Not that I was “gone” long enough for you to notice, most likely. A week of radio silence isn’t unusual for blogs that aren’t actually someone’s job, and it has certainly happened here before. But this one was a little different.
It’s funny. I put up that Stephen King quote about feeling like you’re shoveling shit from a sitting position, and not two days later, that’s exactly what hits me. And if Tuesday had been any different, you’d be reading a very different post today.
To put it bluntly, I was getting discouraged. I have been for a while now, really. This blog is two and a half years old now (founded January 2013 – where does the time go?), and while I started out on this endeavor knowing full well that Rome and successful blogs aren’t built in a day, I feel that it hasn’t reached certain important developmental milestones that it should have by now.
For one thing, a few extremely successful (by my standards, at least) days have not translated, in the long run, into a growing readership. Those numbers have been stable and stagnant for a long time now, and while it might not always be true that if you’re not growing, you’re dying, it’s certainly one of the warning signs.
For another – and this one was much more important – I’ve failed to build a community. After two and a half years, a healthy blog would have more than the occasional comment.
I was wondering just what had gone so terribly wrong, and whether it was even possible to fix it. I had a few ideas about the first question, but none about the second. I wasn’t about to give up…exactly…like the song says, I have the need to express, to communicate. But I didn’t know what to do.
And then two things happened:
- Red Molly saw the original post where I talked about all this, and said she hoped this didn’t mean that I was closing the blog. I’d worked on this so long, and I’d built something good. It would be a shame to give up on it if there might still be a way to fix it.
- I had a good day. Nothing special, just…out of the blue, someone was reading.
Sometimes, that’s all it takes to turn things around. One person believing in you, and one good day.
And now I at least have a few ideas about how to answer the second question. Keep watching.
(Or better yet, say hi. I’m tryin’ to build a community here.)