When I first thought of writing a blog, I was a little tentative about posting it online. I mean, if we are supposed to think of email as a postcard that anyone could potentially read, posting something online would be like sticking my head out of the window and shouting at the world: “Hello! This is me! Read this!” Or so I thought. Turns out the internet is a big place, and finding things is an art. Keywords, Boolean operators, tags – all meant to help us locate a needle in the haystack. And if you aren’t properly indexed or search engine optimized, you’re as good as nonexistent. Where’s the best place to hide a dead body? On the second page of Google. And I’m not even on the second page.
In the early days, I posted my blog entries and no one saw them. That was OK because I was getting comfortable, finding my voice, wondering from week to week whether I’d still have anything to write about. Then I decided to “announce” my posts by linking to Facebook – tiny invitations to my small group of Facebook friends. I felt a little awkward and self-promotional, but I thought some of my stuff might be interesting. I’ve been surprised every week that someone reads.
An important thing all writers have to determine is “who is my audience?” I confess, I’m not always sure. I write about things that I see, and things that pop into my head. Sometimes, it feels like one of my childhood fantasies: I can narrate my life and people will be interested. But more often than not, I have my mom in mind, and my posts are what I would write in a letter or chat about on the phone. There’s only one problem – my mom doesn’t use a computer, smartphone, or the internet. So what’s a daughter to do? I periodically print my posts, have them bound at the copy store, and mail them to her. The anti-internet.
So now I’ll add this entry. A tiny boat bobbing along in the wide internet sea. A message in a bottle for you, dear reader.