A few weeks ago, I wrote a blog post about “a phrase that will not pass my lips.” You might guess that phrase was, “Boy, Joe Stalin over in Russia sure was a good guy.” You might think that phrase might be “Sure, I’d love a hot lead enema.” You might even imagine that phrase could be, “I’ve been sober for 10 years now, I think I’ll grab a six-pack.”
Nope. I mean, none of those phrases will pass my lips, but those were not proclaimed from atop my high horse. Instead, I was talking about the phrase, “tiny house,” proclaiming it too trendy and twee. I’ve changed my mind. Or, rather, overwhelming data, statistical evidence, has changed my mind. I’ve lifted my personal moratorium on tiny houses (the use of the phrase, I mean—I’d never moratoriumized tiny houses themselves, or else I’d have been homeless). Let me explain.
I write this blog daily from the Tiny White Box, 70-square-feet of utility and comfort, in New Hampshire’s Great North Woods—less than 10 miles from the Canadian border. From this box, where I live with Sam (is a dog), my boxer-lab not-quite-a-puppy-but-sure-as-hell-not-an-adult eight-month-old, I hike five to ten miles a day, plug away on a memoir and work on a couple novels. (By the way, no matter what phase of my life I’m writing about in the memoir, it feels like a confession—not like Saint Augustine, written from the safety of faith, but like some schlub in 1956 Hungary, knowing that whatever he writes is going to convict him. But I digress). The blog posts are fun to write, 500 to 1500 words on whatever I please. They are a good warm-up for the rest of the day’s writing. Or so I thought. Until I looked at the numbers.
If “One Mind Snapping” (the name of this blog, although you might not know that unless you’ve poked around on the web site, which I’d advise) were simply a warm-up exercise, I could write them, then hit “select all,” “delete” and they would have gotten the old authorial juices flowing. I don’t do that. I post them. Which means I want people to read them. People like you. And you. And most especially you! And that’s where data came in.
Yesterday morning, I did a cursory review of numbers of visitors to the website. I write about a lot of different subjects–alcoholism, veterans issues, what I’ve been reading, old friends, patriotism, ad infinitum. It turns out that when I write about Tiny-House related stuff (e.g., construction of my tiny house, life in 70 square feet, pictures of my home) the number if visitors to tinywhitebox.com quintuples, sextuples, septuples, octuples, I’ve forgotten my Latin so I’ll just say more than tenfolduples. In short, instead of a few hundred visitors on a typical day, when I write about tiny house life, I get upwards of a thousand readers. While I don’t have plans to make money off this website, I do hope to sell a memoir and another novel or two. If tiny house fans fall in love witIh my writing here (or at least get a kick out of my voice), I’d be a fool to avoid the phrase that draws them here.
As you may know, I’m in recovery, using the wisdom and support of a secret organization that meets in church basements and other rooms worldwide. I’ve sat in folding chairs and badly-upholstered church-study wingbacks and on benches all over this country and on a couple continents, so I know a thing or two about the importance of identification and honesty.
“My name is Keith and . . . I live in a tiny house.”