Wow, time flies. Last year at this time, I was just five months into this Blog-thing, and now another year has passed. The holidays are a busy time, so I will keep this short.
Scrolling through my blogging output for the past year makes me a little surprised at how much content has been published in 2016. It shouldn’t be a surprise, because if a guy posts something once a week, that works out to 52 separate pieces. Looking back, we have covered a lot of ground here in that time, with topics meandering from here to there and back again.
When I started this project, I was given some advice that to build an audience, I should focus on one thing. It was very good advice, but advice that I have steadfastly ignored. Why? I have been trying to figure that out.
Early on, I had to decide if I was going to publish to build stats or if I was going to publish for me. I chose me. I figured that writing about the topics that I found interesting might interest enough others out there that my way of doing things could add to the sum total of humanity, if only a little teeny bit.
My deepest knowledge for writing is probably about old cars. But I already have the perfect forum at Curbside Classic for that topic, with a huge readership of knowledgeable people who follow each piece with a great conversation in the comments. I have no desire to try to replace that here, so I don’t try. My other interests are more varied, as you have seen, and so that is what we cover here.
Don’t worry (or maybe I should say don’t get your hopes up) because I am not quitting. The end of a year just naturally makes me look back at what we have done here together. Other websites and bloggers have republished some of their best pieces in this final week of the year (I am thrilled to have a few examples of my work make the cut over at CC) but with only one day for it, maybe I can just note a few.
As for popularity, the most popular piece of 2016 was my piece about teaching my son to drive a stick shift. The two behind it were about my troubles in finding a decent barbershop and my musings about the FBI’s treatment of the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s emails. Strangely, none of them came even close to my single greatest hit from last year about the disappearance of Brach’s French Burnt Peanuts from the candy aisle at your nearby store, an article that brings a couple of hits a day, month in and month out. (I just Googled “French burnt peanuts” and find that my little blog post is the 8th result, which jumps to 5th when I add the brand name. Which is kind of cool.)
Do I have any personal favorites? Well, having written them all, this is a tough question. I guess it depends on my mood. I rather liked my examination of why my hometown lacks a signature food, and also my reminisces following the death of a dear aunt. Two very different topics, to be sure.
So any new directions for 2017? I’ll let you know when I decide. For now, I intend to keep letting random thoughts fill my head, and for those that gel into something semi solid, sharing them with you. This may not be the way to riches or fame, but I am enjoying it. I hope you are too.
Best wishes to each and every one of you for a 2017 that is better than 2016 in every way.