Tag Archives: Lend Me Your Words

One Hundred

For my 100th published post here on Potato Chip Math I thought I would delve into the history of my little corner of the blogosphere and speak to why I think it has seen so much success over the past six months.

I had blogged before, way back in the blogging heyday of 2005, but after a few years away I was getting the urge to start putting words out in the universe again. I was finally starting that screenplay I had been meaning to write for the last half decade and life was slipping into a nice little routine. Then, on March 24, 2010 I made a trip to the grocery store to pick up some snacks and uncovered a bit of math involving potato chips that got me thinking, I could blog about this. So I did.

Thanks to Tatiana Hedley
for the perfect pic

Then, a funny thing happened on the way to the forum. What started as a random collection of posts, rants, and quirky facts about me started to evolve. In November 2011 I had a revelation after seeing Kevin Smith perform in Kitchener and a few months after that Kevin re-tweeted a link to something I had done. Within  half an hour my blog had more hits on a single day than my total for the previous year. Interesting.

Kev mentions me on Twitter and all hell breaks loose
on my blog (for about half an hour)

I managed to sustain a decent level of interest over the next while by putting a few things out there related to social media, specifically Twitter. Then, in July of 2011 I suffered a concussion. In an effort to work my way through this I started a little thing called 1000 Word Picture and thanks to a few writer friends and a link someone posted to Reddit I was reaching record highs.

Posting a couple times a month on a variety of topics my readership stayed fairly steady and predictable over the next 18 months. I was getting some spikes in traffic when I would comment on other people’s blogs or if I posted something that struck a chord with a lot of people. Then, something happened that would change my outlook and the focus of this blog forever (or at least for the foreseeable future): I won NaNoWriMo.

50,000 words in 30 days
(it’s a lot harder than it sounds)

This was such an amazing experience, not just for my writing, but also in terms of my interactions and relationships with other writers, that I decided I would use this blog for something a little more productive. I would maintain a consistent schedule of posts (something which I had difficulty with in the past) and focus my topics on my experiences and observations as an up-and-coming writer.

Then another funny thing happened on the way to the forum. My blog traffic almost doubled. Pardon? What could I have done to deserve this? Short of over analyzing this I think I can sum it up with one word:


We are barely into June and I’ve already posted more than all of last year. Hell, if I extend that into November of last year we have the fact that in the last six months I have posted 27 times. In the six months prior to that I only posted 11 times and during the same period a year ago only 10 times. That means that in the last six months I’ve posted more than the previous twelve months combined.

Bar Graph!

Probably the most startling statistic is that my monthly readership has increased dramatically. Now, I have been more active in reading other blogs and commenting – which goes a long way towards driving traffic to this site, but the fact remains that once I started delivering a more consistent message on a consistent schedule I started to engage with more readers. Monthly readership of Potato Chip Math has increased 40% over the last six months and more than 50% over the same time period a year ago!

Line Graph!

So there you have it. A look back at the last 99 posts and how a little blog that started about some stupid potato chips became a little bit more. If I am in any position to offer advice I will leave you with the following. Greater blog success can be achieved many ways. Content is key, but so is consistency.

  • Consistent messaging
  • Consistent theme
  • Consistent timing
  • Consistent phrasing

And if you talk to my editor for the Orange Karen short story I wrote, the most important…

  • Consistent verb tenses!

As always, thank you for being here and having read this 😉

~ Andrew

Lend Me Your Words


A new site is up and running specifically for this project. You can find picture #2 along with the results from picture #1 here. Future pictures will be done through the other site in an effort to keep my personal work separate from the project.


So while suffering from post-concussion syndrome I got this idea that would allow me to explore some creativity without me needing to be on the computer for too many minutes in a row (screen time hurts the head).

I wanted to put the adage “A picture is worth 1000 words” to the test. I posted an original photo of mine and asked the people of the internet (mostly Twitter, but also the blogosphere, Facebook, and Google+) to lend me 100 of their words in response to the picture.  Once I had received 1000 words I would then edit the submissions and post the completed work as a little bit of “flash fiction”.

The only rules were that people submit 100 words (or thereabouts) in the form of full sentences and that I would only rearrange full sentences and not just grab words here and there to create new text.

I am pleased to say that in less than 24 hours my post became the 2nd most visited page on my blog (next to the one Kevin Smith did a shout out for on Twitter – to 1.5 million of his followers) and I received just over 1000 words from 10 different people. I’m in the process of editing and I plan on having something complete soon.

At any rate, this has spawned a new idea for me that a couple friends think has some legs. I want to put a whole bunch of these 1000 Word Pictures together, a hundred words at a time, from anyone and everyone who wants to contribute (and hopefully some well-known / famous people) and publish the collection, or display it as an art exhibit, and use it to raise money and/or awareness for a worthwhile cause.

So what do you think? Do you have 100 (or so) words rattling around in your head just itching to get out? Do you know Margaret Atwood or Rick Mercer, and can you get them to spare some words? (please say yes, that would be SO cool). If so then please, email me at thousandwordpicture@gmail.com or comment directly to this post as I present to you the 1000 Word Picture (100 at a Time) #2:

I’ll Take “Words” for a 1000 Alex…

Another Update!

The final results from the first photo are in and can be found here (at the new site).
Thanks to everyone for participating. I look forward to seeing where this takes me…


This was a huge success. So much so that I’m going to continue with this project and eventually put a collection together to raise money/awareness for charity. I have started the 1000 Word Picture (100 Words at a Time) #2 here. Once I get roughly 1000 words submitted for that photo I’ll post another, and so on…

More information to come on the project as a whole and the charities / foundations it will help support.

Thank you everyone!

Out with a concussion and unable to string together more than a half hour on the computer (and having deplorable handwriting) I’m in a bit of a creative holding pattern. Then I got an idea… maybe it’s not even a new idea, but it’s new to me, so I’m running with it.  It is said that a picture is worth 1000 words and I’d like to put that to the test.

Here’s the picture (thanks to Instagram for the iPhone – and yes, that is me):

Now, I need 10 people out there to each lend me 100 words of their own based on what they see. I need exactly 100 words in the form of complete sentences. As few or as many sentences as it takes, but totaling precisely 100 words when you’re done.

Post them as a comment here or email them to me or Twitter DM them to me or whatever, so long as it’s electronically transmitted to me somehow and there are exactly 100 of them I’ll take it. I’d prefer if they were written in isolation, free from the influence of other responses (I must try to maintain some semblance of scientific control over this experiment, you know)

I will then rearrange the complete sentences as I see fit (without taking single words here and there) to put together the 1000 words that this picture is worth. Read my blog, go through my Twitter feed, send me an email asking questions… all good ideas to start the words flowing. All I need is 100 words from 10 people, and I’ll do the rest.

I’ll post the completed work here and then credit each contributor with a link to their original words in a footnote. Please let me know if you are not OK with that and I’ll omit you from the list.