Tuesday, March 14, 2023

113 - The Reader Appreciation Post

 Thank you!

This is how I have to start this post. For all the sarcasm and snark that makes up Simple Displeasures, this one time I have to sit back and just say, "Hey, everyone...thanks."

When someone settles into a creative life, putting work out into the world for everyone and anyone to consume, to enjoy, and sometimes to criticize, any kind of positive response feels like teamwork. Well, sometimes, the way I do it, it feels like we are co-conspirators. When I write something just a little bit subversive, and it gets a decent number of readers, I feel like myself and you readers are in on something together.

I began Simple Displeasures a little over a decade ago, thinking it would be LUCKY to build a small unique group of regular readers. I mean, I decided early on - and stuck to the decision - to post only once a month. During the first year or two I was satisfied with maybe a hundred views in a month. Not TOO bad, I thought. Not bad for something that doesn't really have anything to directly compare itself to. I think the closest thing I can compare this to, is an old-school monthly magazine humor column.

Eventually, five or six years into this thing, I was happy to see 1,000 people having a look each month.

Last month - February, 2023, this little thing passed 5,000 views in a month, and crossed the lifetime mark of 100,000.

Now... I get it. This is the internet, and you are supposed to be counting your hits in the millions, not thousands or hundred thousands. But, this is writing, sometimes funny writing, but still, reading is not exactly at the heart of the current zeitgeist.

And yet, readers exist!

You are readers! So...thanks!

Over the past 100 years or so, societal group-think has gravitated toward a philosophy that artists have to be rich and famous to be considered successful. Artists (trust me) understand the flaw in this thinking. Having an 'Artist-Audience' relationship with society - or even small niche chunks of society - is more of a mission. Sometimes (and I will always thank my somewhat famous grunge friends who survived the 90s for teaching me this) it is more valuable to have a smaller-but-genuine relationship with an audience.

So, here we are.

It makes me laugh to realize that you as a readership have grown in numbers AFTER I quit Elon Musk's Twitter. Admittedly I do use a little bit of Google advertising for some of my stuff, but currently a little bit less than in the past.

I keep being surprised at the monthly numbers...and - despite the snark and the sarcasm - I am slightly touched.

Please forgive me for being slightly sentimental this month. I'm sure I'll be back to the sarcasm in April.

Here's to the future!

Peter Wick

March 14, 2023