Wednesday, September 9, 2009

What do I Owe You, Mr. Sparks?

Hello all! I apologize for the lapse in blogging over the past few days. It was influenced by the three-day weekend, the US Open, and a sudden burst in workload. Labor day was not that exciting, and I'll write on the US Open a little later, so let's discuss the events of the week, including my very exciting Tuesday.

I've been working on my various projects, getting a fashion branding website up and running with almost all the content co-written by me, which is very exciting. I've also been logging information on two television shows, which takes more time than you might guess. But what has really been taking my attention away from my loyal little blog, is A website which has local branches offering topics ranging from Charter Education to Joss Whedon, Examiner hired me on as their Austin Literature Examiner a few weeks ago, and I've been steadily posting articles there with moderate success. I knew I could count on a few friends on Facebook and Twitter to follow my links and gain myself a few pages views, but yesterday things were very different.

Tuesday is the day of book releases, and this Tuesday was the release of Nicholas Sparks' new novel. Sparks is a popular writer who has found a great deal of fame in having his movies adapted into blockbuster chick flicks that make you cry and realize how unromantic your life truly is. His newest book is already in production as a movie, and the screenplay was actually written before the novel. I wrote a little article about it's release, treading lightly between promotion and criticism. Sparks' novels are popular mainstream fare that aren't quite my cup of tea, but they are certainly well-crafted, and anything that gets people to read today is great by me. But the article was fairly straightforward, and as I published it, I expected the same 20 or so views from my friends and a few strangers interested in the novel.

Boy, was I wrong. As I checked my page views, I had suddenly climbed to over a hundred, and was the most popular article of the moment. I was shocked. How did this happen? Just one article on a popular author, and suddenly everyone was reading my words. Bolstered by this success, I went ahead and also wrote an article about the newest novel in the Dexter series. This was not as explosive, but still managed to grab some attention.

By the end of the day, I had received 234 page views! This earned me a place as one of the top five Austin Examiners. Even if this only lasted for a day, it was so exciting, and such a boost to my confidence. This showed me that I could find an audience and find at least a glimmer of success just doing what I'm doing now. Now I've fallen from the rankings, and my latest article is getting modest numbers (though I think slightly elevated), but the memory of yesterday will keep me satisfied for a long time.

It didn't make me rich, but it made me hope. And so I feel I have to ask: What do I owe you, Nicholas Sparks, for the hope?

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