By Richard Bleil
At the moment, I am looking at my blog statistics. My first blog was written on November 29, 2018, not quite five months ago. As of the writing of this post, 711 readers have viewed my posts 2,164 times. My readers have spanned the globe, originating from 25 different countries.
It’s really quite humbling.
In that time, I’ve written of politics, science, education, depression, and philosophy. I’ve tried to be positive, uplifting, encouraging, accepting, but, being human, it’s always been with my personal slant, perspective and opinion. As I’ve written, I’ve been keenly aware that my readers may not agree with my opinions, and have tried to make that okay, with a goal of giving a perspective for consideration rather than an attempt to influence. I cannot speak to my success in this goal; only my readers can decide on my success or failure. I know my blog style is old and outdated, but that’s okay, so am I. I am choosing to write, rather than vlog. It takes more time, more care, and people are reading less and less, but the written word has always been my love. Life can go wrong, and it really has for me, but the words will always be there. No matter what trials and tribulations we may face, the words of Keats, Poe, King, Lao Tzu, Shakespeare will always be there. No, I don’t pretend to equate to their level, but there is such a vast body of literature from countless authors that most of us have never heard of. These are the masses that are my people; those struggling to be heard, with stories to be told, adding to the body of the human experience on the outside chance that maybe, just maybe, somebody will find our words, and it will somehow touch them.
In the grand scheme of things, 2,164 views is not much. If each view was one unique and individual person, we are talking about one ten millionth of the world population (if I did my math correctly). Yet, here I sit, humbled, honored, thankful and blessed for every person who has taken the time out of their day to take a peek at my words. I cannot say if I’ve touched any of my readers, but each one of my readers has touched me, magnanimous and generous with their time, for which I will be eternally grateful.
None the less, although it might be small, I am having an influence on the readers I do have. Whether a reader agrees or disagrees, they are willing to at least hear my perspective. I take this as a responsibility, and try to be fair. I delineate opinion from fact, and back up the opinions that I can with data from legitimate sources.
Of late, I have begun a new experiment. My blog has always lacked focus. Currently I have over 25 people following my blog, names that I will not share because I don’t know if they want me to share or not. These are fellow bloggers with some seriously cool focus. I encourage them, if they so desire, to share their blog sites and focus in the comments, but they deal with mental health, spirituality, humor, health and more. Mine has meandered with a lack of direction that is reflective of my life right now. But, recently, I’ve had a crazy idea.
So far, I’ve written three short (SHORT) stories. The goal is to keep them under, oh, let’s say two thousand words. I don’t want them to be much longer than a typical blog. It’s been an interesting challenge. Through the years, I’ve had ideas for stories, but have rarely actually committed them to paper. I’ve written one book so far, and am working on a couple of more at the moment. In my book, I enjoyed developing the characters, fostering relationships along with the story line. Unfortunately, in short stories, this is not possible to keep the reading length reasonable for a short story. But the challenge of presenting the pertinent information without crowding the pertinent points, introducing a character without having time to develop her or him, and wrapping it up (especially with a twist ending as is my favorite thing to do) is interesting. Everything I’ve written so far has been a disappointment to me personally, but, maybe not complete failures. I hope to continue this experiment, and hopefully my readers will forgive my errors.
At the moment, my muse tends to rather dark and evil. No doubt this is a surprise for my friends, who know I’m a pretty punny guy. I’ve been accused of telling the daddiest dad jokes of any daddy dad jokes ever told by non dads. It would stand to follow that I would tell lighthearted humorous stories, and I have tried my hand at open mic night comedy clubs and considered myself to be a humorist in the past. I’m also a fan of science fiction, and it’s kind of surprising that I have not breached that realm in my short stories either. I’m sure these will be short stories in the relatively near future, but for now, I do hope you enjoy my walk in the dark side.