I think a lot can be changed just by looking at something from a different angle.
A friend mentioned that this blog has been quiet a while. Yeah, I told him, I've been working on Life Nomadic. That's part of it, but it's not everything. Sometimes I'm struck with inspiration and can't wait to get a post out. Sometimes, like a kid running across the lawn, I just want to write for the sake of writing and I crank out three or four posts.
But sometimes it feels like an obligation. Something that I should do, or something that I have to do.
I'm a nomad. The closest thing I have to a permanent home is a tiny little RV. Or is it? Maybe it's the internet. I have far more files stored online than I have physical possessions. My mail gets delivered there, I earn my money there, and I talk to my friends there more than anywhere else.
If the internet is my home, then this site is my front door. And every day 1600+ people come to my front door to hear what I have to say. Eleven hundred (RSS) have made dropping by my house part of their daily routine. Another five hundred stop by for some reason or another.
Man, what an honor that is. It's easy to forget that each of those people is a real person who has made a conscious decision to come here. It's easy to compare my traffic stats to the most popular blogs and feel insignificant.
How would I feel if 1600 people came to my front door every day, interested in taking the time to hear whatever I had to say that day? It wouldn't feel like an obligation, it would feel like a privilege. Next time I don't feel like writing a post, that's what I'll think about.
And what profound gem to I have to share today? A video of the shop girl at Kate Spade in Caesar's Palace giving me a ride on their ladder.
Ah inspirational. Next time I feel unhappy about my supposedly abysmal statistics I'll just remember that the figure's wayy more than the number of people who I'd talk to in a day... what more visit my home.
Oh and the ladder thing's kinda lame. But at least the shop girl's cute :D
I'm actually really curious how you persuaded her to do that. How the hell?! Was the store really quiet?
It's good to see a refreshing view like this on the role a blogger serves in keeping around readers. You don't have to post often, just post well.
And Tynan, you do that well.
Great point Tynan. When gains are slow and incremental (like blog readers) it's sometimes hard to really get perspective and see how far you've come. Thanks for the reminder of how far I've gotten. Best post of the day!
Ditto to Philip.
Your words are an inspiration - the fact you say you can force yourself to sit and write is a great contrast to how I view doing work. I don't think I could force myself to write anything worthwhile. It would be mostly fluff if so. Perhaps you have a lot more to say ;)
I really like the comparison of people visiting your site to your house. I have been visiting your front door for awhile now, and I always like to hear what you have to say. I don't know about others, but I come here to hear about your life and views. They are always entertaining. It shouldn't be forced or else it won't be as good.
I hope you post only as much as you feel you want to.
Let's be honest: My blog is pretty cool. It's not nearly as popular at Boingboing, Tuckermax, or that weird housewife who writes about her kids, but I have a pretty steady readership who all post comments and get something out of the site. Since I started around a year ago, I've averaged 1200 unique readers a day (half of that is thanks to huge spikes from digg and such). My blog hasn't made me rich, but I've probably made a few thousand dollars, which is a nice side effect. More importantly it's made me a much better writer, and has helped me chronicle the past year of my life.
What I'm saying is this : I can't help you build the next Engadget or WWTDD, but I can help you get started to building a moderately popular blog.
First you need decent hosting and Wordpress. Don't mess with blogger - no one reads blogger blogs because they all look the same and don't have cool plugins that you need. I know you can customize it and all, but stop arguing and do it my way.
A few years back, I was getting complacent. I was a successful entrepreneur, in the top 1% for my age. Whenever I compared myself to people similar to me, it wasn't even close. I worked more, accomplished more, produced more, did more meaningful things, was traveling the world. I read more books, did more writing, was generally healthier and more disciplined, spent my time well. I was the top 1% for my age, and even better than that if you measured me against people from similar backgrounds.
I think it's easy for people who are doing great to get complacent. You look at the general sloth and laziness and complacency of most people, you see that you're achieving greatly, and you feel like you're so far above that. You give yourself a pat on the back. "Ah, yes, I'm doing great!"
I had a shift. I don't remember the exact day, but one day I thought to myself -
"I'm not going to compare myself against people my age any more. I'm going to start comparing myself to the greatest men of all time."