Calligraphy by Kanjuro Shibata XX "Ensō (円相)
In 2012, driven by curiosity and a growing fascination, I spent months immersed in everything being written about social media and dabbling more and more with the various platforms. At the beginning of April 2013, I dipped into the darker (but no less befuddling) art of numerology to decrypt all the stats I’d been collecting. Despite the lack of a compelling statistical foundation, I decided to blog every day and see how my stats reacted.
Lest you think me completely whack, and on a more serious and sincere note, understand that I was also driven by the long-held belief that writing is a muscle that needs constant exercise. Just as for the body, the mind needs daily stretching and activity. Heady with my decision, what I failed to consider was that, like the body, you can overdo it on the mind-stretching and wind up twisted.
Headiness won out and I threw myself into the adventure. Except for a few weeks off in summer to think of creative ways to give myself even more daunting challenges, I blogged nearly every day.
Until I didn’t.
Fast forward to January 2014, I began the New Year in an angst-filled funk. Too little paying work, then too much to have time to focus on blogging or tripping from one social platform to another. I soldiered on until February 3rd when I wrote about the weather. Not a terrible post (thanks to Robert Frost) but, really, the weather???
I stopped blogging. Then I stopped visiting my fave social media platforms. Then I stopped carting my Blackberry with me everywhere except in the shower. I started turning on my e-mail at 9 a.m. on the nose then shutting it down at five p.m. sharp. On weekends, although I worked, all channels dedicated to receiving e-mail were closed. When working, I unplugged the land line.
For the first time in years, I didn’t respond to every e-mail the instant it appeared in my in‑box. Because my in‑box was not open and dinging at me incessantly like a child on the checkout line confronted with candy at eye level. Ma, Ma, Ma, but Maaaaaaa!
For the first time in years, I did not respond to every e‑mail.
At first, withdrawal did nothing to mitigate angst. Over time, however, I felt my heart rate slow to a more normal pace. I started to sleep more. I ate. I gained weight. I bought flowers and started meditating. I really suck at meditating but the masters say that trying counts for something. I. saw. friends. In person, face-to-face. Yes, I know, startling.
The stats. The social media wonks are right. Writing every day and being constantly present on social media do increase traffic to a blog. A year ago, I was thrilled to have reached 10,000 visits to my blog. Currently visits are inching towards 50,000. What’s it all mean?
Well, older, wiser and somewhat more zen, I am tempted to respond à la Mr. Natural and say, “It don’t mean sheeit.”
What does mean a lot is the folks who check in and comment or send me an e‑mail to say they enjoyed a post. What does mean a lot is when a local business woman is wowed and not just a little tickled by an unsolicited write-up. What matters a lot is working the writing muscle and gaining ease, perfecting technique.
So, I’m back to blogging. Not every day maybe, but back. Om.