Give or take twenty-four or maybe forty-eight hours, it was two years ago at the end of November, that I first hit "Publish" on Open Salon.
Sheep Dog's recent post suggested to put OS in the title if you want success. My last post - which was really no post at all - had OS in the title (for fun), so I better not overdo it.
So, what have I learned in these two years?
How to be a successful blogger. Or not. Here are some tips, worldly experiences and honest insights, that may (or may not) take you to the tipping point.
- In short order, if you’re around long enough, you know the schedule
and the alliances. By checking in at 10 am, you can pretty well predict the front page, by say, 2 pm. It’s widely known keeping posts relatively short and posting between 8:00 am - 9:30 am EST helps. I'm obviously failing there.
All really predictable stuff; not that there’s anything wrong with that. Thankfully life doesn’t come in concise little packages, and creative expression doesn’t either. This place runs the gamut.
- Networking helps but how I hate that word. Like white is the new black, it seems "networking" is the new "friendship." Unintentionally, I really fucked up that one from the very beginning.
For the longest time, I thought you could only have six favourites at a time and had to keep refreshing them. So I would dump the six and start afresh, I’m not kidding. If you were part of that fall-out, my apologies. Damn naiveté.
Oh, I know how to sell a marketable package. I do that by day -- market and sell. I came to Open Salon for a different market share.
To quote the much (m)aligned Desiderata: "With all it's sham, drudgery and broken dreams, OS is still"... Ah, you know the rest!
- I've never gushed at length about this cyber place because I’m not really a gushy type of gal. Unless, you **wink** know me really well, that is.
- I have however, found profound connections in this cyber space; ones that I was once quite cynical of. To my surprise, those I thought I held nothing in common with, turns out we actually have quite a lot in common.
- I don’t have an addictive personality; otherwise I’d probably be dead by now. Still, initially I felt driven by the OS impulsion/compulsion. Shock of the new and all that. I’d find myself up reading the nighthawks, then be late for work the next morning. Learning to balance this newfound nocturnal playground was very helpful.
- Also, I found myself shedding tears for both known and unknown pixelated avatars. Feeling empathy for others here allowed me to exorcize some of my own fears and losses by osmosis. Likewise, reading comedic posts turned around a few gray days.
- I have also felt the sting of bitter comments left for me. I have apologized for leaving one myself.
- I have learned not to skim if I plan to comment. I skimmed a post once rather than read it whole, left a comment to my detriment, and lived to regret it. Lesson learned.
- There were times because of my nature I’ve been totally misunderstood (on my blog or in my comments), but let it go, because there are worse things than being misunderstood.
- Recently, I was insulted here in a sexually derogatory way (I won’t repeat it) and it rolled right off my back. In my ensuing moment of Zen, I laughed, in fact.
- There are some folks here that I have met personally. There were no surprises, they were, as they seemed. There are a few I’d love to meet, but accept that through distance or destiny, it’s not meant to be.
- There are a couple of people of both genders whose company I can imagine being just plain dangerous fun. And I know it; sight unseen!
- There are the very good writers and poets (you know who you are); thanks for your wellspring of creativity. Then there are those on their own journey and just so damn endearing, you always bring me back to your page.
- As for my participation, I try to give back and get around to both those new and seasoned writers. I enjoy spending time on the fringe. I also support many of whom I feel deserve a far greater reading audience. I search the sidelines fairly frequently, there is that part of me that relishes in being an outsider myself. It is familiar territory.
- I have sweated fucking blood for some posts that were not as well received as throw away posts written mainly for myself. I have had pieces end up on the cover and asked the Editor to take them down. Believe it or not with a shy tendency, the glaring light of the cover made me want to run and hide.
Through my own volition, I've removed over half my writing. I used to write fiction here, but it was just not the platform for me. Who knows, I may pull some of the old stuff out. Look out!
I’ve written my personal history, but only looking at it backwards through decades of time. There is no way I could “live blog” anything. This, by the way, is not a prescription or a "should" intended for anyone else. Everyone processes and relates their experiences differently. And I respect that.
I’m a fairly serious person, and the last seven months I've had a ton of serious, so while not in denial here, I try to keep things relatively light while I can.
My nom de plume allows me more freedom in my words. This Scarlett entity; she is only part of me. Yet, I recognize through pretending, we sometimes get to be ourselves.
Open Salon has given me a place to take her out to play now and then. Sometimes words unite us with ourselves; sometimes with others. And for that I am thankful.
Ultimately, it is the exchange of words between all the players here that bring those of us, behind this electronic hearth, together.
Scarlett Sumac. 2011