Post 300*

It’s my 300th post! Let’s throw a party!

Matan Segev

Wait. What’s that little asterisk doing there? Shit. This means I’m doing more than throwing a party, doesn’t it.

I track my site analytics obsessively. It’s something I’ve done since the very first blog I had when I was 17. I’ve gotten much better tools and analytic programs to use in the time since then, but it’s a long-standing obsession I’ve had. When a blog platform has good analytics, it makes my heart sing. As an aside story to show how much this matters to me, I was considering moving this site to SquareSpace in early 2018. I love their user interface and quite enjoyed the site building experience their software provided. That said, I chose not to make the move because SquareSpace didn’t allow me to upload historical analytical data for my site1I have no idea if this is still true. I did reach out to them to see if anything changed and will edit this post when I hear back.. Analytics matter to me a ton is my point.

That’s part of why it pains me a bit personally when I directly do something that impacts my analytics. If something weird happens where bot traffic is counted as real traffic or real comments end up in my spam, that’s all annoying, but fine. But I make conscious efforts to avoid making any sort of measurable direct impact to my own analytics. Beyond that, the past six months or so have been fantastic for the growth of my blog traffic and (to a lesser extent) comments and subscriptions. This means that trends in my data have become easier to identify, particularly when it comes to the type of content those reading my blog like to read.

In looking through my data for February 2019, I noticed that every single post in my top ten visited posts feel into one of two categories — video game posts or writing posts. The video game category is pretty straight forward, as I write a good bit about Fire Emblem and Pokemon. The writing category is a bit broader, though the traffic does tend to come from writing advice posts I write, as well as updates regarding my own works in progress.

I got to digging some more and noticed that this trend has been going on for a while now. In fact, since February 2018, there has only been one month where every single one of my top ten posts didn’t fall under my video games, writing, or business categories. That month was November 2018, where five of my top ten posts didn’t belong to any of these categories. This was just as much poor categorization as anything else on my part, as four of those five posts were about NaNoWriMo2The fifth post was one of my internet recipe parodies..

Last year, I wrote about needing direction on my blog. I did a pretty large redesign, got some new logos from the talented Tim Kilkenny, and did a massive overhaul of my freelancing related pages. That said, I never really made any sort of change in direction on my blog. I didn’t totally know what I wanted to do, nor did I completely know what I wanted to be writing about on a week-to-week basis. Now, I think I’ve finally found that.

Going forward, the vast majority of my blog posts will focus on one of three categories.

  • Video games: This category will be similar to what I do for video games now — a Nintendo-focused series of posts primarily based around theorycrafting, game reviews, and game analysis. I’ll likely devote most of the posts I write in this category to the Pokemon and Fire Emblem franchises, though I’ll do the occasional post about other games here and there3In the exceptionally unlikely event that the NCAA Football series ever gets revived, you can bet your bank account that I’ll be writing about that on occasion. It’d also be the lone video game series that would cause me to consider YouTubing again..
  • Business/Finance: This category will likely see the most change going forward, having less of a focus on the personal business posts I’ve written in the past. Instead, I’ll generally style my business and finance posts similar to the advice style posts I’ve done in the past, such as my fallacies of training post.
  • Writing: This category will include updates on my work in progress4Aside from updates I give on them in my goal updates., various short stories I’ll write here and there, advice posts for writers and editors, and any new posts I do for my #NaNoWriMoTips series in November.

Those categories, perhaps not shockingly, are the same three categories that have made up the vast majority of my traffic over the past year. There will also be a fourth group of posts that you’ll see occasionally. I’m tentatively classifying these as miscellaneous posts in my head. The miscellaneous posts will include any site news related posts (such as this one as well as my goal updates), random one-off posts that I had pre-scheduled prior to this announcement5By my count, there’s two of those scheduled between now and the end of April., and the occasional humor post that isn’t directly related to one of the categories above (think the internet recipe parody posts). There may still be the occasional book review post, as I do have writer friends whose work I’d like to help publicize, though I’ll touch on that more in a moment.

With all that in mind, I’ve already started archiving any past posts that don’t fit one of the above categories in some capacity. Though I’m not exactly sure to what extent I’ll end up archiving, what it will do is to throw my post count off. Even though this is technically my 300th post, you’ll likely see far fewer results on the blog as a result of this archiving process. In my initial estimate, I’m thinking the blog post count will be in the 175-200 post range once I’m done with clean up, though that number could fluctuate anywhere from 150-2256I’m writing this before I start the clean up in earnest, so I’m making massive guesses based solely off of the number of posts I’ve published in each current category. Depending on how much miscategorization I’ve done, as well as how many overlapping posts are in multiple categories from when I was doing my estimate, the number could jump or fall..

I’ll also be doing a good bit of clean up on my various non-post site pages, though there won’t be as much archiving going on there. Instead, I’ll be revamping the pages related to me, as well as creating a new page aimed at publicizing the works of those who are friends of the site or whose work I support in some capacity. Since this post will be going up in late March, I’m going to say that my hope is to have said page cleanup and creation done by the end of April.

I want to take a moment to thank those of you who have stuck with me and supported me since I launched this blog endeavor new in 2016, including those of you who followed me over from my old site and have been reading my writing since 2012 or earlier. For those who are new, welcome and/or hi. I hope to see you around the comments.

Book Update

Remember that I’m writing a book? Well, some of you remember at least. Those of you who are a bit newer…hey! I’m writing a book.

Hey, I'm as surprised it's still happening as you are. Image credit:
Hey, I’m as surprised it’s still happening as you are. Image credit:

Let’s rewind for a moment.

In 2013, I wrote a pair of short stories for my old blog. The first was a standalone short story called Soma which dealt the loss of a loved one. The second was a dark series of short stories based off of Plutchik’s Wheel of Emotions originally titled Ode to Tori. Both tales were very well received by readers of the blog. I’d like to believe that the strength of writing displayed in Soma helped me make it to the semifinals of Twenty Something Bloggers’ Bootleg Awards.

Around the time I finished up the Plutchik series (whose name had changed at least once by this point), a couple of my readers became very vocal in encouraging me to publish my short stories in a book. I’d considered it previously, however I wasn’t sure that my work was good enough. I had a couple of people try to encourage me to do the same thing with the NaNoWriMo story in 2012, but I didn’t feel like it was time for a myriad of reasons.

In late 2013, a pair of ebook related items helped to motivate me towards making my decision to publish. First, a fellow blogger, Amanda Osborn, published her first ebook, One Word Says it All: Stories From My Year Abroad in ChinaNot too long after, Jen Glantz of The Things I Learned From wrote a guest post for my old blog talking about how she wrote an ebook. After both of those items came to fruition, I decided to put together stories and self-publish a book.

I had this grand plan of being able to edit and self-publish the book before the start of spring of 2014. Work got in the way — frequently. I spent quite a bit of time planning out other things. Not to mention I got engaged((Which actually was pretty heavily related to that whole planning out other things item)). Needless to say it was a busy time. But mid-summer of last year, I had a book file ready to edit.

I got the bright idea to do editing through a peer review process. My original batch of people I sent the book was seven people strong, including a published author of dark fiction((Considering the content of my book, this is right up my alley)). A few people (I’ll save most of the thank yous to the end of this post) provided wonderful feedback on my work. That said, I ran into a bit of a problem of some of those who had offered to peer review my book not doing so. Everyone was reviewing out of their own free will, it was to be a bit expected. With that said, it was still pretty depressing. Combine that with feedback from one reviewer that completely contradicting everything else I was hearing, and the process became fairly depressing.

Over the course of the next three months or so (bringing us to November of 2014), additional reviewers took a look at my book and gave me their feedback. One of those individuals was Kat Argo of A Red Rover. She provided me wonderful feedback on the book, which would have been fantastic on its own. That said, when she said she enjoyed the book enough that she’d make her publisher aware of the book and see what they thought, I was ecstatic.

A couple of months later and here we are. I have great news. My book is going to be published by an actual publisher.

Visual approximation of my reaction when I got the email back letting me know the publisher was interested. Image credit:

I don’t have a ton of information to share at this point. More of that will be coming over the next few months. Here’s what I’m comfortable telling at this point.

  • Said book is going to be published in either late 2015 or early 2016. As soon as I know more about dates, I’ll be sure to let everyone know.
  • My book is currently in the hands of an editor with the publisher, so I wait a bit more at the moment…but with good reason.
  • The book is a collection of short stories and short stories series including the two that I mentioned above.
  • There will be 10 short stories in the book, 5 of which are completely new across the board. 4 of the remaining stories were published in part on my old site, but have been pretty heavily edited from their original versions as I worked to improve them. The tenth story, Soma, is (currently) nearly identical to its original form due to the near universal love for that story.
  • When I was originally considering self-publishing, there were two people who won free copies of the book via various methods. This will still be the case even though it’s being published by someone other than me (I’ll even pay for the books myself if I have to).

That’s all the more I have at the moment. I do want to give a thank you to the following people for all their help at various points in the process.

  • Erin V. from Coma Diary, Samantha from Jill of All Trades, Kat from A Red Rover, Stephanie of Music School Dropout, Erin M., Anna, Mike, and my fiancee for all their feedback and assistance at various points in the editing process. I’d also like to thank another editor who shall remain unnamed for showing me that not all feedback should be taken seriously.
  • Thank you again to Kat for giving me the opportunity to work with a real publisher.
  • Erin M. and Samantha are owed an additional thank you for their assistance in rewriting parts of my book (particularly dialogue).
  • As mentioned above, thanks again to Amanda of Musical Poem, Jen of The Things I Learned From, and Tim for their (likely unintentional) inspiration towards me actually writing a book, as well as Erin M.’s very intentional motivating me to do so.
  • There were a few people instrumental in planting ideas in my head that later became stories in this book. To which I’d like to thank Erin M., Krista, Karolina, and my fiancee. I’m sure there are a handful of people who gave me ideas for lines/characters, however I’ll thank them in the book itself.
  • Finally, a quick thank you to everyone else who has been reading my blog, whether that be for 4 days or 4 years. Your support, commentary, and visiting has helped keep my motivation going.

So…woo! Yes. I used an exclamation point non-sarcastically((Really.)).