I believe it was in the late 90’s that I was on line looking for an address when I ran across a now archieved website called The Soul Food Cafe .
It turns out this Soul Food Cafe wasn’t a restaurant, it was a website for creatives and writers.
I started to click around and I found prompt after prompt for stories, for artwork even recipes. I was blown away. It was as if I had wandered into a library and every single book I saw was one I wanted to read.
I was sold. I wanted in.
I found the contact info and discovered it was based out of Australia and run by a woman named Heather ( who is still my friend and mentor ) and in order to participate ( for free, can you believe it? ) you had to set up a blog and from there Heather would link your work to the website ( we called them ‘rooms’) and there was also a blog that served as our ‘ salon’ where we talked about our projects and posted our links.
Initially were based on Blogger.Com and then shifted over to WordPress ( oh the growing pains we had with that move-lol) I landed here sometime around 2006.
If you go to the site you’ll see that we had projects and areas we worked in- the goal was to write daily. I was good for that. There were a few odd years where I did not post daily, sometimes I managed weekly. At my worst a post or two a month. But I picked up a lot of good writing habits and I had support from a great group so I am proud to say I’ve been writing and growing as a writer since the day I wandered into the Cafe over 20 years ago.
So this is the rub.
I started to blog because I belonged to an international writers group- and back then we didn’t have Zoom or Facebook. We didn’t really ‘chat’ on our blogs and I can’t say I paid any attention to my stats. Producing our work was the goal, not driving up our stats on our individual blogs.
Besides, I had closed my blog so you could only view it if I invited you on. But one day I was changing something or another and I took my blog from private to letting it go public.
This happened around Halloween and I had a boat load of work up and Heather gave me a shout out on the webpage which took a ton of traffic and my stats went through the roof.
Funny thing is, I had kept telling her I was going to let my blog go public instead of private and I chickened out. I started to put my work out into the Universe strictly by accident and Heather just assumed I was going to do what I said I was going to do.
I guess that old habits die hard because I still look at my blog as a place to be creative and I haven’t made the biggest effort in the world to grow it stat wise. I figure that if people like what they read my job is done and if they don’t that’s the way the cookie crumbles.
I love reading blogs where people are engaged and talk about the post and sometimes I join in. But the reality is, I really do work hard at my writing and I don’t always have the time to chat. I probably should because there is a community spirit to WordPress that Writers are a part of and it wouldn’t hurt for me to ‘get out’ more.
If you are writer you have to go somewhere to fill the well- I used to go to museums and I traveled a lot but in the last couple of years that’s changed. Participating on line with groups of writers is probably the smart thing to do.
So to answer the question for December 7th’s Truthful Tuesday “how important are likes to you on your blog, and how do you determine if you are going to click like on other bloggers’ posts?”
Likes and engagments aren’t why I started to blog, and they’re not the reason I work on and plan posts to put up everyday. However, when I read posts that I like on other blogs I always hit that button and if I’m on my laptop I’ll leave a note ( it’s a hassle to do that from my phone ). I figure my blog won’t ever be a hub or a place where a lot of people go, but that’s okay because I know exactly why I’m doing what I do- but that’s not necessarily why other people blog.
So that like is me saying I read your work, I liked your work and I hope you keep at it and hopefully we will run into each other on WP now and then.