Recovering Stat Junky

I’m trying hard to change, but what I’m trying to change might seem like a minor thing.

For too long now I’ve been fairly persistent in checking my stats. Several times an hour I’ll find myself pulling out my phone just to see if people are reading my posts.

Sure, in the first hour after posting there are generally number changes, but after that it pretty much plateaus. And yet, for the rest of the day I’ll find myself clicking that little button to see if I got another hit or two.

It is ridiculous.

It causes stress.

I need to stop.

And I’m starting to. Last week I had that moment where I just thought to myself that there is really no point in checking stats, at least not to that extent.

Sure, checking out stats can let me know that when I write about my son or my writing that I will get more clicks than when I write about comic books. But, my obsessively checking during the day has no effect on how many people read that particular article.

I’ll admit that part of me is looking for a magic solution. I want people to read my writings, be that in this site or my novel. I want people to listen to my podcasts. To me, they are all quality entertainment.

But I need to accept that although there are tips and tricks for nudging those numbers up, there is not a guaranteed way to suddenly convince more people to read my work.

Looking at stats compulsively is counter productive. It eats time, chips away focus and sours the urge to write.

And the worst part is it also starts to take away hope. As much as I love the act of writing itself, accompanying that act is a dollop of belief that writing is a means to an end, not just a way to fill time.

I want to be a writer who can enjoy the fruits of his own writing. Checking stats that are still early is just a way of convincing myself it will never bloom.

I need to give my garden time.

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