Day 86: Dear Readers, Non-Readers, and Everybody In Between

I was trying to decide on a topic for my blog post today, and I was having a conversation about that with my bf. (BTW, I’m AAA  — Ambivalent About Abbreviations —  but I prefer “bf” to “boyfriend.”) In the course of that conversation, I asked him if he had been reading this blog lately.  He said he hadn’t read any posts recently.

And there are other people in my life who rarely read these posts.

I have to admit to you, dear reader, that who reads this blog, how frequently or infrequently, does have an effect on me.

I work on losing my investment in the outcome of readership.  And I can often do that.

BUT ….

At the same time (probably like other bloggers), I also have this fantasy of people waiting for every post and DEVOURING EVERY WORD.

And I do have some readers who actually come close to fulfilling that fantasy of mine. And I feel incredibly lucky and flattered about that.

But, here’s the deal.  The NOT reading feels more powerful — more important — than the reading.

The Negative sticks. It can seem more powerful than the positive.

During the first month of this Year of Blogging Daily, I considered writing a post titled “My Boyfriend Doesn’t Read My Blog.” I thought that was a catchy title. (And I was also wondering how long it would take him to see it.)

I didn’t write the post, though, because the title was … not true.  He does read it.  Sometimes he reads several days in a row.

But look at how I re-cast that  balanced story in my head, to accentuate the negative. I made it all-or-nothing:  “My boyfriend doesn’t read my blog.”

Because the negative is more powerful.

When people aren’t reading my blog posts,  here are some negative thoughts that can rush in:

They don’t like my writing!  If I was a better writer, they would be reading more frequently!

And if The Somebody Who Is Not Reading is somebody close to me,  those negative thoughts aren’t just rushing in, they’re carrying extra luggage:

The people who know me best don’t find me interesting.

OR

If people really cared about me, they would want to read my blog.

Ouch.

Those negative thoughts all involve the cognitive distortion of mind reading.  So, to challenge that, I need to go to the experts on that experience — the experience of not always reading my blog.

Those people who are close to me tell the story differently. And when I let that story in (instead of my fear-based, self-judgmental story), I hear things like this:

Those posts are good, they’re well-written, but you know what?  I’d rather hear those thoughts from you in person.

I like that story better. I hope I can remember it (especially when those pesky, matched-luggage-carrying thoughts are trying to rush in).

Thanks for reading (whenever you do).

Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

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11 thoughts on “Day 86: Dear Readers, Non-Readers, and Everybody In Between

  1. Lawrence J. Siskind

    I read your blog. I read your blog. I swear it.

    (Will there be a test? Gulp.)

  2. We need blog reading tracking devices uploaded. This way we can know who exactly reads our blogs 🙂 But at the same time that would remove the “unknown” and that’s a feeling all in it’s own!! I’m a 🙂 🙂 🙂

  3. I’m a reader 🙂 🙂 🙂 ***

  4. Do you really want to be a BG (Blog Goddess)? I know I don’t (although if it were a choice between being a Blog God or a Blog Goddess, I’d probably go with the latter–long story, probably, which I won’t get into right now). I started a blog, but I keep comparing it to yours and thinking how futile the attempt is. You go out of your way to perform a service that helps others (and yourself at the same time). My blog just rambles on about nothing in particular in a self-centered way (like 99% of all blogs). Granted, some of it would make for good standup, but is that what I’m trying to do? If you really want a larger audience, there are definitely ways of getting one. Until then, keep up the good work!

    • The answers to your questions are (1) I don’t know and (2) I don’t know (although I think the second question was rhetorical). It would be great to get a larger audience, but I’m working on letting go of comparisons. Comparisons don’t just include comparing yourself to other bloggers or your blog to other blogs (as you are apparently doing with mine) (and I would ask, “Does that thought help?”). Comparisons also include comparing yourself to where you think you should be. (For example, “I should have more readers by now!”) (Not a helpful thought, for me.) At the same time, it’s helpful to take actions to get closer to where you want to be (not where you think you should be.) Which brings me back to your first question: “Do you really want to be a Blog Goddess?” Maybe not, but — sure! — it would be nice to increase readership (as long as that doesn’t become my focus).

      Thanks for the comment.

  5. Well I just found your blog bc you visited and my blog and I come here almost daily now 🙂

  6. Pingback: Day 87: Fame, Fortune, and “The Ceiling” | The Year of Living Non-Judgmentally

  7. Pingback: Day 142: The Heart is a Lonely Blogger (at 2 AM) | The Year of Living Non-Judgmentally

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