Notes From The Netherlands, a short story collection.
It’s been a strange couple of weeks for me, here in WordPress land. Since wrapping up my Siem Reap travel report series back at the end of September, I’ve been ploughing my way through dozens and dozens of old articles.
You see, when I started these humble pages, way back in 2015, I had no clue about good blogging practices. Looking back on those old pieces, I was like: “whoooooa, this is bad”. Hence I set about trying to bring them up to the standard of my 2020 stuff.
Needless to say I underestimated just how much work it would all be. I improved existing images, added more photos, extended texts, implemented SEO, chose a header image, linked everything up internally and toiled away on better tagging and categorising.
For the most part, I’d say it’s all been worth it. It’s been fun republishing those retro pieces in their new, sparkly forms. Especially as three quarters of my readers never even read them the first time around. On the downside, every now and then an article failed to republish properly and didn’t make the reader. Shit happens sometimes, right?
But then, I had a weird and altogether more unsatisfactory experience when I began reposting my old short story collection Notes from The Netherlands. Basically, all six posts failed to make the WordPress reader, resulting in… well… very few people reading any of it. I contacted WP support and they said they’d investigate.
They looked into this, they looked into that. A week went by. Finally, I got a somewhat curt email from an engineer saying that there was nothing more they could do. And that actually, WordPress cannot guarantee that republished posts are pinned onto the reader. It’s something to do with their algorithms. And that was that.
This is a bit of a game changer for me. I still have hundreds of old crappy articles on my hit list. One way of dealing with it, I guess, is to just start again with a completely fresh post. That would work for the really old ones, but is a less enticing proposition for any reposts in the future that are, say, only a year or two old. In those cases starting again would result in losing search engine rankings and backlink juice. Anyhow, I digress.
Today I present Notes From The Netherlands, a six chapter short story collection detailing my days living in the Dutch capital between 2010 and 2014. Going back through those pieces was like looking into a window to a whole other planet. A completely different version of myself that I barely recognise.
In those days I was married, getting onto the property ladder and interviewing Hollywood stars for a living. In a weird way, reliving those times through the writing of these stories has had a healing quality, if that makes any sense. As ever, thanks for reading, liking, commenting and all the rest of it. I really appreciate those of you who have supported me over this last, transformative year!