Saturday, June 12, 2010
It's a Tartiversary
It's a Tartiversary
Iiiiiiiiit's a Tartiversary!
(come on... sing... I know you know the tune...)
You know what I just learned? If you 'google image' the word Tartiversary, EVERY image is from my blog! That makes it my OWN FREAKING WORD! Oh sure, I lent it to my Sister Tart last week, but she apparently wasn't nearly obnoxious enough with it...
Boys Wanna Be Her (Doll, you make them feel so small, and they love it)--does this song scream World Domination Tour or WHAT?--Video is on the violent side, but I LOVE the song...
I can't believe it was only a year ago I began this blogging thing—it is such a natural extension of my insanity that I really should have discovered it in about 2001, though my life at that point (with a 6 and a 2 year old) wouldn't have accommodated it time-wise. But MAN, this is fun...
I think most people, if you talk to them, have strong preferences for the kind of social networking they like best, and this is DEFINITELY my thing. I love Facebook, but it is more a keep up with friends tool than a make NEW friends tool—Oh, I've made a few friends there—my sister Tart, Jan, I found there... The Divine Marian... but I feel like HERE, with the volume we all SHARE, it is far more conducive to getting to KNOW each other... Facebook, mostly, are acquaintances... HERE we make friends. Twitter, we NETWORK. The Twitter thing I think I ONLY do for the cross pollination of the other things I do... to Tweet about blogs... and that is important, as I learned recently with the BuNoWriMo thing... MAN, can it make a difference! But it is too fast paced and 'right place/right time' dependent. I don't like something I have that little control over. Blogging though... THAT, I love... you see... I get to spout my ideas and opinions and then people READ THEM! HooHOO! (is my narcissism showing?)
I finished my first book in October 2008 and proceeded to polish and hone. In April 2009 I (MISTAKENLY) felt I was ready to query for the first time and dived into Facebook with an author's profile. Two months later, I decided I needed a blog. My first ever post can be found, here. A little after a month in, I came out as having my writing roots in Harry Potter and invited my friends (see below) and I started madly inviting my Facebook friends to follow via Networked blogs... progress tricked along... I made friends... and oddly enough, I grew in my confidence to DO THIS THING. I think NaBloWriMo (National Blog Writing Month, post a blog every day for a month) last October, took things to a new level... for starters, I dragged some of my writing group into this blogging thing... (me and my FOMS[Fear of Missing Something], doing that peer influence thing...) it's always been the way... The Tart can't resist and soon all her friends are knee deep in it...
But that was a turning point of sorts... a feel for how EVENTS can grow things... I've waxed and waned for how much of that I had time for, but I've definitely kept my eyes open, as I think it's one of the better ways to grow your blog visibility, and if people never see you, they can't fall in love.
And I fit in the writing stuff... oddly enough, writing four more books in that year, but having my GRANDEST success via blog... voice spotted... suggestion made... trial attempted... so a year later, I may not have an accepted book, but I DO have a contract... and agent... a plan... leave it to me to back in...
Blog High Points
(these are the ones that sort of shocked me at the time with a high number of hits or comments)
August was about the point I passed the 'average of five' comments per blog... but the formatting for the blogs back then lack paragraph breaks for some blogger related reason... I was angsty in August, probably because I was querying, and that was when I CONFRONTED my mother about problems I'd identified clear back in June. But I was definitely getting my legs under me, planning my book tour, joining stuff, making friends, I started getting blog hits for people searching Naked World Domination Tour and Nudist Group. In February..., 8 months in, I finally felt my first inkling of fame with Be A Blog Slut (19 comments, which at the TIME felt like a million)... Some may have frowned at my resorting to admirable arses and beautiful behinds in April as I blogged A to Z, but hey... when you are a Tart, it is probably better to work with it than against it—you try to hide it and eventually you offend 'em ANYWAY and misleading then offending is worse than being upfrontally offensive... or so I see it... sort of the difference between being a tease and a slut... see, the first is unforgivable, the second, merely naughty... such is tart logic.
I was feeling really proud of progress, then went to Karen Gowen's Blogiversary yesterday and saw in one year SHE had earned 256 followers, or some such thing... Ah well... there will always be overachievers out there, eh?
My story is slow and steady... My Zodiac location (Cancer) on the solar map, in some cultures, is the tortoise, after all (still crusty on the outside, soft in the middle, with a shocking resilience) My first followers came as I poked a couple friends (mostly my writer's group), but the first big spurt (13 followers according to the comments on the Harry Potter outing post listed above) came from me making a plea where people already knew me. You see, I got my writing legs acclimated at HPANA, a Harry Potter site, writing fan fiction. I went from a tentative wobbly writer, to a confident (if still insane) one. From there I begged on Facebook... (pathetic, yes, helpful... erm... probably). NEXT, I started stalking Elizabeth, and following the blogs in her sidebar and commenting THERE (that helped a bunch—she's friends with some very nice people)--for the record... if you want to build a following, I DEFINITELY recommend stalking someone who's doing it right.
My first EVENT that earned me followers in a batch was the NaBloWriMo-- there was some mutual following and lots of support—I think I maybe earned another dozen followers that way... the year rounded out with maybe 50 followers at my 6 month mark... Participating in Amazon earned me some more, but possibly only because I began a TOPIC there on blogging and got it rolling. There was a way to LINK blogs, but I think people weren't actively doing much with them.
By April and Blogging A to Z, I had 70 followers and gained about 40 through participating from blogging A to Z , a handful from BuNoWriMo and a couple even in the last few days that I think may be because I am following more Cozy Mystery blogs and Tweeters... So there we have it... one year and looking like 131 followers via Blogger, 147 through Facebook (though I figure there is about a 30-50% overlap—people following both ways. So somewhere around 200 people...
It pleases me.
I don't have large stashes of swag to share, but I want to do a drawing to thank all of you, past and future for supporting me.
Leave a comment FOR TODAY, June 12, totaling the following.
-New followers get one (after I went to bed last night—via blogger—I don't have a way to see WHEN network bloggers join, BUT if you were a follower via FB and ADD via blogger—tell me, you can get the 3) , older followers get THREE entries (because I love you already and want you to have an advantage for already being on the Good Ship Tart!)
-If you can get THAT man to follow me, automatic win.
-Tweet me—one more chance (please include @hartjohnson)
-Facebook share this post—one more
-Mention in a blog with a link (and share with me)—two more
I am giving away a critique—either a plot read of a whole novel (up to 500 pp). Review will include a summary of strong and weak, and probably a sentence or two for each chapter about what worked and didn't, or a CAREFUL read—grammar, sentence structure—in track changes, of the first 50 pages. I'm not a super SPEEDY reader, but I've gotten pretty good at suggesting how a broader work might be improved. If you don't NEED a critique, it is transferable to someone you are friends with who DOES need one--just email me with who gets it.
I will tally and do the draw at the end of June... closing Midnight East Coast US time as it turns from June to July. but I am only considering comments on TODAY'S blog. (just a ton easier to keep track of)
Back to the PAH-TAY!
So your final assignment is to do something this weekend that is a SPLURGE. Eat or drink something you normally don't, spend some time (alone, with someone—define your splurge) that is indulgent compared to normal life, enjoy some scenery, or some company, or some aesthetic pleasure that you usually just put off... (it could be a museum if you like art, a trail if you like nature, a nudy magazine if you are Mr. Tart...) Whatever it is you ENJOY that you normally put off... enjoy it a little this weekend... as your Tartiversary present to me! If you can do it naked, all the better--at the VERY least, forgo pants.
You people are FABULOUS!