If You Write It, They Will Come

field dreamsNow that baseball season has finally arrived, Modern Philosophers, I often think of one of my favorite baseball flicks, Field of Dreams.

It’s probably my favorite movie baseball ghost movie of all time, but I’ve never truly understood the film’s underlying message until recently.

As you know, I toil painstakingly on this blog, working in the writing fields every day, and sweating under the unrelenting sun to bring you laughter and to inspire Deep Thoughts.

What you probably don’t know, however, is that I’ve been thinking about retiring the blog.  I put so much effort into it and really enjoy writing it, but lately, traffic to the blog has been down severely and that’s bothered me.

I’ve taken the drop in visits to mean that people don’t like my writing anymore, and it’s making me question why I put so much effort into the blog if no one is going to read it.

It’s not easy coming up with ideas for a daily blog post, and then making sure that the posts meet my high standards for humor and the ability to stimulate Deep Thoughts in my fellow Modern Philosophers.

Whenever I get really down about the decline in readership, I think about the voice in Field of Dreams and what it whispered to Kevin Costner.

If you write it, they will come…

That never made any sense to me in a movie about baseball, ghosts, and farming, but now it’s crystal clear to me.

If you write it, they will come…

james dreamsThe movie is telling me to keep writing my blog.  Sure, I can’t comprehend how a blog could have 12,000 followers, and yet no one seems to read my new posts, but the ghost voice from Field of Dreams wants me to keep providing new content.

Clearly, the movie is really about James Earl Jones’ character.  He was a cranky, old writer who didn’t follow his dreams, and look at what happened to him.

He grew up to be Darth Vader!

I don’t want to be Darth Vader, Modern Philosophers.  Sure, a future as a Jedi Knight would be awesome, but I never want to turn to the Dark Side.  The Nuns most certainly would not approve of such shenanigans.

I just want to be a writer.  A happy one, who knows that people appreciate all the effort that goes into maintaining a blog and then tirelessly working social media to keep it relevant and popular.

If you write it, they will come…

Okay, mystery voice from my VHS copy of Field of Dreams, I won’t give up on this blog just yet.  However, I am putting its readers on notice.

keep wrtingYou inspire me to keep writing, Modern Philosophers.  If it continues to look like you aren’t enjoying the blog anymore, though, I will wander off into the corn and take the interns and all the crazy characters from The House on the Hill with me.

We might need a bigger cornfield.

If you come, I will write it…

I leave it up to you.

About Austin

Native New Yorker who's fled to the quiet life in Maine. I write movies, root for the Yankees, and shovel lots of snow.
This entry was posted in Humor, Philosophy, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

54 Responses to If You Write It, They Will Come

  1. grannyK says:

    I love your blog! I probably miss some posts as I have limited reading time these days, but I still love it! You do whatever is best for you, though. If you no longer enjoy it and it’s like a job then maybe a break is in order.

  2. D. Parker says:

    I’m glad voices are telling you to keep writing, wait, that sounded weird, but you know what I mean. I still enjoy your blog, but many of us follow many blogs and between reading, sharing, commenting, etc. time can get pinched. 🙂
    But I always find time for you. 🙂

  3. List of X says:

    “And if you don’t come, I will force-choke you.” 🙂
    Or you may have to write another viral post about some TV show to be filmed in Maine.

    • Austin says:

      I don’t want the blog’s existence to depend on another viral post. Just read what I write. It’s funny. I promise. 🙂

      • List of X says:

        It is funny, you don’t have to convince me. 🙂 But I just don’t have the time to read every post you write – work, life, other blog, and my own, occasionally – all this takes a lot of time, and I’m sure that’s true for a lot of your readers.
        And blogging isn’t like baseball – some people expect bloggers to make return visits (not me), so if you never visit anyone, you could lose readers. Also, leaving comments on other blogs helps new people find you.

      • Austin says:

        I try to find time to read new blogs. Hosting that blog pitch party really helped!

  4. Yes, the number of visitors changes. People come and people go. You keep to subscribing to more posts the longer you’re in Blog World and then you can’t read them ALL everyday. Just can’t keep up. It IS time-consuming. Sigh.

  5. floridaborne says:

    I’ve noticed that you write more than one post a day, you also have a full-time job (with a parking lot that always seems to be surrounded by a snow bank) and.between screenwriting and joke writing, that’s a 2nd full-time job. Recently, you’ve been writing more posts. I’ve been wondering if you’re burning yourself out with all the effort to keep up with 2 1/2 jobs.

    I use a text reader to read your post to me (and others under “blogs I follow.”) It’s a lot slower than being able to skim over blogs for the “high points.” I don’t have time to read everything. But I do try to make time to read the Friday Think Tank, Saturday Jump Start, and the Nite Show “Rejects.”

    It’s very easy to get discouraged when traffic seems to be down, but I’ve noted a downturn also. Part of it might be people emerging from the snow and enjoying spring in places that aren’t as close to the North Pole as Maine.. Who knows?

    Not many bloggers have 12,000 readers. Not many bloggers have had the successes in their writing careers that you’ve enjoyed. From what I can tell, people who push the “like” button compared to the number of readers are a very, very few. One reason might be the fact that a lot of people don’t want to sign up in order to able to comment or like, another possibility might be virtual stage fright. In other words, there may be 10,000 people every day who look forward to reading your blog and enjoy it, but you’ll never know.

    Are you willing to throw all that away because of a temporary lull?

  6. seefleckrun says:

    My take on this is like my take on most things – keep going until you no longer enjoy it. If you enjoy writing your posts, then keep posting. If it’s become a chore, or if your readership is taking the joy away from it, take a break. But, please, do not stop altogether! I really enjoy your snowy-day running posts! Don’t give in to the Snow Miser!

    Joking aside – it’s rare to find a blog that’s well-written, engaging, and positive. I’d like to see you continue. 🙂

  7. Keep writing! Your wit, prose and timing are absolutely fabulous. I thoroughly enjoy your reports from the studio and the House on the Hill. Engaging, indeed.

    Thank you for the daily inspiration!

  8. I had an incredibly rough week last week. I was at Walt Disney World the week before that with my kiddos and though I had a scheduled posts that published each day (some of my best yet) I was unable to sit and comment and like every single persons blog on my reader list (there’s too many) and for that I was punished. My readership dropped by more than 60% and even as I returned and started commenting and liking everything nothing seemed to change until yesterday…maybe yesterday was a fluke, but I have to say it has been quite discouraging the past two or three weeks.

  9. lisafab says:

    What?!?! We just met!! I’m really a nice gal…I really am!
    A few thoughts as a new blogger: Maybe don’t post every day…maybe cut back to a few times a week.
    I’m absolutely thrilled about the views I’ve been getting and I’m sure it doesn’t compare to yours…Could the thought if your writing makes one person smile and forget about their problems for a few minutes mean something to you?
    And people get busy and like a previous person mentioned, I think they are enjoying the sunshine most states are getting now.
    Oh, and this last one, you might think: “Duh, of course I do this woman” But do you share every post on twitter/facebook as a reminder about your blog?

  10. Keep on posting. Don’t worry about the viewers. Speaking of Field of Dreams, I was at a party last weekend where the actor who played Costner’s father with whom he plays catch at the end was also a guest. He looks the same. That was a great film.

  11. Josh Wrenn says:

    It is Spring (in some places, or so I have heard), a drop in readership is going to be likely. I also have had a recent drop in readership. maybe due to my content being worse, maybe due to me having to scale back a bit for doctor visits and government dealings and the actually boring “life” stuff, but I suspect that like me, you NEED to write. Readers are fickle, they will come and go. Keep writing, they’ll probably wax and wane some more, but you will get your writing read.

  12. Dawn says:

    Austin darling (we’ve never met but I feel I know you that well), remember, many of your readers are email subscribers. I am one of them. I almost never actually visit your blog but I read every single post you write. When you write it, they might not come but most of them are probably still reading. Don’t think your voice is going unheard, honey. It’s not.

  13. adamjasonp says:

    There are seasonal dips and technology changes—it’s not just you. Views have declined for blogs in general. …However, I don’t think two of the same kind of post in a row (or three Post-Traumatic Snow Disorder posts consecutive) helps.

    At the very least, writing here is therapeutic. You stated why you created the blog. Just continue to put down what you’d put down to help you, and engage. And if no one reads after that, then…something’s wrong with them. Or something.

  14. Of course you know I love your blog. I’ll always read it as long as you keep writing. I think we all go through times in which we don’t know what we’re writing for. But I wouldn’t have it any other way. Writing is everything.

  15. ksbeth says:

    i would agree with the other commenters, the numbers wax and wane over time, and that is natural. know that people are reading, maybe not always hitting like or commenting but they are out there, and it’s hard to keep up with the sheer numbers of responses as times. try to refocus on why you write, know that you are a talented writer and only do it when you feel you want to, not because it’s expected of you, or you have a quota for yourself. write when and if the mood strikes you and only then. when i see your posts, i always read them, though don’t always have time to comment and i suspect that is the case for others too. maybe cut back on your frequency or volume and give yourself a break as needed. )

  16. I understand Austin. I for one have very few followers, but I love them all! It is truly gratifying if I’m able to put a smile on anyone’s face, say nothing of making their day even better. Your right of course, to be appreciated for the amount of effort it takes to put out a post on a daily basis, I personally can’t put one out daily, but I try. It may not be of the quality I would like it to be, but I try. I know its not easy, and it is always rewarding to to click in and find so many comments. Most of the time I find so few comments. Having a family and working, its probably better that I do have so few followers. But If it makes any difference at all, I enjoy reading your post. I also appreciate how hard it is to read others and their post, time being so limited, but I make the time (as no doubt you do as well), because my readers do take the time to read mine. I even read some people who don’t read my blog, but I don’t expect them to read mine. I write my post and hope others will get a laugh. So what I’m trying to say… in a long-winded way is that I love your writing and the humor you put into it. Please try to continue your blog. Remember, you may make someones day, In fact, I’m willing to bet you make a lot of people happy with your post. :O)

  17. Anita Stout says:

    Hi Austin
    I LOVE your blog and enjoy each post I read. Having said that, I think what makes it hard for me is the daily posting. There are only a few people I follow who post daily and of those I get to about 1 – 2 of those posts each week. I’m sure I’m missing some good stuff in there but life is busy and I can’t keep up so it’s overwhelming to face my inbox. To be honest there are a few daily posters I’ve stopped following just for that reason. Before I’d consider leaving blogging, I’d consider doing less posts weekly. Each post is excellent and I’m sure that would continue to be so. You might see your numbers go back up and even have time for a new girlfriend!

    • Austin says:

      I always thought daily posts were a good thing. Always something there for followers to read…

      • Anita Stout says:

        It’s great that there’s always something there for them to read, but that doesn’t mean they will have time to read it all. It’s important to do what’s sane and enjoyable for you. Your readers will stay with you. If you posted even 2 or 3 times a weeks that would mean always something to read for me. I don’t know how many others feel the same but what would it hurt to do a mail chimp survey on your blog and ask your readers how they feel and what they’d like to see more of. You might get the feedback you need to understand what’s going on. I think it’s the change of season. People are able to get out of the house now and Spring Fever is at epidemic levels this year. The vaccine didn’t work – AGAIN.

      • Austin says:

        I enjoy writing every day as there are always stories cluttering up my head that need to be shared.

        It’s snowing here, so no Spring Fever!

  18. Anita Stout says:

    Then there’s your answer. Write everyday and accept that people will read when they can. You never seem to run out of good ideas.
    The crocuses are up and the weeds are already thumbing their noses at me here.

  19. The Cutter says:

    I’ve felt exactly the same way before. But if you still enjoy writing, then keep writing. (And you can always cut back in how much you write!)

  20. Pingback: How Writing This Blog Keeps The Smoke Monster At Bay | The Return of the Modern Philosopher

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