Sometime earlier this year someone pulled up a page from my blog and read it. Not that unusual. A few of my friends and family members do look at the blog now and then. If I were into marketing and paying attention, it could have been a big day for me. On that special day WordPress served up the 10,000th page view for GrandPa Guy’s Stories.
On most days I’d brush off a number like that, saying it doesn’t matter. I don’t check the statistics all that often, so I was several hundred page views late in seeing the milestone pass. Several more days passed before I actually thought about what that meant. Last month a friend sent an email thanking me for a post that struck a chord with her. That morning I made a difference.
You don’t suppose that’s happened other days, too? Out of those 10,000 page views, maybe a few other of my musings have given a friend pause, let them think a thought out of their daily trance? One day in church a friend whom I hadn’t seen in about a year (We’re both C&Es at this church.) stopped me to thank me for my blog posts. I had no idea she was reading them, so was pleased to hear that they were good for her. I didn’t have the heart to tell her that my two month break in writing would start within the week.
When I started writing the blog two years ago I wanted to make it easier for my family to remember some of the stories from our shared past. The real reason has become clear as I continue to write these old stories. Part of writing old stories involves digging around in the boxes from the attic. You know those boxes. They moved into your house years ago and you haven’t opened them since.
I opened them. Treasure!
In 1961 my sixth grade teacher gave us the assignment to write the story of our life. She was one of my favorite teachers. There aren’t many who actually taught me something I remember, but this old gal must have triggered a talent for writing. I kept that autobiography and even wrote about it last year. Another treasure found hiding in one of those attic boxes was a copy of the analyst, a newspaper that Mike B and I put together for several months. I have fond memories of a hectograph, researching at the library, and attempting to write science fiction.
All that history is here simply to remind me, and my readers, that this writing thing didn’t happen overnight. I’ve tried writing at various times my whole life. Other hobbies have come and gone. Tennis was fun for a while. Racquetball tournaments were fun, too. I really enjoyed bicycling, going on dozens of Tri-County Tail Wind Tours. The one hobby that has stuck with me is writing.
One of my TTT buddies still bikes hundreds of miles a year. Another spends a huge number of dollars fishing. I’m sitting in this coffee shop with a cheapo computer, banging out a few words that few people will read. Every now and then someone will ask why I do this. I haven’t had a ready answer.
Some days I love to write. I’ll get to the coffee shop, open up the computer, start typing, and a story comes out. The intent is not to earn a Pulitzer Prize. There’s no goal of being published in a national forum. It would be nice if a friend read the post and brought it up in conversation over coffee afterwards. Sometimes there’s a nugget in the post that warrants more examination. Sparking a new conversation, one where we actually share feelings and information, that’s where I’m trying to go with this.
10,000 page views is interesting, but ten conversations mean a lot more to me. If there’s nobody for me to talk to (like right this instant), I’m happy just spilling my thoughts onto the computer screen. It’s strangely satisfying, even though the computer doesn’t challenge my thinking, the screen doesn’t really care what I believe, but forcing myself to find words, digging into what I really feel or believe, then organizing those thoughts … now we’re getting somewhere.
You have contributed to the page view count, and I appreciate that. More than that I’m hoping that you’ll call me, arrange a coffee or lunch date, and challenge my thoughts, or ask me what in the world was I thinking back then.
Let’s do coffee. Soon.