Since I started doing "Free Fridays," I'm used to getting reports from my online shared drive of new visitors, usually something in the range of two to ten each week, maybe a few more if I'm lucky. It gives me a list of each file that has been downloaded and keeps a running total. I get these reports every single day.
On Tuesday, July 31st, 28 files were downloaded. That 28 in a single, 24 hour period. That's more than had been downloaded in, I'm guessing, the two weeks prior. A number like that never, ever happens.
I mentioned this to Nicole and she pointed out that I had recently sent out some query letters in hopes of finding representation for my book, "Master of the House" (which I have gone on and on about on this blog). She suggested that perhaps an agent or two decided to check out the work I was offering online for free.
This seemed like a reasonable answer, which, in turn, freaked me out. Over the course of the 15 weeks that I've been putting up stories for "Free Fridays," I've found it necessary to put stuff up that I may not be entirely thrilled with. I always explain as much when I post an aborted short story or snippet of some kind, but I don't know that the information always comes across.
In other words, I realized that if I'm using this blog to put my best foot forward, I could be undermining that by giving away stories that I don't think truly represent my writing.
I quickly ran to my shared drive and deleted all the ones I thought were problematic. Fortunately, there were still seven left that I'm pretty okay with. I just hope I didn't miss my window to impress someone.
It's a strange beast, this blog business. My traffic has increased since I started "Free Fridays," and there are definitely more people in possession of my writing than ever before. And the big key to maintaining a blog is to update it regularly, but I just don't have a done of work I feel good enough about to share. That didn't seem to stop me, though.
It's also strange to think that I'm at least somewhat being judged by this blog. I suppose that's always going to be the case, as there are people who read this that I don't know and who, more importantly, don't know me.
So, yeah, "Free Fridays" is going to be put on hold for a while. But I'm willing to bet anyone who reads this blog has a nice stockpile of stories to enjoy in the meantime.