. . . I started this blog. I was surfing the Internet, coming across these things called “Blogs,” and had absolutely no idea what they were for or how to begin one. Then I clicked on a little icon at the bottom of the sidebar for a site I visited. It took me to a dark blue screen with a gigantic orange B. There, I learned what blogging was all about. I learned there was no secret code to start one and that a person could use it for anything they wanted to write about - sports, entertainment, wrangling wild ferrets.
I learned it was for free.
So on Monday, November 12, 2007, I typed in my information to start a blog. The hardest part was coming up with a name. The second hardest part was coming up with something to post. The third hardest part was getting over my EXTREME SHYNESS to l et other Web surfers know of my existence.
What was I thinking?
For the first time in my entire life, I had a severe case of writers’ block. I picked up my handy thesaurus and flipped through for a name. I was going to go with, “The Misanthropic Writer.” Yet this just didn’t suit me. “The Churlish Writer” was the name I chose for about two months. Then “The Surly Writer” came into existence. One problem was solved.
Now I had to decide what to write about. Wait. Let me come back to this one later. Instead, let me discuss my EXTREME SHYNESS and how long it took me to get away from my lurker status to start leaving comments on other people’s blogs.
Three months. That’s right. It took me three months to get my courage to make a comment. I was visiting Agent Nathan Bransford’s blog where he held a first paragraph contest. Writers had the opportunity to submit the first 500 words of a story and he would have prizes for the best five. I am a sucker for writing contests. I submitted a story. I lost. I had fun.
I thanked him for having the contest. I believe my comment was, “I am one of the new people to your blog . . . blah, blah. Thank you for the contest . . . blah, blah. I was always a little nervous about leaving comments here because everyone seemed so highbrow and way out of my league. Sometimes I feel like putting on a waitress uniform and serving virtual drinks to everyone . . . blah, blah. Would you like a martini, Mr. Bransford? Blah . . . blah. I’m going back into my dark corner now. Sigh, if only I had a cute bartender to talk with . . . blah, blah.”
His response (if I remember correctly): “Thanks for stopping by! I’ll have a brandy.”
Ha! And I thought I was the wacky one in the blogosphere.
From then on I started fighting against my introvert self to leave comments on blogs. What I discovered most about blogging was how to discover new people. I clicked on an icon in the comment’s section, followed the person back to their home, and peeked through their windows at what they were doing for the day. Then I would see someone had stopped by for a chat and I would follow this new person home with no one the wiser. In essence, I stalked people for harmless fun. And I was stalked in return.
For some readers here, I left comments to let you know of my presence. For a few people, you checked through your various trackers and discovered a lurker called MLH (I was sooo busted!) And for the rest of my readers, you came here leaving comments and I followed your bread crumb trail back to your ginger bread houses and totally fattened myself up on the goodies you posted.
I am grateful to know all of you! And I am sure I might have a few lurkers who visit. Although you have never left a comment, I am grateful to have you too! I am grateful for having my 13 followers . . .
13? Lucky number 13? I hear thunder rumbling.
Anyway, I’m grateful to have my followers and grateful to have my 17 subscribers. Oops! 20 subscribers. 20? That can’t be right. Those have to be fake. Maybe computer bots trolling over my blog for the various Internet search engines. Whatever. I’m grateful nonetheless and it isn’t even Thanksgiving yet - in the USA.
Leaving comments and being social - another problem I have overcome.
And now for my last problem: What to write about? As for my posts, I still have NO IDEA WHY YOU PEOPLE READ MY BLOG! I offer no nutritional value to your daily vitamin allowance. I write about anything and nothing, which is no mean feat - I’m telling yah. Who knows what I will write about next? My next post could involve spitting camels on roller skates playing banjos. I could write about a fictional sleuth who discovers his baby’s mama’s uncle Billy Joe Bob was murdered for telling the police it was the butler’s cat hopped up on catnip who committed the crime of feeding pennies laced with arsenic to the neighbor’s plastic flamingo. Heck, one of these days I might even write about something sane.
Oh well, I still have one last problem to overcome by my next blogoversary. The Surly Writer is a year old. I have burped it, given it three feedings a week, and tucked it in every night with a goodnight kiss. In return, it has given me headaches from its growing pains (various blogger problems), temper tantrums (more blogging problems), and giggles during its precocious times (readers’ comments.) I look forward to another year of posting.
But I’m shuddering at the thought of when we reach its Terrible Twos.
HAPPY BLOGOVERSARY TO ME!