Saturday, December 31, 2011

Four hundred two posts, 365 days

Four hundred and two posts have been added to this blog during 2011, which meets and exceeds the goal of a new year resolution made a year ago --- to write and post something every day, occasionally more often. That’s a surprise. “Discipline” is not my middle name.

I’m content with much of what’s here, but by no means all. Some days, it’s a stretch to come up with something to write about. When the stretch is too great, the result is sadly obvious.

Too often, I break commandments preached for years. Don’t trip a reader with self-indulgence, clumsy phrasing and esoterica or by violating basic rules of grammar, spelling and punctuation. Don’t show off (I know more than you do and I’m going to prove it). And be your own best editor --- keep paring away excess words until what’s left is lean and spare and elegant.

I’d rather write more about local history, but to do that usefully and well requires a great deal of research time. I’m surprisingly busy, too often short of time --- other than these few early morning hours.

Google (which powers this blog) analytics can be humbling. Going back to 2005, the most popular post here has little to do with my input, merely with the fact it contains words often searched for. I feel better about the post in second place, World War II: Lessons in their dying. Also in the Big Six is Becoming Lucas County; I'm happy about that, too.

Any blogger can skew his or her "page hits" result by writing consistently about what's current, or controversial. This blog got a lot of mileage this year out of Stephen Bloom and Cintra Wilson.

Any post about old houses is good for a few hundred hits; nearly everything about Lucas County history makes a respectable showing.

Iowa boys play "Hide/Seek," a post about a National Portrait Gallery exhibit featuring artists whose works were informed in various ways by sexual orientation --- including Iowa's Grant Wood and Carl Van Vechten, was surprisingly popular. Right up there with a post about Buffalo Bill, also an Iowa native, but so far as I know a straight one.

I like to write about LGBT issues now and then --- because I can. Much of the best and the brightest of my generation of gay men died of AIDS and the majority of the heterosexual majority didn't care. If I can twist the knife a little, good.

Same goes for religion, always on the outside looking in; after fussing about it now and then over the years, would be nowhere else. It's always surprising how many who logically should want nothing to do with Christianity can't leave it alone.

In any case, a year is ending and I guess I'll keep writing into the new, primarily an exercise in self-indulgence. I do, however, appreciate every hit and every comment no matter how it comes --- via the blog, Facebook or an email. Some of you are my conscience --- when tempted to go entirely over the top I think of you and step back. Others inspire me in all kinds of ways you couldn't possibly know about.

Thanks, and happy new year!


Norm Prince said...

Greetings Frank,
Just a few words to thank you for your year of offerings and for those post which added to my knowledge of this state and your area in particular. We seem to have much in common and perhaps that is one of the reasons I look forward to your daily tales. I pray your new year will be full of new adventures, old friends and events which produce great memories.
peace - norm

Frank D. Myers said...

And a great new year to you, too!

Ken said...

You're the first thing I read every morning. (In fact, sometimes I have to go directly to your blog because you haven't posted the link on Facebook, yet.) Keep it up!