So here we are.
I want to thank the 529 people (as of press time) who read my post remembering the late Jane Henson last week. Or maybe it was just one person who read it 529 times. In any case, you should know that nothing I have written here at web...blah...log in the past two and half years - or probably at all in the entire history of my hunting-and-pecking - has even approached that sort of statistic. (That may sound sad, but hey, that’s why the term sad truth exists.)
It’s odd when you check your stats on Blogger. Part of me wishes I never knew that feature existed. I shouldn’t much care about clicks, because I have no ads on this site. There is nothing of substance to be gained or lost by audience response or apathy... except that small little shred of ego that I’m sometimes ashamed of.
I’m not fooling myself. I write for myself primarily as a creative outlet, yes, but all writers - all of them - want to be read. I don’t care who you are or what you tell yourself late at night, but if you write and put any real amount of effort into that writing, you want it to be read. Not just by someone, anyone. No, you want more than that, you want it to be read by many and enjoyed/appreciated by all, without critique and accompanied by candy. (It’s okay. You can admit it. This is a safe place.)
And sure, some of you want that dusty manuscript you hide in a locked drawer to be read only after you have departed this Earth, because you’re shy and all, or maybe scared, and I get that. But even still, you want the mysterious stranger who finds said dusty manuscript to read it and be instantly enraptured by it and publish it for the rest of the world to shower with posthumous praise and honors. You know, just the basic dream.
But hey, you could even do without the praise and honors and candy. You just want the tree that falls in the forest to be heard. You’ll settle for the entertained eyes. And therein lies the trap.
I will admit that my joining Twitter was partially motivated by the promise of bringing a few more eyes to this web...blah...log. I do stress the word partially, though. And after my Twitter adventure began, prior to last week’s Jane Henson post, I was, in fact, getting a few more hits each day. Not many, but enough to make me think, well okay. A tiny slice of validation. I’ll take it.
But when I posted “jane,” and tweeted a link to it, I was taken aback by what transpired in my brain throughout the day, what I am calling the Five Stages of Unexpected Readership:
Stage One, or the “Huh. Look At That Stage:” Huh. Look at that. It’s not even noon yet and I have more hits than yesterday. Huh. Look at that.
Stage Two, or the “Wait, Wait Stage:” Wait, wait... how many? Wait, wait... what?
Stage Three, or the “Holy Crap Stage:” Holy crap, triple digits. Holy crap, it’s already my most-read post. Holy crap holy crap holy crap. 200. 300. This feels the way I feel when I eat ice cream. Holy crap.
Stage Four, or the “Wow, That’s Really Nice Stage:” Wow, that’s really nice that all those people forwarded it and tweeted and re-tweeted it. Wow, that’s really nice that there’s such an outpouring of love for Jane. Wow, that’s really nice.
Stage Five, or the “Massive Sad Realization That Is So Dark One Should Not Even Utter It Stage:” A good woman had to die for this many people to read my stuff.
And suddenly, all those hits seemed less important. I still appreciate them, and I am humbled by them. But boy howdy, there’s nothing like perspective to sober you up quick.
Things are getting back to normal at web...blah...log, and maybe that’s for the best. In that spirit, I should now add a footnote to my Devoted Dozens, the few, the proud, the loyal souls who have been regular readers lo these past 30 months: thank you for wading through all of my parentheticals, my ellipses and dashes, my odd metaphors, my obsession with snacks, my penchant for using words like penchant, and the whole white-letters-on-black-background aesthetic week after week, even when it has nothing to do with Muppet culture. You mean more to me than triple digit stats. Trust me.
Yes indeed. Welcome to me.