So, Sunday is July 4th, and its also the 5th birthday of Clouds in My Coffee. Now, I know this sounds like I'm tootin' my own horn, and in some ways, I am tootin' away, but seriously... five years is pretty good. Especially when I can count in what seems like five hands the number of people that have started blogs along the way, and can count on only about one hand the number of those blogs that lasted more than a few weeks, or a few posts. Heck, some blogs I read for what seems like years haven't posted in months, maybe a year or more. So, even if you think everything I've written is total crap, you gotta give it to me for consistancy...
Its not easy. Not only do you have to have something to say, you have to make it interesting enough for people to read it, or want to read it. I've learned you cannot just write any ol' thing and then say you don't care if anyone reads it--if you didn't care, you'd have a written diary, not an online blog.
You have to have built an audience along the way that when you post something on Facebook that simply says, "Hey, I just wrote about ----, so go check it out", your audience will say, "Well, I wonder what this is about?" and go check it out. And that audience takes time, time for them to find your blog, time for them to figure out if they like it, and time for them to keep coming back.
You have to be willing to take a beating. You have to be willing to cultivate your thoughts in a way makes sense and be ready with a response when your opinions and thoughts, factual or not, are challenged. You have to be willing to have your closest friends ask you about stuff that you know they'd know if they read the blog (meaning... they don't read it...). You have to have thick enough skin to have people say to you, "Yeah, I scanned it" or "Yeah, its just too long" or "Nah, I stopped reading a while ago", and have them never realize that this is your project, your baby, your online diary of sorts. They don't mean it personal, but you take it as such.
On the other hand...
...its such a glorious feeling when random people come up to you and say, "Hey, I read the blog" or "That was a great post" or "You were so funny when you wrote ---", when your response, at least mentally, is "you... read the blog?" There's a counter on the page for a reason--for me to know if its being read. And its averaging about 50 to 60 hits a day, so someone is reading it.
Blogging is a form of expression. Sometimes, like lately, its just a way to share the latest movie I saw. Or the latest book I read. Other times its a way to tell the story of what happened to me at the post office or at the mall or traveling. And sometimes, its a way for people to find out some history of my life, or a glimpse into the relationship between me and The Lovely Steph Leann (who, by the way, has her own following. I've spoken to a dozen or more people on Facebook who ask about, calling her exactly this, The Lovely Steph Leann. That's how she's known.)
And then, sometimes... its a way to celebrate. Or mourn. Its a way for me to share with you the happy news of a new job, or a new house, or a vacation... and a way for me to find comfort in tragedy, or in death. This is why I blog.
I'm using July to do some things with the blog, give it an overhaul, get some feedback on the good and bad. I'm working hard on The Dave100, a project that has taken me three years and four versions to get right. I want to do something with the header, and perhaps do something with the plain background (just for you, Hannah Armstrong, who hates the black background!) and clean up the links a bit.
So anyway, I gotta to say a big ol thanks to everyone who has bookmarked this page, who
Keep checking... change is a com'n... thanks for five years, Coffee Drinker. Monday, July 5th, starts the second five years.