Followers, fans, audience…where art thou?

THEATRE SEATING
© Kitchner Bain | Dreamstime.com

She walks up to mic softly and taps it…makes a face at the feedback before finally clearing her throat. “Hi, welcome to my blog,” she says. She waits in anticipation for a response. But, nothing. 
‘Are those crickets I hear?’ she thinks, squinting her eyes and placing her hand to her forehead to scan the audience. But the spotlight is too bright. She can’t see.

Surely, somebody is here.

“Umm, hello?” she asks as her voice quivers in uncertainty. After a few more moments, she says, “Let these lights up.”
The house lights come up revealing an empty room. “What the…” she says, voice trailing off. Scanning the room in disbelief, she stands akimbo. “What happened to my audience?” she demands. “I only was gone for a little bit. How dare you leave me talking to myself?”
Finally, she walks off the stage in a huff, still in awe that she’d been talking to an empty room.
*****
Ever since I returned from my self-imposed hiatus, my stats of who has been looking at my postings have been on the low-end. I’ve made several changes to what I blog about and even shut down my old blog and launched this one as a do-over reinvention. However, with each change, I’ve noticed the decline in numbers. After awhile, I began to wonder if the blogging process is worthwhile. (Trust me, the irony of posting about my loss of an audience to a blog with not much of an audience is not lost on me.)
I had to ask myself a few questions to get some perspective:
1. What’s the purpose?
 Initially, a marketing tool for my writing. From there, it involved into kind of an open journal, a peek inside my life and this process of how I’m managing to wear all these hats. It is also a way to keep me writing…it’s easy to get caught up in the minutiae of life and put things off.
2. What do I hope people get out of this?
At first, I just wanted exposure to my writing style. This too, has evolved. It’s my hope that in my postings, I can be relatable, entertaining, thought-provoking, and perhaps motivational. When I first started blogging, the advice I received was to be an expert in my field. That’s easier said than done when you’re not writing non-fiction or even a specialized fiction genre like period romance, sci-fi, dystopian, etc.  Just what am I supposed to be an expert in as a chick who has a overactive vivid imagination and loves to write? My blogging topics are so varied from my Detroit upbringing, my journey with my natural hair, my HBCU education, family, school, faith, etc. As I pondered these, I looked at my story concepts and found parallels: Relationships, love, identity, forgiveness, seeking and living a full life, etc. The same things I wanted out of my stories are the same things I want out of this blog. However, the blog lets me be a bit more personal and personable. Whereas my stories are the figments of my twisted imagination.
I realize that at times when you purpose to do something correctly, decently, and in order, there may be a little loss involved and you’ll have to get up, dust the dirt off your behind and keep pressing on. All I can do is keep learning, growing, and persevering…and filling the seats in my “audience” a bit at a time.
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4 thoughts on “Followers, fans, audience…where art thou?

  1. It’s true – I’m afraid to take an extended blogging break for the same reason. I cut down to two days a week from three though and feel so much freer! Now I have more time to comment, and more time to write!

    • Hi, Deniz…welcome! I admit that I was hesitant to take a break, but the demands of my schedule meant something had to give, at least for a little while. So, I’m looking at the break as a fresh start of sorts…

  2. I never really built an audience for my blog, so you’re sort of an idol to me. But I can understand how you can question continuing on when the audience dwindles. I hope to someday become regular with my blogging and have a steady stream of readers. Until then, I simply have no real purpose other than to share with those who are already in my circle about things that I might not otherwise say. But keep your motivation. I enjoy your writing and always look forward to reading more.

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