Everyone wants you to read the book on which he or she is working, a novel everyone is writing in order to find the meaning of life, with which everyone’s spouse ran off. But everyone has to finish the novel before everyone can know where the novel begins. In the meantime, there are all these distractions, such as the twelfth-floor window at the office building where everyone works out of which people or maybe just one person keeps jumping or falling--everyone isn’t sure--or everyone’s sexy coworker Sam, whom everyone is struggling valiantly against to keep from becoming a paramour. It’s kind of pitiful, actually, the way everyone keeps begging you to read, sending you e-mails, dropping it into conversation (“I have a book, you know?”), posting links to it on social-networking sites. Everyone figures that if he or she begs enough, you will break down and try it. Everyone is like a dog that way, watching you eat your dinner. The way you handle the dog is to push it away from the table, lock it outside the room. Sometimes, of course, you hand the dog a bite, an inch-sized bit of beef, and that is all everyone is asking for--a bite, that you read just the first line of his or her book. The problem is that you know everyone too well. If you read one line, everyone will beg you to read another. Just one more.

To start from the beginning of the novel, go here.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Everyone Seeks Readers for a Blog

Everyone was dismayed that after nearly six months of blogging, everyone’s novel still averaged fewer than three visitors per week. Two of these visitors, so far as everyone could tell, were spam bots. The other visitor, when he or she deigned to check the blog, was everyone him- or herself, usually on Sunday just after midnight, right after everyone posted his or her weekly entry.

Everyone wanted the meaning of life or his or her former spouse to visit the blog. But everyone figured that the meaning of life would only visit blogs that had many followers, like, over a thousand at the least. And everyone’s spouse would only visit blogs that the meaning of life visited. Everyone was desperate.

Everyone asked the Internet why readers were not descending on his or her blog. Everyone had asked this question many times. In fact, everyone asked this question pretty much every time everyone checked his or her readership statistics, which was each week after everyone visited the blog entry he or she had just posted.

The Internet had grown tired of the question and offered the same responses it always offered.

The Internet had offered everyone much useful advice in the past, but everyone had failed to heed it. The Internet had told everyone, “Do not blog your novel,” but everyone blogged it anyway. The Internet told everyone to include pictures and links and tags; everyone complied by adding a few extra tags but not much else. The Internet told everyone to join social networks, to seek out guest bloggers, or to become a guest blogger, but everyone claimed to lack the time.

After that, the Internet screamed at everyone the same thing it always did.

Finally, on this day, everyone listened.

Who do you want as your audience?” the Internet screamed.

Everyone had not previously given the question the serious consideration it demanded. Everyone had assumed that what was of interest to everyone would appeal to all of humanity, and what would appeal to all of humanity would appeal to the meaning of life and, by extension, to everyone’s spouse. But everyone’s audience was not, in fact, all of humanity. It was, at its most basic level, solely the meaning of life. Hence, if everyone wanted the meaning of life to take an interest in his or her blog, everyone needed to focus on what was of interest to the meaning of life. What did the meaning of life want from life? What was the meaning of life searching for?

Everyone didn’t know, but the Internet had already pointed the way. The Internet had introduced everyone to the meaning of life’s blog. “Concentrate,” the Internet had said, “on what your audience loves and desires, as expressed in its choice of content.”

The meaning of life’s blog displayed photographs of happy and successful people at leisure. “So,” the Internet now explained to everyone, “the meaning of life must be interested in leisure and success and happiness.”

The meaning of life’s website included advertising. You could buy the meaning of life. “Which means,” the Internet continued, “that the meaning of life must be into business or sales or both.”

“Or prostitution,” everyone quipped.

Everyone was really dense. “You have to sell yourself,” the Internet explained pedantically, “whether you’re a librarian proffering archiving skills or a janitor who vacuums floors. That’s how life works. You have to sell your blog, peddle your novel. That’s what every piece of advice I’ve offered has been trying to tell you: how to go about marketing yourself and your work.”

Everyone groaned. Everyone did not like sales. Everyone wanted to write and have the meaning of life come to him or her naturally because everyone was a genius.

You’re not a genius,” the Internet told everyone. “Geniuses listen.”

No comments:

Post a Comment