The post about my prostate cancer diagnosis was written and saved for several weeks before it was eventually published.
No harm done – but it was a mistake.
Whatever the reasons for my prevarication, when I eventually clicked on the “publish” button, the relief was immediate and substantial.
The responses from friends and readers – often they’re both! – was truly moving.
But beyond that, the act of writing and blogging and telling my story through Consider The Sauce has long been a big part of what makes this blog tick.
And – duh! – doing all of those thing should and will be important in helping me deal with the challenges of the now and the challenges ahead.
Of course, starting and then persevering with a blog or website is an act of outing, of making oneself a public figure.
But there are countless degrees of how much and how far individual bloggers are prepared or comfortable to go.
I hope we haven’t overdone the “selfie” aspect of blogging.
Nevertheless, I am entirely comfortable with how CTS has become – on top of everything else – a sort-of family album for Bennie and myself.
Earlier this year, while attending a media event involving other bloggers and journalists of various kinds, I was rather brusquely instructed by another Melbourne food blogger: “No photos!”
Fair enough; it was a request with which I was happy to comply.
Once a blogger steps out beyond strictly online realms, the ability to retain such control and oversight lessens.
In the early days of the CTS Feasts – when the food was free, numbers were restricted and applications were by email – I could have vetted the applicants and discarded anyone with whom I was uncomfortable.
No that I ever did!
These days, the Feasts are commercial enterprises or – in the case of fund-raisers – effectively so.
There may be some way of vetoing applicants through the trybooking website.
But again, I’ve never felt the need to discover if that is the case.
I count myself lucky that I’ve had only a couple of readers who have wished to leave comments I was not prepared to have published.
In those cases, a bit of email argy bargy ensued but that was as far as it went.
Long may such a profound absence of ill-will and trolling continue!
Since its earliest days, CTS has patiently, slowly built up a significant base of email subscribers and Facebook “likes”.
I don’t take such commitments by readers lightly – in fact, I treasure them immensely!
So when, as inevitably happens, people choose to pull the plug – so to speak – on CTS, it hurts.
No that there’s ever massed unsubscribings or anything like that.
It’s more a matter of four or five steps forward then one step backwards.
And I understand.
Like everyone else, I regularly find myself “unsubscribing” or “unliking” blogs or pages that no longer serve my purposes.
But one thing I have noticed is this:
The number of email subscribers or Facebook “likes” regularly takes a small dip when I post about something like a community festival.
Or post a think piece or rumination about – oh, I don’t know – paid parking in Yarraville or mobile phone hassles.
So I understand why people expecting a Melbourne food blog to concern itself only with reviews of restaurants and cafes do, sometimes, eventually say “seeya later, CTS!”
I hope the many for whom CTS is a “keeper” come what may will be happy to know those departures will never, ever alter the CTS approach.
It’s taken me a long time to learn that the raw numbers data provided by WordPress – daily, weekly, monthly, yearly tallies of page views and visitors – tells only part of the story.
Likewise with the comments that I love so much and to which I so avidly reply.
For starters, no doubt many of my email subscribers choose to read new posts as emails without clicking through to CTS itself, thus not showing up on the WordPress stats.
And just because readers choose not to comment doesn’t mean they are not engaging with – and moved by – CTS in their own way.
I love them anyway!
Can anyone guess the famed late-night Melbourne diner at which the photo at top was taken? Hint: It’s not in the west!