It seems my last blog, "Call me Kate...part two" is really lighting up the Internet this week. Changing my name (at least in the publishing world) has garnered more attention than any blog I've written this year and it makes me smile. Last fall for various reasons, I let go of my personal Facebook account, and even though my professional page is still up and running, I watched the number of regular blog readers nosedive by more than fifty percent.
How do I know this you ask? Because whenever I log into my blog I can see how many hits a post garners, the country of origin, the internet source, even the percentage of people who use Explorer vs. Chrome. Interestingly enough, since December, the number consistently averages around fifty readers. I'm delighted that people from the Ukraine and South Africa have come along for the ride, as well as readers in Argentina, France, Belgium, England, and Germany. I know when my friends in India log on and when my friend, Sandy, tunes in from Canada.
That's why I wanted to write a blog to thank the fifty fabulous people who regularly check in weekly (or bi-weekly) to read my little missives. I know how busy life can be. I know there are endless sources of entertainment from which to choose. I know that the Internet is chock-full of stuff that grabs your attention. So I appreciate the readers who've let me know they're out there...that I'm not simply writing in a creative vacuum here in my little house in the Heartland.
There's that age-old question, "If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?" I always thought that was a silly thing to ask. "Of course it does," was my prompt reply. "A tree is an entity in and of itself."
But then I spent the majority of this past year alone -- writing, editing, researching, and writing some more. Blog after blog was posted that channeled life experiences from my inner circle to larger ones. Occasionally readers would post comments. A few would write me personal emails. Hearing from my readers helps me to know that, yes indeed, I am making a sound...even though you're not sitting right here beside me as I do my thing. And I've learned that I don't necessarily need a tangible audience to know I'm touching the lives of others. I imagine that's why in my younger days I much preferred stage managing to stage acting.
But these days I'm torn between wanting to be hidden and wanting my books and blogs to move out into the world in ever-widening circles.
I write because I simply can't help myself. Inspiration rises up from many sources, but never because I want to please an audience. I'm not interested in trying to figure out what Joe Public wants. I'm more invested in discovering who Kate Ingersoll is becoming and by proxy writing in a way that invites you to ask, "Who am I?" as well.
Not that it all has to be serious.
Forest, Jhoti, and Aditi have all contributed to Open Road and their big sister, Sophia, is waiting in the wings to write her own blog. In the past I've written a letter to my new bike and a list of the top ten things I love about a friend from college. Most recently I've discovered that the silliest things often provide the greatest lessons, and even though I want my life to be rich and meaningful, it doesn't always have to be about diving deep.
Nowadays I'm ready to rise up to the surface and breathe some fresh air.
Just this week Sandy and I have scheduled a long-overdue trip to Sedona, a place I've longed to visit for over twenty years. So for a week in August of 2016, we'll be trailblazing and celebrating my fiftieth birthday. It's not for a year and a half, but the trip gives me something to look forward to. Something to plan for... and to anticipate with an open heart.
It's much the same feeling I have for my literary work. I have no idea where it will go. Who will pass on a blog or a book or a post. What the future will bring as I blaze new trails in the publishing world...this place that is still such a fabulous conundrum to me. But if the next fifty years are as meaningful as the last one, I'll be one thankful lady.
So today I want to thank you for taking the time to read my work. Thank you if you've written a review online or shared a blog or book with friends and family. Thank you for your emails, your cards, and your encouragement as I ride the roller coaster of marketing and sales. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings and for trusting me with your own life stories that enrich my life as both a writer and a woman.
Even though I may not know many of you by name...through the intricate and fascinating ways of grace, I'm beginning to know you by heart.
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