Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Nobody said it was easy.

There's a point when blogging publicly where you started out just writing, it was all about the words and then suddenly a door opens to a world of numbers, hungry carnivorous numbers that eat into the words leaving huge gaping gaps, where fingers twitch muted.

Everything is representative of a number to an extent where you're reduced to just that, a number.  The words disappear in protest or perhaps just fear of being devoured.

I've been journalling/blogging online in various guises for around 16 long years and yet this is the first fully public chamber of words that I've possessed, one that isn't just existing under the rocks but rather advertised and plugged.  In effect writing to an audience as well as self.  Before, numbers were meaningless. Although you existed somewhere 'out there' it was happenstance if someone stumbled across you thus you lived within this glorious bubble where as you primarily write for self with the notion that you were discoverable and that somewhere someone could be reading.  The possibility that you were being heard and not just talking into the ether yet the safety net of rarely ever knowing for certain and thus destroying the cobwebs of expectations.  In a nutshell, you didn't give a flying fuck.

Yet, when you go fully public suddenly there's a maelstrom of numbers, stats and rankings.  Everything is a number.  It's page hits, unique visitors, Klout score, Kred score, page rank, domain authority, chart rank and so on.  You push yourself out there and thus make yourself vulnerable and end up tossed within the tide of popularity.  You're not special nor unique.  Regardless of whether you're being purposefully witty or else emptying your soul, you're just a number.  You could write complete drivel, awesome thought provoking content or just be in it for the freebies and it's still a Russian roulette as to whether you 'make it', whatever that is.  You're essentially putting yourself out there, to drown.

You end up in search of the elusive scarlet pimpernel of blogging, the secret formula that will open your gates and let the scores of traffic in or the secret handshake that will gain you entrance into the elite inner circles.  The result is you get dragged under the tide, some of the time you don't even realise it's happening.

You become too self aware and the self conscious.   You write posts that will never be published then eventually you find yourself hardly writing at all.  You find yourself caring about whether people will read it then being too afraid to publish it because you know it's out there, people know it's out there and yet still probably won't read it.  Is it you?  Is it your writing style?  Your layout?  Oh my god, everyone hates the blog.  Oh my god everyone hates you.  Are you holding back? Are you being too emotionally slutty? Are you trying too hard? are you not trying hard enough? Are you really boring? It's no longer a cathartic act of emptying your head, it's a race you didn't even enter.

You're now giving a fuck about writing, but not for the words, it's about the numbers.  The numbers that are eating all the words.  It's not even like the numbers translate into anything tangible.  It's not even like they have any actual meaning.  They devour all the meaning from your words and still remain meaningless.  Yet defining.  You're broken down and defined by all these numbers, judged upon them and labelled by them. They're all around you.  You're not alone.  Numbers to the left of you, numbers to the right, numbers stuck in the middle with you.  Yet this is little comfort, the other peoples numbers?  they're carnivorous too.  Cannibalistic even.

A switch flicks in your mind.  There's a backlog of thoughts in fifty shades of grey yet the words, they've all gone away.

So lets go back to basics.  Back to why we started.  Sod the numbers, sod everything and sod you.  Lets go back to the rants and soul leaks of Dear Diary. Break these circles.  Lets go back to the start.  Write for writing sake.  Write for yourself.  Someone, somewhere will read it and appreciate your integrity and dignity.

You're not a number.

You're you.

It matters.

You matter

One avid reader, a true listener is worth more than a thousand hits.  To affect one person is better than being glanced at by millions.

Fuck the numbers.

4 comments:

  1. I think you can tell who is writing for enjoyment and who is after the stats. The former is usually a much more enjoyable read (like your blog!).

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  2. True though sometimes even the most well intentioned bloggers get caught in the tide and washed away into the number world. Sometimes it's disheartening how many blogs go unseen yet have incredible content. The numbers are everywhere and can be so disheartening for hobbyist bloggers.

    Thank you so much for reading and taking the time to comment :)

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  3. I love this post. It's funny because I've been thinking about this all day - I'm quite new to blogging, but today I've been wondering if its worth doing - I love the blogging part but it does make me doubt myself. I was thinking of making it private, but then I do like sharing it - I don't think it would be the same private. I need to remember this post - we do it for us, and for fun. Not for any other reason. If others don't like it, they don't have to read it. Xxx

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  4. I'm glad you feel like that because that's how you should feel, especially when you are a great writer like you. Great post :)

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