Monthly Roundup: Lonesome Dove Edition

“It ain’t dying I’m talking about, it’s living. I doubt it matters where you die, but it matters where you live.” -Augustus McCrae

January was a big month for Ordinary Nomad. On January 1st, under the light of a super moon, Ordinary Nomad was born. It took a little while to get going. But then I left for Mexico, and was on the road again, and Ordinary Nomad sprang out of the gates like a rabid greyhound. The greyhound faltered early but was invigorated when it caught sight of the rabbit streaming alongside it. It ran and it ran and it chased it, panting, it’s heart pumping at full capacity, and….

In the Roundup we talk about the following things: website stats, earnings, the nitty-gritty, what has worked and what hasn’t, what’s changed, and where I envision this blog (and my life) going. And for each roundup I’d like to have a theme. Today’s theme is Lonesome Dove, a novel written by Larry McMurtry. My friend Sam introduced me to this book in (I think) 8th grade. I devoured it. It’s still one of my favorite books. It’s full of great cowboy quotes, and since this is a roundup of all the month’s events, I figured it’d be fitting.

“Yesterday’s gone on down the river and you can’t get it back.” — Lonesome Dove

Starting with stats, ON got off to a slow start, as you can see in the weekly breakdown.

Nothing much happened the first couple weeks. I wasn’t posting. But then I started adhering to a routine and traffic skyrocketed not unlike a hot air balloon on a doomed transatlantic flight.

The day by day overview is also interesting:

That spike, as I mentioned in a previous entry, was the Airbnb post and I think it got a lot of views just because my sister shared it on Facebook. Generally I share posts in two ways: Facebook and Twitter. Sometimes I also put them on Google Plus, and I just opened a Pinterest account, even though I patently don’t know what Pinterest is. I used to share posts on Reddit, but almost all self-promotion on Reddit is considered spam. And spam is dirty.

“My main skills are talking and cooking biscuits,’ Augustus said. ‘And getting drunk on the porch.” 
― Lonesome Dove

And finally we have the monthly stats. My goal each month is to get more traffic than the previous month.

Since February is still but a freshly-sprouted rhododendron on a rocky slope, I have a lot of views to go. But I’m confident it’ll happen. And of course, views are not the most important thing.

I was going to talk about what worked and what didn’t, but I want to skip straight to thanking all of the people who contributed to ON. There are now six patrons on Patreon and several people have donated on PayPal.

Which brings me to this morning. Last night was pretty crappy. At one point I was lying in bed sometime after midnight looking at Airbnb’s because the neighbors’ dogs were barking and I couldn’t sleep and was on the verge of madness. When I woke up this morning I thought, Please Yahweh let something good happen today. And lo and behold…

On my second Sunday blog I talked about a Croatian guy who runs a YouTube channel called “agadmator.” I watch his videos every night despite the fact that I barely play chess. The dude’s a minor celebrity in the chess world, or at least the chess YouTube world. He has 95,000 subscribers. 95,000 subscribers. Think about that. I have 10. And when I woke up this morning I saw that he had donated $25 to my blog.

I was ecstatic, of course. It made my morning and though self-belief should come only from the self, moments like that help. I especially liked that he left a note saying the donation “should cover my non-fat caramel macchiato.”

“Who asked them dern pigs?” he said. “I guess they tracked us,” Augustus said. “They’re enterprising pigs.” 
― Lonesome Dove

Other things that happened in January:

1. I “published” a book.

2. I moved to Mexico.

3. I started feeling  — and this feeling continues — that I’m not putting my life off anymore. That I’m not waiting for anything. That this is it.

February has already been great: There have been several generous donations and, most importantly, I’ve enjoyed writing this blog. As far as my situation in Mexico things could still greatly improve. I could find a better teaching job. I could move to a place where the neighbors don’t wake me up every morning and dogs don’t bark. But these things are trivial. In the grand scheme of things, most things are trivial.  There’s no need to rush. All will happen in its own time. There are many quotes in this vein, but one of the ladies from Lonesome Dove said it best:

“If you want one thing too much it’s likely to be a disappointment. The healthy way is to learn to like the everyday things, like soft beds and buttermilk—and feisty gentlemen.” 
― Lonesome Dove

A special thanks to Jeehye & Simon, Kevin Smith, and Antonio Radić for their generous contributions to this “bleegh.” 

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