Running a Website's like Running a Farm

I grew up on a farm.

Didn’t like it.

It took way too much of my time.

But as my father said, what’s time to a hog?

I chopped corncobs to feed the cattle

I hauled two full and splashing water buckets a half mile to water the hogs.

I plowed the ground with a small Ford Farm All tractor. It wasn’t built for speed. I tried to run it hard and wide open. I lost two races to a terrapin and one to a salamander.

I planted corn.

I chopped corn.

I planted cotton.

I chopped cotton.

I picked them both, corn and cotton.

And when the days were cold and wet, and sleet was hanging thick in the air, the barbed wire fence would break, and we had to stretch it and tie it back together and wait for it to break again.

It was the same day after day, weekdays and weekends.

Nothing ever changed.

Won’t ever do it again, I said.

I’m doing it again.

It has nothing to do with a farm.

It’s all about the Website, Caleb and Linda Pirtle.

I write two serial chapters for two different novels every day. I sit down every morning, have no idea where the story is going, and hope against hope that the characters know the way. They usually do.

I write a blog every day.

I post at least two serial chapters and often three for other authors.

I post a handful of blogs written by other writers, run down photographs for each blog, dig out key tag words, catch as many typos as I can, and pray the blogs will all be up and running by the time daylight comes.

I get up at five o’clock every morning and run the traps on the site, making sure each and every new blog for the day is placed on the VG Facebook, my personal Facebook, Stumble Upon, Digg, Google Plus, and LinkedIn.

I work three tribes on Triberr.

I tweet like I’m calling hogs, and I’m just about as frantic.

I answer my personal emails.

And when I least expect it and can’t afford it, something goes haywire, and the site goes down, and I’m holding my breath that we don’t lose many visitors before it’s back up and running again.

It’s the same day after day, weekdays and weekends.

Nothing ever changes.

It’s no different from planting, chopping, and picking corn and cotton. It’s no different from feeding cattle or hauling water to the pigs. It’s no different from stringing new barbed wire when it has rusted and broken for the last time.

It takes all of my time.

But I don’t mind it all.

After all, my father was right.

What’s time to a hog?

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  • Caleb, but just think how much fun we are having. I remember a professor of mine once referring to “slopping the chickens.” I’m not sure he spent much time on the farm. Keep at it, my friend. Readers love what you are doing.

    • Sometimes around midnight, I think I may slopping the chickens. It is, as Dickens said, the best of times and the worst of times.

  • Jack Durish

    What’s the alternative? Play golf? That’s for old folks.

    • I find golfing more mentally harassing than blogging.

  • Oh, dear Caleb! Take courage, my friend. You work harder than the rest of us put together, and it is soooo well appreciated! When I first come to Triberr in the a.m., I make a beeline for posts from you and Stephen. It wouldn’t be the same if you weren’t here!! Not at all. The trouble with your daily job is that it’s so…daily! Methinks you and Linda need to take a little break and head out for some of those ideal travel spots you’ve featured lately. Anything that has stopped being fun needs to go on the back burner for a while. Some of us could certainly help post whatever you have lined up while you’re away. I’d be happy to volunteer! Nothing like a change of scenery to refresh the spirit!

    • Thanks. But when I need a chance of scenery, I jump into one of your poems. It’s closer, quicker, and the rates are much better than Hilton.

  • Caleb,
    Great post. Thanks for all you do. I grew up on a dairy farm which meant you had to work at least twice a day milking the cows. One of our tractors was a red Ford Farm All with the 2 front wheels side by side. No John Deere tractors for my father. Yep in some ways running a website is a daily grind. Thank goodness for the ability to schedule posts!

    • Thanks, Anthony. I knew you and I had more in common than books and words and blogs. The only difference I find between running a farm and a Website is the fact I can stay in out of the rain. If you milked cows twice a day, then you are a man’s man with wrists that are strong enough to bend ten penny nails.

    • Anthony, don’t let him fool you. Caleb really grew up in Highland Park sipping high tea and dreaming of martinis. (only kidding). SW

      • As a matter of fact, my neighborhood in Kilgore was known as Highland Park. But it had no high land and no park. We drank Double Colas and dreamed of Ever Clear.

        • Have you noticed that with every comment to this blog, we are becoming more certain that you really did grow up slopping the chickens?

          • And it’s tough slopping chickens when you’re running with bare feet.

  • Well at least you don’t carry a scent with you that has everyone moving to another room from you! Could be worse:)

    • It’s funny, Christina, but that’s exactly what my wife said.

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