Perhaps April Fool’s Day is the perfect day to put this up.
But this was a spot I did as I was getting ready to leave CPAC, having made the the acquaintance of one Peter “DaTechGuy” Ingemi. He calls it his “field guide to bloggers,” I call it a nice little video calling card of my thoughts about CPAC.
I’ve not been one who has done a lot of video, but I thought that turned out relatively all right.
You might be interested to know that my friend Jackie Wellfonder has her own segment as well, with the whole field guide linked here. I think I was either the last or second-to-last one done, but Pete was apparently all over that place doing his field guide and radio show – a really nice guy.
It’s just another example of how the new media is working (and trust me, Pete is really working it because he has mouths to feed) to supplant the tired old rhetoric of what passes for journalism in the mainstream. He is an example of one who dabbles in a number of different areas to make his living, but this will also serve as a foreshadow to something discussed in Ten Question Tuesday tomorrow. Look for it at noon.
Oh, one postscript: this date has significance to me because, eight years ago tonight, I decided to embark on this whole blogging adventure with a Blogspot site called “ttown’s right-wing conspiracy.” It’s still there, linked to the right-hand side of my site under “bloglist.”
If the Good’s Lord willing and the creek don’t rise, by the time you read this I will be at CPAC. It’s been a goal of mine to go, and even though I’m not getting the full three-day experience (in part due to my outside job) there will be plenty enough to do in one day. Among the bright conservative lights I’ll be sharing my Saturday with are Governor Scott Walker, former Speaker Newt Gingrich, Rep. Michele Bachmann, former Governor Sarah Palin, Mayor Mia Love, and Senator Ted Cruz. Not too shabby, huh?
I’ll have my laptop with me, so hopefully I will be able to provide coverage while I’m there. You may also want to follow me on Twitter as I update. My job will be to give you a taste of my experiences, since I really don’t know what to expect. It may be overwhelming but it surely should be exciting. I’m also hoping to meet a lot of my blogging cohorts there.
Tomorrow I will see what my notes and pictures look like and give you my impressions in pictures and text.
As a blogger who toils in relative obscurity (well, so far anyway), I can understand the thought process some might have when faced with a big payday. Such was apparently the case in a scandal that Robert Stacy McCain has written about frequently of late called MalaysiaGate, where a number of bloggers bagged nearly $400,000 from the Malaysian government to sugarcoat their stories. As he notes on the subject:
If powerful Malaysian interests had been willing to pay $400,000 to obtain the services of a natural-born smartass, how quickly would I have cashed that check? Immediately.
Let’s not kid anybody. Honesty is a virtue, and it would be dishonest to present myself as morally superior to Josh Treviño, Ben Domenech and their friends, simply because I have never sought the kind of reputation that would make my services valuable to the ruling regimes of foreign nations.
When I read about this, I was like “damn! Someone actually values the blogosphere enough to drop 400 grand on it?!?” Hell, I’d be happy to get a half-dozen advertisers at my going rate and a gig that pays me a few hundred dollars a week. Obviously I can’t speak for other bloggers – although I tend to agree with McCain’s take on the subject, which is well worth reading; I’ll wait for you - but there is a growing community of citizen journalists who could be harnessed in the right direction if the finances were there from a conservative benefactor.
The point is that we all have our own reasons for doing what we do. McCain makes a reasonable enough living at it, but he’s the exception to the rule. Most other bloggers have other outside jobs, whether they’re in the world of words or completely outside of it as one of mine is. (I also have freelance clients so I run in both circles.)
But we toil in order to make a difference in some way, and that includes bloggers on the other side of the political aisle as well. (They just happen to be wrong.) I know a few of them personally but most of them, particularly from outside Maryland, I’ve never met aside from on Facebook. It’s a reason I’m looking forward to CPAC, even if I’m only there for a limited time, because of the potential of meeting a few of them and others worth knowing in this extended family of ours.
And we do help each other out. I’m pretty careful about giving hat tips or credit where due, as I would hope that others are about my original material. Nor do I mind helping out other bloggers, with Jackie Wellfonder being one example.
Most bloggers would end with the pitch to hit their tip jar, but I’m going to be a little different. I have a long list of blogs I link to, some national and some local. One thing I try to do is keep the list stocked with blogs which are local or national in scope and are frequently updated, because a blog which doesn’t change often isn’t one which holds my interest (and probably not yours either.) So go check them out and support their fine establishments as well.
Normally around this time in this space I would place my Ten Question Tuesday interview, but I’ve noticed that some of the people who state they are open for interviews don’t seem to return my inquiries. It’s very frustrating because I don’t like to have too many interviews in the can (I like to work one week ahead) but when you ask a couple people who don’t get back to you that throws off the schedule. Listen, I’ll cheerfully admit I don’t have the highest number of readers but I’m working on building it up with the help of those folks I interview – the idea is to help out the pro-liberty movement overall and build something where the momentum can’t be stopped.
So I suppose I need to work on next week and see if I can get back to doing these interviews. In the couple months I’ve done TQT I’ve begun to marvel how radio hosts can get weekly guests because it’s tough to drag some into commitments – perhaps this is the best time to thank Dan Bongino, Jonathan Byrdak, Diana West, Patrick McGrady, Sara Marie Brenner, Tom Fitton, and Jake Day for their TQT participation. Really, that’s not a bad seven people to be in the company of, so I’ll see what I can get for the next few weeks. It’s quite a bit of work to put these together – particularly because I’d like to look outside the echo chamber of Maryland politics as well as find some people you may not hear as much from – but I enjoy the interaction.
Hopefully you’ll forgive the unscheduled TQT hiatus, but now I’d like to talk about something else.
If you haven’t noticed, I like to create content and the reason this site is called monoblogue is that, on all but perhaps two occasions where I’ve had guest posts, I’ve been the sole writer. But there was something I noticed of late about the way I did it and how it affected readership.
Late last month I put up a poll for a few days asking readers how often they visit the site, and the answer sort of went along the line with my suspicions that I could improve readership simply by posting more. It actually coincided with my desire to spend more time on other avenues of writing, such as the Watchdog Wire; simply put, spending three hours compiling posts like ‘odds and ends’ by making them sound coherent with transitions which satisfied my perfectionist streak left me less time to do other writing. My time is limited by my other, currently more lucrative outside jobs so I need to make my monoblogue posts count.
So instead of writing one 1000-2500 word post a day – although there have been days of late when I’ve dragged myself in the door after a hard day of toil outside the home and scratched out a quick and dirty 300-word post simply to place fresh content – I thought it would be better to try for a couple 600- to 800-word posts. Certainly I will keep my reporter’s hat on where needed, but the goal is to accelerate the post tempo up to around 50 to 60 a month. By spreading them out, it gives readers a reason to visit daily or even more frequently.
And if I can show readers visit more often, I can get more advertisers and more writing opportunities. I have a couple irons in the fire which might pan out as I try to expand my reach and get back to a format I enjoy writing – the 600 word op-ed, suitable for publication at a website or news outlet near you. (Being paid to do it would be nice, too.)
People tell me I’m a pretty good writer, so now it’s time to expand the audience and reach. If you’d like to be interviewed here, need a good op-ed (or even press release or persuasive e-mail, I’ve done those too), or even just show your support in a manner besides buying my book or rattling the tip jar, just let me know. I believe next Tuesday I should be able to resume the Ten Questions.
I suppose I got that out of the way.
Not sure if it was the format, the way my morning was going, or perhaps I just got out of the wrong side of the bed (which would really be sad because I get out of the same side every day) but I really feel like I let the Wicomico GOP down today.
Have you ever had one of those times where you have six thoughts running through your head and none of them want to come out in any order? That was me this morning. And I sure wasn’t going to get any help from the peanut gallery since the other two on the panel were way out there on the left side of the political spectrum. It was as if I was a duck hunter and I was surprised so badly that so many ducks were sitting there that I forgot to grab my shotgun.
And what really makes me mad is that once we got out of the more formal setting I could talk like a normal human being. Aaaarrrrgggh!
It was just something about being out of the comfort zone of sitting here in my sweats and having time to think about what I want to say and how to best present it that makes it hard for me to adjust to doing broadcast interviews. Some people who do these on a regular basis get more accustomed to it, and I used to be a lot better at these when I was a regular guest on local radio – the first fourteen of this series where I write about my radio appearances were written in a time span between March of 2007 and June of 2008. So I was appearing about once a month back then, but since I have only done radio once in 2009, once in 2011, and once in 2012.
Anyway, I was the first one to appear for today. I assumed it would be just Don Rush, Mike Pretl and I but the second arrival was Michael O’Loughlin, a Salisbury University political science professor who was added to the bill as another “progressive” voice. So in essence it was three against one.
We were supposed to talk about the State of the Union addresses and various reactions, but there was an added subject thrown in as it was learned yesterday that the university’s NPR affiliates would both be relocating and one may undergo significant changes. That took the first few minutes.
So I received the first question and started to respond, and I think I did okay. But it was when Mike Pretl said something which planted about six thoughts in my mind and those trains of thought went right off the tracks. And it’s really, really frustrating because I know in my heart and mind we are on the right side of practically every issue. Obamacare is going to be a trainwreck, the economy isn’t going to get better soon, and instead of focusing on jobs, President Obama is talking about “green energy” and gun control. I know you know that all the gun laws in the world weren’t going to stop Newtown.
And then we had the Hoover reference, which I parlayed into a return to Coolidge-era policies. Hoover really was a big-government Republican like George W. Bush, but I made the mistake of throwing the name out there without historical context. “Silent Cal” was President during the Roaring Twenties, when government was trimmed to size after the excesses of Woodrow Wilson and World War I.
Overall, I know I can do better – perhaps I’m my own worst critic, but I have performed well on that stage in the past. Now I may be back on that show, or I may not, But if you’d like to help me out with a little practice and you’re in the media, let me know. I like doing radio, but opportunities seem to be few and far between.
I’m not one to toot my own horn (too much) or talk about “record days” on a regular basis (although I indeed had some leading up to the last election) but there were a couple important developments today which will impact the future of this website you’ve come to count on for insightful news and commentary, along with one from yesterday. Well, maybe not so much on yesterday’s but I’ll throw it out there anyway.
I’ll begin with an upcoming appearance: yesterday I received a call from Don Rush inviting me onto his WSCL-FM show Friday morning at 9 to discuss the State of the Union address and other political topics. From what I understand, I will be on with local leftist Mike Pretl so that ought to be a joy to behold. I believe this will also be taped for PAC-14. Should I go with a suit and tie? Dave, help me out!
Granted, I am sort of the pinch-hitter on this occasion because our county Chair Dave Parker, who usually handles local Republican duties, was unavailable. But that’s quite all right – I’ll do my best to express a conservative, pro-liberty perspective, even if I go without the suit.
But after doing my outside job today, there were two important messages in my mailbox.
The first came from Watchdog Wire, which didn’t give me the Editor post I had my heart set on (instead, they gave it to the eminently qualified Mark Newgent, which means there’s nothing to be ashamed of on my part) but instead gave me a nice title of Senior Contributor. Beginning later this week, I will be crossposting between here and the new Maryland-based Watchdog Wire site. The goal is to build a national profile for both that site and my efforts here.
More importantly, though, if you go back and read my seventh anniversary post from December, you’ll see that I had a couple goals in mind for this year. One came through today:
Thank you for registering to cover CPAC 2013. We have received your application and are pleased to confirm your CPAC 2013 Media Credentials.
Yes, I am going to CPAC! But boy is it expensive… not the conference itself, but all the other items associated with it. A ratting of the tip jar would be most helpful at this time. (Or, a couple roommates. Or both.) I can’t do all three days but two is certainly a probability. After the enjoyment I had at Turning the Tides, I think covering CPAC (and meeting a number of prominent bloggers) would be a blast!
Oh, and by the way, I haven’t forgotten about the second book, as I’m still in the process of thinking it out. Unfortunately, it never seems to leave the back burner with everything else I’m doing.
But this has been an exciting week so far. Sometimes I wonder if I’m making any difference as I toil for hours behind this computer. Once in awhile I’ll get something which encourages me to go farther, to keep on this journey I’ve willingly embarked on without much of a safety net. So far, this week has been one of those “somethings” so why not make it even more worthwhile and show your support, even if it’s just sharing this post, liking my monoblogue Facebook site (or the one for my first book), or following me on Twitter? Never hurts to ask.
And one more thing. If you’re interested in being featured on Ten Question Tuesday (and you have a compelling story) let me know. I’m starting to book March now. You’ll find it’s fun to do these interviews, and if imitation is the sincerest form of flattery I know I’m onto something when Jackie Wellfonder does it as well. I’m sure she’ll have the details soon and I look forward to it. (And no, she didn’t put me up to this.)
Okay, I’m out.
That’s the title of a recent post by Eric Odom of Liberty News, who’s pondering the question after studying the decline of conservative blogs since he last did a survey in 2009.
Well, in one respect Eric is correct when he notes:
Truthfully, blogging takes a lot of work. Time is required and a lot of it if you want readers. Especially now that an active social media presence is needed to drive growth and personal influence.
He’s exactly right on that one, as I would estimate I spend between 15 and 20 hours a week working on this site. That’s not necessarily just doing the writing, but promotion, attending events I cover, and reading other news sites to pick up ideas and trends. I’ve been blessed with a mind which rarely encounters writer’s block, but as a tradeoff readers may notice I veer onto non-political avenues once in awhile. (The best case in point is my Delmarva Shorebirds coverage, mostly during the summer. Local music also finds its way here.)
Yet if I were to survey the many thousands of bloggers who have left the field since 2009, my wager is that a significant number of them have simply traded in their blogs for other communication venues, particularly Twitter. WordPress is pretty easy for me to work with, but it’s no match for Tweeting to those who used to simply link to another post and perhaps add a line or two of commentary. 140 characters is about the length of a good-sized sentence like the example you’re reading, and for many it’s enough to express a thought. If they need a little more space, there’s always a Facebook page. It’s far easier to be the master of a Facebook page or a Twitter account than the servant of a blog site where new content is demanded regularly.
There’s also the idea of having to build and keep an audience, which is difficult because it requires that same consistent approach. I once read that the key to blogging success is to write 2500 words a day, which is generally more than I put in. My output is usually about half that, although my Ten Question Tuesday segments so far have exceeded that 2500-word figure. Of course, I didn’t have to be creative for those aside from coming up with the questions and tenor of the conversation. To be able to write creatively at such a pace it would also be to have my sole source of income and thus far that’s not been a doable option.
It occurred to me that I had my own (partial) list of blogs from back around that time, as the also now-defunct BlogNetNews used to “rank” conservative websites in Maryland. This was the list I had from 2008 as I compiled my own ranking of these sites – out of those twenty I believe this site, Red Maryland, and The Hedgehog Report are the only ones still posting on a regular basis.
Yet while there are few blogs which have managed to hang around in the last half-decade, it doesn’t mean there aren’t worthy, newer contenders – as well as some which weren’t in the BlogNetNews network but have stood the test of time. For example, Blue Ridge Forum began in 2006 and The Vail Spot in 2007. But even after this artificial point, several good sites have sprung up: according to the archives I could find A Conservative Lesbian, The FreeStater Blog, and Anthropocon were created in 2009, while 2010 brought the Potomac TEA Party Report, Cross Purposes, and Old Line Elephant. Even 2012 brought my friend Jackie Wellfonder’s Raging Against the Rhetoric, which proved some out there still feel blogging is a viable option, especially in the wake of Andrew Breitbart’s death. (All these blogs and more are linked on the sidebar.)
I think there was a time when the blogging craze was just that – a craze. Many people got into it, and most found out it wasn’t as easy to build an audience as they thought. But those who have stuck around and found their own niche have turned the internet into a viable alternative news source, so I think Eric’s fears are somewhat unfounded.
Having said that, though, more eyes and ears wouldn’t be a bad thing.
Last night I did something I’ve been doing quite often over the last few months – adding conservative links to my website.
Now I have no idea just how many blogs link to mine (Alexa says 158, but those could be article links and not just static links like I’m referring to) but I thought it would be interesting to compare what I have links to now vs. what I did 18 months ago. I actually wanted to do a year-to-year but couldn’t find a cached snapshot from last January. It’s close enough for government work, and, come on, it’s the Saturday of the last week of the year. You know as well as I do that the news cycle ain’t exactly peaking at the moment, and today I’m actually working on an exciting new project for 2013.
Anyway, in July 2011 I linked to blogs in the following categories:
- Commentary and News (24)
- Delaware (12)
- Eastern Shore (28)
- Free State Bloggers (24)
- Friends of monoblogue (7)
By my public school math, that’s 95 blogs. In the 18 months since, I’ve changed the categories a little but there’s a big difference in the totals:
- Daily News and Commentary (35)
- Delaware (9)
- Eastern Shore (13)
- Maryland (26)
- Other Great Blogs (23)
I’ve only gained a net of 11 blogs in that time, but the precipitous drop in Delmarva blogs I link to (from 40 to 22) has been made up for in a national sense, with representatives from across the country now on my “other great blogs” list. For the longest time it seemed like Delmarva had more blogs than the average area but I think the boom has passed. Now it’s difficult to find good blogs which deal with the area in a strictly political sense. (Some may argue that it’s difficult to find good blogs on Delmarva, period.) The days of BlogNetNews and their ranking system are long gone and practically forgotten, as are a lot of the sites once listed there.
I really wasn’t looking to make this a discussion of the Delmarva blogging scene, but we pretty much know who is serious about writing these things now, don’t we?
Meanwhile, there are others who have branched out into doing radio shows and other activities which don’t involve as much writing. That’s all well and good for them, but I suppose I have a face for radio and a voice for print. Being a radio show guest is fine and something I enjoy doing on a far-too-infrequent basis, but I’m not convinced I could commit to a radio show and frankly don’t have the desire to make the time. Several of these new blogging friends of mine are radio show hosts, though, so if you care to give them a listen I encourage you to do so. I found a lot of them through this useful Facebook page.
It’s worth noting that one of my biggest fans branched out into her own website and now writes commentary for a larger website; meanwhile, I now seem to have a financial patron who has hit my tip jar four times this year, plus other monetary support from friends and advertisers. So maybe I have more influence than ever. As always, I’m grateful for the assistance and feel blessed to have such passionate fans as well as those who have bought my book.
Yet if I’m missing a link feel free to let me know. The only parameters I have are that it’s updated regularly and isn’t simply a link generator. Other than that, I’ll figure out the category and it will be good to go.
As always, I will take Christmas Day off to spend with my loved ones which are around, but as you’ll see tomorrow I broke my tradition and added a little stocking stuffer you can read.
Many of you know that I work on a peripheral basis with the retail industry, since writing and book sales don’t pay all my bills. That is what it is, but once again as last year I noticed many stores weren’t busy. However, it seemed this year like shoppers rallied at just about the last minute in certain popular stores – no, it wasn’t wall-to-wall but there appeared to be a little added incentive to get good gifts. Perhaps people seem to have just a little confidence things will improve.
Naturally we still have family and the original reason we celebrated the holiday to begin with as items to fall back on. I’ve noticed over the years that the stuff we buy is generally of a fleeting amusement – things which may eventually find their way to the back of the closet, break down, or otherwise fall from usefulness in a short time. But family is hopefully much more long-lasting.
This year, though, I write in the aftermath of tragedy in Connecticut, a sad occasion for dozens of families affected by the incidents at Sandy Hook. It creates a little bit more depression in the midst of a time which is supposed to be joyous for all, but one which studies have shown is among the most stressful for certain people due to the very short daytime period around the winter solstice. Soon enough, though, we will see the rebirth of hope which comes with a new year.
But there was a time a couple thousand years ago where we all had a reason for hope, and that’s really what the celebration should be about. To that end, once again for your holiday listening pleasure I bring you my friends from Semiblind doing ‘O Holy Night’. (You may have to goose the file and start Windows Media Player to get it to play, but it’s worth it.)
Merry Christmas to all of my friends and readers.
For those of who have been lurking around here awhile, you’ve probably figured out that one pet peeve of mine is seeing misspelled words on something which is intended for presentation or to get across an idea. Here’s one example I found today on Facebook.
Does the person’s message come across well when the key point is marred by a terribly misspelled word – “unempolyeed”? It’s all about proofreading. And this is far from the only example I’ve run across in recent weeks.
Has the butchery of the English language really progressed that far? I’ll grant that I couldn’t diagram a sentence to save my life – therefore disappointing a string of English teachers who probably tried their best to drill that knowledge into me – but more often than not I can get my point across with a minimum of grammatical issues. I do well enough at it that I am (or have been) paid to write for particular clients, and although my finished product isn’t always what I submitted (late editing and developments sometimes preclude using the items in the manner I wrote them up a day or so earlier) I’ve been counted on to contribute portions of the weekly Digest for over three years – before that, I was a more occasional contributor. That’s just part of my overall writing resume, of which monoblogue served as the foundation.
Lately I’ve been thinking about other ways to expand my sphere of influence and it occurred to me that I have seen a large number of e-mails and releases from politicians and candidates which have been dreadfully written and rife with misspellings, sentence fragments, and other problems which detract from the overall message. This occurs moreso with politicians for local and regional races than those who are serving at a higher level but as the example I linked to shows, statewide candidates are not immune.
And since my job here involves trying to get my own message across and – based on audience growth and feedback – the word seems to be getting out, perhaps there is an opportunity for me to find clients in the conservative political realm who need writing done for them. Need a press release? I’ve written a fair number of them; meanwhile I’ve also penned op-eds and short opinion pieces which have appeared in newspapers and websites all over the state and country, not to mention over 3,200 (and counting) items on this site – almost all hand-crafted with a minimum of filler.
Here’s the way I look at this. In 2014 – heck, even in 2013 in certain quarters and areas – there are hundreds of state and local offices up for grabs, and conservatives need to have someone who is versed in writing political opinion on their side in an attempt to rustle up as many votes as they possibly can. It’s about creating a positive image and mental picture of the candidate as one who is detail-oriented enough to be able to do the job in their county seat, state capital, or even Washington, D.C. And in stating this belief in this humble little venue of mine, the thought I have is: nothing ventured, nothing gained. All it’s costing me at the moment is the hour or so it took me to come up with the idea and write the pitch. (Time which included editing and proofreading, by the way.) If I can make a cottage business out of this, I would be very satisfied I know I’m doing more on my part to turn this nation in the right direction.
Everyone has a talent, and mine seems to be one of putting thoughts in a coherent, readable form. So why not try to maximize my market? If you are indeed interested, or if you can recommend me to someone who may not be familiar with my work, you can follow up via e-mail: ttownjotes (at) yahoo.com.
Or you can have something like this, which came in my e-mail today.
It’s your choice: “princripal” or principles.
As has been the case before, I had to prewrite this anniversary post a few days in advance because I’ll be away on the actual date. In this case, once again the Maryland GOP Fall Convention falls on the same day.
However, it really doesn’t matter much this time because I’m not breaking any big news in this post, which has sort of become a “state of the blog” address I do almost every year as I look back at what I accomplished through this site and ponder what lies ahead.
Seven years is a long time in life for me to do anything. Those in the architectural field could appreciate this, but I’ve only had one job which lasted for as long as seven years. Generally by that time I’ve either been furloughed because the company I toiled for ran out of work or I had received a better offer, or at times both. My move here was one of those times of getting both – too bad the job I moved here for only lasted a little over four years.
Yet I persevere at this task, which really doesn’t make me a lot of money nor is it the most-read website out there. I could stand some more of both these commodities, and of course my goal of monetizing content continued on this year with the release of my book, So We May Breathe Free: Avoiding Ineptocracy. It was sort of a hybrid because the book was based on a series of posts I wrote back in 2007 but heavily revised, expanded, and updated in the interim.
But I have noticed my readership took a significant upswing at this year’s election, moreso than previous years. I’ve come to understand the ebb and flow to this website’s readership (great in the fall, so-so during the spring and summer) but the Alexa rating I was pleased with last year is still pretty much the same this year – in fact, during the summer I was ranked well under 250,000 world and under 30,000 in the U.S. No, it’s not Fox News or even RedState, but this isn’t bad for a blog coming from flythrough country (so named because the Beltway denizens fly through here in their Volvos on their way to the beach.)
And because of my book and the demands of my outside job, I’ve been sort of slow in proceeding on a couple projects people have come to expect from me. The good news is that I’m wrapping up the monoblogue Accountability Project for 2012 and it should be ready in the next week or two. As a special added bonus, my Shorebird jonesing will be temporarily relieved with the “induction” of five new members to the Shorebird of the Week Hall of Fame. You may have noticed I took that page private – well, there’s your reason. It will return soon.
So where will my website go in the next year? In 2012 I expanded my reach a little bit by joining up with the Politics in Stereo website as the conservative Maryland voice, and we’ll see if that relationship bears fruit. On the other hand, I think my off-and-on Examiner flirtation is coming to an end. The time invested doesn’t seem to be worth it in either enhanced readership or in my bank account.
Naturally I’ll be covering the basics: liberal lunacy in Maryland and nationally, the Salisbury elections for my local readers, and the conservative commentary you’ve come to expect. I’ve been building up my Twitter following over the last few months, with the goal by the end of 2013 having 1,000 followers on either Facebook, Twitter, or other social media.
I have two other writing goals in mind for 2013. As a blogger, I’ve seen a number of my peers attend CPAC but I’ve never been able to scratch together the funding to go. Obviously you can help with that cause if you so desire, but one way or another I’m going to try and get there this year, at least for the experience and opportunity to meet and interact with key bloggers nationally. People tell me I’m just as good as them, well, maybe they need to know who I am.
The second goal is a second book. It actually took me about four years to write my first one because I did it in fits and starts, but the last six months before I wrapped up So We May Breathe Free were fun and challenging at the same time. Obviously I made some mistakes and would love to learn from them by doing a second tome and creating better results. (That’s not to say book #1 is going away, though.) Originally I thought I could have a second book done by next summer, but I think this time next year may be more realistic. I’ll start devoting a little more time to it after the holidays.
Of course, there may be other unforeseen opportunities awaiting me, whether it’s additional duties for the Patriot Post, another chance at syndication, deeper direct political involvement, or writing features at new venues. The fun thing about life is that you never really know what’s ahead. The maddening thing in life, too, is that you never know what’s ahead.
But I think I have the wherewithal to give an eighth year of monoblogue a go, since I know a lot of people enjoy it and the site has turned out to be a fantastic calling card in the political world. I’ve spoken to and met people I never would have if it weren’t for this site, and rest assured the adventure will continue apace!
If this looks similar to what I wrote last year, you’re right! But why mess with good sentiment, I always say.
As always I’d like to take a little time on this holiday which values family and the things we hold dear to wish you and yours a blessed Thanksgiving.
In my case it will be spent with both friends and family, although technically I haven’t married into my significant other’s family. I don’t suspect that will be the case for all that many more years, and it will give me something more to be thankful for when the day arrives.
For those who travel, it looks like the weather in these parts will be conducive for doing so. I have about two hours of driving between the two stops I’m scheduled for, but luckily these are both pretty much off the beaten path so traffic shouldn’t be an issue.
So I hope all of you who take the time – whether daily, weekly, or even a first-timer – to read my site have a great holiday. Even though times have been somewhat rough over the last several years, I’m thankful for what I have and look forward to spending time with people I hold dear (while watching my Lions beat up on those Texans, making them wish they’d seceded from the NFL.)
After today, we’ll be into the hustle and bustle of trying to find the right Christmas gift and making New Year’s plans, so it’ll be six weeks of overdrive for our schedule and overindulgence for our bodies. So take the time today and relax. Work will be back before you know it – heck, I have to work Friday.
Happy Thanksgiving, all.