Happy New Year!
I’ve been writing this blog for over 5 years now. 2021 has been a great year of many changes. The pandemic rolled on and as more people got vaccinated it began to slow down. I was laid off from my hospitality job back in March of 2020 and was unemployed for a year and a half. Normally that would sound sad but it was a spectacular and creative time for me and my daughter.
For a whole year and a half, we weren’t slaves to horrible jobs. We both vowed that when things returned we’d never work in the hospitality industry ever again. The one thing people love in this city is going out to dinner and drinking. But working in that industry is the absolute worst place for anyone to be as a vocation. It not only attracts the worst people and those who lack the skills to do absolutely anything else, but the hours also suck, and the clientele is impaired.
But I’m glad we both did it because we knew what we never wanted to do again, and it gave us the means to file for unemployment and collect on the government’s dime for a year and a half.
It was like getting a grant to create and make music for over a year. If you leave artists alone, they’ll have the time and money to simply work on their art.
During that time my daughter composed and produced an EP of original songs and put them out on YouTube and Soundcloud. I continued writing and publishing my blog but didn’t have any new stories for content. So I decided to turn inward and write stories from my young life growing up in Philly and my summers in Wildwood.
They were all wildly successful. I dropped the links into groups on Facebook that liked that sort of nostalgic content and the members loved them. It brought me a lot of fresh content and traffic. The best part of it for me was reconnecting with people from my past and realizing what my next two books would be about.
2021 saw the release of my second work of fiction, Below The Wheel. A hardboiled detective thriller that takes place in the 90s in Camden, New Jersey. It continues to have brisk sales on Amazon.
Regarding numbers on the blog, we’ve had another good year. We hit over 300,000 page views since the blog’s inception.
Here are some of the 2021 YTD data:
Page Views: 100,000
I’m really happy with how much the blog has grown organically since I started it with just one post back in the Fall of 2016. I appreciate everyone who reads, likes, comments, and subscribes to Phicklephilly.
But there are going to be some major changes coming in 2022.
Phicklephilly began as a place for me to tell my stories about dates I went on, past and present girlfriends, and friends. I later added dating and relationship advice which was popular and brought me tons of traffic. I had grown tired of it all back in 2020 and wanted to stop doing the dating and relationship advice because it just became too hard to generate and maintain. But I kept it going because people liked it and it brought me traffic. But back in 2016, I prophecized that there would come a day when Phicklephilly would become nothing more than stories from my life and nothing more. I’m at a point with this blog where I’m writing for myself.
After doing it for 5 years and cranking out 6 published books I’m hungry to create something of real value. But I don’t want it to publish every day. It’s too much work and not my ultimate vision for this blog. I make a nice living now doing freelance commercial writing for companies across the country. It’s a challenge to create and the money is decent. I love the idea of making a living doing something I created rather than working in some job with a bunch of no-talent mooks. (My life in corporate America for the last 30 years)
I went from working in sales in my professional life to a guy who makes his living writing. I love to create. Nothing brings me more joy than making something and publishing it.
Starting in January of 2022 Phicklephilly will no longer provide any dating and relationship advice. I’ve been doing it for over 3 years and I’m tired of it. I feel like I’ve covered every aspect of it and it no longer interests me. People can still read all of that stuff because it will live in the archives on this blog forever.
I will only publish once a week. I’ll put out something new and different every Tuesday in 2022. There will be no notice and each piece will stand on its own. (Except for the Betty Ann series that will come out near the end of the year) Think of the quote from Forrest Gump: “Life is like a box of chocolates. You never what you’re going to get.” That’s what Phicklephilly will become. Every Tuesday you’ll get a new story but it will only be about things I want to write about or stuff I did.
I like the idea of the absolute freedom to create the stories I want to tell. But fear not… these are all interesting little stories about cool topics. I’m finally going to make the blog I want to make with no interest in page views, likes, revenue, or stats. Will I cash all the checks I receive from WordPress and Google for the ads I allow them to run on my site? Of course, I will. Why not? I provided all of this content and this ad revenue helps support the site. But it will no longer drive why I generate content. I’d rather write something heartfelt and meaningful than to just crank out dating and relationship advice.
I’m getting older now. (Nearly 60!) I don’t work in corporate America anymore. I’m so glad I left the rat race behind. I don’t go to happy hour anymore. I eat better and rarely drink alcohol anymore. Going out to bars and burning money with a bunch of drunks seems like a waste of time now. I haven’t been on a dating app in over two years. I just don’t care. Those sites are all filled with leftovers and losers anyway. Sad lonely people looking to replicate the love of their lives that’s long gone and can never be replicated.
I’m glad I lived all of these adventures and don’t get me wrong, I’ve had a great time in this city. But it’s over. I’m done. There’s absolutely nothing I can learn from hanging out or dating young women. Other than their youth and beauty, they bring nothing to the table. Let the young people find their way with each other. I don’t belong out there anymore. To me, it’s just boring.
However, Tales of Rock will live on in 2022, but it won’t be every Sunday anymore. It will happen when I think of something interesting and then write a piece about it and drop it on a Tuesday. That’s it.
I’m looking forward to how the blog will evolve and change as time goes by. I continue to evolve so why not my work? You should always be evolving throughout your life. If you’re not, you’re stagnant. I’m happy that I’m always growing and changing, even at this point in my life. There’s always new cool stuff to do and experience and I want to tell those stories and share them with you.
I’m grateful to everyone who has taken the time to read Phicklephilly over the years, but the best is yet to come!
Health and Happiness to all in the coming year!
Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly.
You can check out my books here: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1