I want to take a moment to thank everyone who took the time to read one or more of the posts I put out there into the online universe, or who followed me. I am beyond grateful. When I started putting my writings online, I had no expectations. No actual, real-world expectations, that is. In the secret part of my heart that likes to fantasize, I imagined an explosive, unprecedented success, perhaps even a Pulitzer in recognition of the stellar qualities found in my internal musings. I spent a lot of time in that fantasy; I pull out of the real world with alarming frequency. It’s quite a negative – it keeps me from reality and stops me from living. I get trapped in imaginary realms that, at times, seem more real than the world at hand.
The real world, however, in this regard, has proven to be most satisfactory. I have found, with equal parts chagrin and delight, that I’m not alone. There are others – too many others – who struggle with the same issues that drag me down. People with eating disorders and depression and anxiety and various other mental health challenges abound. I’ve enjoyed interacting with members of that community, and with everyone who stopped by for a look, so thank you.
I’m wondering, however, where to go from here. My inbox has been inundated of late with posts on how to amplify your blog, how to properly utilize WordPress, and how to grow your business.
I never really thought of my blog as a business, but I guess it could be.
At any rate, I read the posts, and watch the videos – okay, some of the videos – and wonder. Should I do more? Should I upgrade my site, buy a business plan, add more plugins, and amplify my social media presence? Part of me says “Yes. Go for it.” Since I’m trying to say “yes” more often, I gave it some serious thought. But there are drawbacks.
I depend too much on the outside world for validation and that can be problematic. It’s not a good idea to let your sense of self become dependent on the number of notifications you get on your social media feeds. What happens if there’s an off day? Do I suddenly become less worthwhile? Because often, that’s how it feels.
I struggle to remind myself that I have value, intrinsic value, irrespective of what I produce, do, or say.
I suspect that, at this point, obsessing over site view, clicks, shares, and responses would take me down a path I don’t want to travel.
I don’t want to repeat the Instagram disaster of early ’18. I posted a few things I found interesting and inspirational and got hearts in response. It felt so validating. I wanted more. The things I posted became less about what I wanted to say and more about what I wanted to hear. It sucked up time and made me anxious and unhappy. “How many views today? How many likes?” Less than the day before would make me miserable and anxious. I was not having fun. Ultimately, I let it go.
I don’t want to write to get views. I want to gain understanding about what’s going on with me and make positive changes. I want to share my questions and insights and random thoughts, and hopefully get feedback. I want to feel less like an island. I get this from my page as it is.
My mind conjures up fantasies of thousands of followers all clamouring for my latest and greatest but running alongside that fantasy is a sick feeling of pressure and dread in my stomach. I used to ignore those feelings. I used to soldier on regardless. It never ended well.
Being able to say yes paradoxically means being able to say no, so I think that for now, I will stay small and unprofessional, content to putter along in a way that meets my needs, and grateful to everyone who has decided to come along with me as I explore.