This week, I just want to have a word with The Knucklehead, OK? This one isn’t really for the internet audience, such as it is. I just want to have a chat with my boy. So thanks for stopping by, but we’re closed to the public this week. Nothing to see here folks… move along, that’s it… don’t forget your coat. Thanks. See you next week. Buh-bye.
Are they gone?
Ok. This blog is a failure. I mean, c’mon, I need to face some hard facts here. I’ve been making weekly posts for over five months now, and only last Sunday I finally hit 1,000 views. That’s not one post, that’s the whole blog. Not daily, either, we’re talking all-time. I’m averaging around 30 views per post, which means about a fifth of just my Facebook friends take a look each week. I have no idea if they’re even reading the entire posts; probably not. By internet standards, that’s a joke. I’m so far from “viral” I’m not even a mild head cold. I’m not even a sneeze. I’m WordPress’s runny nose. Nobody’s reading this crap.
And can you blame them? I’m not doing anything right. I mean, look around this place. I have no links to anything else. There’s no clear, concise theme. There are no interactive features. No quizzes, pictures, cartoons, or videos. Not even lists. There’s just text. Paragraphs of text. Text in a middle-aged white guy font with a page design that’s practically apologetic. Pages and pages of it. Good people, people who are smart and know these things and care about me and mean well have told me to keep my word count down around 600 per post. I get that, it makes sense. People don’t want to invest the time, and why should they? I’ve even tried to trim down, I just can’t. I get to talking about you, and the stuff just pours out like a fire hose. That’s not good writing. That’s just logorrhea.
Hits are everything on blogs, they’re the coin of the realm. They are the measure of success. I’m supposed to be marketing this blog, pushing it, selling myself, but you know I’ve never been good at that. I’ve always lacked the self-confidence for that, you know that, and I’m terrified that crippling self-esteem issues are my true legacy to you as a father. I had those cool business cards printed up, remember that? I even gave you a box of them. I figured that would be an easy way to spread the word. I handed out, like ten, before embarrassment overtook me. At handing out cards! I felt like I was imposing on people. Have you ever heard of anything so pathetic in your life?
1,000 hits. In five months. Unbelievable.
So, by any objective standards, this blog is a failure. I’m doing it all wrong, and as a result I have no real audience. Eight followers. Count ’em, eight. And I think at least three of them are just phishers, anyway.
But none of that really matters to me. I write this blog for two reasons, and I’ll keep doing it for those reasons. The first reason you already know about. The second you don’t.
The first reason is the push you gave me. You knew how much writing means to me. You knew how frustrated I was not having an outlet for that, and I think you also sensed how scared I was to try it and fail. But you gave me the encouragement I needed. And I realized that if I was going to do anything for you as a father, it was going to be by example. How could I tell you to take chances and reach for your dreams if I was too afraid to do it myself? I sort of told myself I was doing it for you. But it was really your gift to me. And it was a good gift. Because I am writing. I’m writing, and failing, and picking myself up and writing some more. Sometimes I hit on a phrase or sentence that makes me smile, and I learn from that. I’m practicing. I’m writing. That makes me a writer. I’m doing what I always wanted to do. You gave me that.
The second reason? You’re my audience. I’m doing this for you, and in the end, you alone. Sure, it would feel great to know that some parent somewhere picked up encouragement, or an idea from this that helped with their own knuckleheads. I like to imagine that from time to time. But this is really a sort of a journal for when you’re a dad. Or coach, or teacher if you don’t have any knuckleheads of your own. It’s what I was thinking when I did some of the things I did. It’s a piece of me for when I’m not around any more. It’s my way of creating something useful for you for when you need it. And it’s right here, always within reach, anytime you want. Even if just to show your own knucklehead(s) what a dork your old man was. Or, if you like, a peek at how much fun being your dad was, and is. This blog is my love letter to you, my son.
So by those standards, this blog isn’t a failure. Which means I’ll keep on going for a while.
OK, you can let everybody else back in now.
What? Jeez, they were just here a minute ago.