You may have noticed that I’m not posting 5 days a week anymore. I might start again, but the truth is that the blog was a creative outlet in a world where I had no creative agency, or at least I felt like I didn’t. Since I started blogging, I started my own business, moved to Oregon, and have been doing a lot of creative work in my daily life, leaving very little time or imagination for anything else. In December the business turned three, and in May I’ll have been working at it full time for three years. I have plans in place, and fully expect to be more management than creative by that time, and I already have more free time to make long-term decisions and planning than I ever have before.
In the midst of making that transition from lone freelancer to manager, I basically scooped my entire brain out and documented every piece of it for our standard operating procedures, and I’m not totally done yet. As long as the business is mine, I will never be. Everything grows and changes, although I’m entering a period of less intensity than I have ever known, and it feels really good.
Does that mean I’ll come back to 5 days a week? I have no idea. I do know myself, and I know that I can’t stay dormant for very long. But I also feel really tired. Not just because the end of our “start up” phase is maybe not near, but at least conceivable, but also because I got in a car accident at right about the bottom of my recovery arc from writing the SOP and enacting those policies and processes. That was two weeks ago, and my back still hurts. Not excruciatingly, but enough to distract, and I’m still dealing with recovery, and insurance, and everything else. I went from tired to barely being able to function. It takes all my energy to do the bare minimum to keep my company running right now, and I am completely surprised at how much this has taken out of me.
I always wondered what would happen if I were to get sick or suffer some kind of physical issue, and this is just a tiny picture of what that must be like. The discipline with which a person has to budget out their energy and ability is baffling, and it’s really helping to highlight how I overwork and how tenuous a skill that really is. It’s more clear now than ever that I have to build a stable system that can operate largely without me if I ever want to be successful at this business.
I’ve also been having some intense dreams that are doing all that much more to hammer on the point that if I don’t stop working night and day, my life will be gone and I’ll have nothing to show for it. I dreampt the other day that I died, and instead of actually dying, I cut my skin off with a linoleum knife and went back to work. In the dream, I wasn’t really human, but my insides were made of clay, which would break off and stick in the keyboard while I typed. In the last part of the dream before I woke up, Ben was trying to get me to put my skin back on so we could go to my funeral and all I could think was that I had so many deadlines I needed to wrap up before I was really dead.
So what does this mean for the blog? I can tell you that the posts I wrote this year were a combination of the best and worst yet. The best because my writing has finally gotten to a place where I feel proud of my ability as an essayist and a commentator. I am definitely still completely terrified to try and write fiction and what I write in that regard is completely off the mark of what I want it to be, but that’s not what I would consider to be the worst. The worst posts were the ones I made myself write while half out of my mind with exhaustion, wasting the time and energy of everyone involved in order to make a piece of shit filler post that wasn’t good. All because I had an arbitrary and no longer useful mandate to publish 5 times a week. Whatever happens with the blog going forward, I’m definitely not going to do that again. If I ever publish 5 times a week again, it’ll be because I have something to say 5 times a week, and for no reason else.
As a result of me having nothing to say and blogging about it anyway, we had 72,000 pageviews this year. Down 7,000 from 79,000 last year. My most popular month was March, with 4,300 page views, followed by July with 2,900. February and April tied for third most popular month with 2,600 views each.
Unlike 2014, 2015 had less spikes in visits, which I attribute to me not posting the blog on Reddit after May. This is backed up in the fact that 40% of my social traffic (which was 26% of my total traffic) came from Reddit in 2014, and only 36% of social traffic (24% of my overall traffic this year) came from them in 2015, with almost no clicks happening after May. Both this year’s and last year’s most viewed days were blogs I linked to relevant Reddit threads, which is why they performed so well.
2016 won’t have any Reddit traffic unless someone else links to the blog for me, seeing as I was shadow-banned for self promotion, and only allowed back if I promised never to post my own blog again. Something I took a lot of exception to, since I did more writing on Reddit in those days than I did on my own site, in addition to moderating two subs, and posting a lot of other relevant information. Since then, and their subsequent firing of Victoria, the AMA manager that everyone has pretty much forgotten about, I couldn’t see clear to give them any more of my time, and have largely ignored Reddit. Especially as the company has been taking more and more of my time and energy.
The top 5 posts of 2015 were:
4. Female Masturbation Techniques (for the fourth year running)
Only one of the most popular posts of 2015 was written in 2015. The other four most popular post of 2015 written in that year would be:
Last year, my goals were to write more commentary and I did, although not as much more as I’d have liked. I counted 44 entries in the category commentary for 2014 and 50, only six mroe in 2015, but I’ll take what I can get. I’m hoping for even more commentary going forward since I really enjoy that.
I also said that I wanted to separate the erotica reviews from the main part of the blog, which I did, but I also stopped writing them. I’m on the fence as to whether or not I want to start that up again. I haven’t even had time to read lately, and to be honest, now that my life is going a lot better and I feel happier and more secure in my career, I don’t have the impulse to hide inside books like I used to. They were an escape from a stressed out place where I was barely making enough money to live on, and that’s not my reality anymore.
I also said I wanted more professional security and an opportunity to work with communities again, which have both happened for me. The local business community has been amazing in providing meaningful relationships, and opportunities to feel connected and involved again.
Next year, I want the company to earn enough money to justify us becoming a true corporation, and I want to be able to hire and pay a living wage to at least one staff person. I have a pretty solid plan for at least one of my contractors to transition to full time employee, and I feel confident that we can get there. It’s going to be a lot more hard work on a level I haven’t worked at in a long time, if ever really, but I’m looking forward to this next phase of the business.
For the blog, I want more quality posts and less filler shit.