The past couple of weeks I have, once again, been thinking about dropping my blog entirely. Last night I even fantasized about deleting the whole thing, closing my Facebook and Twitter accounts, and just hermiting myself away, using the internet only to help my daughter find out how many young a pine marten has per gestation, uploading photos of my kids for their grandparents, and to look up the weather for my husband (even though he already knows the weather because he checks it himself every 23 minutes, an idiosyncrasy he apparently shares with every other bike commuter in the United States (all 12 of them)).
I do not have a wildly popular blog.
Most of my daily page views are from people doing internet searches about Victoria’s Secret models or nude moms or roast fresh ham. The other twenty are, I’m certain, from friends. And from my mother-in-law. (Hi, Millie!)
Don’t get me wrong, I love that my friends are reading my blog. I just kind of wish I was reaching more than just the people who already know me in real life. Or that I had about six hundred friends looking at my blog each day.
When my post about bok choy was on Freshly Pressed this past spring, I first felt pride because by my skill, intelligence and hard work, I had Made It! Then I felt confusion because I had apparently “Made It” by writing about what I had for dinner, not for all of the dozens of posts in which I waxed poetic about friendship and exploration and mindfulness and motherhood.
And then I felt anxiety because I had no clue how to keep all of those readers. I didn’t want to go back to blogging obscurity, not after getting a taste of the limelight. I heard Neil Young in my head telling me, “It’s better to burn out than to fade away,” and I thought that the best course of action was to quit right then while I was ahead.
It’s interesting to me that both “high” blog stats and “low” blog stats cause me to consider giving up blogging.
But I didn’t quit, I just watched my page views drop off and then gradually diminish to near pre-Freshly Pressed levels over the next several months.
I think, “Well, if so few people are reading my blog, why bother having it?”
It’s possible that it would be better to give up the blog. It would leave me with quite a bit more free time and it would take away the anxiety that I feel that I might be putting things on the internet that will embarrass me and my children and grandchildren and make it impossible for me to get a job when my kids move out in twenty years.
But maybe it would be even better to hang the pretense and just blog for my friends and family. I would have the same blog and post about the same things (you’d all still have to put up with my book reviews), but I would write as though the only people who read my posts are those who already care about me and want to see me succeed and aren’t waiting to jump on me and leave nasty comments every time there’s a typo or I misspell idiosyncrasy.
Which is pretty much how it is now.
I just need to look at my page views and say, “Wow! Two dozen today! Look at how many of my friends care about me enough to read my ramblings today!”
And since I don’t want to leave my friends hanging, the average number of young a pine marten has per 7-month gestation is 1-5.