Do you know the uneasy feeling there’s something everybody but you understands or has or is doing? Gurus say fear of missing out, or FOMO, is one reason this week’s blog post title makes you more likely to open it. Another is that social media algorithms pick up on keywords denoting urgency. If you came here via social media, the keywords may deserve credit for the link showing up in your feed.
Did the goofy title work? Data from Weebly and Facebook will show whether traffic goes up or down this week. Articles online debate the best time of day to post on various social media sites. I cringe at the very idea. I’d so much rather write, trust you to read what strikes you as interesting, and respect your choice to skip the rest.
A Peanuts cartoon shows Snoopy on his doghouse, typing a letter about the novel he just completed. It’s so good he won’t even submit it; the editor or publisher can come and get it. What a delightful fantasy! Who wants to spend half their time promoting their work, as authors may in order to reach an audience? Why do so many choose a profession where they’ll spend half their time doing something they dislike?
Volunteering for not-for-profits, I’ve had assignments that involved fundraising or sales. On a good day a switch flips in my mind and suddenly it’s no longer about pushing a product. It’s about hospitality in helping people connect with something they want, whether it’s a glass of wine or a way to support a cause they value. On a good day as a writer, reaching out to readers isn’t about goofy blog titles. It’s about extending an invitation to connect. As I wrote a year ago, connections are what writing is all about.
I'm a historian who writes novels and literary nonfiction. My home base is Madison, Wisconsin.