I hope everyone is off to a good start with the new year. Here in Maryland, it’s been cold and snowy, although I know many of you have seen far worse weather this winter. For me, it’s time to buckle down on the writing and make some serious progress on at least one WIP. And I need to get back into the blogging swing. To ease back in, I thought I’d start with some sundries.
An Odd End To 2013
Some of you may remember my early November post regarding the strange hits I’d received from something called semalt. At that point, few people in my corner of Blog Land had run across the company. Nothing strange happened as a result on my blog, other than more “unknown search terms” than normal, and I soon put the event out of mind. My daily views continued to be low. Very low. Low Low Low. But then something odd happened on 29 December 2013 and continued for a week before tapering off again. Check out this graphic of my stats as of Sunday morning:
Suddenly, I was receiving triple-digit daily views on the blog, many accompanied by “unknown search terms.” But most of the views were coming to that semalt post, and readers I had never seen before began leaving comments. Even WordPress noticed the increased traffic, twice sending me notifications about my booming stats. Over a 7-day period from 29 December 2013 through 4 January 2014, 1,481 recorded views came to my blog, with many readers sharing their experience over those days with their own high numbers of views from semalt. As many of us would do, they searched for information on the company, which is scarce. So guess what had risen in the search results—my little November post. Before long, my post was the top result to their queries. The experience has given me a glimpse of what it would be like to be Freshly Pressed. And answering all those comments makes me wonder how popular bloggers handle that level of interaction on every post! Please do consider reading those comments—a really interesting set of bloggers has intersected on the post, and you’ll find many new blogs to explore.
A Thank You To All My Followers and Readers
Despite “The Reader’s” devouring of our site views and rendering our stats worthless, the WordPress stats monkeys generated my year-end review post. Of course, they did it before the massive increase in views for my semalt post, so the numbers are even less accurate, but what the heck. I’d like to thank everyone (well, except spammers) who has stopped by to visit, follow, leave a like, or comment on my posts. This blog would be nowhere without you, and I truly appreciate the fact that you take time from your busy lives to pay me a visit.
A special shout out goes to my Top Five commenters for the year. If you haven’t already visited these bloggers, what are you waiting for?
Seeing new post notifications in my inbox for these great bloggers is always a day brightener. Carrie Rubin of The Write Transition, Kourtney Heintz, and Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge made 2012’s Top Five as well. I don’t have the words to say how much their continued support of this aspiring author means.
If When I finally publish, you can be sure they will receive complimentary copies of my first book!
What Will The New Year Bring?
I’ve tried to think about the blog’s direction for 2014, but I’m afraid I’ve been easily distracted from that particular exercise. I can tell you that I’ll be posting some long overdue book reviews and an extremely belated awards post. I also hope we’ll see more Saturday Sit Downs with authors and other creative types who have new works coming out this year.
I’ve launched PerNoReMo 2 this month, hoping to reestablish the writing momentum I gathered in November but lost in December. If I’m serious about writing good novels, whether for a small audience or a wider public, I need to make serious progress on Death Out of Time this year. I hope to have my initial draft completed by the end of March. If I succeed, I’ll set it aside for April and then dive into the editing and revisions in May. If all goes well, Draft 2 of the rebuild will be ready for a first round of beta readers by early June.
Of course, it doesn’t help that Scrivener keeps track of the words we delete. Seriously, I’m making better progress than this graphic would indicate!
Meghan Bode has been quiet of late, respecting the time needed to rebuild Madeleine O’Brien’s Death Out of Time. But I won’t rule out the possibility that she’ll spring another short story on me for the blog. I know she has fans who would like to see more of her, and I don’t want to disappoint them. I suspect she’ll sneak in if I try to write some archaeology posts.
So we’ll see how the year unfolds. Heck, maybe I’ll even change gravatars or set up a new page for Death Out of Time to replace the one I took down last summer. I only hope that you’ll continue to enjoy what I do post during the year. Time to get the journey underway!
What new plans do you have for 2014?