There are a lot of us bloggers out there in the world of the Internet. Every single one of us have two things in common: We want a voice, and we want readers. (Strong emphasis on the latter).
One of my daily hobbies as a blogger is to look at my analytics for my own Hot Flashes blog. I just love to see the numbers of readers because it validates that people are actually reading my stuff and I am not writing in a vacuum. That's my reward.
I can't ignore the bonus of the occasional wonderful comment attached to one of my blogs. One good comment -- since it is in writing, will keep me on cloud nine for a while. I found that most of my readers, however, never leave a comment on the actual blog.
Yet what amazes me most are the random thrilling comments by fans of my blog. Each time I get one I have to discuss it with my husband or one of my kids. People who keep coming back to read are not just mere readers, but qualify as a fan. That is just about the best feeling a writer can get. (Other than having a best-selling book that is or maybe a Pulitzer Prize.)
For now, dreams of the last two things deferred, I will take a random comment of a fan any day. By way of explanation, aside from the Huffington Post, I have had a blog called Hot Flashes (Hot Topics with a Wink and a Nod to that time in Life) for a long while, first on the Houston Chronicle newspaper site, and then I pulled it to my own site. Here, then, are just some of the things that occurred to me just in the past few months:
An 83-year-old woman who I met for the first time, but who is a relative of a distant relative (I met her at a wedding) came up to me and said, "I read all of your blogs. I love them." I repeat this was an 83-year-old woman, who loves what I write. Does it get any better than that?
A computer guy that I barely know was fixing some stuff for me and all of a sudden one day he asks me, "Have you lost weight? You look good." I looked at him suspiciously and then quizzically. He must have seen my expression because he quickly gave me an explanation that he reads all my blogs and he was referring to a recent one called, "Weight! Hold That Compliment!"
The computer guy then effused over my writing and my blogs -- this was the first I had any inkling that he knew I blogged. I have to repeat here too, a computer guy. What the heck?
And then the woman who came over to change my dad's Medicare supplement when he moved to Texas had to stop in the middle of her transaction to discuss how great my blog is. "I could have written many of the entries myself," she said. (That is a high compliment, because every blogger wants people to relate to what they write.)
I bump into young people all the time -- college students, young professionals, and they compliment my blog. All ages, and both genders, are interested in what I have to say!
Another time I was checking out at the grocery store and a checker looked at my name on my Shopper Savings card and got very excited. "You're the Hot Flashes lady! I love Hot Flashes, not the real ones, but your blog!"
At a registration for a seminar, as the woman checking me in and writing my name tag, she looked at me and said, "Well I'll be, you are the Hot Flashes writer! I just love your writing."
In a doctor's office, the receptionist wanted my autograph and then began to barrage me with topic ideas.
Random hockey players that my husband plays with read and like my blog as they tell him or comment on a particular one all the time. (With a title like Hot Flashes, that is fairly miraculous that tough hockey players are reading it, no?)
Sometimes, my blogs spur people into action. An acquaintance mentioned my blog on First Love and said it motivated her to contact him. The end result is the start of a beautiful friendship.
Recently, a family that was subject of still another blog was contacted by a producer of reality series after reading my blog and contacting me. That may lead to an actual reality series on the family. How cool is that?
I am feeling somewhat well-known in my little corner of the world, and yet I appreciate the unlimited audience available on the Internet, even if in the real world I am just another blogger.
Each instance like the ones above keep me chugging along with blogging and loving what I do.
So if you are reading this today, I have four simple words to impart to you: Thank you for reading.