Sometimes, I Don't Know What I'm Writing

Last week, I wrote a post about Public Displays of Affection.

The weeks prior to that had been a slack time for me, blogging-wise. I was feeling immensely tired of the political in-fighting I was seeing at some of my favorite blogs, I was very busy in "real" life, and I was dealing with some interpersonal crap with an erstwhile friend that was taking a lot of my focus in terms of self-examination and introspection.

Also, I was anxiously awaiting the day when my site-meter rolled over the 20,000 mark. After weeks of very sporadic blogging, my readership had dropped off pretty clearly, and I was lingering in the 19,700-or-something range, so I was absolutely certain-sure that when the blogodometer rolled over, I'd be there to see it.

Little did I know.

When Melissa forwarded me a link to an ABC study on queer PDAs and asked me if I wanted to post something about it, I thought I'd just whip out a little post and that, as they say, would be that.

What's weird is that, while I was writing the actual post, it seemed very disorganized and rambling to me. I started out trying to write something about the social experiment, but then I lapsed into personal ponderings (as I am wont to do). The post seemed to wander all over the place and I was hard-pressed to give it some sort of structure.

Now, I have had written posts in the past which, when I hit "publish", I have thought: "Now, THAT is a GOOD FUCKING POST!!! THAT post is going to shake some shit UP!!!"

This was not the case with Take My Arm, My Love -- on April 28th, when I hit publish, I just thought: "Well -- yeah . . . . that'll do."

Imagine my surprise when, two days later, I realized that my site-meter now read: 21,009.

And comments were starting to come in here, and where I'd cross-posted the entry at Shakesville, and Google Alerts was popping up "Portly Dyke" notices every couple of hours (yes, I'm vain enough to Google Alert myself -- why do you ask? -- and don't you dare claim that you haven't googled yourself -- it's like digital masturbation -- everybody does it).

This is the thing that I don't get, though -- I wasn't trying to write a particularly pithy post.

On that occasion, I thought I was just "getting a post out" -- I wasn't intentionally reaching out to change minds and hearts, I wasn't thinking that I was saying anything particularly profound -- I was just describing my internal process (and feeling as if I was fumbling along pretty much the whole time I was writing). Yet here were comments from an amazing variety of people who had somehow been touched by what I wrote, or who expressed a resonating "Yes! I do that! I know this experience!"

I went semi-internet-viral for a week, and it's kind of mysterious to me how that happened.

So now, I'll just have to wait for 30,000 to watch a land-mark tick over on the ole site-meter for Teh Portly Dyke.

(Happy Belated 20,000 blog-visitors to me!)

Posted byPortlyDyke at 11:39 PM  

10 comments: said... May 8, 2008 at 7:30 AM  

Happy Belated 20,000 blog-visitors!

Happy to be one(some) of them!

p.s. As for google alerts, I have one set for my blog, my name, my town, my wife, my kids, my hometown, you name it. LOL

Bob said... May 8, 2008 at 3:17 PM  

Isn't it always the case that posts we think will have a comment-palooza end up *crickets*, and the ones we toss off garner tons?

Congrats on the 20k+!

pidomon said... May 8, 2008 at 4:43 PM  

no mystery to me!
congrats on 2OK

NameChanged said... May 8, 2008 at 10:34 PM  


Anonymous said... May 9, 2008 at 9:13 AM  

That post is what led me to your blog, and I've since made your site a favorite. Also inspired me to write my first comment ever!
Great blog. Thanks!

Brian said... May 9, 2008 at 2:06 PM  

Congrats on the milestone. You deserve much more traffic than that. But don't wait for 30K--25K is a significant number, I think.

ouyangdan said... May 10, 2008 at 6:44 PM  

hey! congrats on the 20K!

and isn't it funny how sometimes we just write and it turns out so well?

i thought it was an amazing post, personally.

jennie said... May 11, 2008 at 5:46 AM  

Sometimes even the little things we don't give much thought to resonate with people—they validate someone's own experience, they voice something unskpoke, they shine a light on the elephant in the living room. I think the PDA post had legs precisely because it was a small, personal thing, that nobody had thought much about. People with opposite-sex relationships don't notice that aspect of their privilege (this being the nature of privilege); people with same-sex relationships often don't talk about all the little acts of covering they do every single day in order to get by, to feel safer, to manage.

Then someone says, "Hey, have you noticed this? I do this thing ...," and everyone goes "Holy crow! I never noticed!" or "Yeah. I know. I do it too. Never mentioned it. Didn't think anyone would care."

We talked about that post at the weekly stitch-and-bitch I attend.

Queers United said... May 12, 2008 at 6:36 AM  

how long have you been blogging? you should be proud of 20k visits

kaya said... May 17, 2008 at 5:55 PM  

i always try to make my posts at least nominally clever, and i think when i've done it i'm a success, but really its the content thats going to draw people in. your post on PDA was great because everyone who's ever thought about that immediately knows exactly what you're talking about and feels validating seeing it somewhere else besides their own head. i know i did.

anyways congrats.

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