Yesterday I saw that I was only a few followers away from 1000. And instead of feeling excited, I wasn’t feeling very good about it. All along I’ve tried to take the approach of looking at and thinking about numbers as little as possible. It can be hard to avoid, though. One of those things I couldn’t help but notice is that in the month of May my number of views has gone down compared to the previous month for the first time since I started blogging. And that is what it is, but decreased views plus increased followers is a bit of a weird combination; enough to trigger various uncertainties and self-doubt in my head that I don’t think I’d be having if it weren’t for that odd mismatch. I’ve never intended to try to monetize my blog, so that’s not an issue. It seems utterly ridiculous to be questioning my place in the blogging world when I’m at almost 1000 followers; how arrogant is that? Yet if all these people are following me but only a small percentage are actually looking at what I write, does the follower number actually mean anything? In a word – no – but throw depression into the mix and self-critical thoughts flow oh so easily. And I guess it goes to show that insecurity is less about absolute numbers and more about how the mind twists things.
In the end, I decided to comb through and remove the followers that were clearly just link spam (male enhancement, topless waiters in Melbourne, etc.). And, like I always try to do whenever I get mired in this particular rut, I just need to bring the focus back to the stuff that actually matters, and consider what I have (some really, really awesome followers) rather than whatever I might perceive that I don’t have.
Is there anything that tends to trigger blogging insecurity for you? How do you overcome it?