I learnt a new word today, thanks to Twitter and Suzi Dent.
Word of the day is ‘uhtceare’ [uht-kay-ara, the ‘h’ as in the German ‘ach’]: Old English for ‘sorrow before dawn’, when you lie awake in the darkness and worry.
This is a word that should never have fallen into disuse, it is so apt for so many times in my life, so I am sure that I can’t be the only one that feels like that. The fact that there is a word for this in the English language reassures me of two things. Firstly, that English is a wonderful and powerful language. Secondly, that this feeling must be so common to have been named.
The second of these points is what gives me hope, because if this is so common, then where I lay sorrowful before dawn, then I’ll know I can’t be the only one in the world feeling that way. That means I’m not alone in the feeling which will help me feel less sorrowful.
This is a lovely word for a common feeling. Let’s see if we can bring this word back into use.
After yesterday’s rant I got another Twitter follower. This happens occasionally, but what is odd is that for months I was stuck at two-hundred-and-ninety-something. I’d be at 293, then up to 298 and I’d think, “yes I’ll get the three hundred any day”, but the next check I’d be back to 291.
Then suddenly, I jumped up to 305 followers and I’ve been up there since, now on 330. Okay, these are no heady heights as twitter follower numbers are concerned, but for someone who is actually really uncomfortable in social situations, this is the kind of networking I can do.
What is odd, is that I still don’t know why this follower up and down happens. We, guess I must bore or offend some people so they unfollow me, but what do I do to get followers? In my day job I work constantly with large datasets and do lots of statistical analysis, but I can’t find any particular links between my tweets and people following or unfollowing me. I do always try to thank people when I notice they followed me, it’s the polite thing to do.
It’s the same with my blog, this blog. I have followers (36) and the stats tell me that I’ve had 355 visitors, so people aren’t sticking around, which is fine, I don’t follow as many blogs as I read either.
The point is that I can’t find a reason for it, what interests other people? What attracts them to reading me? And that raises another issue in my head. If I can’t find what people are interested in on my twitter and blog, how can I be sure what I write in my books is something people will want to read? Answers on a postcard, please? (or in the comments since it’s easier)