Wednesday, November 23, 2016

DON'T check your views!

After re-reading some of my recent posts, I am sorry for, or at least a little embarrassed about, writing the same piece three or four times. I am referring, of course, to the recent CanLit debacle, starring Steven Galloway in the Randle P. McMurphy role.  I had thought of deleting one or two, but each one emphasizes a certain aspect. .  . so. . . ah. . . I was surprised to see it, anyway. Each time I wrote, it seemed like the first time. This may be a sign of advancing age and a brain that sometimes seems as arthritic as my ghastly old knuckles. 

Once I've written and posted things, I try to forget about them. I know that is not the best attitude, but it is my personal antidote to the feverish "OMG-I'm-not-getting-enough-views/likes/hits/kisses/love" that seems to be a requirement of bloggitude and the internet-verse in general. Lately I have been trying assiduously NOT (t-t-t-t-t-tttt) to check my blog views, simply because a few weeks ago they shot up by several hundred per post for no reason I could ascertain. Certainly I wasn't writing any better. Most of the views were for the kind of silly video I like to post, both to lighten things up and because I really do think they're cool. But some were for actual pieces of writing that I did. I was not used to this and almost panicked. Wait a minute! Is somebody trying to read my stuff?

I've never had what could be called a "readership", though at one point I was as anxious as anyone else who writes and tries to publish.  I'm of the opinion now that I should write whatever the hell suits, pleases and is personally therapeutic for ME and just put it out there. One person may read it, or none. My new YouTube enterprise is even more shocking: the only reason I get one view is that there is no "zero" setting, but was it ever any different? ("Those whose names were never called/When choosing sides for basketball" - Janis Ian, "At Seventeen").

At any rate, I don't want to write about CanLit any more, don't want to see people tearing into each other in public from the anonymous safety of their phone. Used to be, if you hated someone or were furious with them, you found a piece of paper, stuck it in your typewriter (or found a pen), spilled out your enraged thoughts in the letter, then folded it, addressed it, found a stamp (if you could find one - hell, I could never find a PEN!), then went outside (outside! THAT place), and started walking (!) to the mail box.

While it was true you couldn't take it back once it went thunk into the mailbox, that stroll might give you time to think better of it. Writers and people in general were usually advised to leave such a letter overnight, sleep on it. 

Whoever the hell sleeps on ANYTHING any more? And we all weigh 300 pounds and are more neurotic about power and popularity than ever.

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