488. I have 488 published posts. This one will be 489. I’m not sure it’s exactly copious. The first one was in January 2016. It wasn’t actually my very first post on a blog. I’d started one here earlier, in, I think, October 2015 with a different name. I decided I didn’t like it, so I started over.
I started blogging because I had cancer and I wanted to get some of my feelings out. I’ve always felt that feelings can pile on and become a burden to where I can’t see the light for the blanket that they’ve become. So I’ve always tried to write them out, even since junior high.
I was writing for me. I didn’t care if anyone was reading or liking. I wasn’t out to try to gather readers. I started out as an anonymous blogger (and still am) so I couldn’t really tell everyone I knew “Hey, come read my blog!” Especially when it wasn’t all sunshine & rainbows. I didn’t want to tell everyone I knew anyway, because they might be mentioned and could take whatever I said in a way that may/may not have been intended. I told Hubs and Dear Son what I was doing. Which I’m sure they promptly forgot about. It’s never been brought up again, so I assume they’ve swept it out of their consciousness. So, anyway… it’s pretty difficult to get people to read your blog by advertising when you’re anonymous.
From what I’ve learned, it’s pretty tough to get any kind of following even if you’re not anonymous. A lovely lady by the name of Shelley at Quaint Revival has been writing about her journey in blogging land. Her insightful thoughts got me to thinking about it all which inspired me to write this in fact.
I think (and this goes for a LOT of things, not just blogging) that you have to have thick skin. It’s a struggle not to fall into the line of thinking that “Oh nobody is reading/liking my posts. They must not like ME.” Now that I’ve gotten through the cancer and am on the other side of that, my outlook has obviously changed. I can write more about happy things, funny things, everyday things. I get the feeling that folks don’t get my dry sense of humor. I guess it’s too dry. But that’s ok. I do not want to fall into that trap of constantly chasing John Q. Public, trying to write something that will make them love me. I struggle enough with each post, just trying to make sense.
I went and looked and as of today, I have 189 followers. Woo Hoo!! No. Really. I am honestly pleasantly surprised. If you’re reading this, I want to thank you all for the honor that you cared enough to actually follow my blog. That you might like to read something I wrote. Sincerely- THANK YOU! That’s to the actual people who elected to follow my meager contributions here. There are some “followers” that are just commercial entities. They don’t appear to be an actual human, but just a page to sell stuff. I guess a human had to hit the “follow” button though. Still I find it odd.
So anyway, if you count the early blog that I scrapped, it’ll be 3 years in October. Clearly I suck at blogging, if you’re counting my progress in what I perceive as the normal progression of blogging. MY logic says that if I didn’t suck at it, I would have a whole bunch more followers and people would be loving my posts and I’d have a ton more comments and that would spur me on to write more posts and then I’d get more followers and so on. Yeah. I know that’s a really long sentence. I’m always ready to duck & run from the grammar police.
You know what? I would probably be really stressed out about being a sucky blogger if I was trying to make money from it. Luckily I’m not because I’m not. I will say that I really admire those people that are making some money from their blogs. I find it amazing and cool. They’ve found something that people are interested in, that will keep people interested and they’re getting some cash for it. Fabulous! I have no delusions about my little spot, so it’s not stressing me out.
Does it bother me when I don’t get any feedback on something I’ve written? Totally honest: somewhat. There might not be anyone reading this very sentence after I’ve posted it. Or, if they did, it might not be anything that they have a comment for. It’s ok. I’ll have to live with it. I cannot be turning myself inside out just to get readers, comments or likes. As usual, I will dig for the positives of writing a post. 1. I got this out of my brain and I can move on to something else. 2. I actually got a post out so I feel a sense of accomplishment for that. 3. I explored my feelings on the subject and reaffirmed that I do not want to sacrifice myself for what I just now realized is validation. Ahhhh! BINGO!
BOOM! There’s the payoff for this post! That realization. THAT’S what that feeling is that is so elusive, that comes with a comment and/or a like. Dammit. Validation. THAT’s why the pull is so strong to try to find what “the people” want/like. THAT’S why it’s so hard to resist. THAT’S why I have to brush off disappointment, ignore negative thoughts when there’s no feedback on something I’ve written. That human hunger for validation. Dang it! Being a human is hard.
Huh. I may suck at blogging, but I just had a realization for myself through this post that I hadn’t thought of before. And that’s a WIN!