I have learned to mind my own blogging business.

I became a blogger four months ago.
What excitement.
That word “publish” made me feel like a writer.
The writing was all I thought about.small__4908852142
“My thoughts on a page”.

The posts came easy to me.
My daily fix.
Addiction followed and remains.

However blogging got complicated.
I got stars and follows,
comments and feedback.
I got to know my fellow bloggers.
I began to look at my stats!

The other day as I deleted a draft,
I asked myself,
“Do I still post my thoughts on a page?”,
or am I influenced by stars and stats,
comments and followers?
Do I change what I want to write to suit my readers?
Do I write what I think about, or do I think about what I write?

I love my blog,
and I love having the freedom to write what I wish.
Some days I write a post and smugly pat myself on the back.small__4516398764
“Wow! I like that one”
For a moment I think,
“yep you have what it takes”.
I press publish and I am elated.

A couple of weeks ago I did just that.
and then I settled down to read other posts.
I opened one in which someone spoke of getting over 1000 views!
I nearly dropped my laptop.
WTF? Am I dyslexic? How many zeros is that?
1000!

I hurriedly check out my stats.
How many zeros does it say?
Maybe they are faulty?
Maybe American time is skewing them.

Reality strikes me.
I have a less than average number viewing my creations.
I am slightly crushed,
but being a naturally optimistic person,
I perk myself up.
I’m doing okay, I have followers.
Yes I have people choosing to “follow” me.

Followers, how many followers do others have?

WTF again? How many?
Some have thousands on facebook.
One blog I follow began early in January.
He has 15,000 followers, and no I did not put in an extra zero!
I have a few hundred,
and wait for it…..
I have 15 on facebook,
and they can almost all be found on my family tree!
Only three actually ever read it!

Now I was seriously depressed.
My blog did not compare.
What about my writing though?
I began to read and compare.
And things only got worse.

Everyone is writing a book, a novel or an ebook.
Can you believe it, these bloggers were writing.
Real writing, not the pretend stuff I was producing.
Many were also writing for a living.
What am I at?
I sat looking at my laptop, all creativity dead.
The voices in my head silenced.

That was two weeks ago.small__3094868007
Today as I sit here writing this,
I am surprisingly content.
I have begun to accept my limitations.
Yes there are successful bloggers out there,
and excellent writers,
but what does it matter?
It is not a competition.
I write because I can’t not.

So I have learned to mind my own blogging business,
and I will continue to write just as I did in January.
As I do I will try my best to stay true to myself,
and not be influenced by stars and follows,
stats and comments.
Just me and “my thoughts on a page”.

Although if you did feel sorry for me,
you just might consider “liking” me on facebook,
as not only am I a joke on wordpress,
but my own kids think 15 friends on facebook is an embarrassment!

http://www.facebook.com/mythoughtsonapage

photo credit: Jesse757 via photopin cc
photo credit: Taylor Dawn Fortune via photopin cc
photo credit: urbanoasis via photopin cc

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75 thoughts on “I have learned to mind my own blogging business.

  1. Just keep doing what your doing! I treasure each and every hit on my blog, been at it since November and it’s only gotten just over 460 views! Not fussing one bit I am happy with that! I enjoy reading what you write, it’s cool seeing the insight and life of someone overseas, I find your writing style absolutely fascinating!

    1. Thank you. I think we are all writing for different reasons. To compare would be like comparing apples and oranges. It was a good lesson for me.

      1. I once had another photographer tell me never to compare myself to other photographers, but only to compare my past work with my current work – that is the true yard stick to work with – I think that’s applicable here as well!

    1. Thank you for the tip off. My son has added it! I am not a great facebook user but I am a real saddo in my kids eyes and I’d love to shut them up!

  2. I once attended a really great group where people were really doing great stuff..healing and being true to themselves…I wondered why it was so small when there eere humdreds in the room next door learning about the latest weightloss thing. That got me to see these things differently.
    I have always ben one to have a small group of friends who I really connect with instead of a lot that I don’t quite connect with. I think if I had a lot more followers I couldn’t return comments, etc and visit most of them.
    I received a mean spam comment recently..but I am continuing to be true to myself.
    I love how real you are!
    I will try to find you on facebook.
    Oh..I don’t even have my own facebook. I use my husband’s sometimes.
    β™‘L

    1. I too have groups of friends rather than big collections. Although the blog I follow with 15000 replies to every comment in less than 24 hours. I think I’d struggle too with a big blog. I do like the level of engagement I have. And thanks for offering to like me on facebook. I’m sure your husband would just love my posts appearing on his timeline!

      1. He totally would! And you could see all the many pictures I post of my only daughter and all the random pictures I take–haha! It’s the only way I know how to get them off my phone. My husband calls it a family blog. He likes that my daughter and I post stuff on there. People wonder how he can post and take so many pictures while he is at work πŸ™‚ My name is on it too. πŸ™‚
        How do I find you?

        1. If you want to “like” I have added a link to my post, well my son has, at the very end. No pressure. Thank you.

        2. I did so you have at least 16..and my husband linked it to ours. Hope that’s ok. My husband’s sense of humor is like yours. He’s a teacher and off for the summer..so he was sitting here πŸ™‚
          Good luck!! This could be fun to pass up your kids.

  3. It’s fatal to start comparing yourself, and you are so wise not to get blown off course by it. It’s the curse of our age: every body has a voice! But I liked the way you say you “write because you can’t not”. Seems a good reason to me.

    1. Thanks. Yes it is very easy to get blown off course but like most of us I can’t not. It used to be in the quiet of my bedroom putting my pen to a journal, now it’s digital. Thanks for your opinion I appreciate it.

  4. bravo. writers write because we need to write, it is a part of us, no matter how many read/listen to our words, we just keep on writing, the way it should be. )

  5. I too know what it is like to try and put thoughts on a page. Keep writing what you want. People started reading because they enjoyed it, and they will continue to enjoy it if you continue to write from the soul.

  6. I think you are a successful writer if someone anticipates your writing.

    It took me three years to get 200 followers, I have more, now. And yet I am lucky if 50 different persons read. I may have more ‘hits’ but there are never as many readers as there are followers and never as many readers as posts read.

    I’m grateful ANYONE looks forward to me writing. Like you, I love to write. Which is why, not so ironically, that I write. πŸ˜‰

    1. I like that, “if someone anticipates your writing”. I don’t know if that is the case for me, but it would definitely mean some one somewhere thinks you can write. Thanks a million. I have been enjoying your posts since I found you.

      1. Why thank you…. πŸ™‚ But you can be sure it is indeed the case if people read, comment, read again, and comment again. πŸ™‚ It means we look forward to it. Oh wait….we anticipate. πŸ™‚ WOOT WOOT! πŸ™‚

  7. I love you…your candor and the way you have conveyed your thoughts. I, too, have found myself looking at stats, comparing my paltry number of followers to others, but I, like you, realize it’s not really about that at all.

    1. In your case definitely not. Hold your head up high. I love what you write. As one of my comments said “success is someone anticipating your posts”, I do that with yours.

  8. I love your posts. I hear what you’re saying though about suddenly watching the response to what you’ve written and then second guessing yourself the next time you write something. I really don’t want to do that. Sometimes I’ll write something that I love and get very little response. Other times, I’ll whip something off and it will go gangbusters. I can’t predict it so I am trying to not even try.

  9. I love your writing! I think a lot of what look like “popular” bloggers are good at marketing. I think some go and follow and like lots of blogs and then others reciprocate, yes? Seems like a game…

    Also, I happen to have lots of friends on FB because I love it and use it alot, so all those friends show as “followers” of mine, though a small percentage read the my writing, and they didn’t choose to follow my blog…I wonder too, how to bring more people to my blog, am curious about how to let more people know about it.

    It’s not the same as real people finding you and continuing to read because you inspire, make them laugh, think, cry, or just enjoy the flow of words, all of which you do!
    Thanks for putting your thoughts on the page.

    1. Thanks a million. Oh and thanks for reassuring me about facebook! You are right about the marketing. I love wandering about wordpress and finding unique blogs such as yours. I suppose time will get you out there and gets us better known. Then more people can appreciate your Elizabeth and you can inspire others who have lost children. Thanks again.

  10. Have liked your FB page πŸ™‚ I look forward to your posts everyday, do keep writing. You’re definitely doing better then me in terms of followers. πŸ™‚

    1. Thank you. I will tell my kids I am as good as “trending” on facebook! ha ha. As I’ve said before if only I had known you when my little ones were little ones, what fun we could have had. Creativity is definitely lacking here.

  11. I nodded my way allthrough that, Tric. I see some blogs with so many “readers”, I actaully doubt the authenticity of the number. What I mean is that some “bloggers” aren’t real bloggers, and “follow” blogs that they don’t actually read in the hope that people will click back to their “blog” and discover their product, “service”, etc. They certainly aren’t even half as interesting as what you write. But they artificially inflate the number of followers of the blog concerned. I have a fair number of these “folowing” my blog, and the number of REAL followers can probably be counted on my fingers and toes. They’re the ones I appreciate. Bloggings not a competition but it is used as a springboard for many people, whether it’s for commercial aims or to market their writing skills in the hope of being seen by a publisher. Just let them get on with it, and be yourself- that’s what I come to your blog for πŸ™‚

  12. your blogs are fab if more people read it u would have all those likes :)as for the book u will prob do one nxt keep up the wonderful thoughts on a page we all love them :):):):):)

  13. All right, my friend, this post had me tossing and turning all night. I’ve been one of your fans since the git go and I have loved all your posts. Your unique voice and writing style puts many of those so called “successful” bloggers to shame.

    As far as Facebook, let me tell you a little story. My son has 2,000 “friends” on Facebook. Is he popular? Hell no, he spends hour upon hour playing those stupid games such as Vampire Wars, and Candy Crush.

    I am grateful that he doesn’t blog because he would put his old mum to shame. You could count the number of actual “friends” he knows on one hand.

    Since WordPress carries those “friends” into our statistics, many of the “follower” stats are highly inflated.

    Many people blog for many different reasons. I, myself, started blogging to save my sanity and prevent total meltdown from having to deal with a loved one with chronic illness. It has been my salvation and if I get just one follower or one blogger to read my post and say “hey, me too!” then it has been worth the effort.

    You have talent that is missing in many of the blogs I see. You have a warmth, an honesty and a very original style. I can hear the winds of Ireland in your posts.

    So, buck up, my friend. You are loved and so are your posts. Keep writing and believe me, those views and follows will happen for you. I wrote this in a comment to another blogger once:

    “Write and they will come…read and comment and they will come faster.” I know that I answer all my comments and try to get back to the person’s site to see what’s new. I do follow a lot of blogs because there is so much talent such as yours out there, and I don’t want to miss their posts.

    I have you on my e-mail notification list so I am sure to get a poke when you post. I always look for you in my e-mail because I know that you are about to bring a bit of sunshine into my day.

    So, read those comments above me, and know that you are talented, witty and appreciated by the readers. And, it’s the readers who you want to please!

    Love ya,

    Cranky

    1. Wow what a lovely comment. Thank you so much for taking the time. I hear you loud and clear. I did feel a little out of my depth and slightly useless a few weeks ago but I am happy out now, blogging away whatever I feel like. Writing really is a joy to me. Sometimes I begin a post and I have no idea what my fingers are going to say. That is why I write, and to have discovered that anyone reads or enjoys my posts has been the icing on the cake. It was a good lesson though. Also I thought facebook friends were for blogs only so it is great to know for some it is their own personal page. They too must include members of their family tree! By the way I love your blog and look up to you very much in admiration. Thank you so much again.

  14. I love your blog! “Joke” is probably the last word I’d use to define this place in cyberspace. I’ve fallen into the nasty habit of checking stats (and seriously need to quit). It keeps me in a state of tension. I marvel that you are free to just write – and let fly – without the continual worry of who’s paying attention.

    Your honesty and transparency are admirable (I’m not so sure my husband would be such a good sport about my dislike of the term “wife”!). It speaks well of you, and gives the rest of us permission to be less than perfect people!

    The stories you share about your life are interesting. We live in different countries, with different ways of doing things. I enjoy hearing how things go where you live.

    Write on, dear one. This reader appreciates coming for a good laugh and to get a fresh perspective on things as well!

    May you enjoy a wonder-full weekend!

    Love,
    Tami
    \o/

    1. Thank you so much. I will write away and hopefully you will continue to enjoy my posts. I do check in with you regularly. We differ on religion but actually have so much in common. Thanks again and as for my other half he laughs away at what I write, too many years together to begin taking me too seriously now.

      1. That’s awesome! I read you on a fairly regular basis…you’re one of my first blogs I “followed” because I enjoy reading your articles.

        TTFN (Ta ta for now…ala Tigger)
        \o/

  15. B*gger !

    Cranky has just said what I was going to say – but much more eloquently !

    I’ve been involved in blogging, as myself, as part of a group (madhatters), and as moderator on a popularsatirical news site, for a number of years – and honestly, yours is one of the best blogs I’ve come across in a long time. I love your posts. They are always interesting and well-written.

    [and from the comments preceding this, I am not alone in this opinion]

  16. I used to compare myself alot in my life with other friends of mine until my best friend told me that each of us got our own paths, right now, i may feel as if am the most unaccomplished, dead beat and so behind everyone and people around me can be well ahead spelling and smelling the smoke of success, and as much as it is tempting to want to be them, i don’t know what’s down their path

    Since that day, everytime i see someone ahead of me, i know that each of us are on different paths, different destinies and as i strive to get ahead with my own path, i know that what lies ahead is unique to me and i am able to celebrate them wholeheartedly…

    One time i had a close to ‘death’ moment, and i remember i didn’t wonder who noticed, followed my latest photo, blog, jewellary, fab look, or even the career am pursuing, i wondered more on did i do everything i wanted to do in my life? did i tell that hot guy that he just looked great and didn’t care what he thought about me? did i spend time with my family and showed the love i could gather to them??

    Having the sureity of all this, i can chart my path ahead with peace and contentment…

    You are very unique, your life and experiences are unique and i love reading your blogs, don’t you dare become anyone else but you…

    1. Thank you for your kind comment. You make some very good points. I agree, we do need to concentrate on our own path and be happy on that road instead of thinking a different road is better. Thank you again.

  17. Since it’s all about your love/need to communicate, then the numbers are really just a distraction. You write beautifully and your thoughts are clear and readable. Please, don’t get distracted…

    1. Thank you. It was a major wobble but it was a couple of weeks ago. I am oh so much happier now and well back on track. I think being relatively new to blogging it takes time to process everything. However I write as I said, “because I can’t not” and I love it. Thank you so much for commenting,

  18. I love your honesty and humor, Tric, and just keep being “YOU!” Since I’ve been doing this for a year and a half now, I’ve learned that it’s so easy to get sucked into the stats frenzy in the beginning. It’s really exciting, but try not to compare. As you said, it’s not a competition. Do it for you and you only, then your readers will love you even more. I’ll look for your facebook and my poetry page is also https://www.facebook.com/pages/LScott-Poetry (if you’re so inclined :)). Have a lovely weekend! Lauren

    1. Thank you so much. I found you on facebook your link was broken. I am much happier posting I suppose we all go through that questioning phase.

      1. You’re welcome, Tric, and did I not give you the entire link? It’s hot today and I’m melting, so didn’t notice! I have gone through so much of the questioning phase, I could write a book! Heehee! Thanks for following me, by the way! πŸ™‚

  19. From the amount of responses you’ve had here and everything that’s been said prior to my two cents worth, I think the consensus is clear. I have passed that point of stat obsessing. Your voice is authentic and unique and that is why I anticipate your every post. I think I have 18 friends on fb and I’m good with that.

    1. Yes, thanks I am blown away by the number of comments. So many have experienced this. Thank you, we will all just keep posting away, and maybe try to ignore that stats button in the future.

  20. Great post tric. Your posts always offer transparency (that’s a predominant precursor to trust) and remarkable honesty. This post is no exception to it either.

    In my experience, blogging always begins as a personal matter, with personal gratification residing at its core, and all other matters (helping community, social service etc.) residing in the context. The process then evolves, as the blogger begins to realize the powers and prowess of blogging, i.e. receiving positive feedbacks and appreciation of their scribbling from readers worldwide. It’s a good feeling; and yet to me, it’s not the quantity but the quality of responses, readers and followers that matters. I do like to look at the stats, stars and follows (who doesn’t I wonder?), because only those numbers can tell if any of my posts were well received. But that’s where the buck stops, because it affects neither my thinking nor my writing. It’s good to be natural in one’s thoughts and writing (as you always are), because blogging is, IMHO, truly for one’s inner happiness, and not to please the world in reality.

    Sorry for my long note, but the essence is, you have been doing an awesome job, and I for sure, will always be your loyal reader and follower. Thanks a mil for being around in the blogosphere. Cheers!

    1. You have captured in a nutshell what it is to blog. From the beginning where we write for ourselves, through all sorts of stages. In the end I too have come to realize regardless of readers I blog for myself. Thank you.

  21. Thanks so much for liking my blog, and kudos to you for your wonderful writing. Can I ask one question though? (I’m new to blogging…) How did you find my blog? I don’t post it anywhere. Is there a WP homepage or something?

    Thanks for the insight! Keep writing.

    1. There is a page constantly updated with every wordpress blog as it is posted, laid out in different categories. I love to open that page of topics when I have time and read blogs on anything and everything. I saw your blog post there and read it and “liked” it.

        1. For me I just log into wordpress and a toolbar comes up. On it are your reader, stats, blogs and freshly pressed. If you press freshly pressed you will see explore topics. That is where I read blogs. I hope that works for you.

  22. i bet you also have a lot of treasures in your notebooks if you have been writing for donkeys years before the blogging began. keep them safe. get them out there under cloak and dagger, scarlet pimpernel? i think its blimming amazing when anyone writes as i hardly know anyone who ever would, and most of those who wont think of it have zillions of tales to tell. the unwritten version of the world is one of our greatest ….tragedies trajectories.
    as for the ‘having an audience’ i dont know how you do it. i couldn’t. i’d feel hemmed in with ho hums. its also nice to read, as i normally don’t read these bloggy things, how lots of people get sucour out of each other. cranky – a help hero.
    back to you, to write because you have to is to write because its natural to you. its a healthy reason to. its not a compromise, its wise. its a reason your thoughts sound real, and words have a speed lifting off your page. if you fill the sound of where you are, a mouse can fuel a lion. honesty is its own articulation elation. look at seamus heaney writing about his wee attic room in ‘The Skylight,’ inhabit the space, thats the ammunition of grace.
    me, i’m also an irish 40 something trying to do something because i can’t stop.
    full stop.

    1. Thanks a million for your comment. I love your line, ” the unwritten version of the world is one of our greatest …tragedies trajectories. You are spot on.
      Blogging is something I just stumbled upon, but it has really brought so much joy to me. I am delighted you have enjoyed what you have been reading.

  23. ‘I write because I can’t not’ absolutely says it all Tric. This brings a sincerity to your words that makes them stand out.

    1. Thank you (blush). I would presume for most of us who write or blog this is the case. It’s a real drug for me, and even though I’ve had a busy and good Christmas I’m dying to get back to writing.

  24. I agree it is all to easy to get hung up on stats. I do, from time check mine out. I do, however try not to obsess over them. It isn’t just a question of quantity but of quality, by which I mean sites may have many followers but many of the troop may never actively engage with the blog.

  25. Not utilizing the many options of share buttons, because I choose to be a unknown blogger, keeps the numbers down. But that’s alright with me, managing a huge number of ACTUAL readers could become a major commitment if you receive lots of comments.I would rather have smaller numbers of active readers than higher following count. But that’s just me to each their own. But I do peek at stats weekly to see where readers/followers come from, how they find me, and most popular posts and tags. Finding that niche & balance is the key. Thanks for the post.

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