Sunday, March 6, 2016

Nine Years of Blogging

Last Friday I was on a plane headed to Sarasota, Florida, where that night I was the guest speaker at services at Temple Beth Israel, and will speak again at its adult education class Monday. I rehearsed my talking points on the plane. I opened my speech with a story from my 2011 Birthright Israel trip and needed to re-read my blog post about that trip to remember the story's details.

I've been blogging for nine years and, more than my blog's entertainment value for you (at least I hope it has been entertaining!), for me it has become a wonderful peek at my life and my past adventures. The average blogger stops after three months. I'm in it for life.

This is my 420th blog entry. In cancerslayerblog's first year—back when it was titled I've Still Got Both My Nuts—I posted 70 entries. Last year I posted 22, and this year I'm on pace for far fewer. At 23 years old, I had misconceptions about how websites and articles gain popularity and go viral. I saw super popular mommy blogs and thought, I could do that with funny cancer stories and get millions of visitors!

I didn't consider the readers' preferences and how demand for mom/kid/dog stories differs from stories about teens getting boners during cancer checkups (my second blog post, titled "Salutations"). I toiled for years tweaking the blog's look and feel. I studied the best times of the day and week to get the most readers, and wrote as many entries as I could while still studying or working full-time. I don't regret writing my 420 blog entries because they built my skills for what I'm doing now.

I'm in a master's program in creative writing in fiction. Every semester I must read ten books and write 125 pages of prose. Right now I'm writing flash fiction, which is stories about 750 words in length; later, I will write slightly longer stories and also much longer stories. I will submit the best of these stories for publication. And I will publish many of the remaining ones on this blog. I hope you enjoy some of my fiction.

You will continue seeing new blogs from me, ranging from updates on my writing to short stories to published articles in The Huffington Post and other sites. I just won't be posting frequently. I have also decided to post some of my shorter writing and ideas, and tons of photos, on Facebook instead of this blog, so visit that site for more content.

Thanks for reading and tolerating stories of boners and other ridiculousness.



Jeff R said...

Thank you for your blogs. I have been a faithful reader since your first posting and will continue to look for aand read your blogs about you and life.

Benjamin Rubenstein said...

Thanks, Dad. You have definitely been one of my stalwart readers.

joan said...

Ben, I am one of the people who listened to you speak in Sarasota, both Friday night and Monday. I found you to be a true inspirstion, do much so thst I hadtened to Amsxon to buy a copy of "Twice".
By the way, smazon had sodd out of Twice, i think I snaged their ladst copy, so you need to TALK to youR PYBLISHER. I wanted to buy a copy for a desa friend who is now dealing with lymphoma. I gsve my copy to another frirnd who was fiagnosed with breast cancer and chose to have a double madectomy. I hope reafing your story she might wtite her own, which I believe would be a real help to other women.
I think I need to write about my own adventure with lung cancer.
I want you to get more cpies of Twice t o Amazon. The onnly copy which is currently avsilable idnused and priced st $32.00!
I want you to know 1. You have inspired me snd2. I am really glad you still hsve your nuts! eishing you continued
Which mskes the NY tgood health and a bedt selling first novel which m as ked thr NY Times best seller list.
JOan dropkin

Benjamin Rubenstein said...

Hi Joan, it's very nice to hear from you again. I appreciate you supporting me and buying both of my books! Here are some ways to get "Twice" for your friend (who I'm sorry to hear is going through that):
Give the ebook as a gift. Visit the following link and click the button called "Give as a Gift" on the right:

Or, you can buy through third-party sellers on Amazon, new or used:

Ha, I'm also glad I still have both my nuts. I hope you do write a little about your experiences. I'd like to read them.