The (Un)Importance of Blog Stats

There’s a short but somewhat interesting discussion getting started over on my daughter’s blog. It started on a blog she follows, which (stay with me here) is a comment on agent Nathan Bransford‘s post about letting our blog stats possibly become far too important to us (I’m pretty sure I’m through posting links, so unless you want your local weather, you can stay here now lol).

It seems that Mr. Bransford is concerned that, as authors, we might start playing what he calls the “If-Only Game” (you can follow his link to that post, since I fooled ya with that weather link above), wherein we start relying too much on achieving the next goal and not being happy with the one we’ve just achieved. He starts out by talking about having a bad day writing, so we start daydreaming about how, if we can just get rolling, we’ll be writing a book that will outdo Harry Potter in sales and we’ll be so stinking rich…. Well, you get the picture. It’s okay to do this to an extent, he says, because it can help motivate us to get through those dry spells. But we don’t want to take it too far and never be happy with where we are now.

He says it better than I can:

When you allow daydreams to fill that gap to get you through the tough times, or even when you’re just letting your imagination get the best of you, the dreams can gradually evolve into the reason you were writing in the first place. They were how you got through the tough times, so now they have to come true for it to be worth it. They start to become a crutch–take that crutch away and you fall over because you were leaning on an endlessly elusive dream.

This all started because my daughter read Carissa’s post on the subject and it sold her on reading that blog regularly. I have to say it got me, too. But my kid went on to tell how I text her to tell her how many hits I have on this blog and, to me at least, it sounded like she was concerned that I might be depending too much on this number. And maybe, in a way, I was.

I started this blog as part of my “writer’s platform.” It’s the 21st Century way of selling by word of mouth, still the undisputed king of sales. You read a book, like it and tell me. I read it, like it and tell someone else. And so on.

We  live in a world where Ashton Kutcher tried for a million followers on Facebook and we tend to find self-importance in how many friends or followers we have. This is the danger Mr. Bransford was talking about, where we substitute numbers on a monitor for self-esteem. And it’s easy to slip into. I still look at how many hits I have when I log on, and to be honest, I’m a little astonished to have 60+ hits only a week or so after I started this exercise. But, I look at this as a part of my writing platform, a way to talk about what I’m going through as an unpublished writer. My version of Marco Polo‘s journal, as it were. And I intend to keep adding to it when I’m published (how’s that for self-confidence? Or is it self-delusion?).

I don’t know how many people are visiting this blog. I try to post on my Facebook page whenever I write a new entry here, so I hope at least a couple of the people I know there are reading some of this. But my daughter says most of the writer’s blogs she’s visited have very few comments (a fact that came as a relief to me. Whew!), so I guess I’m doing okay to get as many hits as I have, even if almost nobody comments on what I’m saying.

So, for all you who are reading me now, hang around. One of the things I like most about doing this blog is that it gets my creative juices flowing and fires me up to write what, at some point in the future, will hopefully be paying words. So stick around. One day I hope to announce the publication of my first book on these very pages. Hope you’re still here for that. That’s when I’ll get caught up in some numbers. Especially the ones on my advance check.

Later,

Gil

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