Paul.E.Bailey’s World–A Year on the Blog

A year ago to the day I clicked ‘publish’ on my first official blog post. There had been one other before that; however, that was merely a short introductory post. The first proper one was Shiver Me Timbers…Said No Pirate Ever! where I imparted everyone with a little bit of my knowledge on the subject of pirates and a few of the ‘facts’ about them that are, in fact, pure fiction.

I think the good thing about that post is that I don’t look back on it with a cringe. I think it was actually rather well written and informative. Not perfect from a grammatical standpoint, though, seeing the grammar of even some of the very best bloggers here on WordPress, I don’t feel ashamed in the mistakes at all.

At the six month point I hit you all with a bunch of stats. I had the idea of creating a sort of awards ceremony for my anniversary where I’d award my favourite blogger, favourite blog post, etc. I’ve since decided against such actions. The stats are completely inconsequential. I barely even care about them anymore. Whether my posts receive one ‘like’ or a hundred, I’m grateful for every one my posts get. Same with the views. I don’t want a circus surrounding my ‘blogaversary’. All I really want to do is reflect and say thank you. As for awards, I don’t buy into that kind of social construct in the blogosphere anymore. I neither accept nor give them anymore.

The term ‘bell curve’ is extremely apt where my first blog year is concerned. A slow start gave way to immense traffic in the middle only to drastically taper off again towards the end of the year. The break I took was a major contributing factor to this and the volume of my posts has decreased exponentially since my return. This is partly due to the fact that I’m editing Revenge on the Spanish Main and partly because I don’t want the blog to consume me like it was doing.

This blog is, and always should have been, a supplement to my writing; a side attraction. I became obsessed with how many views it was getting. I got angry that other people’s posts were receiving ten times the ‘likes’ mine were. The break was necessary to put things in perspective and remember that this blog really is a distant second fiddle to my other writing ventures. That’s not to discredit Paul.E.Bailey’s World of course. My blog means a lot to me, though if I were to be asked the metaphorical question “Which one would you save from a burning building: your blog or your manuscript?” the answer would be a resounding “My manuscript” a thousand times out of a thousand.

I’m pleased with my blog on the whole. I think it’s nice and varied—just how I wished it to be. Not to sound narcissistic, but I think those people who aren’t reading what I write are missing out because there’s so much different stuff to read. While I won’t claim it’s the best blog out there, it is definitely one of the most interesting based solely on the fact that the posts pertain to my honest outlook and personality rather than just banging on incessantly about things going on around me. I like to wear my heart on my sleeve and be honest. If that isn’t enough to pull in readers then that’s just the way the cookie crumbles I suppose.

Though I’m not going to head down the anniversary award route, I will drop honourable mentions to five bloggers who have been fantastic in their support of this blog. It goes without saying that all are superb bloggers too. In no particular order; Kira Scribbled, Nevertheless…, SummerSHINES, Mosaicca, and Eddaz. Their support has been invaluable. Check them out if you haven’t already.

I’ve talked about how the blog has shaped up over the last twelve months. What about the next twelve months and beyond? That is extremely tough to say. While I certainly intend to keep the blog train rolling beyond the next year, I have no idea what’s to come as regards submitting Revenge to publishers. That could throw the whole blog thing off course completely. I have contingency plans in the event that Revenge is turned down by publishers and I will definitely need to give these contingencies the lion’s share of my devotion. The blog may well have to be put on hold in the meantime in that instance. So consider this a kind of non-comital situation. I will definitely still be posting in a year’s time, though I can’t predict to what volume. Neither can I predict what exactly I’ll be posting.

In my six month review I offered advice to newbie bloggers. I won’t do that this time. I don’t think I’m the person to ask. The people who are racking up twenty-thirty-forty-and-beyond likes per post are the ones to get advice from. I post what I like and hope for the best. I don’t pander to demand or popular culture. I never have and I never will. I have better things to do than stalk other bloggers in the hope they’ll support me in return. Allegedly, taking the time to read the posts of others is how you amass a following. Unfortunately, I have a novel to edit and a child to raise. I do read the posts of others, but I’m selective in whose posts they are and what the post is about. I refuse to read any old drivel just because I’m desperate for likes on my own posts.

Am I coming across as negative about my blog experience? I suppose I am. That’s because the blog experience is pretty negative. The writing side of it is incredible. I love coming up with new things for people to ignore because I genuinely love writing. It’s something for which I feel unbridled passion. I blog because I yearn to write and try out different styles of writing. This blog is my place to practice my art. Blogging itself, however, is a popularity contest in the same way Facebook and all other variants of social media are. That is something that makes me seethe. I thought blogging was something for people genuinely interested in writing. Turns out I was wrong. It’s all about amassing mindless follows, posting crap for the sake of cheap likes, stalking people, and selling shit. The bloggers I’ve come across who are genuinely interested in writing can barely be counted on two hands.

I no longer care about how popular this blog becomes. I can’t compete with the social loudmouths here on WordPress. I’ve always been more of a wallflower. You can all follow those people and mindlessly like their crap that has no substance, meaning, or personality. If I can look at a post after I’ve typed it and think “That’s a good bit of writing,” then that’s good enough for me. Stats are just meaningless numbers.

Happy blogaversary to me!

P.S. If I was to suggest any of my posts for you to read then it’s my Living the Dream series. I go into detail regarding what I love about writing and what frustrates me as well as keeping you up to date with my writing ventures outside blogging.

25 thoughts on “Paul.E.Bailey’s World–A Year on the Blog

  1. Happy Anniversary good friend here’s to many more, not sure what can be said that hasn’t already but if nothing else thanks for all the informative post, I often wonder myself what gets the “popular bloggers” the shine they do, but then I remember how much it wouldn’t matter either way if I ever reached that level, not even saying that I would want to really lol…

    That’s what I enjoy from your blog the most, it’s the humility of it all, just a normal person less of an image you know, can’t wait to see all the awesomeness you have planned for the future, I rest assured it’ll be quality afterall it’s you, I wouldn’t expect it to be anything less…

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    1. Thank you very much, buddy. You reminded me of a faux pas in this post though as I was going to mention you in relation to our musical connection. In many ways, you’ve influenced me to get back into my Mixcloud work more regularly again. I really will catch up with your stuff eventually. That first set you put on was superb. Really proud of my latest one. It’s an old school breakbeat hardcore. First I’ve done in years and it’s turned out pretty nice.

      As for my blogging, I’m just gonna keep doing it my way. I ain’t gonna sell myself out for the sake of cheap likes and follows. I want readers, not people pushing the like button for the sake of it.

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      1. With a year under your belt now and the experience that comes from it, isn’t it awful to see the ones with fellow experience if not more than us to put out that crap, i’m far from a hater but there’s a fine line between being true to one’s self vs an image, but I guess that’s the beauty of it all something for everyone you know choice is yours to follow or not…

        As far as music I’ve always been curious, of course I know the hunt never really ends lol, I wonder these days how are you exposing yourself to new/old stuff, long gone are the days of hitting the record shops to discover as they seem to be a dime a dozen these days, by what means do you scratch that new sound itch, we music nerds all seem to have lol…

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  2. You are indeed a great blogger and writer! I am so happy to have been able to enjoy your talent and unique point of view this year. Congratulations!!!😄

    I am now going to scour the blogosphere for every award there is and nominate you…you deserve it! 👍😛👍 lol!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha. I think I’d have to frown extremely hard at you if you did that! I think my new rule is that I’ll only accept awards if there’s a cash prize with it.

      You’ve been a massive source of inspiration for me. It’s through your influence that I started A Survivor’s Apocalypse Story (I started work on the second instalment last night… big plans afoot!) and also started giving poetry a bash again. You’ve backhandedly made me a stronger writer. there are no words I can say that will get across just how grateful I am for that.

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      1. Haha. I might do one day when I’m at a loose end. It’s true though. I wasn’t sure how the blogging game worked and whether fiction was an acceptable thing. Then you came along and I saw that all you posted was fiction (and bloody excellent fiction to boot). You were my influence to branch out.

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  3. This made me smile all the way through reading it Paul. I absolutely love the freshness of your no bullshit plain-as-day style 😊 I think you’re one of the few bloggers who are prepared to say anything negative ie. honest about blogging. I get annoyed as I have amassed a decent quantity follower list, yet get less likes and comments than I used to when I did all the awards and reading other bloggers work. I wonder why people follow who literally NEVER read posts 😂😂 The whole thing is a bit silly really…but if I enjoy an hour sat behind the keys, the process of writing, then that’s what I focus on. I write for different functions. Sometimes my output is better than others, but it all helps me figure out the confusion in my brain better than any other coping strategy out there. I don’t have the grammatical know how that you do, but I do love the power of words. They can be simple or complex. Subtle or intense. Writing is one of the most powerful things we can do if we want to make a contribution that is just ours and ours only. I love your blog and you and your personality. You ARE interesting and I always look forward to your posts. The only ones I can’t connect with are the music ones as I’m more s club 7 than you 😂😂 but well done on your first whole year of blogging. 👏👏👏👏

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    1. I’m an advocate for calling a spade a spade. There’s far too much fakeness both in the blogosphere and the real world nowadays. I like to think I buck that trend if only slightly. Blogging fucking blows! It’s all a big popularity contest as opposed to a platform to display talent. I’m not suggesting that I think I’m more talented than everyone else, but, fuck me, I have to be more interesting to read than some of the utter dross I see posted! It concerns me what people will slap a cursory like on these days. And don’t think I’m not suspicious of my average, white, heterosexual male status. It’s never been less popular to be one of those! Just for one in the eye to that notion, I am actually considering renaming my blog ‘The Adventures of an Average White Man’. Genuinely! What do you think of that title?

      You’ve been a source of tremendous support over the last year, Sumani. I like how our minds have connected and I especially like how much I’ve learned from you. You’ve made me very aware of an issue that I was previously completely ignorant to and nothing gets my blood pumping like accruing knowledge. As far as my music posts go, suck it up! Haha. To be fair, I’m not easily connectible where music is concerned and I’m very cool with that. It’s one of few things I actually really like about myself. Anyway, thank you for being part of my journey. I hope you’ll remain for it 🙂

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      1. Blogging sucks balls hun. 😂 I like the blog title! It’d make me smile if I came across that name!! I still want to read what you write even though I’m not blogging- hell yeah! Feel free to email me if you like, though my mental health is pants currently so I may not reply straight away. I really appreciate genuine mind connections- in a world with so much BOLLOCKS it’s refreshing 😊👍

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      2. I’d definitely like to stay in touch. It’d be a shame not to talk again because you’ve made the (sensible) decision that blogging is no longer your bag. It isn’t my bag either, but I have too much to say to deprive myself of a platform for my soapbox. I certainly ain’t turning to the twat we know as Facebook! What’s the point? Anything I post pertaining to my writing gets pretty much completely ignored anyway…

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      3. Fuckers! I’m on and off Facebook all the time, hating it then missing it. I now do Facebook in moderation. I love hearing from you. Paul Baileys world is an interesting one to me 😊

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  4. Thank you for the mention, Paul. I must say though – lucky if you had to choose as you ran out of a burning building, your blog would still be recoverable on a device away from the flames Lol! Also, I’m on the same page as you with the blog awards, they were fun for awhile but since changing my blog up recently I decided I’d be avoiding the awards too. I don’t think the majority of people really even want to read them… so why bother putting that kind of content out there? It takes a lot of time and energy to answer them… is rather put that energy into more quality posts and hope those get read by someone.

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    1. This is my gripe. There’s so much nonsense being posted now that I’m just ignoring emails of people’s posts without even bothering looking to see what the post is about unless it’s from a blogger I’m already into. People like yourself are a breed on WordPress—that is to say somebody who actually writes posts with substance. I refuse to sell out like that anymore. I want to write stuff that’s worth writing. Sod those who don’t want to read it.

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      1. I totally agree with that sentiment, I don’t mind posts that are answering questions… as long as the questions are interesting and/or the blogger really answers them fully. At least sometimes that can be interesting in a get-to-know-you-better way… but all the excess stuff that comes along with the awards seems like a waste of time nowadays. I have a sunshine award waiting on me that I never got around to… perhaps if I like the questions or get further nominations I may decide to answer some questions or use them as a basis for a full post or something, but other than that… I’ve always been about quality over quantity and now I’m cracking down on myself a bit more over it by pushing those to the wayside

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      2. Yeah, I like the questions side of things (which reminds me; I was going to answer all the questions in your post about the 90s… still haven’t finished reading that one), though some of the questions asked are extremely boring and not well thought out. It’s almost as though they asked any old question just to get it over with. Quality has never been an issue for you. Your posts are always a great read. Even if the post itself isn’t about such a riveting topic, you have a way of writing that makes me want to reach its conclusion. I think, in the industry, they call that talent 😉

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