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"I write, therefore I blog."

I posted my first blog entry on January 12, 2006. I labeled it The Autistic Organization. My editor at the time had taken great offense at its content so it had proven unsuitable for formal publication. I figured it qualified as blog material, so I started this blog called PureSchmaltz. Choosing a 'platform' proved nearly overwhelming, a road paved with more good advice than I could use. Many strongly recommended WordPress, but I could not figure out how to navigate around in it. It seemed to have been designed for people who learned to use computers using MicroSoft software on a Windows machine, two mediums I never could figure out. I decided to limit my search to native Apple apps, and found a start-up called RapidWeaver. I've been using their software for eleven years. Not all those years have been pleasant, as this software, like all software, occasionally suffers from improvements, aka upgrades, which usually degrade the quality of operation for a few days or a few months. Still, I've found nothing betteRR suited to me.

I'm no computer wiz.
Even when I held a job in IT, my role was never to program the damned things. I became fairly skilled at understanding the limitations of various platforms and packages, and fancied myself somewhat gifted at translating raw requests into something a tad more coherent, but I avoided ever learning how to code, and not simply due to my natural inability to manipulate abstract symbols, though that barrier certainly influenced my decision. When microcomputers first arrived, I thought them about as alluring as build-it-yourself shortwave radio sets. They seemed to require a lot of component manipulating and soldering, stuff I had no interest in learning. Not until I saw my first Apple machine did I start to take computers seriously, but as a user; never, I swore, as a code manipulator.

I have to relearn my blog software every time I need to do something big and audacious with it, like change the copyright date. I don't have to delve into code blocks, but I do have to navigate through layers of meaningless menus to find the three, no, I'm sure it's four, places that need changing. I invariably have to go back and clean up every change, but that's the kind of writer I am, too. Imminently editable.

I have friends who professionally specialize in coaching bloggers how to drive traffic to their blog postings. I listen patiently before ignoring their canny advice, and not just because I can't understand it. They presume, I think, that I want to drive traffic to my blog, that it's somehow a commercial enterprise. I admit that for the first few years, I'd imagined that PureSchmaltz.com might become some kind of a portal, a frequently traversed pathway into the internet, but after conferring with a few professionals on the matter, I concluded that it would not, should not, and therefore, could not be. I offer no discounts or external links. I collect no advertising revenue. I rarely host guest bloggers, which seems like inviting someone over to cook dinner for me in my kitchen; unseemly.

I blog because I write. Because I write, I need an outlet with which to disseminate what I write and my blog serves that fundamental purpose. It matters little to me who might stumble upon my writing. I savor feedback but have grown to not depend upon it to motivate me to write more. The Muse edits what I post, usually after I've posted it, finding a few odd misspellings (thanks, spell checker) and misuses which I quickly correct. It's rare that one of my postings attracts more than a half dozen viewers, though I can't be certain of that. One of my computer professionals suggested that I employ GoogleAnalytics, a "tool" which makes WordPress seem user friendly. I had for a while a tracker that showed where blog visitors had logged in from, but that app eventually fell off the face of some operating system upgrade. I post blindly, without targeting an audience. I'm my own audience. Visitors get to peek in over my shoulder.

I suppose that there must be millions like me, writers who engage without the explicit expectation that their prose might produce cash revenue. The professionals, those who do engage for income, seem to approach the effort quite differently, as business people rather than as artists; as writers. They utilize all the latest hooks, reminding their readers that their ad blocking software is taking food out of their babies' mouths, and send follow-up come-ons to lure visitors back. They maintain a consistent face, always staying on topic, often putting themselves across as some sort of expert, a little bit better than me. You know? I'm just folks. I write. I hope you will enjoy what I post, but my well-being isn't dependent upon anyone's praise, save mine.

I doubt that there was ever a time in the history of mankind so far where such a marvelous facility existed. I can, from the relative comfort of my writing chair or the Musac®-excruciated confines of a local Starbucks, write an essay with the immediate potential of being seen by more than half of the people on the planet. Of course, only a half dozen ever see the piece, but the potential still vibrates with opportunity. It levels the playing field. Should I submit to the editor's demands that I cede my copyright, I might make some cash and broaden my readership. That's supposed to motivate me to enter the enterprise and mount the treadmill? So far, I'm still not using WordPress, or G-Analytics, or placing ads, or any of the other curious things many bloggers do, and not simply because I can't for the life of me figure out how to use those "tools." I write, therefore I blog. Shouldn't that be enough?

©2018 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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