daily Covid cases by January 12. Susan calls me a provocateur. I provoke. I try to shock. I make egregious statements to make a point. My goal with that gargantuan figure was to illustrate that the pandemic was far from over. This week National Institutes of Health Director, Dr. Francis Collins, told reporters the U.S. could see up to a million cases per day in the coming weeks. Maybe he was going for shock as well.

My blog contains six dead friend stories. That’s one for each of my dead friends. I wonder if I’m destined to write a blog post every time someone dies. Is it macabre? Opportunistic? Voyeuristic? Or am I exploring my feelings, honoring old friends. Sometimes when tragedy strikes, bloggers achieve their most beautiful writing. At least one of my dead friend stories falls in that category.

Reading Ring Dings this morning made me want to revisit my old stories to see if I can improve them. Driving off to Christmas shop today, Sophie played a new/old song by Taylor Swift. Taylor recently lost ownership of many of her songs. Rather than fight the system and get tangled in a lengthy court battle, she’s simply rerecording them, using her current skills to make the songs better. It occurred to me that by rereleasing the songs, she’ll sell more music (and earn more money) than if she kept control of the old songs. By revisiting her songs, she’s making them relevant again.

Those of us who blog for years own a backlog of stories that never get read. Some of them deserve attention, another moment in the spotlight, at least a little daylight. I think I might Taylor Swift a few of my stories.

12 thoughts on “Redux

  1. Yeah I went back to my backlog too recently. Actually it took me a few months to get through, 2012 through some of 2016. Kind of painful at times. Kind of feels like work. But appreciate your diligence to it and has been fun swapping stories. Heck, I like your scenes in SE PA as I get nostalgic for home. Merry Christmas Jeff! Hope your family has a good one.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve toyed with the idea of trying to compile a book of essays. I’ve done it twice, one time really obsessively and my relationships suffered, the other time really casually and it shows in the book. Unfortunately, I think obsessively is the only way to do it right. Merry Christmas back atcha.

      Liked by 1 person

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