Over the Thanksgiving weekend, I finished the book, “Blog Inc” by Joy Cho, while the kiddos played with their cousins. If you are considering starting a blog, I highly recommend reading this book. It will be a fantastic help (I mean that sincerely…I’m not being paid for this review).
I skimmed through the first few chapters, because if you’ve been blogging for any amount of time, you already know/live the stuff. I slowed down about halfway through to soak up the other information, because it’s what I need to know at this point in my blogging journey.
Where’s that, you ask?
That brings me to my next point.
I’ve been blogging for nearly three years! Quite awhile. It started as a way to connect with people I couldn’t through traditional methods. I’m pretty isolated in a very small community in Wyoming. Yes, the state with the lowest population in the nation. Where there are more cows than people. To a great extent, it’s done what I’ve intended. I’ve met people I never would have imagined and have loved every minute.
However, as I read the blog profiles from Joy’s book, I couldn’t help but feel a little crestfallen. Hundreds of thousands, if not millions of visitors, in a month? My page views and followers aren’t anywhere near that, and I’ve been working on this thing for years! What caused them to be so different? I’ve been working Facebook and Twitter, a little reluctantly but dutifully. I’ve even had my children’s paintings featured on the Apartment Therapy blog. Still, my growth has been very, very slow.
Then my mind turned to the way that Facebook and Twitter have completely changed the way we interact and view ourselves/others. The way we feel when we get “likes” and “favorites”. It’s a bit addicting, yes?
Then I smiled. It all started to sound like something I’d read before, one in a land of Wemmicks.
“And all day, every day, the Wemmicks did the same thing: They gave each other stickers. Each Wemmick had a box of golden star stickers and box of gray dot stickers. Up and down the streets all over the city, people spent their days sticking stars or dots on one another. The pretty ones, those with smooth wood and fine paint, always got stars. But if the wood was rough or the paint chipped, the Wemmicks gave dots.”
This didn’t just happen in the land of Wemmicks….a land filled with Star-Belly Sneetches struggled with the same thing.
“….the Star-Belly Sneetches had bellies with stars. The Plain-Belly Sneetches had none upon thars. Those stars weren’t so big. They were really so small. You might think such a thing wouldn’t matter at all.”
Now I felt the hot rush of liquid to my face.
I actually have a quote on one of my Pinterest pages from Theodore Roosevelt. It says, “Comparison is the thief of joy.”
Hmmm. Here I was, feeling inferior because I wasn’t as “big” as some of those other blogs. I shouldn’t be feeling so. Yes, I am in a town that is small. My home is nestled up against majestic mountains, where I get to splash in cool streams, see wildlife on a regular basis, and have something I absolutely adore….quiet. What some people wouldn’t give for that.
I have a warm home, people who love me, and I get to work on something that I love and am passionate about every day. My husband’s job takes the pressure off of me having to have a consistent income. He loves me, and I have three beautiful children that I’ve been able to spend all their young lives with. If my business and blog had taken off at the speed I had wanted them to, that precious time would have been cut. What a great blessing it’s been to (at least, very rarely) not have to choose between making a deadline or reading to my child.
I have happiness surrounding me, and so often I’ve worried about such insignificant things as “likes” and “followers”. Silly me.
“The stickers only stick if you let them….the more you trust my love, the less you care about their stickers. Remember…you are special because I made you. And I don’t make mistakes.”
“Punchinello didn’t stop, but in his heart he thought, I think he really means it. And when he did, a dot fell to the ground.”