Week in Review: Week 2

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Some things are easier said than done.

Premium content, for example. I’m still working on that. I successfully set up a WordPress/Stripe account to receive payments for content behind a paywall, but I haven’t been able to plug that into posts. Not that I expect to be making a great deal of money from a paywall. I won’t be producing premium content fast enough to make it worth a subscription fee, so for now I’ll simply make it a one-time fee for each story. For now, though, it’s free. Browse to your heart’s content but please don’t steal.

Keeping up with the daily deadline continues to be a challenge. I’ve developed a routine of five posts a week, Monday through Friday, with a Saturday wrap-up like this one. On Fridays, when we have the material, I’ll turn the post over to The Rhetoric Referee. Last week and this, developments in Washington made this easy. We’ll see where it goes from here.

Planning material around known events—national holidays (and non-holidays) and the like—allows me to write current material in advance. But I’ve learned that I can’t just recycle previous posts. January 16, for example, is Religious Freedom Day. I explained last year why that’s important, and intended to reuse that content this month. But doing so would mean one less post for people to explore and perhaps learn from. Meanwhile, the story of the Bownes came to my attention and provided a new take on the date. So I slipped the original post back to its 2021 date and wrote anew.

Then the problem became one of scheduling. January 16 happens to be Sunday, which is a day I intend to take off from posting. Saturday is reserved for my week-in-review pieces like this one. Friday is for The Rhetoric Referee. So the religious freedom story had to run on Thursday, in advance. That’s OK, maybe some people will think about it on the day itself.

A similar problem with Martin Luther King’s Birthday. He was actually born on January 15th, although the federal Monday holiday will never fall on that date. I wanted to tell that story on the 15th—today— but it’ll have to wait until Monday.

Observations: Visitors are now arriving for specific posts, rather than just the homepage as they did in the past. The old homepage gave a preview of the post and I suspect it had a similar effect on the reader as a newspaper’s “jump lines” do. People also seem to be sticking around to sample other posts as well.

Interaction: Only halfway through January, but it’s the best month to date in terms of traffic for the blog. The record in terms of single-day visits is still January 25, 2021—Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day—which is coming up at the end of the month. Spread the word and prepare to break out the bubbly!

Professional development: I’ve almost completed importing my photo collection for the blog, including a few shots that will serve as writing prompts for later in the year. My wife also snagged Robin Houghton’s “Blogging for Writers” from the local library, which I’m studying for tips.

Next week: A special post from a rarely visited historic site, possible live-blogging of New England sunsets, and some time off from deadline writing to pursue more long-term projects. See you next Saturday!

In case you missed it …

  • Tsk-tsk! (1979)

    Reading Time: 2 minutes Not contacting the state offices was practically journalistic malpractice. You need to get the official word, even if it’s “no comment.”

  • A good time for groundwork, 1979

    Reading Time: 2 minutes I had visions of collecting my school essays into books of criticism about how not to write papers. Does that sound like what I’m doing here?

  • Puff and fluff, 1979

    Reading Time: 2 minutes Any local news editor understands the delicate balance between what readers and advertisers expect and what you think is important.

  • In Other Words … Season 2, Episode 19

    Reading Time: 2 minutes Many people don’t even have the time or focus for an entire book. The culture of short videos and podcasts has taken over, to our detriment.

  • Top-of-the-head inventory, 1979

    Reading Time: 2 minutes “Items in Stock” was, in truth, a misnomer. Some were complete, or ready for a final draft or a rewrite. Others were ideas or characters in search of a plot.