I look in my side-bar and I just can’t believe it. My third most popular post ever is Writing My Very First Blog Post. There it is, just below that imposter of a post, Hello Again. I sit here wondering why my very boring first post, and a post about my very boring first post are so popular.
I have to admit I’m a ‘most popular posts’ watcher. Whenever I visit my blog to answer comments, I can’t resist glancing into the side-bar to see which posts are jostling for the top positions. For weeks, or even months, there might not be much change. Ten old posts sit there looking rather smug and satisfied: We are the best! they seem to brag. And then all of a sudden, some unexpected story comes back from the dead. It elbows one of the old regulars out of the way. And I think Why? Why has that particular post made a reappearance?” I had thought it was gone forever.
I guess a lot of new readers might sample a post or two from the top ten just to get an idea of what my blog is all about. What must they think when they read Hello Again? “Is that the best she can come up with?” Probably! That post has been read thousands of times, but I only have a small number of followers. Are there thousands of unimpressed readers?
So what stories would I prefer first time visitors read? What are my all-time favourite posts? I had a scroll back through my archive and noted down a few posts I really like.
Is it wrong to like our own posts? It doesn’t sound very humble, does it? I was talking with Father James Tierney, author of the Bush Boys books, about writers liking and enjoying their own work. Father told me he likes to dip into his own stories every now and then: “I was reading that bit where Greg and Bernie… “ Father stopped and chuckled as he remembered. Then he added, "I sometimes wonder where those words came from. They're so good." We decided if we don’t like our own writing how can we expect others to enjoy it.
So I made a list of my own top ten favourite posts. I found it hard to limit myself to only ten posts. So many stories felt like old friends. But you can be sure I had no trouble ignoring Hello Again. Actually, none of the current top ten posts is on my list. So what did I choose? In no particular order, here they are…
Why do I like them? Some of these stories just flowed onto the screen as I was writing them, as if they wanted to come to life. (Like Father Jim, there are times when I also wonder where the words come from.) It's a wonderful experience when that happens. Other stories contain special memories. And a couple just make me laugh.
Do you ever look at your own most popular posts and wonder why they made it into the top ten? Have you ever composed your own list of favourites? If you haven’t, perhaps you could write your own My Top Ten Favourite Posts post.
And now I'm wondering if anyone will like my choices. Will readers enjoy and chuckle and cry over my own top ten? Or will they prefer that old rogue Hello Again, after all?