A new Name!

I’ve had this blog since June of 2013. Many of you know I originally started it to chronicle my journey writing my first book. My first six months was a whole lot of nothing. 1200 views. Like 80 followers. No interaction. Now I’m a little more stable in the world of blogging. And it’s time for a change.

The name of my blog was thought up in seconds. I didn’t ponder it for hours or days. I just thought of something and went with it. I think it’s a nice name. But this hasn’t been a writing blog for some time. And I fully intend to expand my other social media accounts directly related to the blog in the coming year. So it’s time for those accounts to all fall under the same name. Johnny Reads. I think it’s also a nice and simple name that’ll serve me well into the future. I won’t change the name until later tonight so y’all can get a little heads up.

Nothing else is changing on the blog. I want every person doing my challenge to be able to find me. Like everyone at work.

So that’s all I have for you. I don’t think this is a shock to most of you because my Twitter background is the name of my YouTube and Instagram accounts. This is something I feel is really necessary.

Feel free to tell me your thoughts!

Floptober October

The title of this post is misleading. October turned out to be just fine. Well, relative to recent months.

In October I had even fewer site views than I did in September, which had easily been the low for the year. But eh, that’s not so bad. The number of unique visitors and comments were about the same or increased from last month. Now let’s look at the numbers.

Posts: 31

Likes: 576

Comments: 641

Followers: 3241

Books Read: 0

Poems: 0

YouTube Videos: 1

Pretty standard stuff for the current run of things. The first half of the year would have seen higher numbers across the board, but that’s okay. 2015 is still going to be a pretty damn good year on the blog. I still haven’t been reading even though I posted a new video showing y’all all the books I bought in September. And still no more poems posted here. Oh well.

Now for some posts.

Top Post

Saturday Selects #20: Gun Violence in America

Favorite Post:

No, These Book Series are not the Same

Post you may Have Missed

Books and Chill

I’d have to go back to verify it, but I think this may have been the first month in which a Saturday Selects post took the top spot. And it isn’t surprising. I knew the day I posted it that it would make something of a splash. And it did. With the presidential election here in the US coming in 12 months, I imagine it won’t be the last time I bring up a political or social issue on the blog. Heck, Saturday Selects will be here again this week. And the topic has already been decided upon.

So take a look at those posts if you happened to miss any of the three, and don’t forget to tell me about your month on WordPress. We’re all nice around here. Mostly. How was your month and Halloween?

September was one big Fail

Welp. In my August recap I declared that I’d be better at blogging regularly and reading posts. Turns out I lied. I’m pretty sure I read posts from only one blogger all month. I took forever to reply to comments at times. And I just barely managed to keep my streak of posting everyday alive. There were multiple days on which I posted just minutes before midnight. Oh well. Now let’s look at some stats. Previous record in parenthesis.

Posts: 30 (31)

Likes: 566 (837)

Comments: 516 (2121)

Followers: 3220

Books Read: 0 (4)

Poems: 0 (2)

YouTube Videos: 0 (3)

Lows across the board. This month ended up being very similar to January. Which had been the worst month of the year. I didn’t post everyday. And I struggled to find any kind of rhythm. I didn’t read a single page in September. I didn’t post any new poems on here. But I did write a few. And it just wasn’t the kind of month that I’ve grown used to. My plan is to write multiple posts at once so I’m not having to worry about them each night. Now for some posts.

Top Post

I’m Scared to do This

Favorite Post

Saturday Selects: It’s all about control

Post you may Have Missed

Here we go Again

I wish I could tell you for certain that I’ll get back into the swing of things here, but I have no idea if that’ll really happen. I still like blogging okay. I still like interacting with y’all about a variety of things. But I just have no motivation at the moment to stick to my regular schedule. Before it took power outages to get me to write posts outside of my regular time, and now I do it every week for no reason at all.

In other news, I’m about to finish up my probation period at Half Price Books. So that’s exciting. I think I’m doing just fine over there. And I think I’ll be getting to work on some new YouTube videos soon. Today or tomorrow, perhaps?

But who cares what I’m doing? How was your month?

August is Over, Fall is Near

Whew. August is over. Can’t say it was better or worse than any other recent August, but it wasn’t so bad. And some rather interesting things happened along the way. But as always, first with some stats. Previous record in parenthesis.

Posts: 31 (31)

Likes: 793 (837)

Comments: 936 (2121)

Followers: 3205

Books Read: 1 (4)

Poems: 0 (2)

YouTube Videos: 1 (3)

Nothing too spectacular to discuss here. It wasn’t really too bad at all. But it could have been much better. But there were some days that I just didn’t feel like getting on WordPress. I actually did not read a single blog post all last week, I just didn’t feel like it. And I was sleepy. But I’m not going to “catch up” as other bloggers might do. No one writes posts specifically for me to read. I’m sure everyone is just fine with or without me reading their stuff. But I’ll be better this week. I already have been.

The one thing I will say is that I did actually write a poem for the first time in months. And I think it was pretty decent. But it’s not for the blog and I won’t be revealing why I wrote it in the first place, just that I did.

Last thing before I get into some posts. I made the decision about halfway through the month not to make any more videos until September. It was mostly a time thing. I’m not stopping completely. Making videos is actually pretty fun for me.

Now for some posts.

Top Post

Killing Main Characters

Favorite Post

Day 1 at Half Price Books is Done!

Post you may Have Missed

Auto buy Authors

There aren’t too many firsts once you’ve been blogging steadily for more than two years, but something happened for the first time this month that hasn’t happened before. The top post of the month wasn’t written by me. It was written by Amy. I’m calling it luck. Her top post had only four more views than mine. Oh well. I guess it’s finally happened. Someone has posted on my blog and become more popular than me. *sigh* It actually very nearly happened earlier this year when I had my week of guest posts, but I was able to come out victorious. Ha!

And I haven’t forgotten that I started working at Half Price Books about halfway through the month! It’s been fun. And I think I’ll be getting a few more books tomorrow after my shift. I think. I’ve learned plenty and still have more than half of my training left.

So that’s it. My August in a nutshell. Plenty of sleep. New job. And the seventh consecutive month of blogging everyday. Oh, and I made an Instagram account! How was yours?


On this day in 2014 I published The Reader in Me Part II.

 

July, oh, July

July was an odd month. It was my worst month in terms of views in about a year and easily my worst of 2015. But the comments and Likes were only slightly below what I’ve come to expect. At first I thought my views were down because of it being summer over here, but the reasoning behind a bit of a slow month isn’t relevant. It happened and I kind of gave up about midway through the month because it was just not happening. Now for some stats. Previous record is in parenthesis.

Posts: 31 (31)

Likes: 782 (837)

Comments: 855 (2121)

Followers: 3152

Books Read: 1 (4)

Poems: 0 (2)

YouTube Videos: 2 (3)

The numbers aren’t bad overall. I still wish I knew why the views were way down for the month. Hopefully August can be a bit of a rebound. I am disappointed that I only managed to read the one book. I kind of attribute that to the book I’m reading now. It hasn’t sucked me in and makes me not want to read. But eh. I’m finishing it today and I’ll have my first book of August out of the way.

Also, my goal for the rest of the year is to read at least eight books a month. It sounds like a lot when I’ve only read three in the past two months combined, but I need to really go after my personal record and goal for the year. Reading eight each month would put me right there on the doorstep. And it’d give me an opportunity to keep making videos. I’m not worried about views on YouTube. I’ve already grown to enjoy the video making process.

Now for some posts.

Top Post

How Many Books Have you Bought This Year?

Favorite Post

Why you Need Half Price Books in Your Life

Post you may Have Missed

If you Could | Book Tag

I’m just a little bit surprised by the top post of the month. On the second of the month I wrote a post about acquiring the rest of the Harry Potter series and it had been the leader in the clubhouse for the entire month, but it was ultimately beaten by one view.

I think that’s all. As always, feel free to tell me about your month in the comments. My only real goal for August is that it be better than July.


On this day in 2014 I published Saturday Selects: How do you perceive law enforcement?.

 

Looking for Permanent Contributors for Write me a book, John!

I want to be honest here. It is not always easy coming up with quality topics for posts on here each and every day. And sure I could always go back to a strict schedule of posting five days a week, but I really have no desire to do that. So I’ve decided to test out having other writers post on here instead.

This is not a call for guest posts. You won’t be a guest blogger for a random post to be published at my convenience. This is something I’m hoping will become more permanent for anyone interested. The thing about this is that you probably already have your own blog, right? You’ve probably worked really hard on just about every aspect of it like I have mine. That’s fine. I’m not asking you to abandon that, I’m simply offering you this space to use as your own.

Let me tell you what I am and am not looking for.

  • Your post should always have a bookish/writing element.
  • There will be no book reviews.
  • You will not have to run topics by me.
  • Posts will always publish at my usual posting time. Make sure you know what it is!
  • I need to be familiar with you. If you just happen upon this post and I’ve never seen you around here and I don’t read your blog, then you likely have no chance of being selected.
  • There will never be multiple posts published on the same day.
  • You will need to demonstrate that you reply to comments. Some bloggers never reply and just Like them. That won’t be acceptable.
  • Rants welcome.
  • I’m not looking for anyone to copy and paste posts from their blog.
  • You will not have a minimum or maximum number of posts expected from you.

I think that’s it. Now all you have to do is let me know that you’re interested in the comments. Then I’ll click your name and check out what you’ve been blogging about. I have no idea if anyone will even be interested, but all I can do is offer.

I think it goes without saying that you will not be paid for any posts published on here.

I’m looking for one, maybe two people.

Interested? Let me know!


On this day in 2014 I published A Change of Plans.

 

How Many Writers do you Know?

I just read the headline of some online article that writing is a dying craft. Or something of the sort. And now I’m writing this post.

See, I know there are way too many writers out there for any one person to be aware of. I couldn’t tell you if there are ten million writers in America or half of one million. It’s impossible to know. And I don’t want to know. But I think it is interesting to think of how many I know.

Let me think about this for a second. I won’t include any of you from WordPress because at the end of the day I’m not sure I really “know” any of you. Maybe you feel differently. Anyway, I think the number of writers I know who are not known to me because of WordPress sits at one. Ha. I bet you thought it would be none. But it’s one. A co-worker of mine (I think) is currently working on a book. He’s told me all about it countless times. He’s told me about his characters, his chapter titles (cause he uses them), and his process. But that’s it. There’s no one else.

But I know many of y’all have writing groups and book clubs full of writers and all kinds of things that have enabled you to know and meet writers on some kind of regular basis. I just haven’t had the same opportunities as of yet. But I also don’t claim to be representative of the population at large.

So tell me how many writers you know. And I’ll let you decide whether or not you want to include people from the World Wide Web. Also, do you think writing is a dying art? I don’t. I think it’s evolving like everything else.

June is the Start of…Well, Something

The month of June was a bit of a roller coaster down here in the Lone Star state. Hurricanes. Floods. Power outages. Ugh. But I STILL managed to post everyday, which makes it five consecutive months now! And I finally decided to start my YouTube channel, which has been several years in the making. And I finally broke out of my mini reading slump. I hadn’t read a book since January, but I read a couple this month. But still no writing. And still no poetry. *sigh* Here are some stats. As always, the previous record will be in parenthesis.

Posts: 30 (31)

Likes: 804 (837)

Comments: 1020 (2121)

Followers: 3034

Books Read: 2 (4)

Poems: 0 (2)

YouTube Videos: 3

Obviously two books is hardly anything to even talk about, but it’s something. I’d rather my total for the year be at six than at four. This was the second month in a row that I reached a thousand comments. I actually was on a feverish pace throughout the first half of the month and then slowed down big time in the second half. I’d say mostly because I started working about double what I had been, and that makes discussions a bit more difficult.

My favorite part of the numbers above is the THREE YouTube videos. I hope I can do even better this month now that I’ve found an editor I really like. Let’s talk about some posts.

Top Post

Ursula Le Guin is Clueless

Favorite Post

I Introduce to you…Johnny Reads!

Post you may Have Missed

Amazon’s 100 Books Everyone Should Read: 1984 by George Orwell

The top post of the month is actually the top post of 2015. But it wasn’t because of me, it was because when I linked to her original article my post appeared as a pingback in the comments section and people kept clicking it. But eh, views are views.

June was a solid month here on Write me a book, John! and wasn’t a bad month in real life. Who’s ready for more in July? *raises hand*

What about you? How was your month of June, blogging or otherwise? Tell me!


On this day in 2014 I published The June Bug of Blogging.

 

Don’t Quit Your Day Job

I may come across at times as being aggravated by something I read or say on WordPress, but I’m really not. I only lead you to think that because of how I write my posts and/or comments. There isn’t much anyone on WordPress can do to get me remotely close to angry. Because we’re all strangers on here and if you want to get upset over nothing, then that’s your choice. I’ll just nap like I always do and forget about it. BUT there is something I’ve seen more frequently in recent weeks than I’ve seen in my previous two years on WordPress, and it’s getting to the point of almost pissing me off. Almost.

You might know a writer who decided to quit their day job after a year or two or 20 to pursue writing full-time. I don’t know anyone who’s done that, but I know it happens. I have no issue with that, because it’s their life and they can do as they please. What I do have a problem with is when someone makes the choice to do that (if they were working at all) and then writes a sob story about how they’ve put off their writing for so long and now it’s time to pursue their dream of becoming an author….AND would I please donate my money to help them along the way. UH, WHAT?

What the hell did I just read? So YOU made the choice to quit YOUR job and now you’re asking ME to give you money that I worked for so you can get by while you work on your next great novel? I must be on a prank show. This can’t be real and you can’t be serious.

No reasonable person would outright quit their job if they couldn’t afford to do so, or didn’t intend to try finding something better. Think about that. And there are actually people on WordPress who are doing that and then immediately asking for money from strangers. I guess WordPress has turned into GoFundMe.

I once launched a Kickstarter campaign to help with my first book. But it was NOT a campaign to fund a “writer” lifestyle, it was meant to help make my book better. The book was written already. And you see things like that everywhere, but this is different. What people are asking now has nothing to do with their writing. They’re essentially asking people to be a source of income. And that’s just ridiculous.

Have you come across this kind of thing? I’d say I’ve seen it maybe 7-10 times in recent weeks. I’ve yet to comment on one of these posts, but I think the next time I find one I’ll just link back to this without anything further.

Guest Post: Rejection is coming…(and dragons…maybe)

So for my first guest post in my blife (blogging life) I have decided to talk about rejection (Gasp!)

No, wait! Keep reading! It’s not all that bad…..I promise!

Rejection is inevitable as a writer…I’m sorry…it just is. Let’s all take a moment to deal with that, deep breath, and move on! Whether you’re rejected by a literary agent, a publisher, or your mum (yes! Even your mum might hate your writing! – What? She might!) it’s pretty much a done deal that someone is going to reject you once you start putting your work out to the general public – even popular authors have people who hate their books, you just can’t please everyone.

And to be honest….who cares! Screw everyone who hates what you write. You love it! I know you do! Or you wouldn’t have spent all that time writing and rewriting and rererewriting until all your hair fell out and you had to buy a wig! (This didn’t happen to me…or did it? Ponder away)

I strongly believe that if there is passion in your work then someone will love it. And I know that the ultimate dream is to make a career out of your writing, but I think accepting whatever may happen is the best option. If you truly love to write because it’s your passion then your motivation should be wanting amazing people to read your work and love it like you do! Whether that be literally five people in the whole world or a thousand or ten thousand or ten million. The point is, you want to share your writing because you want people to love it as much as you do and making any money out of it would just be a bonus!

And remember! Don’t give up! If you get rejected don’t throw your computer out of your window! (I mean, by all means go ahead but then buy a new one!)

And here’s why…. Some of THE BEST authors of our time were rejected…like, A. Thousand. Times. Seriously…

– Beatrix Potter had to publish Peter Rabbit HERSELF because no one would do so! (Peter…fluffing….rabbit, people)

– C.S. Lewis was rejected quite a bit before he sold anything! (Would you want to live in a world without the Narnia books? Who didn’t spend time as kid (or an adult) climbing into wardrobes and pawing desperately at the back of it – just me?)

– An editor once told F. Scott Fitzgerald, “You’d have a decent book if you’d get rid of that Gatsby Character.” – (Seriously!!!!)

The Diary of Anne Frank was commented on by an editor saying, “This girl doesn’t, it seems to me, have a special perception or feeling which would lift that book above the curiosity level.” (ARGHHHFFF!!?)

– J.K Rowling was told, quite seriously, “Not to quit her day job.” (Bet that person will be crying for the rest of their days…) And if all else fails, self-publish! If you really, truly, honestly, passionately believe that your work is good enough to be out there for the world to see. Why not?

Caroline Peckham