Last summer I wrote a Technorati article titled “How I Learned to Stop Worrying about the Stats and Love the Blog”:
Is your love of blogging waning? Do you find yourself repeating old posts or not posting at all for days or even weeks? Do you check your blog stats compulsively, or flog yourself for not having more followers?
You may be allowing an obsession with blog stats to interfere with your love of blogging. Read More
Little did I know how much I would need to be conscious of my own advice!
Ever since February 16th, I’ve been watching the bar chart of my blog stats scoot its way to the left of the screen, until it looks like this:
As thrilling as it was to have a “Freshly Pressed” post last month (and it definitely was a nice adrenaline and confidence boost!), I must say that I will be glad to see those towering bars fall off the chart, so as to allow the more normal (for my blog, anyway) numbers that come afterward to puff up a bit and not be completely overshadowed into seeming insignificance. Psychologist Carlo Strenger writes in his new book, The Fear of Insignificance: Searching for Meaning in the Twenty-First Century, of how 21st century social media with its “ranking” that now occurs on a daily basis—for example, the number of Facebook friends we have, the number of Twitter followers, how many people “like” us—contributes to a sense of existential meaninglessness, even if we aren’t aware of its doing so. It’s amazing how quickly a hyper-focus on competition and numbers can eat away at passion.
In the end, the best part of that anomalous post from February 16th were the generous comments and excellent suggestions about learning to live with fewer interruptions and more focus. Thank you all for reminding me that blogging is, in the end, about community, whether the size of that community is a sitting room or a conference center. Here are just a few of those comments (with more to come over the next several weeks). This is really good stuff. Enjoy!
Multi-tasking as Adaptation
In this age of instant gratification, I think even our brains have somehow become accustomed to gaining “gratification” through trying to complete multiple tasks without focus. Seems counter intuitive (I’d sure think completion of one good task would trump many), but with the info overload to which we’re constantly exposed, I think this is our method of adaptation. ~ Mikalee Byerman
“No Email” Time
I think it’s been really important for me to set aside “no email” time to work on other things — even if I’m ON the computer during those times! ~ The Writing Runner
Making a List
I find myself at the computer out of inertia more than anything else. But like you I start at one thing and move on to another. I really have to have a list of things to do AND follow that list to really be productive. ~ notesfromrumbleycottage
Writing as a Discipline
I have been writing as a discipline since last April. Before that I was writing when I felt like it instead of daily and on a schedule. Last April I decided to attempt the National Poetry Month 30 poems in 30 days. This forced me to write every day. In November I attempted the Write a Novel in a Month challenge and ended up with a daily writing practice. I have found that the later hours work better for me. Good music and food available help me from getting distracted. A set time every day hasn’t worked yet because of my schedule. I do make sure that for at least an hour and sometimes up to three I sit down and work on something. Creating a workspace has helped as well. ~ nomadiknoize
The Year of Finishing
I also get easily distracted by the speed and myriad of directions that technology can take us in. Whilst reading your article, my cell phone was beeping to alert me to an incoming email, but I resisted the temptation to read it and carried on with the task in hand. The main way I overcome distraction is to use an old-fashioned diary and tick off each task by completing them one at a time. We’ve also designated 2011 as the year for finishing off everything we’ve started, since having too many things on the go at the same time is too stressful and far from productive. ~ City Smallholder