the post where i talk about numbers

I hate numbers. Correction: I hate to use numbers to define parts of me. I hate thinking of my thighs and hips as fitting into a certain size jeans that differs depending on what store I’m shopping. I hate shopping for my shoe size and having to ask for a size 9 when a cashier asks me for help at a shoe store.

I hate defining myself through numbers, so I don’t. When I go shopping, I shop for the pair of pants that looks like they will fit. I usually start with the size I should be at and work my way down (or usually up).

Blogging in the community of bloggers that I’ve found myself in is tough because to many numbers do matter. Stats do matter. For some, stats are the difference between a job or not. For me, stats don’t matter. But they seem to matter when I begin to lump myself into those other bloggers for whom stats do matter.

But they don’t matter. I got into blogging without a plan, but I’ve come to realize, only two years later, that I got into blogging to somehow, indirectly, make a turn through motherhood into my passion, which is writing.

I want to write. I want to make books and publish articles and write. That’s all. So while I must chose to define myself by numbers to get a pair of jeans that fits, in this field I find myself, I must remember not to try to define myself by numbers. Just write. Yeah. Just write.

STOP.

This post was a bit all over the place, but the point that I’m trying to make is that so often in blogging it can be easy to conflate others’ desires for their blogs with your own desires. In many conversations on being a better blogger, I listen, but until now, I did so for the sake of actually getting better. I’m at the point now, however, where I no longer want to be a better blogger. I want to be a better writer. I want my feet to planted firmly towards that goal and nothing else.

Do you understand me? Can you relate? Do you often feel pressure to worry about stats as a writer who stumbled in through blogging just because other bloggers are concerned about those things?

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13 Responses to the post where i talk about numbers

  1. Robbie says:

    I’m new at this but you make complete sense to me. In my limited experience I’ve come to the conclusion that ppl need to remember why they started blogging in the first place and what they want to get out of it. That probably makes numbers very important to some and inconsequential to others.

    • Jessica says:

      Exactly! I think the important thing is that you always try to stay mindful of your goals and focused on your journey, which will be unique and your own!

  2. I get it. It’s such a tough line to toe, and I find that I’m constantly redirecting myself to get back on track with what’s important to me.

    • Jessica says:

      “redirecting” is such a great word to use, Brandi! And that’s what we all must do, right? I think so. I think it’s easy to sometimes get consumed with what everyone is doing, or with what everyone you admire seems to be doing that you can sometimes forget about the things you want/need to do. So, redirecting ourselves back to get on track is necessary, often!

  3. Cecilia says:

    I understand, Jessica, and have been there too. In the beginning when I was new to all of this, I found myself in a whirlwind of blog following and networks. I found myself getting into my little circle of new mom blog friends, and I would see some of them just take off with hundreds of followers, scores of comments…I would see some moms all over the internet. A part of me wondered, for a time, if that is what equals blogging success. I would feel down because I’d get just 2 or 3 comments a post…then in time I learned what it took to get readers – lots of networking, lots of putting yourself out there and commenting on other people’s blogs. It wasn’t what I had really signed up for, as my reason for blogging was always to practice the craft of writing. Sure I wanted an audience, but I didn’t want to do it solely by networking; I’d hoped that people would visit my blog because they wanted to hear what I had to say, rather than hoping I would go back to their blog to comment. I obsessed over stats for a little while that first year, and then I simply stopped caring, or I lost the energy to obsess any longer. It makes for much more peaceful writing! Good for you too for not caring about the numbers, but instead devoting that energy to focus on your writing.

    • Jessica says:

      Your story sounds so much like my own! I’ve always had a tough time with the networking side of this, and I could never figure out why! But, you’ve articulated my sentiments exactly. I’ve had a tough time because when I got into blogging, I assumed that I would just write and I would get to know others and comment on their blogs more organically than the current “mainstream” model of blogging networking seems to suggest. I want comments, but I only want people to comment because they really want to comment on what I have to say. And I want to do the same on their blogs, i.e., when I comment, it’s not because I expect them to come back and return me the favor. I just want to write and read good writing and connect with others for the love of this craft. That’s all. 🙂

  4. panoramicplayground says:

    I just started blogging back in September and didn’t really know what to expect – my goal was to write while also connecting with others in a way that I perhaps don’t do as well ‘in real life’ (since I’m a writer and not a talker). As I learned more and more about blogging, I started getting into all the other aspects of it, and then I realized…I don’t have time for this! Lol. I barely have time to write my posts…how am I supposed to do all the networking, twittering, pinteresting, blog hopping, etc? I think it’s awesome that so many others have been successful with it, but I’m just happy that I have some readers who genuinely enjoy what I write.

    And my shoe size is 10. 😉

    • Jessica says:

      We really are so similar! And you really should just do what fits in your life and what you genuinely enjoy. Otherwise, this whole thing can begin to feel like work, work that you won’t be able to enjoy.

      Yay for big feet women! Okay. That sounds weird, right? lol. But we deserve some applause. Seriously!

  5. Pingback: “Writing is my icing, but motherhood is my cake”

  6. Adriel Booker says:

    well, i wear size 9 shoes and it never bothered me. lol. i guess i’m 5’9″ so it would be weird to have feet that were too much smaller than that. 😀

    i can’t keep up with all of the “supposed to’s” of blogging so i just don’t stress about it anymore. I do try to visit someone if it’s the first time they’ve commented on my blog, but if I don’t connect with their writing I definitely don’t subscribe and I probably won’t visit again. (Unless they comment all the time, then I visit once and a while for “community” sake, which I do think demonstrates value to them.) I’ve made friends through blogging that I keep up with more now on fb or instagram or twitter, but don’t really visit their blogs much for various reasons. But they’re friends now on some level so I do keep up in other ways. (Make sense?) i’ve also quit checking my analytics accept for very occasionally or when i want to find out something specific.

    I do think blogging is important for 21 century writers, BUT i want to be a writer who blogs, not the other way around. 😉 And I sure don’t follow all the “rules” for blogging!!

    • Jessica says:

      I love your approach! And I think that’s the best way to go. Commenting all the time and doing other things out of a sense of obligation versus true desire gets old…fast. I do the same. I visit blogs whenever I can. I comment whenever I can. I used to feel bad about this and sacrifice sleep to fulfill my sense of obligation as a “good” blogger, but I gave up on that.

      Oh, and regarding the shoe size. Yeah, 5’9 and a size 9 sounds right. I’m not that tall, though. Only 5’7. But, my feet don’t look that big…usually. lol.

  7. Pingback: “Writing is my icing”

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