When I started blogging mid-2010, I was writing for myself. Although I told all my family and friends about it and tried to make them read my drivel, I went on the assumption that nobody would bother, or might read it just to indulge me (or perhaps more appropriately, to stop me asking them if they have read it).
I figured blogging would help me improve my writing and give me a creative outlet as a way of de-stressing from a stressful office life. But why didn’t anyone tell me I would develop an even more stressful obsession? Why did nobody ever tell me I would become obsessed with checking my blog stats?!
Here’s an example of the latest stats for the month:
In 2011, I took on the WordPress challenge to publish a new post every week. I was able to meet the challenge most weeks, and sometimes I’d miss a week then follow up with two posts another week. And each time I clicked the “Publish” button, I almost immediately go and check my dashboard for stats update, as if the numbers would shoot up the second the world knows I have published something.
On a similar note, since I started writing fanfiction, it has been a similar sad tale of staring at the stats page. Actually, more accurately, I look forward to receiving review comments more than the stats. It may be due to the fact that I spend weeks/months on a story that is 25,000+ words long, so it feels like someone, anyone, should appreciate my effort, right?
So what is the difference between looking at site/page stats compared to reading comments on something I publish? Well, numbers only tell you how many people hit the link when you send it. There is no way to tell if they liked what they read (although the fanfiction stats tell a bigger story if you publish more than one chapter. If a reader doesn’t like your first chapter, they’re not likely to come back for the second chapter, hence stats for subsequent chapters are usually smaller than the first).
If you leave me a comment, then it gives me more information, feedback, on what you liked/disliked, about what I wrote, if you agreed/disagreed with a point I made. In the case of my stories, which parts made you laugh/cry/bored.
Is that asking too much? Probably. But I am greedy. And needy. And insecure. And obsessed.
So if you would like to save me from calling my therapist (actually, I don’t have one – it’s just a figure of speech), then feel free to drop me a comment – but remember to be nice, because I don’t want to be obsessed and depressed, too.
And I’m not giving up on writing, even if nobody is reading. So there. :-p
Thanks for reading 🙂