I noticed yesterday that I have written 557 blog entries since I began writing Scattershot in 2007. I started the blog in 2007 because my company webmaster Rachel made me. Okay, she didn't make me, but she ketp pestering me about it until I finally gave in. She insisted that the blog would somehow, through the magic of website search engine "stuff," help increase business for Cottonwood Press, the company I have since sold.
I don't know if it helped the company any, but I keep writing the blog because, to my surprise, I like doing it. What I like most is how it opens my eyes and makes me pay more attention to the world around me. I'm always looking for ideas to write about, and I find myself observing life more carefully, looking up information, trying to clarify my thoughts, and sometimes just goofing around on the page.
The other reason is the thrill of finding I have actual readers around the world. When I've been silent for a long time, a reader in Tennessee emails me and tells me he misses my posts. How sweet! A doctor in Australia loved my controversial advice on cooking green beans. A woman in Oregon wrote to tell me she'd actually seen the "SWEET CRON" sign I wrote about. The editor of a newsletter for Germans from Russia asked to reprint a story I wrote about my father. Whenever I write about education, I hear from teachers around the country, such as the award-winning teacher in Florida who wrote about how it will be his last year if he is required to start teaching from a "script," like others in his district.
And then there are friends who read the posts. Don sends me his goofy comments frequently. When Mary sends me her next "Words with Friends" play, she often includes a text about a piece she likes. Elaine often has a one-line response that makes me laugh. Arla, when I've hit a nerve complaining about something, will send a long email with her own views on the subject (always un-capitalized, I might add, despite my rant about un-capitalized email. I'll never convert her.)
My husband reads the posts but never comments. If family members read it, I don't know about it—except for one sister-in-law. It's kind of strange that strangers comment, but relatives do not. Maybe they've heard enough from me in real life?
Knowing that some people actually read "Scattershot" keeps me going. It's good writing exercise; it doesn't take long; and I enjoy it. Sometimes I hit long dry spells—usually when I'm stressed out and overwhelmed with a project of some kind. Sometimes I probably repeat myself. Sometimes my subjects are pretty lame.
But I think I'll keep writing. Now and then. Hit and miss. Scattershot.