Stats? Bats? Mats? Cats? Rats!


https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/the-stat-connection/

I no longer write with statistics in mind – though I would be the first to admit that I was unhealthily obsessed with the bloody things for the first three and a half years of my ‘career’ as a writer.

Now? I write because it is my greatest creative passion – and analogous to breathing: I cannot survive without it.

I get very few visitations to my blog – and, frankly, this does not worry me any longer. I write a great variety of pieces; I work hard to make each one as polished and well-written as I can – and, ultimately, I write for ME, Alienora, because it gives me pleasure, or release, warmth or a means of stopping tears. I do not write in order to please others – and I certainly do not write in order to engage followers.

I can see the logic of the Followers’ Game. Like all such games, it is neither inherently good nor Dante’s Circles bad. It is simply what it is – and some people choose to play it, while others, like me, do not.

What I would say is this: I do not think we, as Indie writers, do ourselves any favours by lionising the popular, and populist, bloggers rather than concentrating our energies on those who actually have a talent for writing. Sometimes, it is true, the highly popular ones ARE good writers. But, all too often, we get caught up in the hype, the insecure childhood need to run with the dominant gang, the desperation to please which, we hope, will get us noticed.

Unkind? You can accuse me of that if you wish. Untrue? Look, fellow writers, at the number of top-grade reviews on Amazon for Indie books which are poorly-written, derivative or trite.

Is it any wonder that the mainstream writers look down upon the Indies, and trust our judgement not a jot?

What do high statistics say about us as writers, eh? Merely, I fear, that we are enormously talented at playing the Stats Game: That we socialise adeptly, and fit our writing to suit those we most wish to influence. And, just possibly, that we are sacrificing something of authorial integrity in order to be popular.

By finding a winning formula which nets us thousands of hits, are we not, in fact, limiting ourselves as creative writers?

I merely ask!

Cynical?

Moi?!

Yup! Guilty as charged!

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14 thoughts on “Stats? Bats? Mats? Cats? Rats!

  1. The stats on a blog are in some sense a method of gamification (turning something into a game).

    Knowing your previous blog posts about games that others have played, it’s a protective measure to say at this point, “I choose not to play!”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. alienorajt

      ‘Gamification’: Brilliant, Noah, and a great way, for me, of lowering some of the anxiety around it all. Yes, you are absolutely right about the protective element. Thank you for your wise words. xx

      Like

  2. “I cannot survive without it” AMEN! I’ve been writing for years but only on a word doc and sometimes tumblr. My wife is the one who pushed me to put my writing on here and thus I have. Thanks for the reminder that we do it because we like it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. alienorajt

      Thanks, Ryan; I really appreciate your support on this one. It is so easy to get away from our initial love of words (I know; I’ve been as stat-hungry as the next man/woman) – but, in the long run, I do not think it does the quality of our writing any good. Good luck to you! x

      Liked by 1 person

  3. You have really nailed many of the thoughts one has as a blogger and it is quite different to writing only as a publishing exercise. Personally, I always write as part of an urge, a tempestuous flow of words I cannot control. I like when people comment with their feelings and it seems interesting to see their viewpoints if different from what I meant to convey but I was as happy getting that itch out of me in the beginning when I barely had people reading as I am now with a group of regular followers reading my various writings.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. alienorajt

      Beautifully put, Geetha; I do so agree. I think that, no matter how many hits we get, the problems begin when we forget that urge, ‘…that tempestuous flow of words…’ (as you have expressed it so vibrantly); when we put the desire for recognition at all costs before that inner passion. xxx

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I wish I could like this a thousand times. Could not agree more! I too at first got caught up in the whole stats craze. When I did, I wasn’t writing for me. That made me so miserable and unhappy. I now write for me, and if no one else but me and my mother reads it, it is all worth it. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. alienorajt

      Thank very much, Jess, for your vote of confidence and solidarity. I know my post will prove controversial in some quarters – but, as a writer, I think it is up to me to push a few boundaries and not get stuck in the mud of what is easy, smooth and non-controversial. I am not in this ‘game’ to be liked! x

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I could not have stated it better myself. Keep writing for YOU. That’s what makes blogging so wonderful, I don’t have to please anyone but myself. That’s really why I write. I have written my whole life, I started my blog keep an account of those writings and also to help me sort out my own crazy life. When I write, I sometimes find the answers I seek in my own words. Strange I know, but it happens. You just keep up the good work!

        Liked by 1 person

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