I’m dreaming up my next brilliant blog post while driving into work, say, or taking a shower or what have you, and suddenly this surreptitious little voice in my head interrupts, saying: “Who do you think you are? No one cares about your stupid blog! Look at you pathetic people, pretending to be so clever with your advice and wisdom and deep thoughts. What a load of crap! Let me tell you, the only two bloggers who matter out there are Seth Godin and Michael Hyatt – that’s it! Oh, and also that guy from Stuff Christians Like who got the book deal with Zondervan. That was impressive. Wait – and the girl who got the movie deal about Julia Child. That was a pretty good movie. But the rest of you are just stupid, stupid, stupid.”
And I’ll think to myself, “My God, what if he’s right?” I’ve been blogging for three years, and you would think by now I should be enjoying a burgeoning audience of thousands. Instead, I have barely scratched together what one might call a micro-following, numbered perhaps in the dozens.
Maybe I haven’t worked at it hard enough?
There is this coy little demotivational slogan I saw once that says,
Never has so much been written
by so many people,
and read by so few.”
This is funny to me now – not like “ha ha” funny, but in a scarily recognizable way.When reading and commenting on other blogs, I confess that at times it can all seem so – I want to say – desperate. Here we are, pouring out our hearts and minds to the world, desperate for acknowledgement or attention or some meager crumb of validity to our creative output.
And sometimes, well, it does feel stupid. Like this whole blogging enterprise is some ridiculous pyramid scheme, where we’re all just propping each other up on some flimsy stack of digital cards to give the illusion that we are more significant than we really are.
There is so much talk about the power of social networking, but no one really mentions the more common situation: the online ghetto existence; words fed out to almost-empty space; the virtual echo chamber.
But here’s the thing: That little voice doesn’t stop me – I’ll go and write that next brilliant blog post anyway, and I’ll hit “publish,” and say to myself, “Well. I really like that post. Good job today, J.B.”
Then I’ll go read the next person’s blog and think, “Hey, this is good. I like the way they said that.” And then someone will send me a little email asking for my advice on something. Then I’ll get all thrilled to see that 42 people clicked on my post today, even if it was only for a three-second scan of the title, and – hey look! Some even took the time to say something nice.
So what if it’s stupid. Who cares if we’re all just making this up for each other’s delusional benefit. Because even if it’s just a couple dozen of us out there propping each other up, well, that’s something.
Lovely photo by Nancy Rosback.