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Welcome to my snarky corner of the web. Join me as I discuss everything from wine to chocolate. There may be a few other topics mixed in there too. I talk a bunch about my amazing offspring, 16 and 14. I talk about things that irritate me or things that make me happy. Sometimes I just talk to hear myself talk. Feedback is always appreciated but please make sure it's respectable. No nudity or profanity. I'm the only one allowed to be profane. But any and all snark is welcome and appreciated!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Small fish, big pond. So I just keep swimming....

I've got a confession to make. I never thought I'd be a blogger. Seriously, writing never even crossed my mind until I hit my mid-40's. In all honesty, I don't even consider myself a writer. I'm more of a ranter. I like to bitch about stuff, and I do so with humor. That's pretty much my niche.

I was talking to a fellow blogger the other day, one who has an agent. She told me that she's been rejected several times by real, reputable publishers. She said one of the reasons is that she didn't have a platform. In my mind, I'm thinking a platform means you have to stand up for something like one-armed pygmy Korean vegetarian children. I started to worry because I don't have anything like that. She laughed at me and said that a platform means you have a big audience. Like huge. Like 5 digits or more. Huh. That rules me out. I currently have 98 people who subscribed to receive an email anytime I post a blog. I have 145 people who follow me on Google+ (which I still haven't figured out yet) and I've got just over 2800 "Likes" on my Facebook page. Hardly a 'platform'. Barely even a step stool.


As a writer/blogger, I want people to like my stuff. I want people to read and comment on my posts. I am looking for approval and for people to like me. Would I like for MORE people to like my stuff? Hell yes. However, as I've heard time and time again, bigger isn't always better. A bigger audience means more eyes looking at you, more people to judge you, and more pressure to be ON. I've seen some of my friends who have posts picked up by bigger sites like Huffington Post, Reddit or Technorati, and some of those posts have been absolutely skewered by trolls, douchenozzles and assbags with awful comments. Do I want that kind of reaction if I was to have a post go big? No effing way! I hate criticism and rejection. It makes me feel awful, so to have something that I put my heart and soul into go big would be great, but to have it be the target of haters would be devastating.

I wouldn't mind having a bigger audience (as long as they like me). But with a bigger audience comes more pressure to entertain people. The thought of having something actually go viral excites me but it also scares the pee out of me. Seriously, if I went viral, then I'd feel pressure to be consistent with my content. I'd be afraid every time I hit the 'publish' button that my latest post won't live up to the BIG one that got me the BIG attention and the BIG numbers. Being funny, witty, or even thought-provoking isn't something that you can switch on and off. I don't wake up in the morning and say "I'm gonna be a funny bitch today." Most of the things I say that people find funny are a result of a situation I'm in or something that someone tells me about. I write off the cuff. My posts are almost all stream-of-consciousness. I don't prepare stuff ahead of time, I don't outline my material. I just sit down and write. If it's funny, great. If it's not, then no one will like it. But the bigger your audience (IN MY OPINION anyway) the more pressure you have to entertain.

I am happy that I have the audience I have, I'm happy to be a small-time blogger. I don't know if I'd like to be a big well-known author. Maybe I'd like the chance, but more likely than not, I'd succumb to the pressure to please, and I'd quit. So what if I don't have tens of thousands of followers. That's less people to throw eggs at me if they see me walking down the street and yell "Hey, Snarky, your stuff isn't as funny as it used to be." I don't need that kind of pressure. I'm happy to be a little fish in a big pond.

I just wish there was a bigger payment for being a little fish.




42 comments:

  1. I was thinking about this very thing a few days ago.

    However, I feel just the opposite of you.

    I was a Radio DJ for many years. I was very good at it. For market size, I had one of the most highly-rated shows in the country. This fact proves that Dumbasses listen to the radio.

    I was/am(?) used to "performing" for hundreds of thousands of people at any given moment.

    I have also been in the situation of starting at "the bottom" and climbing the ladder - like with my blog.

    Having said all that, I think you are a great blogger/writer and are more than deserving of a wider audience.

    I'll be a Snarky Fan for as long as you keep on blogging.

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    1. And I'll keep following your Dumbass Horde and will continue to be entertained by your Fearless Leading ass!!! Thanks Toby.

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  2. Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming. What do we do? We swim, swim.
    No worries. :)

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    1. P. Sherman 42 Wallaby Way Sydney.

      Thanks Jolie! :)

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  3. I closed down My Mom's a Whack Job and started another blog that I am hoping my ex does not find. It is kinda nice, I find my writing is so raw and more true to how I am feeling now that I have 2 followers instead of 800!

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    1. Jules let me know the new site's address!

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  4. Honest, raw and I totally feel the way you do. Scared of the big dogs. I enjoyed this piece and think you are fabulous. Keep it coming gurl!!! xoxox

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    1. Thanks mama!! Love you and your icy lady bits!!

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  5. You are singing my song, girlfriend.... exactly why I disappear into the deep nothing from time to time. Totally happy to be a fellow little fish swimming in a big pond beside you... You may call me Dory :) <3

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  6. I would think it depends on how you grow. If you gradually grow bigger, the people who read your stuff would keep loving you, and the criticism would be rare. If it were a couple big posts, you might have an influx of readers and all the criticism they bring with them. The critics can suck it anyway. You're funny.

    Although, I'm totally speaking hypothetically. If I have 100 page views on a day I post I call that a double win!

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    1. Thanks Rhonda. You're pretty amazing yourself!

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    2. Thank you! :D That made my day!

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  7. I adore you and think a perfect sized authentic (meaning I am a slow growing blogger so I chose to make it sound like its exactly what I wanted) audience who participate is perfect <3

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    1. Nicely put, Carrie! Thanks so much, girlfriend!

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  8. I know exactly how you feel. I'm personally not a fan of controversy or negativity and I think that it comes with a broader audience. I struggle a lot with my blog and my "direction" . Some days I don't want to do it anymore and often find the social media to be excruciating. But I would love a book deal. ;)

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  9. too much pressure, thats why i quit writing last year im back now small as ever but thats ok with me.

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    1. Sometimes there's nothing wrong with small! :)

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  10. I relate with you on so many points you make here. It's like we are the same when it comes to blogging and where we are with it. Slow and steady. No need to be huge right away. I like my readers and the blogs I follow. I also never thought I would be a blogger but here I am.

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    1. Thanks Phil, good to know we are not alone in our little writing journeys.

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  11. Big fish can be ugly. Look at the Northern Pike. Or the Catfish. *shudders*

    Great thoughts, my friend. I can totally relate!

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    1. Catfish are hideous. YOU, however, are awesome!! Thanks babe!!

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  12. And those of us who read you appreciate that! Even if we don't always comment because our fingers don't like tying on a phone. We always love you just the way you are!

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    1. Thanks Joy! I appreciate your words and the fact that you typed then on your phone means the world to me! :)

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  13. I agree with you 100 percent. I'm a totally small fish and a peon when it comes to blogging. Seriously. And "going viral" is such a crap shoot, in my opinion. I've been featured on a couple "bigger" sites like HuffPost and honestly, it did nothing for blog traffic. My page views are seriously weak, and now with the frustrating thing with Facebook, I feel like smashing my head against a wall.

    But I also know that it's quality over quantity and no one pays me to blog. I do it because I like the connections and I like making people laugh once in awhile. That's the only reason I would like to be "bigger," if I could make more people laugh/think, I would love that. But I also know that I don't want to mirror other things that went "viral" and sell myself out. I'm me, and you can take it or leave it I guess. I'm glad you're you!

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    1. I feel the same Abby. I like the way I write and I'd be afraid that if somethings did change, I'd have to change for people, and I don't want to do that. I'm happy to be swimming in the pond with you and all of the other small fish I've grown fond of. Thanks for stopping by and commenting! :)

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  14. Something I wrote ran on a parenting website today. My first time up there. Some broad called my piece smug. Big fish, little pond suits me just fine.

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  15. Or did I mean little fish, big pond? Or little fish, little pond? I mean the kinda fish that swims in a pond where randoms don't call her smug. That pond.

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  16. It wasn't your Brainchild piece was it? I loved that!!! And you can be a big fish in a small pond as long as your swimming with me!

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  17. I've been reading (and listening to podcasts) about selling things on the Internet lately because I am trying to grow my art business. A few things have really stuck with me. One is, you don't need everyone to like what you are doing. A small, loyal group of people who love your work is more important than a big following who aren't as invested. Second, growing slowly is better than growing quickly because it's real. If you do ever decide to write a book, your fans will buy it and talk about it because they love it and this will make other people want to buy your book. Third, the way things are marketed is changing drastically. So, we are all kind of guinea pigs. Fourth, the keep swimming part is the best thing you can do. So many people will give up, but if you keep swimming you will get somewhere!

    So, anyway, I am just stopping by to say you are a big fish in your pond and that is what matters most!

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    1. Thanks Lillian! I appreciate you saying those things!

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  18. This. All of this. Thank you Teri. You have no idea how much I relate and needed to read this. You rock. I work the way you do; off the cuff, no outline or plan. I just sit down and write about the crazy things that happen to me or what pisses me off or what's going on in our crazy world. I love your writing and I think we just need to do what makes us happy and write more for ourselves than anything or anyone else. There will be an audience of like minded people out there. I love your view point on this!

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    1. Linda thank you so much for taking the time to respond! I love your work and agree that writing for ourselves is the best way to go. Hugs!!

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  19. The commenter above me and the person who led me to you, talked about this today.

    I've been doing my current blog for almost 4 years and have been an online columnist for 3 different online magazine sites. I've also published two books (independently). Yet my stats and reach and popularity (whatever that means) is dwarfed by many. Reading Huffington Post and seeing people there that I used to know when they started writing is discouraging to an extent.

    Then I remember I write for myself. And that keeps the razor out of my hands.

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    1. Thanks Lance! Stay away from razors, they're no fun

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  20. I've been blogging for years on different platforms. It's so weird, because I feel like I have yet to find my groove. I'm currently in "hybrid" mode. My blog doesn't know what it wants to be when it grows up. :) LOVE YOUR BLOG!!!!!!

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    1. Crystal I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up!!!

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  21. Small blog or big blog, if someone wants to be nasty in a comment or criticize, they will do it. I've known bloggers who continuously get bad mail and some can cope alright with it and others fold under the pressure. I guess it just depends on individual personalities and how you deal with it. It can also help to give you a thick skin in some situations.

    Sometimes people will also read your blog and not comment or join as a follower, so you can't always gage how many people have a genuine interest. I think you're quite a BIG fish and I enjoy reading your posts whenever I can. I'm forever catching up it seems.

    Have a wonderful weekend.

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    1. You're awesome!! Thanks for the great words.

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  22. How about this? We are all fish crafting (I guess to keep the analogy going, I should say dredging) our own ponds.

    Sometimes it feels like the bounties of heaven are filling your pond and sometimes it feels like a drought. If you write authentically (which you do) you draw your own audience and they will follow and they will share with like-minded people and so forth.

    And you have to conserve your energy when you are trying to grow because there are a millions ways you can dilute your attention. For example, Huffington Post doesn't do much for pageviews, but it impresses non-blogging people, which can get you some deals and exposure that way. We knew that was our goal with getting on HuffPo going in, so we just took it for what it was worth. Also, HuffPo takes previously published pieces. We have walked away from other offers that required us to give a previously unpublished piece for free.No milk for you!

    And as far as negative comments? If I believe in what I wrote, I can take it, but I tend to not thrive on praise either. :)

    At times, it does feel like the blog is a beast controlling me and then I step back, get some perspective and grab the reins again. (Do I get penalty points for switching analogies midstream or did I just pull it back by mentioning a stream?)

    Anyway, love your writing, your blog, and you! Decide what you want from your blog and you'll be able to get it. P.S. - This is the longest comment I have written in about 6 months. :) Ellen

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    1. LOVE this Ellen! I love the continued fish analogy (yes, the stream counts!) And thanks for the insight into HuffPo, etc. I respect you and Erin and LOVE your stuff and your perspective. Thanks for sharing with me.

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