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.
Eight years ago today I started my blog. It actually started as a livejournal blog which I used to chronicle my third (and successful) attempt to get onto a polyphasic sleep schedule. I had no readers and had no intention of attracting any. I had just remembered how hilarious my attempts to get on the schedule were in the past, how hard it was to remember the memories created in varies states of sleep deprivation, and thought that recording the experience might be a good idea.
At that point in time, polyphasic sleep was a hot topic. The internet was dotted with anonymous reports of success and attributed reports of failure, but until Steve Pavlina did it, no public blogger had ever gotten on the schedule and written about it. Steve has a large audience, so all of a sudden lots of people were interested in polyphasic sleep, and many of them found my site.
Before I knew it, I had a hundred or so people reading my blog every day. I saw an opportunity, and without really thinking about the ramifications of attracting an audience, I started sharing some of my crazy stories. The Ghetto Indoor Pool story hit number one spot on Digg (I think it was one of the top 10 stories that year), and I got a ton of readers from that. Before I knew it, I had five hundred, and then a thousand daily readers.
Eventually I moved to my own domain, 'betterthanyourboyfriend.com', which I had bought because I had a half-cocked plain to put up "lost dog" style flyers all over the city trying to find girls I would want to date. Eventually I bought tynan.net and moved the blog there because a survey showed that no one wanted to link to a site called "Better than your Boyfriend". Finally a year ago, with the sleuthing help of Todd, I bought tynan.com, where this blog will probably live for the rest of its years.
Usually, I feel really blessed that I'm able to travel 15 hours and 19 minutes drive from my family for college and I'm still able to keep in touch with them through the internet and my phone and all the wonderful technology we have today. But sometimes, I think it makes it worse. Maybe I would miss my friends and family more if I had to wait for letters to arrive to hear from them, there's really no way to know.
Today, I really feel like the technology we have access to makes it worse. Having the ability to know how someone is feeling, what they're doing, and where they are, practically any moment of the day can be really heartbreaking.
I've been thinking a lot about a great friend of mine from back home. I've been crying on and off today thinking about him and being excited (and also nervous) to see him again in 6 days after not seeing him for 4 months. I've been texting him, asking him how he's doing, what he's up to, trying to connect with him through the distance. He takes a long time to respond and when he does, he replies with short generic phrases. I know that he misses me too, that's not my concern. It's just sometimes really frustrating to be having a really bad day, full of missing someone, and then to find that the person you're missing so much is having a full and busy day, hanging out with their friends and laughing and enjoying themselves. They're not really missing you.
As much as I want to seek comfort from him that it'll be okay and that I'll see him soon, I don't want to pull him from his fun and bring down his mood. I end up feeling jealous, and sometimes worthless- like I cant have fun without him, like I dont have any good friends other than him. While I know these things aren't true, I still constantly compare my life to his and I end up putting myself down because of it.
I can't help but feel that the immediacy of the contact we're able to have despite our distance adds to this. I just don't see this being a problem in the days of letter writing.