January 2015 found me crippled by anxiety and totally obsessed by hits. There! I’ve confessed it! Not that it wasn’t obvious: I was a Bloggers Anonymous statistic waiting to happen, frankly!
Every day, I worried about how many views I was getting, whether I had enough followers to get into the big league – and, do you know what? My writing suffered enormously. I wasn’t just writing FOR an audience (which is fair enough – and part of the writer’s craft), but, for more sinister, to GET a bigger audience.
Then, on my birthday, January 9th, I got 3995 hits – and plunged into a creative decline almost immediately.
Why? Because I was trying to work out the formula for repeating that number – and deleting any blog which didn’t, in my view, stand a chance of attracting vast numbers. I was writing posts which shocked, caught the eye, made others uncomfortable or downright angry, got the sympathy vote…
What I was NOT doing was using my inspirational muscles to write because I love it and it is like breathing to me. Sometimes I hit true light and wonder almost by accident – but the joy was swamped by fear.
Now, nearly a year on, I do not actually care whether people approve of me and my thinking any longer. Anyone who reads my posts is more than welcome to disagree with my opinions, think me weird, accuse me of rampant Narcissism or self-pity or selfishness! Let ’em! I don’t give an ocelot’s scrotal sac either way!
I am doing this for ME – because I adore writing and because I have a unique style and lots to communicate. I do not mind whether I get followers or not, to be honest – and thousands of hits has ceased to be a preoccupation.
Does it really matter if I am not read in every country across the world? No, of course it doesn’t.
I AM a writer. No amount of blogging success – or failure – is going to change that.
I have got nothing to prove – and that is very liberating!
Of course it would be lovely to sell 3995 copies of each of my five books – and who knows what next year might bring?
But I am already a published author – and that is a huge achievement in itself.
Yesterday, I had 55 hits on here – and was thrilled. It represented almost exactly the number of books I have sold in private book sales this year – and, therefore, to me represents something really exciting. A whiff, if you like, of potential, of growth, of what could be.
The blog, like the journal, is where I express myself, try out new ideas, enjoy the written word.
My novels are the end product of the creative process.