Getting my prose on… (kinda, sorta)

I was going to write a blog post about my six-year-old daughter’s fear of death; and then I wrote a poem about it [instead]. That’s not to say that I’ve entirely abandoned the idea, as there’s a lot for me to say on the matter, but… it’s been hard for me to make progress on that post.

Even composing this account of my daily blogging is feeling like a bit of a trial to me. The more poetry I write, the less other forms of expression seem to be speaking to me… And I write poetry every single day, except for Shabbat (the Sabbath) and certain Jewish holidays.

As a writer, the consideration of how well I convey meaning in written form is of nearly utmost importance to me; but it has been becoming increasingly secondary to my sense of personal satisfaction. More and more, I am writing for myself as the primary audience. My poetry is written for me, and my ‘me’ wants – more poetry.

The more I explore and work at poetry, the more I find myself conveying thoughts in fewer words. Really, so much of what so many people write is so long… How many words does one actually need to convey their intended meanings? Even now, as I look up at the few paragraphs I’ve written above, I wonder… are all of these words actually necessary? (The answer, I think, is: ‘no’.)

I suppose that sometimes, like right now, I want to write in prose form to feel more certain that I’m being understood correctly. But this process and its outputs have come to be decreasingly fulfilling, compared to playing with poetry. (and it very much is ‘playing’)

Meanwhile, I’ve been noticing two divergent trends on my blog over the last several months, which have not reversed themselves:

  1. I have been receiving increasingly more comments and enjoying more active engagement at the ‘Skeptic’s Kaddish’ with other poets and writers; AND
  2. My total blog views per month have been dropping.

When I first noted that my monthly views were going down, back in September, I assumed that this had something to do with my increased output of micropoetry, for I had gotten into the groove of posting a lot of short pieces in a furious attempt to pen 365 poems for 2021 on Twitter. It made sense to me that some readers might have tired of so much micropoetry.

However, in the ensuing months, while I have been exploring many longer forms of poetry and have been posting micropoems only sporadically, my monthly views at the ‘Skeptic’s Kaddish’ have continued to decline… Even while the comment section of my blog has continued to grow increasingly active and full of engaging interactions with brilliant, supportive hearts and minds.

Honestly, I have never before enjoyed composing poetry and blogging here at the ‘Skeptic’s Kaddish’ as much I do now. And despite WordPress’s heavy, corporate emphasis on readership statistics, I’ve simply come to stop caring about them… because they don’t seem to reflect anything substantive or important to me.

Today, my creative blogging has come to feel like it’s at a perfectly comfortable place for me; and I feel so very blessed to enjoy reciprocal relationships with so many inspiring writers. For those of you who take the time to read my work and provide me with your feedback and support… no lines of mine could suffice to express my gratitude for your friendship.

123 thoughts on “Getting my prose on… (kinda, sorta)”

  1. So much of this resonates with me as well. I try not to pay attention to the statistics page, but as a relatively new blogger, it’s nice to see the numbers increasing (hey, when you’re first starting out, the only direction you can go is up, amirite?). I recently reached the mini-milestone of 100 subscribers and that was a thrill for me. Just imagine, 100 folks following my little deaf/poetry blog! Thinking of how my blog languished during its first two months is sort of depressing. I was writing only essays about my deaf experience and no one was reading them. They were too long and concerned a topic few people care about. When I began posting my poetry as a sort of “What do I have to lose?” hail-Mary last-gasp attempt, things began to pick up. It was sobering to realize most folks don’t want to read lengthy prose (or at least not prose about deafness–such a tiny niche), and my blog shifted gears into a poetry-oriented direction. The thing I immediately noticed at that point was the warmth of fellow poets, the encouragement and support they offered. It took awhile, but I now consider many folks I’ve interacted with on WP to be friends, and really, that’s what my blogging was about at the most base level: trying to connect with people. That’s why I cherish the comments people sometimes leave on my posts. That human interaction keeps me going. I do worry at times about being redundant regarding theme or format (I love posting mini-collections of haiku and tanka, for example), but I must remind myself of why I’m writing at all: it’s for myself, to help me sort out and deal with life experiences. I hope folks enjoy what I write, but in the end, whether they do or not can’t be the reason I write.

    I didn’t mean to write a novel here. My apologies. I just wanted to say I can relate to what you’ve said here, especially about the friendships you’ve discovered. You were the first to welcome me with open arms, David, and I appreciate that more than you can imagine. So, just know I admire your writing, no matter what or for whom you’re writing. Words connect us and heal us and can spark friendships between people half a world away, and I’m glad for that. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Mike, I’m so with you regarding everything you’ve written, and thank you!

      The thing I immediately noticed at that point was the warmth of fellow poets, the encouragement and support they offered.

      Me too – this is what really drew me in to the poetry writing on WP at the beginning…

      โค
      David

  2. Agree – statistics hardly seem relevant when enjoying, exploring and sharing creativity.

    1. ๐Ÿฅฐ Marion ๐Ÿฅฐ – I think the trick, in terms of blogging, is just getting a critical mass of regulars who care about us and our content enough to maintain relationships with us… and once we have that (assuming we’re not just blogging the way that some people write in their personal diaries), the numbers don’t really hold any relevance any more (just as you said).

      -David

  3. You’ve made this point to me before David. That numbers and views don’t really matter. What’s important is the deep friendships formed with like minded souls and the wonderful; stimulating conversations on similar interests that we have. I don’t make friends easy David but I’ve come to see you as one! A fellow poet; father; husband and sceptic.

  4. I’m really glad you’ve found comfort with creative blogging. And that you feel you’re playing while composing poetry. Play is a fantastic state of mind to have while creating. The output feels more energetic than the days of pushing along without the spark of play. And I’m with you about the readership statistics. It’s nice to see increasing numbers of visits and likes — but more valuable are the comments when a reader says how they were affected by your words and images. Keep up the playing, my friend.

  5. If you’re speculating if the length of a piece of prose vs a poem determines how many comments or ‘Likes” it receives, then I’d probably agree that it does. How many people read an entire daily newspaper anymore – everything is condensed for our shorter attention span. Just like “taster menus” in a restaurant. In truth, I’d be happy with a quarter of your readership. ๐Ÿ˜‚

    1. Misky, I use my “readership” as a milestone marker (I don’t know what else to use), but, in truth, I’m pretty sure that only 1% of my “readership” interacts with me meaningfully on this blog. I mean… that 1% is more than worth it for me, but it does put things in perspective too.

      โค
      David

      1. I ignore my stats, and I read your poetry because I enjoy what you write. Personally, I like to write short forms because they require precision, and you canโ€™t hide behind excessive words. ๐Ÿ’•

  6. Itโ€™s the reaction in the comments that matter. That shows your post has been read and not just viewed.

    Keep writing. We love it.

  7. I enjoy reading your micro poems. Writing poetry is like play for me also. Unless I’m working on a piece of fiction, I don’t enjoy writing prose. I’ve been thinking about doing some of my adventure pieces in verse. I might make that one of my challenges for 2022.

  8. โ€˜Today, my creative blogging has come to feel like itโ€™s at a perfectly comfortable place for me; and I feel so very blessed to enjoy reciprocal relationships with so many inspiring writers.โ€™ – ditto! And also on the struggling with prose thingโ€ฆ

  9. Let me however add that it was refreshing to read this post.

    Also, it might not be just about micro poetry but so many posts around it. For example, I get distracted by the number of posts by the same blogger in the same style. If they continue to keep posting just quotes, poems with the exact same theme, writing on the same topic……you get the drift, then I don’t feel like reading them.

    1. Yeah … I’ve been thinking about this. I know that when people post a lot, it tends to turn me off, and I definitely don’t read all of their posts. But there’s also this element that you mention, which is – the kind of content they’re posting… is it the same thing over and over again? that does get boring…

      โค
      David

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