You may have noticed that I’ve been posting poems from my Twitter account to the Skeptic’s Kaddish blog every Friday afternoon since January 1st. At the start of the year, I was writing micropoems on a daily basis for my #APoemADay challenge, but that experience was stressful because I was always worried about missing a day’s poem and falling behind.
Then, in July, the d’Verse Poets Pub went on break for two weeks, and I started penning micropoems much more frequently (because I wasn’t busy responding to poetry prompts). In fact, I recall feeling self-conscious about posting to my blog three or four times a day, and I fully intended to return to posting twice a day when d’Verse returned from summer break in mid-July.
But…. I didn’t.
Instead of reverting to my more limited post schedule, I continued posting micropoems several times daily and – I even found myself increasing my rate of posting further!
As of today (Saturday, Sept. 3rd), I have written an entire year’s worth of micropoems, posted them all to the Skeptic’s Kaddish blog, and scheduled them to be posted on a daily basis to Twitter. This means that I no longer “have” to write so much micropoetry!
I have to say that I am very, very proud and pleased with my accomplishment. At the start, I had never written micropoetry, and I had no idea what to write or how to write it. At some point along the journey, I definitely hit my stride; and this was partially because I took to penning micropoems in weekly series (of seven), each of which was written in a single poetic form.
Discovering forms of poetry
Exploring forms of poetry has been awesome. Ironically, I may not have the words to fully explain why, but I can share a few thoughts. Discovering and playing with new forms of poetry is rewarding because:
- It’s intellectually engaging, both in regards to the hunt for forms and in regards to the challenge of fitting one’s thoughts into those very specific parameters;
- It’s fascinating to explore and observe the effects of poetic forms upon the words that we fit them with;
- The experience broadens one’s horizons in many ways, especially if one takes the time to delve into the histories and contexts for the development of these countless forms;
- It’s rewarding to sit back and feel that one has created beautiful art, which (s)he hirself enjoys;
- One is likely to find that other creative writers and poets take an interest in such a project – others may also get excited and share their own poetic experiments with you!
Anyway, those are probably the primary highlights, at least off the top of my head.
Getting sucked in
I totally got sucked in by this project. It was so interesting and so rewarding for so many reasons that I couldn’t bring myself to stop. Also, once I started writing micropoems in series of seven pieces, it became very natural to write one after the other, after the other, after the…
Beyond that, as I mentioned earlier, I feared falling behind. Even when it became extremely unlikely that I would accidentally miss a day, I felt driven to complete the entire year’s worth of poems, which I had committed myself to. I did not want the challenge hanging over my head, which is definitely reflective of my personality. Almost always, I tend to enjoy presenting final products more than going through the creative process.
Further, I was gaining confidence as I went along. The more I wrote and realized that I enjoyed my own poetry, the more I came to believe that I could create more of it.
The stats: Views v. Visitors
I follow my blog’s stats on ‘WordPress Insights’, and several days ago, as the month of August was coming to a close, I noticed something interesting and entirely unexpected to me: The number of people who had visited my blog that month had dropped by ~10%!
Now, the reason I hadn’t noticed this earlier is that the total number of views on the Skeptic’s Kaddish has increased by 3% from July to August. In other words, my blog was being read more often by a decreasing number of readers.
Personally, as I’ve shared on more than one occasion, it’s the human interactions in the comments sections of this blog that are most rewarding to me. It’s so lovely to be meeting with and sharing with creative people all around the world! And that’s why I’m not exactly worried about these somewhat strange and incongruous trends… as long as meaningful conversations are sprouting up from the seeds I plant.
Or… discouraging the spammers?
Another hypothesis of mine that I cannot (or rather: will not) test is that there are a significant number of people who create WordPress accounts to market various products and services for profit, and these marketers (speaking loosely) are wont to subscribe to writers’ blogs with the specific intent of leaving spammy comments on their posts.
Expectedly, as I’ve become increasing active and prolific on WordPress, I’ve come to encounter more such spammy advertisements left by marketers on my blog. However, I happen to be very efficient at blocking marketers from commenting again and deleting their advertisements. None of their nonsense ever gets through; none of it is ever seen by my friends and readers.
So… I wonder if the 10% drop in readers from July to August on the Skeptic’s Kaddish resulted (at least in part) from marketers giving up on me and attempting to peddle their wares elsewhere. Again, I have no interest in testing this hypothesis because I hate spam and am utterly loath to let any through.
Shift in posting schedule
Regardless of views, visitors, and marketers, I am likely to be at least slightly decreasing the frequency of my posting schedule, now that I have accomplished my #APoemADay goal for 2021.
While I’ve fallen in love (and remain so) with micropoetry and will continue to write more of it, I cannot see myself posting ~5 micropoems a day going forward.
And so… time will tell. Come October, I’ll be curious to see whether my readership numbers have risen, given that my schedule should be less overwhelming to prospective visitors. This is how we best learn – by doing.