Thoughts by Richard Bleil
Today my readers pushed me over my goal for the year, namely, 10,000 read in 2019. With two days left in the year, this is an amazing accomplishment. Thank you all so very very much.
This means 10,000 reads in 363 posts (yes, I’ve had a post every day for 2019). That’s an average of over 27 reads per day, or 27 per post (about 27.5 actually).
Of course, most of my readers were hits from within the United States (about 8,800). This far outpaces the next nearest country reading my work which is Canada at over 400, India with over 250, the United Kingdom with over 190. In all, I’ve had readers in 38 countries or regions on six continents (no readers in Antarctica).
Frankly, I’m amazed that we, you and I, reached this goal. My blogs are rather “old-fashioned”, focusing solely on the written word. That is, my blog has included no photos or video clips. As fewer people seem to be reading, and more are watching video blogs (so-called “vlogs”), this blog has been purely the written word.
My blogs have been all over the map. I’ve tried to write pieces of pure strangeness that I hope has made you laugh, and I’ve tried to frighten you out of your mind with some of my short stories. I’ve included scientific entries that I hoped would expand your mind, and political pieces that I hope made my readers think more critically. I’ve written pieces on depression that I hope made my fellow depressed colleagues feel less isolated and alone, and I’ve written encouragement pieces that I hope made everybody feel a little bit better about whatever situation they might be in.
I guess when I started this “experiment”, I figured that eventually a focus would emerge, but honestly it never has. I thank you, my readers, for sticking with me through this oddness. I think that, if you have a particular focus it might be easier to find a following of readers with similar interests. The problem, I think, is that my interest is all over the board, and my blog has reflected my interests.
There have been some constants. When I write, I have decided that I always wanted to be as completely open and honest as possible and put my vulnerabilities on full display. The reason for this is because I’m hoping that, by letting people see the pain in my heart, the worry on my mind and the fragility of my soul, maybe it will touch somebody and inspire them when they need it. It’s easy to preach, but it’s challenging to open yourself to criticism with honesty. Which reminds me, that’s another reason that I owe gratitude for my readers. I actually have had a few people lash out at me for one post or another, but I have had far greater support and loving feedback. I mean by a landslide. This means the world to me, so thank you.
Another thing I’ve wanted to do is inspire my readers to think honestly without pressure to have them agree with me. I hope I’ve been successful in this. It’s most certainly a delicate tightrope because I never wanted to hide my political opinions but I’ve also tried to reassure my readers that their opinions and feelings are equally fair and important. I’ve wanted to inspire open and civil discourse without judgment. I’m not sure that I’ve been as successful at this as I would have like to have been because, let’s be fair, there are times that emotions get high in the current political climate, but I do think I’ll declare “fair effort” with this goal.
So we are just a couple of days away from a new year. I’m open for suggestions from my readers; what would you like to see? Am I doing a good job? Could I be doing better? I’m toying with the idea of getting back into writing a book or two, and there are a couple of ways this could happen. I could take some time away from my blog to do so (there are about 300 words in one page in a book, and each of my blogs is a minimum of 750 words although the average is quite a bit higher, so I’ve written over 900 pages this year alone). Or, I could put my entire book on the blog one entry at a time. I wonder, would you be interested in a running story line, or would you lose interest?
Whatever I do, I’m going to try to keep my basic tenets intact. Thank you SO very much for reading, and I hope it has been as rewarding for you as it has been for me.