Twenty years ago when I began theMangoTimes, I included a section called: "Letters to the Editor." At that time, theMT was not even in blog form, so my readers would email me what they were thinking. This was before blogging with comments took off and people were able to interact directly with the writers of blogs and websites. Since that time, microblogging and social media have enjoyed both a rise and fall in popularity. I am glad theMangoTimes survives and I believe that blogs/personal sites like this one still have a purpose.
I have been doing some site maintenance and I found an old post I wanted to reshare/update with you all. It was from 10 years ago when one of my readers asked the following question:
READER: "Do you think anybody cares about what you write in theMT?"
Here is my response and I've added some updated thoughts for 2018.
EDITORS RESPONSE: Nope, I don't really care.
Don't get me wrong, if you are reading this post, then I am glad you found your way to theMangoTimes (please continue to read more of what I have written. You might find something to giggle about). But, just so everyone knows, I don't write for the masses. I've always written for Kendra and a few good friends that I think might chuckle at some of my words. At the beginning of theMangoTimes, it was an email newsletter that I sent to my family and a few friends. In 1995, not everyone had email. In fact, I remember that my mom would take the time to print out the emails for my dad to read on a paper copy. Anyhow, after the first dozen or so email issues of theMT were sent out, I found out that people were forwarding what I wrote in theMT to their families and friends throughout the country.
There was even one time that I attended a wedding of a friend and a total stranger was introduced to me and said, "Oh, you're Fletch. The same Fletch that writes theMT?" That was a weird moment back in 1996, but also a revealing moment as I first realized that everything you write in an email or post online is public and can be forwarded to anyone on the planet.
Even so, I don't think of "everyone" when I write. I really think of my wife and then a very small audience of friends who I know might laugh along with me. I do my best at correcting my grammar and proofreading my posts, but I also assume that my brother-in-law, Jeff, will alert me to my mistakes as he adds his own commentary to what I've written. I like to think that theMT will occasionally pierce into the academic world of my good friend Byron so he can laugh along with my antics. I don't even expect anyone to leave a comment. But after 20 years, I find that my high school buddy, James, still faithfully comments on most of my blog posts or social media links.
Here's the funny part: Just when I think people are not really listening or reading theMangoTimes, I will suddenly get a heated reply or most likely a Facebook comment from someone bent out of shape about what I wrote regarding the trap of religion, the freedom of the gospel, or when they disagree with my version of joyful Christian living.
My subscription list continues to grow and that is also a subtle reminder that there are a few folks out there who are reading what I write and care about it.
Still, when I really think about the question, it's as simple as this: If Kendra laughs out loud when reading theMT, then it's a success in my eyes.
Quietly making noise,
P.S. Letters to the Editor is still around. If you want to ask me something, feel free to send in a letter. Some of my best thoughts have come from readers asking questions.