Happy New Year!
What a year it’s been! A lot has happened and I’m going to touch on the highlights of 2022.
I’ve been writing this blog for over 6 years now. 2022 has been a great year with 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 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 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 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.
2022 saw the release of my fifth work of non-fiction, LAWNDALE, a collection of stories from my childhood growing up in Northeast Philadelphia. It continues to have brisk sales on Amazon.
I had the honor of being a guest on Tom Krantz’s podcast, Type. Tune. Tint. It was a great experience and helped promote my book. You can check it out here.
Regarding numbers on the blog, we’ve had another good year. We hit over 380,000 page views since the blog’s inception.
Here are some of the 2022 YTD data:
Page Views: 55,000
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.
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 6 years and cranking out 7 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. (which was 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 back in January of 2022 Phicklephilly no longer provided 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. My traffic for the site is still solid despite the changes made last year and the lack of new content.
I only publish once a week. I put out something new and different every Tuesday. There will be no notice and each piece will stand on its own. 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 has become. Every Tuesday you 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 making 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 just crank out dating and relationship advice.
I’m getting older now. (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. Going out to bars and burning money with a bunch of drunks seems like a waste of time. 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 reproduced.
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.
Don’t get me wrong, It’s been a great year. I will write about all of the adventures I’ve had in 2022. They’re stories best told in the coming year. I assure you, they will be interesting.
However, Tales of Rock will live on in 2023. 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 share those stories with you.
I’m grateful to everyone who has taken the time to read Phicklephilly and bought my latest books over the years, but the best is yet to come!
I hope to publish my 8th book, Down The Shore around Memorial Day this year. This will be a book about my life in Wildwood during the 70s.
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
Here’s the wrap-up from Tom’s podcast.