When you least expect it, life can throw you a bone


Most of the time writers give thanks just to have survived another year.  It is a standing joke among writers that we feel most comfortable when we are rejected.  It is something we have learned to incorporate into our psyches.  We read about famous authors who have experienced years of bad luck, decades when their stars never rose above the horizon.

So, when something good happens to a writer, his first response is paranoia.

“This must be a mistake,” he says when he sees something positive. “It won’t last. They probably have me confused with someone else.”

Maybe not.

Let me tell you about StumbleUpon and the last few days.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with StumbleUpon, I would tell you that it is a major new site with somewhere in the range of 20,000,000 users.  On StumbleUpon, a person selects his own group of personal interests and then hits the StumbleUpon button.  When he hits the button, StumbleUpon displays a webpage with content that pertains to the particular “interest.”

If you like football, for instance, when you hit the Stumble button a web page about football will pop up on your screen.  If you hit the button again, another football web page will appear, and so on, as long as you keep hitting the button.

In essence StumbleUpon eliminates the user’s need to do an independent search for content he likes.  StumbleUpon does the search for him and displays material in his sphere of interest.

Readers can select a category like “books” and find an endless stream of book pages, writers can choose “writing” and find blogs about the craft of writing.

There is a Twitter add on to StumbleUpon called su.pr.  Through su.pr, a blogger can create a Twitter update and add a link to a blog.  Su.pr will send the Tweet out as a regular Tweet, but StumbleUpon will capture the linked article and add it to its reservoir of pages to display to StumbleUpon users. At least I think that is the way it works.  On Caleb and Linda Pirtle, we regularly use su.pr to Tweet about our blogs.

Which brings me to the good news.  As I write this on the day before Thanksgiving 2012, I see that one of our Caleb and Linda Pirtle blogs has been visited over 36,000 times in the last few days by people who found it on StumbleUpon.(click here to read the blog.)

That is the sort of thing that makes a writer want to keep writing.

It’s almost as good as Thanksgiving turkey leftovers, and it’s a whole lot better than a steady diet of rejection.

(Stephen Woodfin is an attorney and author of legal thrillers.  Please visit his Amazon Author Page by clicking here.)

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