Maintaining a blog like this is a difficult task sometimes. Not because of the amount of effort required to write five posts a week and, at present, do either one special post or one relatively long chapter of a story once a week. That’s definitely a lot of effort, but it’s effort I find fulfilling and rewarding. I wouldn’t really describe it as “difficult” since it feels better to do it than not do it. The difficult part is maintaining a healthy relationship with the blog itself, my expectations for the blog, and my expectations for people I know interacting with the blog. One of things that made blogging long-term unsustainable back in 2018 (even though I managed to keep it up daily for over a year), was that I got lost in the numbers. Another was that I got incredibly focused on how social media and my behavior (by which I mean posting habits and content posted) drew people to my blog. I also was going through a lot toward the end there, so maintaining a one week buffer was not something I really had the time, energy, or creative focus to do. Now it feels easy. Not effortless, of course, but I don’t have to put much effort into actually doing the work.
I am under no illusions that this is ever going to turn into something more than it already is. I barely average fifty views a week, despite updating at the same time every day. Sure, those numbers might not be accurate since I have no idea how to collect them beyond the view counter on this site and I sometimes get more likes than views on a post which like it shouldn’t be possible. That said, even if they’re a bit lower than they should be, that’s still a drop in the bucket of online traffic. I would probably lose money if I tried to advertise based on those views (advertising income versus the cost of getting a wordpress plan that allows advertising) and nothing has ever come of the incredibly few clicks on my patreon link. Which is fine since I sorta forgot my patreon page existed for a while there and I don’t think I’ve ever updated it since the day I first signed up for a creator account [though I have now], so it’s not like there’s anything there to entice people to give me money. All the stuff I produce is here and even that doesn’t seem super enticing to other people because I don’t really have many users that reliably interact with my stuff.
I have a couple, and I appreciate them more than I can say without calling them out directly (something I’m not going to do cause it feels rude and kinda awkward which might just be me), but that’s about it. There may be a huge swath of people reading every single post that never click through to my blog and some of those seven views per day on average might be the same people all the time, but I’ve got no way of knowing. I can’t actually see who views my stuff unless they click the like button, so I would never know without some level of interaction.
Maybe that’s my fault. I feel like I make it pretty clear that I’m writing all of this stuff for myself and I’m not pushing myself to come up with flash fiction, poetry, reviews, and all that every week. That was a lot of work! Sure, writing a bunch of random stuff is also a lot of work, but I can just talk about the Legend of Zelda eighteen times in a single year without needing to review a new game or find some way to make it reference some other thing I’m talking about. I can always return to a favorite topic when I’m out of ideas and I don’t have to figure out what weird little story I can tell in three hundred words or less. I can just write those when I come up with them, stick them in a Google Drive folder, and trot them out when I need to take some time off the blog. Same for poetry. I can just keep some of that stuff to myself as I work through the feelings involved instead of exposing myself to the world at large.
I do try to be relatable, though. I try to write about things other people might be dealing with or feel is something they can associate with their own experiences. I have always enjoyed finding someone who feels the way I feel, who managed to put to words something I’m still struggling to figure out, so I try to share that stuff to hopefully provide that for other people. Or even just a sense that they’re not alone in their experiences. It’s one of the reasons I’m so open about my mental health, constant exhaustion, difficulty with managing my spoons, and trying to maintain some level of creativity as capitalism tries to drain the productivity out of me until it scoops out my will to live as well.
Still, I do this because I find the act of doing it satisfying. I’m not looking for more than a place to put these words. I’m not looking for anything other than an opportunity to write every day. I like structure and this provides plenty. Sure, I wish more of my friends read this, but mostly because the things I post here are a significant part of who I am. I put a lot of myself into everything I do and I just worry sometimes that people who don’t read what I write (or otherwise experience me as a storyteller) don’t get to see my favorite parts of me. I have first-hand experience in the futility of trying to get your friends to follow a daily blog, so I’ll admit I’m not spending a lot of time trying to convince my friends to read this stuff. Most people don’t really have the patience to read six hundred to a thousand words of whatever was on my mind during any given day, and I’m not sure all of these posts are worth reading since the daily nature of my goals means that sometimes weak writing and boring posts get through. I don’t really blame them for not wanting to put in the effort to find me where I’m at.
I could do more if I really wanted people to read this blog, since I’m not really doing any SEO work or trying to maximize my social media audience, but that’s not why I do this. I wish more people read this stuff, sure. I wish a lot of people read and loved Infrared Isolation since that’s one of the better examples of my fiction and my greatest hope is to just tell stories people enjoy. But I’m still not doing it for them. I’m going to keep posting stuff here even on days with zero views (which happens fairly regularly) and I’m going to keep writing about the things I like and enjoy, even if none of those posts ever get any views (which happens even more regularly).
It’s just difficult to pour yourself into something and not start to see it as a reflection of you. It is difficult to hold in your mind the idea that you are a vibrant, interesting person in the eyes of other people at the same time that you know those same eyes have no interest in the work you’re doing. It is difficult to keep up the desire to continue when some of your friends question why you’re doing this when you could probably put that same effort into a book and pursue some form of novel-based publication. It is difficult to quell the doubts others place on you and your work when you’re already working to quell your own.
Writing this post was easy [though the editing was a bit more difficult than usual]. It took maybe half an hour and that’s even with a couple short breaks to adjust the airflow in my apartment as I near my bedtime. Deciding to post all of this despite my doubts is the difficult part. Usually I get by without thinking about it since I’m very good at compartmentalizing, but sometimes, as you write about the difficulties of a constant endeavor like this one, you realize you’re dancing around the actual issue, delete everything you’ve written, and start over from the beginning so you can cover what’s really difficult about posting every day.