Please and Thank You

There’s a recent post on TouchstoneZ (My Brain Colander is my Atman), which deals, in part, with the question of quality vs quantity in relation to blog posts.

Some blogs have posts every day and much of that is what I would consider filler pieces. To me, they add to the overload of information and distraction instead of adding to the experience of connection and sharing that fundamentally, the internetz is all about

When I read this I thought, “Oh, crud. I post every day. How many of my posts are filler pieces?” I felt ashamed thinking of all of the “Happiness is…” and “You Know You’re a Crunchy Mama When…” pieces I’ve put up. Those and my recipes I consider filler pieces—fun little pieces I put up when I need a break from my more serious, 1,000-word posts (or when I want to give my readers a break from my serious, 1,000-word posts).

Then “If Loving Bok Choy is Wrong, I Don’t Want to be Right” was featured on Freshly Pressed yesterday. When my page views suddenly began to dwarf my normal daily page views, that brought another dimension to my self-doubt. I liked my bok choy post, and I’m certainly proud of the title, but I never imagined that was the one that would bring me my 15 minutes of fame as a blogger.

What did it mean that a post I considered a filler post and tangential to the true purpose of this blog would be the most popular one yet?

I worried when I was writing “Prioritizing Parenthood” that I had written a very controversial post and that I was going to get bombarded by comments (OK, I admit it…I was only worried about negative comments). That didn’t happen. The post came out and it was just another day at the office. Either this post wasn’t controversial or it wasn’t the kind of thing people want to read.

Or maybe it simply wasn’t a post that was featured on Freshly Pressed.

Who knows what this bump in popularity might mean. It could mean that from now on, my blog is going to be at a new, higher level of popularity. Or it could mean that my stats will quickly go back to normal, and after a few weeks, I will hardly even remember the two days when Imperfect Happiness was wildly popular.

Either way, I won’t know until some time has passed. While I’m trying to make meaning of something that won’t have meaning except in retrospect, I’m forgetting about the reasons I blog.

Those reasons won’t change regardless of how many comments and page views I get in a day. I’ll still keep blogging my Happiness Project because that’s what I enjoy doing, because blogging brings deeper meaning to my experience of my project, and because this blog has become inextricably linked with the project.

I want my posts to reflect me and my journey and my priorities. I hope I don’t change my blog just to get the page views, but I would be lying if I said I didn’t want a fair number of people to find them meaningful.

Zoie suggests in her post, “how would you feel about reading every blog post with the realization that the writer is saying either ‘please’ or ‘thank you’?”

I don’t like thinking I’m asking something of my blog readers. But as Zoie suggests, I really am, or I’d just stick with the private journal. I’m asking you to hear me and connect with me. I hope I’m putting my true Self—or one aspect of it—into these posts, and I hope that others see themselves reflected in me and allow me to see myself reflected in them.

When I think about it, this is probably a lot to ask of a blog. But I’m still asking it.

3 comments

  1. Pingback: This Week’s Warm Link Hugs: April 3 « TouchstoneZ
  2. Dacia · April 2, 2011

    I am new to blogging and yes, I am new to following your blog because of freshly pressed but your posts registered with me an I felt a commonality that will keep me reading. You can sense the honesty and true self in your writing which is what makes it special.
    You bring up an interesting thought about filler pieces but I think it is good for you and your readers to switch it up sometimes. I write just like you, really long truthful posts intermixed with some fun, light posts. If that makes me a bad blogger then oh, well. I write how i feel and some days I don’t have much to say. So, I say to you keep doing what your doing. It’s your blog and the only person you have to answer to is yourself! Thanks for sharing!

    Like

    • CJ · April 3, 2011

      The blog post that Zoie links in her post I’ve linked is really great and the comments are, too. I read it after I’d written this post, and it helped me feel much better about my frequent long-form blogging. I wish I could completely let go of stats, though. What a love-hate relationship I have with blog stats.

      I’m very pleased that FP brought you in and that you remained interested!

      Like

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