So I’m 15 posts into this new writing space and I feel pretty good. I feel like I’ve reinvented myself enough. I feel I’ve shed the persona of my early 20’s. Best of all, I feel like I’m writing stuff I actually want to write.
It’s hard to shake off old habits.
Like back then, I loved looking at the stats.
Oh, someone from Croatia is reading my blog. Cool.
500 page views today — damn! I am on fiiiiiiyah.
New comment, yeahhhhh *pats self on back*
Ten people re-posted this on Facebook? Alriiiiight!
Obviously, the voice in my head is an obnoxious little turd. ANYWAY —
I wasn’t obsessed with the numbers. But I took a lot of pride in watching them rise and grow. There is a thrill that comes with knowing you’re being read. The thing is, I used to write stuff that people really liked.
And that was cool because I liked those things, too. I wasn’t conforming to an audience. I was a writer who also happened to like real crowd-pleasers such as romance, hope, and self-empowerment. I wrote the heck out of those topics because I was enamoured by them.
But the older I got, the more I started to grow out of the girl who started the blog. I got tired of writing about love. I got tired of writing about hope too. My writing began sounding sloppy and forced. The numbers dropped and eventually, I closed shop. My sabbatical from online writing forced me to think about all the things I wanted to write about next.
And I guess this — where I’m writing right now — is a place for the answers.
So far I’ve written about friendship, hustling, Hamilton, routine, nationalism, and quitting Facebook — a pretty wide jump from the writer I used to be. As far as stats go, my current ones are pretty abysmal.
It’s easy to be bothered by this but every time I find myself flinching, I remind myself that the numbers do not matter. The numbers have never mattered. I am here, quite simply, to build a home for my words.
Based on my old entries that actually went viral at some point, there is a formula I could follow if I want to amass some level of online attention. But the idea makes me gag. Because, in all honesty: I don’t care about being relevant anymore.
I just want to write.
Curating content all the time kills creativity. I want the things I post to be passion-driven. I want to sculpt ideas that matter to me whether or not they matter to anybody else. I don’t want to succumb to the perils of blogging culture. That is the quickest way to lose your voice, your words, your joy.
This time around, what I want, truly, is to gain.
If you’re thinking about getting into this whole blogging thing, here are a few words you need to avoid: viral, stats, views, followers. Throw all of that out the window. You don’t need to be controlled by numbers.
You’re a writer, baby. Write.