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A blog, a squirrel, two walnuts and a fence.

Posted on by Eric Burke

I have a lot of trees in my yard. Oak, Black Walnut and Maple mostly. The fact that most of these produce seeds also means that I have a lot of squirrels that travel through my yard. Few live there because of the fact that there have been dogs living here for the past decade, but they come for the food when the dogs are inside.

Tonight I happened to be looking outside at my yard. It was flooded from a severe rainstorm we’d had just an hour or so previous. As I was looking outside I noticed a squirrel navigating his way across the flooded yard. This particular squirrel had somehow managed to grab two walnuts in his mouth and was carrying them across the yard with the intent to take them into the neighbor’s yard. 

As he reached the fence, he seems to have realized that he wouldn’t fit through it while carrying them the way he currently was. He tried to adjust them a few times, but quickly gave up, dropped one and hurried on with the remaining one. It didn’t look as if he even gave it another thought. Even though he was able to do something rather extraordinary in carrying both of them through a flooded yard, that didn’t stop him from making the necessary choice to leave one behind when it was clear that continuing on that way was untenable. 

Which got me to thinking. I’ve done something here pretty extraordinary. I’ve been able to put up two posts a week for over three years. Almost all of them have a review of some sort in them. And since I seldom accept review samples, that means that I’ve bought things to review about 100 times per year. Last year, I was laid off and went into business for myself. And though business has been really good, the nature of being freelance has meant that I’ve had to cut the whiskey budget some.

And sadly maintaining a twice a week posting schedule is becoming untenable. At least from a purchasing standpoint. I’ve tried Patreon and I’m humbled that four people have been regular patrons. I’m humbled that the occasional check has come in from people that can’t commit to a recurring donation. But unless a few more people sign up, something has got to give. 

I have a few options. I can remove the restriction on review samples. I can expand into other topics. I can start to take advertising. I can restart the online stores and hope someone buys something this time. I can reduce the frequency of posts. Or I can give up.

Blogs like mine are free to consume, but can be expensive to produce. I like the idea of the stores, and I’m thinking of items to create and ways to do it that will result in good products that aren’t sold at outrageous prices. But in the short term, I’m thinking that some combination of the first two will be the biggest help since reducing the posting frequency is a good way to kill readership. So what do you think? You are the audience. Please let me know in the comments. I’m like the squirrel right now. I’m at the fence, I’ve done something pretty cool, but I can’t continue the way I’ve been going. Which nut do I drop?


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