Wednesday, November 28, 2007

A writer or a blogger?

Wow, writing is a tough business. Ever since I was in elementary school, I've aspired to be a writer. It seemed such a cool, glamorous and lucrative occupation. In fact, back in those days, I used to write stories and essays and try to get my friends to read them. You can imagine the laughter. And yet I kept noticing the Reader's Digest offer of hundreds for short, simple stories about things like "Life in these United States." Even this blog probably has some roots in the aspirations of those days. But, as time went by, I departed for other careers, other ambitions.

So, after a few months of blogging I was glad to hear that at least a few people thought I had some writing talent. But, I was a bit disappointed that my readership was so low. About that time I noticed an advertisement on the blog for Helium. If you look back through my blogs you'll likely still see the ads. They publish on line and claimed a bigger readership than my blog, as well as connections to more traditional publishers. Could it be that a wider readership would recognize my considerable talents and lift me to fame and fortune?

I checked it out. I read. I dabbled by submitting a few articles. To my delight, I often rose into the upper tier among dozens of authors rated for each title. And so I wrote some more. Good ratings, but was anybody out there reading? Looking at my earnings, the answer was no. I was up to $2.50 after several months.

Then I saw it. They sponsor contests, with prizes like $75 for the top prize. That's not a lot, but could it launch my writing career and finally recognize my talent? The key was to write more good articles than anyone else on topics within various categories. How hard could it be? After all, I was #1 of 38 on at least one of my articles. And so, last week I jumped in with both feet. I wrote about things I knew. I wrote about things when I could barely guess what I had to say. I spent the better part of 5 days writing a dozen articles. The contest ends today, and if I'm lucky I might get one of several $5 consolation prizes. Boy, am I glad I went into engineering instead of writing!

From now on, I think I'll stick to the life of Riley. Jon and I plan a canoe trip on the San Marcos river tomorrow. Maybe after that I'll use the services of my good friends Sonny and Reva Harris on their travel website, . I think I'll be content with communicating my experiences, wisdom and whereabouts to my small group of friends and family in this space. And maybe I'll stick to pictures. How can I go wrong? In an attempt to get back on track I'm throwing in a couple of picture from the "meadow" between my condo and the Guadalupe river.


nemattox said...

So, how did the contest turn out?

max said...

I eked out third place when my last article on "Can power be made from pet feces" was rated 3rd of 18! Great comeback! Ha, surely you know this is all in jest?