Saturday, 30 November 2013

10,000 Hits

At some point over the last couple of weeks, I reached 10,000 hits on my blog, almost exactly two years since I posted my first.  My first post was about Kate's Stage IV breast cancer diagnosis and, somewhat coincidentally the post that put me over the 10,000 mark was also about Kate's health

I'm curious about why reaching this milestone took so long.  Kate's, two blogs (Jim's Girl Family History Blog and  Kate Has Cancer) for example, took far less time to reach and surpass 10,000.  Kate has argued that her blogs are directed at specific audiences or communities (i.e. genealogists and cancer patients) where mine is more general in nature, which is a good point.  Some other issues I recognize:

  • I have to admit that in reading over my previous posts, the writing is not always great.  In part, this is because I am a bit of an impatient self-editor.  I just wrote the damn thing, why the hell would I now want to go read it? 
  • my blog page is  not very visually stimulating (another topic I blogged about, but I never really did anything about, in part because I'm not terribly good at technology);  
  • I have also been a bit of an inconsistent blogger.  Struggling with depression and anxiety certainly drains a person of motivation, and coping with Kate's cancer takes a lot of time;
  • I'm not great at the self-marketing thing.  I post links to my blog on Facebook and that's about it.  To be honest, I'm not entirely sure what else I can do.  I understand that reading other blogs and leaving comments there can generate traffic, but I haven't found a lot of blogs I enjoy and so only follow maybe three religiously and one of those only in the past month or so.)
  • And, maybe, if I set my ego aside, I'm just not terribly interesting.   Gulp.
In any case - and although this post may bely the following words - I'm not all about the page hits anymore.  I was once, but I keep coming back to why I started the blog:  to keep my mind from decaying while I was off work and to slow the erosion of my writing skills.  Having said all that, I am somewhat motivated to improve the overall quality of my writing and my blog.  So, hopefully, slowly I will be able to address some of the points I list above.  I read part of a book recently about craftsmanship.  One of the author's principal arguments was that craftsmanship is too often associated with manual pursuits when it can in fact be attached to any work.  The defining characteristic of craft, he argues, is that people undertake the work for the sake of the work alone and strive continuously for mastery as an end in and of itself.  So, I will continue to write this blog in that spirit.


In general, when I re-read my blog posts, usually months after I wrote them, I am not very happy with the result.  Some, though, were fun to write and had some meaning for me.  Here are my five favourites:


  1. Blogs are a funny thing. I think the number of hits we get has partly to do with the things you mentioned, but also a lot to do with luck. You just never know when your blog is going to resonate with just the right people and then take off.

    1. I appreciate the insight, Karen - not much I can do about the luck part, but will try to work on the other stuff....