Accepting the Role of the Underachiever
Lately there's been a lot of chatter out there about what it takes to be a "successful" blogger; and to be quite honest, I forget most of what I read as soon as I hit the "x" button.
It's hard for me to measure my success when compared to another bigger, better blogger. I think the main reason for that is the fact that success is a variable degree. Not everyone sees being successful in the same light. Some bloggers thrive on comments. Others on visits vs. page views. Some bloggers want as many followers as possible. Others want their stories re-posted and re-tweeted the most.
I, myself, get impressed sometimes by the statistics of my blog. I realize it's not that impressive, but to me, the idea of my site being seen almost 800 times in one month is pretty shocking and impressive. I measure that as a great success. I am proud of that fact. I refuse to let the fact that other bloggers out there receive that many visits in one day negate my feelings. I own my success and it makes me happy.
However, I'm not dependent upon those visits. Or those comments. Or re-tweets. Or followers. I love the people that are willing to hear what I have to say; obviously, it would make anyone feel good to know that there are others out there in the world who will sit and read and comment and become involved. It's human nature to want to be wanted.
There are so many different sites out there that promise to "get you more followers in 24 hours" and to "help you be a better blogger with a bigger audience". Some of them are genuine: honest tips from honest people just trying to lend a hand. But a lot of times, these sites are just the result of our endless need to be validated with these huge success stories. They are not honest and not truly concerned with the well-being of a blog. They are parasites, looking to suck the soul out of your blog for the sake of increasing your ratings.
I like to think of myself as the underachiever in blogging. I have a small audience that seems to be genuine and happy with what I'm doing. I rarely blog about "heavy" things. I try to keep things light and fun and honest and raw. I try to keep my blog a mirror image of me.
If the eyes are the window to the soul, then the blog is the mirror of the heart. We shouldn't be concerned with all these statistics (even when they do put a little smile on your face). Blogging is supposed to be enjoyable, a release for some. A place of escape and surrealness for others. It's supposed to be fun. It's supposed to be honest. Above all, it's supposed to be real.
And in the real world, we can't all be overachievers. Some of us have to lag behind. Some of has to bring up the rear. Some of us have to be the under-dog. And I for one, am perfectly happy with keeping my status down low on the blogging totem pole. How about you?
Can you be happy being an underachiever?