...and nobody hears it, does it make a sound?
If I write a blog and nobody reads it, does anybody care?
I know I’m supposed to be writing for my own pleasure, but I wonder if I would be better served by simply writing in a private journal. I’m not sure I enjoy the sting of a near total lack of interest in my blog.
So far, I have one lovely woman who reads and post comments on my blog regularly. Thank you Kimberly. You make me feel appreciated. In a way, that’s what I was searching for by writing this stuff in the first place. As many stay-at-home-moms know, it’s not very often we get to feel appreciated. It’s especially nice coming from you, Kimberly, because I don’t even know you. It’s not like we’re close friends and you’re just trying to be supportive. As a complete stranger, you must actually like what I’m writing in order to take the time to read it and make a comment. Regularly. You have no idea what this means to me (no pressure).
Thanks also, to Buzz. You’ve read, commented and given me great encouragement and feedback. You even linked to my blog from your well-visited site. I really appreciate it. You have no idea.
I know it’s silly to expect anyone to even find my blog, but I certainly have been pimping it in various locations, which makes me wonder a few things:
Am I interesting? Does anybody care what I have to say? Am I okay with that? Here’s a fact: my life is incredibly boring and monotonous. Therefore, it stands to reason that anything I might write about my life (short of pure fiction) would also be incredibly boring and monotonous. Hell. If it’s unbearable to me, why would it be interesting to anybody else?
Does my blog have a purpose that could actually be useful to people? Once they’ve visited and had a quick glance, why would anyone come back? Perhaps they like my style of writing? I’ve tried my hand at wit and humour with a positive response from only one person (again, thanks Kimberly). But there are many bloggers doing a better job of this than me. I’ve also been posting some information and tips I thought might be useful to others, but with no extra interest. Do I have something to offer? Does my blog have a well-intentioned purpose?
3. First Impressions.
Most of the hits to my blog, from the looks of it, are accidental. According to sitemeter.com, almost none of my visitors stay longer than zero seconds. Does my tag: “yet another mommy blog. nothing new here.” turn them off? The tag was a silly attempt at being self-deprecating and funny. I thought the sarcasm might draw someone in. Perhaps it’s turning them off? Can they smell the desperation for acceptance?
Should I try a little more hubris, instead of being so critical of myself? Should I represent my blog as the best damn blog in the entire world and the worshipers will follow? Nope. The content will still be the same. Either you’ll like it or you won’t. The way I sell it isn’t going to make any difference.
5. Built-in Audience.
Buzz is the only person I know who actually hosts a blog. Other than Buzz, I have absolutely no close personal friends who also have a blog. So. Unless I go out and entice total strangers to read my blog, there is no one interested. My family knows what I write about, so they have no reason to read it. Other than that I have… zip. Nada. I thought for sure I’d get more visits from the scrapbooking world, which is definitely who I thought my target audience would be. I post regularly on Two Peas (the scrapbooking web site), but so far only one person has come through from there to comment on my site. I also post regularly on other blogs, but so far I have only received a few courtesy comments, which reeked of civility but came off as more like “had to” rather than “wanted to.” (ie. you posted on mine so I guess I should post on yours, even if I couldn’t care less about what you wrote.) Hmmm. Not sure what to do about this.
6. Post length.
I tend to be very long-winded in life. My writing is no different. Should I be writing the next great 1000-page novel instead of a blog? Who has the time to read the stuff I write anyway? I’ve thought about trying to be more brief, but who I am I writing for anyway? This is me. I'm longwinded. Just like my mother. It's in the DNA. Take it or leave it.
There it is.
Take it or leave it.
I’m not even sure why I’m thinking about all of this. Should I care?
Do I really care what people think?
Should I get discouraged when I read other blogs, written by people I admire, only to discover that they hate exactly the types of things I’m writing about? Should I care that I love them but they hate Oprah? Should this discourage me?
Am I just being incredibly impatient?
I have no idea how long this kind of thing takes.
Should I keep going, in spite of my meagre sixty-four hits, most of them accidental? What do people do to earn hundreds of thousands of visits to their sites with hundreds of comments per post?
I really should be more patient. Rome wasn't built in a day. I've taught Csilla to twiddle her thumbs when she needs to be patient about something. It works like a charm. But she’s not yet three. Does it work on adults? Should I sit at my computer and twiddle my thumbs too?
I told my mom I was thinking about quitting this blog thing because I thought it was a bit pointless and her response was to keep going. Interestingly, she didn’t tell me this out of blind mom-love. She told me this because she said I seemed happier since I had started writing it.
I have been trying to feel happier.
I think she’s right. Despite the waves of self-doubt about this blog, I really do enjoy writing. Even if nobody cares what I write (except the few that do… thank you). I love to sit at the computer and work with words. I like to study my Little, Brown Handbook to check for the proper usage of colons and semi-colons and commonly misused words. I love good grammar. I want to improve. Hell. I’ve even written and finished two screenplays and completed most of a third, purely for the joy of writing.
The return of The Happy Girl continues.
And there’s something else I’ve noticed.
One thing I’ve noticed for sure.
Since I started writing this blog, I’ve been looking for the interesting and exciting things in my life. I’ve been observing my moments differently. The boring, mundane or frustrating ones seem to fly by unnoticed because I’m too busy searching for the gems that might be worth writing about.
My perspective has shifted.
Nobody wants to read about me wanting to shoot myself in the head today because Csilla and I were both trapped in our house; both bored out of our skulls. Boredom is not fun. And it's certainly not very interesting. Especially when it’s the boredom of an almost-three-year-old. Believe me.
(By the way, I didn’t really want to shoot myself today. This isn’t a cry for help. It’s just a literary device. A figure of speech called hyperbole: an over-exaggeration to make a point. Love that word.)
Eeeek. Too many colons and semi-colons. Hope I got those right.
My point is this: since I started writing this blog, I’ve been looking for the good stuff. I’ve been laughing more. I've been noticing the funny stuff more. I’ve actually been trying to create enjoyable moments, just so I would have something to write about. Does Csilla care that I make extra batches of cookies with her because I was looking for some good material? Don’t think so. Especially considering how much that kid loves cookies.
The important part of all of this is that I pull myself out of the funk I’ve been living in. Whatever it takes. Even if it means manufacturing fun. It's about changing my perspective. Improving my attitude.
And it seems to me that perspective and attitude are everything in life.
Even if nobody reads it, I will write. Because I will care.
Even if nobody hears it.
The tree still falls.