The above photograph is from June of 2011, and it’s a picture of me and my sister at our dad’s place back home in Philippi. I was 22 — I know; it’s hard to believe I’m not a 12 year old in that picture — and my sister was a couple months shy of her first semester of college. This blog was only 3 months old. A lot has happened since then, and I’ll get into all of the opportunities this blog has afforded me in due course, but the biggest change to my life since that photograph was taken is that I can call myself — devoid of any hint of irony or self-effacing humor — a professional writer. This blog saved my life, and I owe the world to any readers who have supported my work over these years. You all have kept me going, and that’s not an exaggeration.
I started this blog on February 7th of 2011. That was the spring semester of what should have been my senior and final year of college at West Virginia University. But I’d spent the two semesters prior to that wandering through a depressed haze. And I don’t mean I was simply sad. I was suffering from depression. I had devolved from being one of the top students in the political science department at WVU — I’d won a major departmental scholarship my freshman year that students at every year level could compete for — to a lost young man quickly entering his mid-20s with no anchor tying his world together.
So, I’m guessing that considering the fact that I updated this blog for at least 70 days straight (with my Bonnaroo hiatus being the sole exception) some of my readers might think something happened to me. Those of you who are from WV will know why I’ve been AWOL since Friday instead of reviewing things like the blogging addict I’ve become. Everybody else probably thought I fell down a coal mine (or the fact that I wasn’t writing didn’t register at all because people aren’t actually paying attention to this bad boy). Anyways, a truly massive storm rocked WV on Friday evening, and it knocked out the power in most of the state for several days. As far as I know, there are still sections of the state without power. It took about 24 hours for my electricity to come back on, but we were without and phone and internet til about twenty minutes ago. It sucked. I couldn’t even play the computer games that I own on Steam. You’re supposed to be able to play them in “Offline Mode” but I kept getting an error message. So, yeah, I’m alive. I’m not dead or sick or in the hospital. I just had to rough it a couple days. I’ve got four posts in my back log to put up for you today. I’ve got a disc of Angel. I’ve got Catching Fire. I’ve got Sunday’s episode of True Blood. And I’ve got a movie that I’m going to review that I won’t reveal until I review it for maximum shock value. Enjoy the deluge of posts. Oh, I’ve also got a Song of the Day post since I missed three straight of them in conditions that were beyond my control.
I think I have way too much free time on my hands. After I finished my last post, a review of the George Stevens classic Giant, I was informed by the blog gods that that particular post was the 700th article I’ve written for my blog. That’s really weird to think about. If you throw in the over 300 articles I’ve written for my job as a music journalist, it means I’ve written over 1000 articles since February of last year. I write quickly. Anyone who reads this blog knows I’m prone to some grammatical errors here and there (in addition to minor spelling mistakes) because I put these posts out as quickly as I can. So, it’s just very odd to realize that I’ve amassed this large a body of writing since I started this blog. It doesn’t seem possible (and if it weren’t for two summers where I didn’t have an office job [I write for the music website in NYC from home here in WV because I’m finishing school) or class it wouldn’t be). I wouldn’t have had the energy and enthusiasm to keep all of this up if it weren’t for you regular readers who keep coming back despite the occasional long hiatuses I go on and the ultimately hit or miss quality of my writing. I’m actually still just trying to process this statistic. Not all of these are reviews. 70 are Song of the Day posts. And I’d say about 15 or so are little posts like this where I’m pondering some new milestone for my blog. However, I’m still really proud that I’ve kept up with this blog for so long and that I’ve got such a wide library of writing to show to people on here. It’s a cool feeling.
(that picture of me is like three years old so don’t judge. also it was from the first night I ever got sort of drunk so that’s why I look like I’m hammered)
So, I was looking at my traffic for the day (because I’m vain and care far too much about how many people read this thing) and I came across a pretty cool statistic. Generally speaking for the last three months or so, my goal has been to surpass 200 views a day every day. I haven’t dipped below 200 views in a single day in a long time and it makes me really happy. Actually for the last two weeks or so, I’ve been averaging closer t0 400 views a day. I’d love to be able to maintain that kind of traffic. However, none of that is the sort of milestone stuff that I like to make posts about. I generally reserve these sorts of things for when I cross a new hundred interval in views a day (and it’s been a while since I’ve done that. 605 is my current max). However, I just crossed, yesterday, the 100,000 all time views mark. I never thought I’d get 10,000, let alone 100,000, views when I started this blog last year. Still, lately, it’s seemed like I’ve been getting two or three new followers a day and at least twice a week, I seem to break my previous record for “most likes” of my posts in a single day. So, I just want to thank all of my regular readers. You’re the reason I’ve kept this “just for fun” blog up even though I have an actual gig writing about music professionally. You give me hope that I can keep doing this whole writing thing as a career instead of a hobby, and it means more than I can really say to now that this many people have found my blog.
(I’m the one with long hair that looks like he’s 12 but I’m really 23. That’s my managing editor with the beard.)