A journey to a thousand stories


Tami Is Research photos 056-2
I took this photo on Tami islands, Wanam Village(PNG) 2009 while on my field trip. I have been asked about this picture a lot so I wanted talk about it. This scene you see at low tide every morning.

I have made a mental goal to write 1000 stories on this blog. This may take me five to ten years. I have written almost 100 for this blog in less than a year – so I feel it is achievable. Some of the written stories have not been published yet. I also feel good about this goal because I am getting stories from my readers – thank you!

Backstory

It had been suggested to me to blog a few years ago but I did not feel comfortable about it. I think it was because I had no idea about what to do. I made a dare to blog on Facebook with friends and family. I said, if I got over 2000 Friends, I would blog. This was only last year. I had over 1000 Friends then. Many people read and enjoyed stories and other information and pictures that I shared. Before long, I found myself reaching 2000 Friends on Facebook and I had to keep my word to blog.

At first it was scary to become a blogger. I wondered who would read my stories. I wondered what I would write about. I read other blogs and got more confused. Mind you, some were very interesting. I was not technology-savvy and I had not done my market-research on readers and even on content. There were many other anxieties associated with blogging. I had assumed my followers would come from Facebook and I could continue to churn out what I had posted on that platform. So, that thought gave me some confidence.

In January, I started blogging. I did bring over 2,800 or so followers from Facebook. It seemed too easy. In that same month, my personal relationship fell apart and I was emotional. It must have been through these emotions that I showed who I was in my writing. At that point, surprisingly I had an average of 100 readers per day. This may not be much for other “pro” bloggers here but I was really happy and grateful. I had 149 hit one day and that meant a lot.

In June 2014, I was bullied and threatened and blackmailed on Facebook. Tracing fake Facebook accounts must be a normal thing because no-one really cared about it. I wrote to Facebook and tried to follow up through various contact, support and links offered by Facebook. All these channels led to nothing – just the computer talking – no humans, no response nor help. The pages/links for Help Facebook maintains on their site must be standard requirement. I decided for my safety and peace of mind, I would leave Facebook. I did. I sought legal advice and got some help from caring friends and some really good people.

Why do I Blog?

For two months I was depressed and I did not blog. I also became suspicious of everyone and everything – even people I knew. It felt  safe to live in myself. The time away served its purpose. I felt better. There have been worse things that have happened and I could not let this one get me. I returned to blogging in August this year. I was again thrilled to see people were reading my stories – even when I was not writing. That motivated me more. Then, in September, I lost all the followers who came through Facebook. I asked WordPress for help. I blogged about it. No response came. And so I accepted that loss and kept writing.

Last week, I made a comment about the New look on WordPress. Duvall (from WordPress) responded to my comments this week. I was grateful. Duvall then identified and confirmed that the loss of my 2800+ followers was because of my disconnection with Facebook. I accepted that.

However, this got me thinking…if the social media is your main “audience” and it is not safe – then what is really the point of writing to an audience? That was the question I asked myself. Should I question everything I write about? Can you possibly write safely? As bloggers – you all probably have your own answers. For readers – all I can say is, it is really in your hands once the fingers leave the keyboard. You can choose not to read.

I have been offered SEO help almost weekly and I get tons of spam from various companies or individuals here – of course they have been cleverly stopped by WordPress and I appreciate that – but it makes you wonder, why? There are stories about trollers I read from other bloggers.. Is it all worth it? And who really does care?

About My Blog

Anyway, the point of this long “re-cap” about my blog is that after everything that happened to break my blogging-spirit I decided, to hell with everything, I will personally re-build my readers. Write more. Increase my followers. I will use everything I’ve got IN my stories. My son told me – “mum, you write about everything and anything that catches your attention”, he is right. The main purpose of this blog (Tribalmystic) is to ultimately promote my culture. But I also wanted to blog about everything that is related to me, what I believe in and what I think is right. I also share things that do not make headline news, but I personally think they are beautiful and interesting. If one person sees or read a post – that is worth it.

Tami Is Research photos 061
Flowers on Wanam Village, Tami Is, PNG. Tide coming in. J Leahy picture. 2009.

October Goal

My goal for October was to post one story every day. So far I have. I was thinking if I can keep this up, I could go for a goal to write 1000 stories. (I think I can). Since posting daily, my readership has now increased to an average of 50 per day and I had 103 one day this week. I had 20-30 in August. So, thank you to those who take the time to read my blog and comment or “like” and share.

Because of you/readers, all the hours of research and writing has been worthwhile. I will keep staying awake at night, thinking up new stories. Please email or let me know in the comments if there are any specific things you would like me to write about. And thank you Pauline Stegman for letting me know – you would like more re-cycled material stories.

joycelinleahy@gmail.com

 

 

8 thoughts on “A journey to a thousand stories”

  1. JOYCE,LOVE YOUR OPENNESS .AFTER ALL THAT YOU HAD GONE THROUGH I’M SURE YOU KNOW WHAT YOU WANT TO DO NOW.
    POSSIBLE FOR ME TO WRITE A LITTLE STORY AND GET THIS OFF MY CHEST..MAYBE LESS THAN A 500 WORDS.

    Like

  2. Trupela!! I love reading stories. I used to blog alot.
    I started http://www.myamazingparadise.com because I was sick of my life and what I turned into. So I decided to travel as much of the country as possible and write and shoot videos etc, etc and post it on the website. So after every trip, I would spend six hours everyday for a week just typing story, after story, editing videos and uploading photos especially at midnight. Some of the posts get shared alot. One month, i had up to 8000 visitors per day ( Bville panguna trip got shared on a large corporate blog in Europe) that the hosting company emailed me. Through the writing project I was able to start a small company, I took the national geographic film crew around PNG and and did alot of other awesome stuff ( like find a missing plant important to science).

    And then one day, one my cousin sister died ( pretty much in my arms) and my life as a writer hit a wall that two years later, I am finally getting over. I stopped writing. But I am slowly warming up to start again.
    Thats my experience.

    My point is, as a writer to another, you should not write for an ‘audience’ that is out there. You should write for you. You should pour your heart and soul into every word and sentence, for you. The technicalities and the intuitive understanding of how to tell a story and reach an audience, you already have that, but building a faithful audience requires certain amount of grit and courage.

    On Facebook: My facebook page is called Papua New Guinea is amazing. When I started, I didnt ask people to follow the site. I just created photo albums and uploaded picture after picture and posted non stop. One person joined and started sharing the pictures and the posts and more and more people joined and more started to share. I am not sure how many people have liked the page since then. The Facebook page sends alot of traffic to the website. But…I didnt write for the facebook audience, I wrote the blog for me.

    I am personally not on Facebook. You wont find my account there. Once upon a time I was. When my writing stopped, my facebook posts and updates increased. Realising that I had replaced real writing with ‘interaction,’ I deleted my account (bye bye 3000+ FB ‘Freinds’)

    Creativity is a very rare and limited part of us. Products like Facebook can sap creativity which each interaction, bad or good. If we are not to careful, we start thinking that being on facebook means that we are creative.

    My goal is now is to increase my linked and tweets to 50 posts by the middle of next month and then I’ll stop, as I am planning my first real writing trip to happen then.

    Thanks for your post. Sorry that I rambled on a bit here 🙂

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  3. Dear Jocelyn Please never stop bloging (writing) I read your stories through my emails I do not always come to your website. I love to read them. Love Trish

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