Blog stats have flat lined.
And the worse they get, the more fiendishly I check them.
How did it come to this?
In my other blog attempts, I would have been happy with two followers as long as one of them was someone I didn’t know. Now I have thirty followers but if I don’t get a new like every hour I’m a sad panda.
In the beginning, I was writing more than I ever had. Just pushing out posts. Then, as I realized how much interesting content was already out there, I followed more and more blogs. Still, I don’t follow as many as most bloggers. But I spend a lot of time reading now, way more than at the beginning, which, let’s keep it in perspective, was only about a month ago. And even more time than that…well ok not really more time but certainly an unhealthy amount of time is spent checking my stats. Seeing what people searched for to get here.
With all that I haven’t been writing near as much.
On the positive side I have been getting out more. Doing more stuff.
And I am trying to remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day.
And the more I think about that, the more I think, what am I trying to build?
The harsh and shameful truth about my mentality is that in the back of my mind, no matter how therapeutic and lovely this blogging experience has been, I’ve been thinking, how can I make enough money doing this so I don’t ever have to leave the house again?
It’s hard for me to be honest about this, because I’d like to think I do things just for the pleasure of doing them. That I blog for the beauty of the connections I’ve made with other minds.
I forget if I mentioned it in another post, or if I wrote it by hand in my super luxurious leather bound diary, but I feel more and more like I am many people. Each of me inhabiting me at different times. I don’t think I have multiple personality disorder, which would be more interesting, but rather, it’s just a way of conceptualizing or grasping the different ways I feel from day to day, sometimes hour to hour.
So one part of me, or one person of me, one person I am…shit, what’s a good way to say it? I don’t know. I’ll name them. Fred. Damn it. That’s another thing, I don’t really like the name Gordon Flanders and I don’t really like the name Fred. But they both just came to me. I should pick a bad ass name like Black Elk. Or Crazy Horse. But Crazy Horse is too awesome for anyone but Crazy Horse so I can’t use that one.
Insecure Money Bastard. That’s what I’ll name that one me. The me that gets worried I’ll never have enough money to pay off my debts and the same one that wants to just stay home all the time and never go to work. I’ll name that me Jerry.
Nah this will get too confusing.
Anyway there’s always that part of me in the background saying, “How can you turn this into a ‘tribe’? How can you turn this into money?” A bunch of buzzword bullshit.
The worst part is no matter how many lessons I learn or insightful things people tell me, I can’t shake this bastard. And so I think, shit if I had 10,000 followers I could just write a book of me just saying whatever came into my mind and sell it for a dollar and I’d have $10,000.
And that’s why I check the stats every day.
Or maybe just one of the reasons. Another reason is it feels really good to have someone ‘like’ your post.
Yeah I think that feeling has more to do with it.
I am chemically dependent on ‘like’ endorphins.
At the same time I still would like to just do this instead of having a job.
A friend once told me that I was still young enough to think I could get rich without working really hard for it. I think I am slowly getting too old to think that.
The problem is I do work really hard when I’m at work, at manual labor type shit. But it’s very easy to be mentally lazy. To zone out and just do your job and get through.
I remember thinking last week that even while I folded napkins I should make it so that I was like a napkin folding artist. Then yesterday I remember thinking, I’m going to be a getting through the workday artist. Fuck folding napkins like an artist, I’m just going to get through the day on autopilot and that’s how I’m going to earn my money.
Well, a few days ago I decided I would never make money from writing. I decided to give up on making money at writing and just do it for the sheer pleasure of writing. Then I thought I should get a part time job during the day to make money, and then invest that money to make more money. I’ve known all along that writing stories is a bad way to make money, and anyway I haven’t written any stories and that’s an even worse way to make money. So I got pretty excited about finally giving up on it. I love giving up on things, it brings such a peace. At first anyway, or maybe it’s just a peace in disguise. Maybe it’s a little death. When you finally give up on everything, you can transcend this world and exist as an indistinguishable part of the all-soul in complete tranquility, or what humans call not having a pulse any more. Hm sometimes it’s pretty tempting.
Yes and then the very next day, I saw that the restaurant put me on a lunch shift where I usually work a night shift. So I thought, well that’s going to be hard to reconcile with the new part time job, if I’m not on a set schedule every week. And then I thought, because I was thinking at first about what Seth Godin said about the days of the journeyman writer being over, or in other words that only the greatest of writers will get paid, the ones that persist through insurmountable odds and such, and the rest of us will just do it for free because it’s so available now that no one really has to pay for words…okay I’ll restart that sentence. So as I thought about the days of the journeymen writers being over, I thought, well what about David Gaughran and Dean Weasley Smith. They make at least a little money from selling their books. I could eventually make enough money to at least account for what I would be making at a part time job.
So then I was back on the “I can make money writing” train.
And I’m still on it. Because it works perfectly with my new “Rome wasn’t built in a day” kick. Who cares if I don’t make any money at it this year or the next or the next? In ten years I’m bound to make a few hundred a month at it. You just can’t do it that long and fuck it up.
This is the kind of writing I love to do. Just writing down whatever comes in my head and having people actually read it is a dream come true.
To an extent, writing a story or a well researched essay is a craft. If you work hard at it, you can make a product that someone will pay a little money for. And even though I’d rather just sit here and write random bullshit all day, I guess I’d rather work at writing that kind of stuff than work at another coffee shop.
Then again, I was reading this book today about women and guns and it was talking about how this one lawyer works for free to defend women who have been charged with using a gun against an attacker unlawfully. And I thought, shit I’d like to do that. I never once thought about becoming a lawyer, but GF is in grad school, fuck it, maybe I will too.
Yeah I pretty much got it all figured.
several fool-proof career plans i see. Dont give up on your dream of making a living from writing, just dont throw everything else away until you are already there!
Good advice 🙂 tried it once and ended up not writing anything at all because I was too worried I wasn’t going to be able to pay rent.