When the numbers get you down

I try not to look at the stats very often because I never want to be too attached to the numbers.

Of course it feels great when the numbers are high, when you’re getting lots of likes, comments and new followers. But when the numbers drop and you’re not seeing as many likes or views than you were getting for previous months, it can be disheartening.

One of the only ways to avoid this is to stop focusing on the numbers. Don’t allow the numbers to get you down.

Sometimes it can feel like you’re trying really hard and dedicating time but the numbers don’t reflect that. But, I feel like so often we forget or overlook one of the most important things when it comes to creating something and putting it out.

You have control over how and what you create, then putting it out for consumption. Its the customers, viewers or readers that are in control of the numbers, consuming your work and choosing to pass it on. You might be able to encourage it but ultimately it’s out of your control.

Putting it out there

Your job is to create and then put it out there.

It might not get the amount of views you want or it could be loved by millions, that is not something you have any control over.

It’s not your job to try and convince people that your work is good. In fact, you need to learn to be okay with the fact that some people won’t like it.

Focus on creating your work for the people that want it. That might only be a few to begin with but those people are important.

Commitment to the writing practise

My favourite thing about this blog is that I’m driven by my commitment to writing more than anything else.

If I write something that gets 1 view, I’m just glad that I committed to writing something another day.

If I write something that gets 102 views, I’m glad that a bigger number of people got to read my words. That is a bonus on top of me committing to sharing something for another day.

When I started this daily writing practice it was not only because I wanted to challenge myself and wholeheartedly commit to something new.

I’m committed to doing the work as a priority, anything that comes along with it is secondary. That mindset makes posting daily 101 times easier because I’m not focused on getting my numbers up or having the most likes, comments or views.

300 and counting

Last week, I noticed I was getting close to 300 followers, a few days ago I reached 300 followers and now I have surpassed it.

I don’t allow myself to pay too much attention to the number of followers I have on this blog. Followers doesn not equate to views, likes or comments and overall watching the numbers go up (and and in some cases down) has little benefit.

However, it’s nice to know that there are over 300 people who came across my site and thought it was worth following.

But what makes it even better is that because there are no pictures, I know that you are simply here for the words.

The best thing I’ve ever written

When you’re sharing your words online everyday there is very little pressure for what you post to be the best thing you’ve ever written.

If todays words aren’t particularly good, I know that I can always write something better tomorrow or the day after.

Sometimes what I consider to be my some of my best work doesn’t gain the numbers that I think it will or should. Other times, the stuff I’m pretty indifferent about ends up becoming the most popular.

I’ve written posts that I thought were my best at the time only to look back months later and realise it could have been so much better.

And so the idea of my best work is pretty flexible. If in 20 months of daily blogging, this post was the best thing I’d ever written, I have no doubt that I’d change my mind a few months later.

Reminding myself of all this makes blogging every day so much easier.

Don’t check the stats

It’s easy to fall into thinking that having access to and analysing the numbers will improve your work.

But sometimes it just makes you miserable.

When you sacrifice what you want to do with what will make the numbers go up you’re less likely to be satisfied with the work you produce.

If you focus on producing work that will make the numbers go up but instead they go down, you’ll be even less satisfied.

Sometimes the numbers are helpful when they give you information about what is or isn’t working.

But other times, they’re not worth checking at all.

Giving the people what they want

A few days ago, I wrote a post that did well numbers wise and I knew it would.

It was the kind of thing that people like to read whilst also being useful.

I don’t advocate for writing for people as you’ll never find your own voice or style that way. But in my previous post I managed to find the overlap between what I like to write and what you like to read.

That bit is the sweet spot because that way you’re not sacrificing your creativity or your chance to explore.

300 and something

Time flies when you’re daily blogging.

I’ve written over 300 posts for this site and I’ve manged to not run out of ideas.

If you’d have asked me 300 days ago what I’d be writing about towards the end of 2019 I’d have said ‘I’m not sure’. But something I’ve realised is that each blog post is simply the expansion of a thought and humans have tens of thousands of thoughts a day so I’ll never need to worry about running out of ideas.

And I find that the more I experience, grow and explore the more my perspective shifts and I’m able to expand on things I wrote previously or write them with a more developed mindset.

I also find that because I write each day I’m not so focused on the stats. However, what I do notice is familiar usernames that regularly read my posts and that is something I truly appreciate.

Reasons to stop checking the stats

Focus on doing things that are helpful and try not to get distracted by the seemingly significant things that are also known as stuff.

If 764 people read this post, I might come to the conclusion that I should write ‘Reasons to…’ posts more or that this length or writing style is the winning combo.

But in doing that I wouldn’t be giving myself the freedom to explore and develop as a writer. At the crux of it when you have a passion for something it will never just be about the numbers. It’ll always be more about the feeling, something you can’t measure.

When you’re in-flow and the words pour out with an almost trance like ease it might not be the most popular piece of work you’ve created but it took something for you to create it.

Even if you find a formulas that works you still have to innovate to some degree and after a while you might get bored because you’re no longer just being creative.

The use of a formula adds rigidity and constraints.

Checking the stats could also be done for reassurance that there’s at least one persons on planet earth reading what you’ve written and there’s nothing wrong with that because nobody puts stuff out there for it to go unread.

You might find a way to convince yourself that checking the stats will make you as better writer when the truth is writing will make you a better writer. The stats are just a distraction.