If a Person Blogs in a Forest and No-one Reads It, Does It Still Have Meaning?
I'm on the train, going into the "Big Smoke", as a Canadian might say! I don't know if Australians use that expression. I've been in this country now for a long time ... over 16 years. But more and more I feel as though I've just arrived. I am the eternal stranger: a stranger to my family (by way of adoption), a stranger to this country (by way of emigration), a stranger to myself (by way of identity crisis).
Anyway, I'm on the train! I am feeling a bit sick. Coffee but no breakfast (too anxious), train swaying, me typing, too much adrenaline ... always too much adrenaline! I am still wondering what I am doing writing a blog that no-one is reading. Should I keep going? Yes, I tell myself. Do you remember The Flintstones cartoon? Sometimes Fred would be grappling with some moral crisis (like whether to take Pebbles with him to bowling, when Wilma expressly told him not to!), and suddenly a little version of himself would appear on either shoulder, one dressed like an angel, the other carrying a pitchfork! Of course you know who would win out.
So, miniature versions of me are, at this very moment, battling for supremacy. The devil keeps telling me what a loser I am, while the angel keeps reassuring me that things have meaning intrinsically, and that it matters not if I am blithely blogging away in complete obscurity. My angel is very eloquent!
This raging debate has sparked some self-analysis, always a dangerous thing. I realise that I completely lack the self-promotion gene. In fact, I often try to convince others NOT to engage my services! I am aware that this comes from a complete lack of confidence in my own abilities, but I am unaware how to change this. I've been reading other people's blogs, hoping to gain some insight. I have also shamelessly googled articles on how to attract readers to one's blog. I know that I wrote in my rather saddy pants introductory blog that it didn't matter if no-one read it, but who am I kidding? It's not the popularity stakes that worries me. Trust me, I gave up on that a long time ago! It's the loser factor I can't face. As much as I want to pretend that I enjoy being on the fringe, not part of the cool kids at school gang, there is a huge, insecure part of me that is desperate (DESPERATE) to belong.
Honestly, though, just a few readers would do!!! Just a few page views that weren't related to me would be fine and dandy. I know what you're thinking! First she says she's ok without any readers, now she wants a few ... but next she will need a few million. Nope. Not me. Really!
Here's the problem, though. I am telling YOU all about this, but YOU is really ME! And that isn't gonna solve the problem at all. The thing I noticed about the popular blogs is that they all seem to be linked to Facebook, Twitter etc etc. Also, I'm thinking these people probably started off by simply telling friends and family about their blog, and then it grew from there. I can't even do that!!! I feel like I'm pyramid selling! The only person who knows about my blog is my husband, and I think he only reads it to check on my mental health status. The blog articles I read on the Internet suggested reading other people's blogs and leaving comments.
Ok, this next confession is really embarrassing. I have been reading other people's blogs. (That's not the embarrassing part ... wait for it!) I've already mentioned Kim Berry's blog and I also like Edenland. The writers are funny, honest and self-deprecating. What's not to like? And they are all going through difficult shit like me, like all of us. And, let's face it, no-one who is going through shit likes to receive the "family newsletter" (yes, you know the one I'm talking about!) at Christmas telling you how great that person's life is! Kids are studying to be rocket scientists, hubby just took me to Paris, my cookbook is being published, I just bought a well for an African village blah blah blah. Pukeworthy stuff and worse, it makes regular people feel like shit!
But I digress. I thought maybe the commenting on someone else's blog was a good idea to snaffle a few readers. So ... I read Kim Berry's blog about her back surgery and how she is really doing it tough at the moment. I can relate. Health stuff really scares me, and I'm a complete hypochondriac. My dad went to the back cracker cause he had a sore back, and it turned out he had three years to live. His death was anything but peaceful and it frankly scared me to death (he would have laughed at that, so it's ok). Here's the shameless part, I tried to leave a comment on her blog, only where the name should be I put the name of this blog!!!!! Oh man, I am a loser. My comment was genuine, but, the intention was not. The comment never made it on the blog anyway, but I felt, and still feel, completely ashamed. So, no more comments for me. Sorry Kim. I don't even know you but I feel I've let you down. I still read your blog, though. Maybe one day I will take your blog course and tell you this story? Maybe!!
I am going to just keep blogging away in obscurity, with my dignity more or less intact. Turns out, the loser isn't the person who has no friends, the loser is the person who sells her soul to get them.