There are a lot of activities that I could denote as “Things I Spend Far Too Much Time Doing”. For example:
- Staring off into Space
- Not Sending Thank You Notes
- Feeling Guilty
- Not Feeling Any Remorse Whatsoever About My Freakishly High Daily Caffeine Intake
- (Over-) Analyzing
- Not Practicing My Uke
And to that I might add at least one more item: Checking My Blog Stats. Exposure is key for a fledgeling writer. And I find myself hitting “Refresh” every 45 seconds on the off-chance that I have miraculously gotten 20,000 new hits. I read something on Twitter tonight about Lady GaGa’s latest video getting 10,000,000 hits in 2 days. That’s 10 million. In 2 days. Perhaps I should writer her and see if she will print the URL to my blog on a sandwich board and wear it as her next shocking red carpet ensemble.
When people ask me about my readership, I tell them the stats look like a kindergartner’s rendering of a mountain range. Straight to the top or straight to the bottom; no middle ground; no plateau. Nothing about the number of views and responses I get is consistent- or so it seems. But there are patterns.
Entries that are more personal get the most hits, while reviews and highlights of what others are doing get less. My video blog entry had a disappointing showing, but people seem to like when I make lists of things. While people do comment on the creative writing, it doesn’t get as much attention as I expect.
Of course, the most popular ones also happen to be the ones I tweet about more, or the ones with the most relevant tags (“relationships”, “poetry”, “friendship”, to name a few helpful ones).
What’s the point of all this? Good question. I was just beginning to wonder that myself.
Since really putting forth effort to keep my blog up to date this year, there have been a few times I have been hesitant to share things. I mean, the entire Interwebz can read it? What the?! How am I supposed to feel better about this? But the whole thing is very counterintuitive. Not only are those some of the most liberating things I have written, they are the most widely read, and the most widely commented on (sometimes even by strangers).
Though I don’t have 5 million reads a day just yet (sometimes not even 5), I am comforted by this. Because there is something human about being personal, about being honest, about admitting things to others- and to yourself in the process. It’s appealing, approachable, and relatable; whether I feel like I am being cool and relevant or not. People struggle, and they want to know other people are struggling (and making it) through some of the same things.
And, the more I have been open about my struggles in writing, the more my friends have rallied around me to support me: whether it is through advice, laughter, or ideas on what to do next. Their love has been and continues to humble and astound me as I muddle my way through.
It makes sense. Our friends love us and they want to know, so they can celebrate if it’s pretty and help us clean up if it’s not. And the rest of the world- the people we don’t know yet- just like knowing they’re not alone [I know I do]!
Don’t worry. The name of the site is not going to change to From the Desk of Debbie Downer or anything. I just felt like sharing with you some of the connections the dots in my brain have been making recently. Now, if I could just get the dots to arrange themselves into a picture.
Of course, they may prefer to remain safely in the realm of the surreal.