Monday, June 12, 2006

The truth is in the pudding....

As we all know, Andi is a comment whore. Yes, I love comments. Although, perhaps attention whore is more accurate, since I'm also anal-retentive about watching how many hits I've had on my sitemeter. An e-mail I received today (which will be the centerpiece for a feature in the July Estella's Revenge) in addition to my dwindling daily blog hits threw me into several hours of serious contemplation today.

A year ago, when I'd had this blog for approximately 3'ish months, the place was mostly about 1) snark 2) humor 3) ranting.

I was getting around 150 hits a day at the time. Now, I'm getting 60-75...maybe 80-90 on an especially good day (nothing to sneeze at, don't get me wrong...I'm not that big a brat). Now, at first, as I began to see the numbers drop (around the time I started grad school), I was a little miffed and upset. I wondered why people weren't finding me as interesting, etc. I'm really not the self-centered ass I might seem by actually typing this. The way I see it, a writer writes to be read, yes? Writers crave to be read in general...otherwise there would be no books, magazines, or newspapers. So anyway, back to the point, I was a little disappointed in the numbers.

Tonight, as I was thinking, I began to examine what's changed on this blog in the last year, and the changes are nothing short of dramatic. A year ago I was angry. Very angry. Broken in fact. Depressed. Restless. My humor, I can honestly say, was the overflow from what was going on in my life. It felt incredibly good to say "fuck" 12 times per post. I was raging. Trying to figure out what I was supposed to do with myself. I made fun of everything. I used the blog to help work things out, and to reach out to people because I felt like I had no one.

A year later I'm significantly less angry. The blog is a reflection of my temperament now--less volatile and more introspective. For the first time in my life I actually enjoy what I do for a living. I'm in love with my job. I'm happy again. I like who I've turned out to be after all the turbulence of the last few years. I've lost many of the people I love, I've cut out some of the dead weight that was dragging me down. I've found some new people to love as well. I'm happy in my books, and my writing, and my bubble. As hard as I am on myself when it comes to my work, I still enjoy it. I like the challenge--the struggle. I like being break-neck busy until I think I'm going to explode and then having a month off to regroup. I like thinking, and drowning in music, and being with my friends, and fondling my books, and talking about it with you all. I like not being miserable.

It probably isn't as much fun to read. My musings on myself and my personality and my thoughts and my obsessions. They're all very personal and very internal and I don't think they have mass appeal. My blogging now is a bit more like talking to myself...and figuring out why I am the way I am. I'm still angsty, I still fight depression, I still struggle to find some "truth" to make me feel at peace with the world.

But, when it comes right down to it, I'm happy where I am. This blog was a lifeline, and now it's a comfortable place to think and play.

To those who are still reading, I thank you. I enjoy interacting with you, and you've meant something important to me for the last year-and-a-piece. This blog helped me like myself again. It's helped me believe that perhaps the things I think and write might matter to someone somewhere. So, even if the numbers keep falling, I'll keep writing. It's not about numbers anymore. It's not about attention anymore. It's about writing for the sake of writing.

Write on...

Listening: "I Found a Reason"...Cat Power

33 comments:

  1. I disagree--you were ocassionally doing HNTs back then. People wanted to see you.

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  2. I'm just glad you're happy, Andi.

    Some people are very fickle when it comes to blogs. I never hear from "readers" who just a few short months ago proclaimed their love for me. They've moved on to something else, some other shiny object that caught their eye.

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  3. I average around 70-80 hits a day. but every now and then they'll suddenly rocket up. But my comment count never really does. And I'd prefer less visitors and more comments, to a whole heap of silent visitors. Not that lurkers aren't welcome, just I like to see what other people think.

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  4. Your blog is just that - yours. I used to care who read me, then I just cared that I had a voice. You're awesome, keep it up. The true believers will keep on reading.

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  5. Now you can get rid of your site meter. I still have mine, but I never look at it. I was never popular to begin with. It was all very depressing. So, I stopped looking at it.

    I'm happy that you're happy.
    You're such a sweetheart.

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  6. Insightful and yet not bone crunchingly painful to read! I'm being a smart ass but you just made some great points Andi.

    The whole popularity contest isn't what it's all about although it creeps in doesn't it?

    I have a lot more fun in the comments sometimes than in writing a post but then I get more commenting about the things I really don't care about like if I mention Paris HotelLastName. Spike!

    Keep on talking to yourself and answering yourself. The blog is the least likely place to get arrested for something like that it.

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  7. The blog is really for YOU, its YOUR outlet, you do what you see fit with it. At least that's how I view mine! Overall I have noticed a big decline in people blogging in general, so I don't think your content has much to do with it. If it does, who cares! I still like it! :-)

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  8. Being happy is definitely better than a few extra hits!!! :)

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  9. Os, I dare ya to not mention HNT for a week!

    Todd, thanks, cutie. And I'll always be one of your fans. :)

    Fence, comments are fun. I always like interacting with people the best.

    NonGF, right on!

    Kat, the sitemeter remains more for my own convenience than anything. I do like seeing where visitors came from and finding new blogs that way. Signing in with a password is such an asswhip.

    Dale, it does creep in. I dunno why, but I've heard a number of bloggers besides myself address the issue. And yes, it's always easier to address a random issue than a substantive issue.

    Blitch, good point but sometimes easier said than done. I found myself "playing to the audience". And it's not like I still don't. I like to make people laugh and think and such, but I'm not gonna be such a hardass about "trying" to play to the crowd. Big step for me. I like entertaining. :) (read: I'm a ham.)

    Tanabata, so true! In blogging and in drug use. lol Sorry, that's what came to mind. Note: In case any authorities are reading, I have never used illegal substances. I stick to the legal ones.

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  10. I do the comment thing with my LJ. If no one comments for a few days, I start feeling like I'm boring, I've lost my wit, I'm a jackass... I think I just have to step back and realize that everyone's not waiting by their computer for me to make a post so they can comment, hehe.

    My blog... is a vast wasteland of commenters, hehe. I get about 150 hits a day, and maybe 2 comments per post. I'm just not sure how to entice people to comment when they read without being obnoxious.

    Gypsy Poetry

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  11. I love reading your blog as it often complements the kinds of things we talk about during our infamous conversations.

    And being happy is always a good time.

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  12. Well, you're not getting as much traffic as when you were angry. Isn't that kind of a good thing? What does that say about those readers, who no longer read you,if all they want is anger from you? I wouldn't want those type of readers. I want readers who take the good with the bad, the rants with the jokes, the introspective writings with the blatherings of mundane every day life. Not ones that are only interested in getting their shits and grins through my pain, anguish, or what ever else I perceive to be wrong.

    You're happy now, sweet girl, and it reflects in your posts. You fought long and hard to get to this place of peace. If readers drop because of that, then I say good riddance to that garbage.

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  13. Andi, I like the way your blog has morphed over time!

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  14. GP, I hear ya. LJ is especially tempting in the comment dept. since you know who's friended you, etc. It's like, "I see you, so comment!" Hot Jean icon, by the way. Oh, and I got CS2 working. And the harddrive begins to fill up with brushes!

    Elise, being happy is a good time. I would do a jig if there was anyone around to see it. As it is, it just feels weird to do a jig alone.

    Vixen, it is a good thing! Fuck 'em if they don't like my happy! Woot! (3.5 hours sleep is beginning to show.)

    Thanks, Suzz!

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  15. Yayy, glad you will continue to write. I have noticed the drop in my visits as well but I don't care. Whether we knew it or not to begin with, we do it for ourselves no matter how good the comments/attention feels it is all really just for the writer. The other stuff is just extra. Glad to still be around Andi and I'm really glad that you're happy!

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  16. Thank you Funky! Love your blog as much as ever, too! In fact, I'm headed that way right now!

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  17. I'm glad you're still blogging. Yours is one of my daily reads. In fact, it's one of the first blogs I've ever read.

    I think your blog has gone the course of many blogs. A lot of them start out with angst and then level out. Most people come to read the angst.

    I can't say I've ever gotten a ton of comments but I did go through a sitemeter phase myself.

    Just write as you please. I'll enjoy it.

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  18. What's with the 'whore' thing? You want what you want, and yuo're not hurting anyone. There's no need to use language connoting shame to describe it.

    When I get time, I'll take a look into your archives. I really don't anything right now except this version of your blog. I like it as it is.

    Come to think of it though, your happiness is paramount, not the blog.

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  19. I think your blog is rad -- rock on yo....

    (don't ask me where the 80's slang and ghetto came from)

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  20. Great reflection on the changes in your life and your writing. I am really struck by your openness and emotional clarity... thank you for thinking out loud about these things!

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  21. I liked your line of thinking. Your blog is for you and if people don't like where you're going with it then screw them, they don't have to read. I for one, enjoy reading it :) No matter how snarky or happy, it's always a good read.

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  22. Aww, Andi, I think your blog is fab, it's one of my daily reads. I know tht haven't been here very long, certainly not since The Beginning, but I think that introspection is just, if not more, interesting than snark and rants.

    After all, when ranting it's easy to find oneself deteriorating into incoherent mutterings, left with nothing more to rant about, but you will never know everything about yourself; as I'm sure you know, dig deep and you'll always find something new, and in your case, always interesting, to write about.

    And anyway, what's wrong with being happy? Personally, I try not to conform to the moody teen stereotype any more, and I'm a lot happier than I used to be. Live it and love it, hunni!

    GG

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  23. im going to be snotty for a minute here. i have six folders of blogs i read...rated obviously- on my page it is all alpha in MY tabs it is ALL by favourites. YOU HAVE NEVER EVER BEEN TAKEN OUT OF THE NUMBER ONE FOLDER since the day i put you in there!

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  24. Sole, I suppose you're right. I guess the flaring point for starting a blog is often something turbulent!

    X., it was a rather flippant use of the word "whore." I curse like a sailor. :D

    LOL, Amanda. I've been busting out into spontaneous British all day!

    Jane, thanks so much! And I just checked out your "Best Sentence of the Day" blog, and I'm intrigued!

    Thanks, Kitty!

    Good points all, GG. Nothin' wrong with being happy that I can tell! I'm lurvin' it. :D

    Awwww, Greeptastic, thank you muchly. Right back atcha babe.

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  25. I'm addicted to http://yumei-k.livejournal.com and http://sugarplumkitten.livejournal.com 's brushes. I just downloaded a whole arseload of sugarplumkitten's icon brushes today, and I would have used them had I not been knocked on my ass by Benadryl.

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  26. Oooh, bookmarked so I can download some tomorrow. Those look fab!

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  27. Hey from Williamsburg VA!!!

    I have enjoyed sharing this journey with you, from angry young misanthrope to decidedly less angry young grad student misanthrope.

    And Os is probably right. It was HNT more than people not finding you interesting. You were getting the people more interested in your tits and ass than your mind ;)

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  28. LOL, Heather! Thanks, chica. I'm glad you've been along for the ride! And what are you doing blogging in Williamsburg?? :D Have you already read all the books you took with you?

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  29. Heck no! And I didn't bring as many as I wanted...only 4. And I'm still on the first one! I'm having too much fun to read! (did I just say that???)

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  30. Oh my goodness! What did you just say?? I think an angel died somewhere.

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  31. LOL!

    Yep, must have. Today, thanks to the tropical storm, I read about half of my book. I may finish it before I get home tomorrow. It's rained all day :(

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  32. Andi - my computer just blew up, no joke (I've stoled someone else's for the time being).

    I'd like to dedicate that to your once angry blog!!!

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  33. Awww, tropical storms are such a downer. Especially when they rain on vacations. :(

    LOL, AMS. Cheers to your dead computer!

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Thanks for taking the time to comment! I respond to comments individually by e-mail and/or here on the site. I value community above all else in blogging, and talking with you all is the highlight of my blogging day!