Recently I passed 600 days in a row of bicycling. I also just reached 600 blog posts. I’m 19 shy of having 600 followers. That and the Writers League of Texas Summer Writing Retreat, which has modules both on memoir (which is what my manuscript is) and revision, which it really needs. It makes me wonder if the universe is sending me a sign that it’s time to take a break and do something different. This concurrence of coincidence, symphony of synchronicity, or dance of happenstance may not mean anything. It’s just numbers, after all. But it reminds me of a poem quoted in the TV show The Mentalist, which I really enjoyed:
Tyger! Tyger! burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?
“The Tyger”, by William Blake
That’s just the first verse, but it’s thought to be about good versus evil. That’s not exactly relevant to the topic of whether or not I should continue my blog, and not that I believe in heaven or hell anyway. But it does make me think about choosing one thing over another, cause and effect, and “two paths diverging in a yellow wood,” to quote another poem. Writing about biking and my fitness journey as a fathlete, such as it is, is interesting, challenging, fun, and good writing practice. I appreciate what actual readers I do have.
But I know I’m no Hemingway. I’m just a dude who bikes and does other stuff and writes about it. I don’t promote this on social media, and I don’t pretend I’m writing anything revolutionary or that exciting, although I do think it’s at times useful, educational, entertaining, amusing, or a good way to kill five minutes while you’re on the toilet with nothing else to read. An influencer I most certainly am not, although a few people have commented that I’ve helped inspire them a bit.
Since I don’t have tons of followers, I don’t run ads, and that’s because I wouldn’t make any money off of them. I don’t have corporate sponsors beating down my door begging me for a mention of their product in my blog for which they pay handsomely,. either. Someday sooner than later I’ll need to make money, this labor of love aka hobby may have to get smaller or even go away. It may not seem like it, but sometimes a post can take a couple of hours. At three a week usually, that time adds up. Not to mention the time spent going on rides like the Juneteenth Black History Ride so I have something to write about.
I’m not complaining; I chose to do this starting January 1, 2016 — five and a half years ago. But with 600 posts, 600 miles and almost 600 followers, maybe it is time I take a step back. Maybe a month off whilst I do the writing retreat, if I decide I can afford to pay for it (can I afford not to do it?). Or maybe I should blog twice or even a week instead of three and see what happens. Some posts are evergreen and will stand the test of time. There is a bit of a legacy to this. Some bloggers have been at it for a decade or more. It’s nice to have a body of work. Should my book ever get published or self-published, at least I have this little online presence.
To get the book done though requires allot more work and getting other eyeballs and comments on it. Whether hordes of people read this blog or not, I’d like to think I’ve contributed some good stuff, and the book is more of the sane. I’ve always been interested more in readers than followers. And no one told me I’d be expected to read, like, comment and follow other bloggers. I’m not great about that because it takes time and one only has so much of it. I spend a good four hours a day biking, walking, doing yoga, reading, writing, practicing music. That may not seem like a lot, but to keep at it day in, day out, well it’s pretty darn exhausting. The fact is that I’m not getting younger and despite all my efforts, my health isn’t where I want or need it to be at all. Actually it’s pretty piss poor these days.
So for now I’ll keep going, but if you see a drop off in posts, you’ll know why. To end with another poetic quote: “Do not go gentle into that good night. Rage, rage against the dying of the light.”