Too Much Thinking

Can you stand another post about insecurity? Someone must like these posts. I would. I feel relief when I see someone who is more neurotic than me. I get a small rush from comparing favorably. Last week I complained that no one reads my blog. This week, you guessed it, I’m read too much.

It must be difficult to watch me work through my thoughts. So much self-analysis, so much doubt. But this should be expected. I’ve advertised my intent truthfully. My tag-line is A Blog of Introspection.

Introspection: (noun) the examination or observation of one’s own mental and emotional processes.

Yep, that’s me. I introspect; I analyze; examine, study, scrutinize. Too often, it’s blog stats. Not enough likes, not enough readers, not enough comments. Last week, I essentially begged people to engage. And they did, a lot. So much that I began to feel embarrassed. I told Susan what I wrote. “Careful” she said, “you might come off sounding desperate.”

I contribute weekly to the Good Men Project website. My “editor” Kara reads my blog. If I’ve posted anything good in the past week, she publishes it. If not, she pulls from my backlog of four hundred other posts. A few times she’s picked some real dogs, at least in my opinion, but this is her job, she knows more about it than me. If she thinks people want to read about Snickers bars, who am I to argue.

Over the last year, I’ve written often about what I perceive to be character-flaws in ex-president Trump and his followers. Kara loves these posts. They fit well into GMP categories: politics, ethics, racial justice, and the like. And every time she publishes one, I feel sick to my stomach. These essays are moving from my website on the internet to her website on the internet. Yes, it’s the same internet, but my little corner feels safer.

This week’s post, There is no Bottom, was critical of Marjorie Taylor Greene and the people who revere the second amendment. Dangerous times to poke at the second amendment, and anything tangentially related to Trump is certain to cause trouble.

Everything Kara publishes has a link back to my blog. Hundreds of readers have a roadmap back to me, the writer. I’m bringing unwanted attention to myself. I just wrote hundreds of readers there a second ago. I really have no idea how many people read my stuff published on the Good Men Project. Fifty? Two hundred? Five hundred? She’s never told me… until today. “Just wanted to let you know, your post this week has had 6K + reads so far and is still on top of the daily metrics.” Ooof. That’s too many.

Even though I worry about strangers dropping by my blog from the Good Men Project, it doesn’t happen often, maybe one or two times a week. And these random internet users don’t do much when they visit. I always envision a senior citizen, invariably a man, sitting at his kitchen table muttering “Huh. What the hell is this?” They might poke a couple of links and then disappear. Maybe tell their wife about the weird website they found earlier in the day.

This week is different. Dozens of people are clicking into my blog from GMP and other sources too—directly into There is no Bottom. And then they look around. The look at similar recommended posts; they read my About page which tells everyone exactly where I live; and then they click on my Contact page. When I check my stats and see someone’s been on my Contact page, I always think, “Oh God, here it comes.” But it never does. They never send a message. Possibly they file it away for later use. My email address is on that page too. Maybe I’m giving out too much information.

Last night, I got angry comments from two people. This doubled the number of dissenting comments I’ve ever received on my blog. Of the two prior, one was extremely polite, and we had a great conversation. The other one was loony and made me uncomfortable so I deleted it. These new comments weren’t loony, but they made me uncomfortable. Suddenly, I found myself in the middle of the national Left v. Right debate. I read the comments with my eyes partially shut in hopes of softening the blow. And then I went to bed and laid awake, worrying.

I might not have the steely resolve necessary to be a blogger. Sure, I love the likes and the comments from all the people who agree with me 100%, but as soon as someone challenges me, I wilt like a flower on an arid afternoon. Before I went to bed last night, I marked the comments as spam. I couldn’t bear the thought of people disagreeing with me on my blog. This morning though, I grew a spine, approved the comments and answered them. But then I nervously spent the rest of the day peaking to see if the commenters responded.

I know I think too much. I suppose that’s why I write a blog of introspection, but I’d be a happier person if I could just post a story and move on, unconcerned about what people think. My blog is my thoughts, and no one is forced to read it. If someone doesn’t like it, they can let me know. WordPress is a democratic platform, sharing opinions is the whole point.

I think.

21 thoughts on “Too Much Thinking

  1. I have never had a negative comment. Maybe when I wrap up the daily series and write about different things someone will disagree.
    I think unless a comment is just personally attacking or full of hate speech I’d leave it up.
    Good for you for approving them and answering them!! Discussion with people of opposing views is they only way we’re going to get anywhere. In the end we can always “agree to disagree”.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It will be interesting when you switch things up. Some of your followers might not anticipate or gel with your politics. If your posts go that direction you’ll be in a unique position to actually communicate with folks on a different political spectrum… at least for a while.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I totally get what you feel. Back when I was in a toxic work environment and harsh e-mails were an everyday occurrence, it took me my whole being to even open the e-mail. I’m sure a lot of people can relate to you as well. Keep sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I like people who are real – your thoughts are real Jeff and I follow people with often opposing views to yours and often enjoy them too because they are real too. The point in life is not to be popular or spread popularised views but to be real and engage with others from that point. On many other platforms people live in echo chambers where they don’t see the several sides to ideas – maybe they do on this one too, perhaps it’s just me but I enjoy points of view, reality and reflection – to be honest we are all more alike than we are different. Which is the hope I draw from reading. Lots of different points of view. Keep sharing yours.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think WordPress is an echo chamber for me. Everyone who engages with me seems to have similar politics. I’ve always thought this stemmed from the notion that writers/bloggers were introspective souls, and if someone were to really *think* about a situation, the only reasonable point of view is mine. I recognize that this is ridiculous, , but so far it seems to be true. Further proof for me is that those comments came from outside wordpress.

      Like

  4. I’ve said this before – you are a good writer and deserve the attention. Negative attention is tough though. I am not one with very strong thoughts, or at least I do not have the confidence to announce them. Not on social media or my blog. Your blog allows me to voice some of those opinions with my comments as we share a similar mind. I have wondered about the other side. I commented to Bob yesterday how happy I was to not have heard the term “fake news” in almost a month and how glorious this empty air space has been. But I also felt there has been a lot of other drama as the pot has already been brought to a boil and stirred. I am sure you will handle the negative comments with grace even with your opinion being different than, what I am assuming, you received. You got this (*air fist bump*). And congratulations again on all the attention. It is well deserved.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re right about the fake news thing. The other day, I realized that I had gone the entire workday without looking at a news site–something I haven’t done in years. I’ve been in the habit of popping into CNN to see what sort of appalling Trump-fueled thing happened during the day. The news is getting boring and for that, I’m thankful.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh my. You so often mirror my thoughts. I spent years keeping my life private so no one could steel my identity…or something. With a blog, one tries to be discovered. So much for privacy. I, too, battle with where I really want to be. I chuckle as I say this because the number of people that follow me are only an extremely small fraction of those that read you.
    Congratulations!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Blogging = neurosis. At least for me. It’s the most screwed up hobby I can imaging. Once or twice or thrice a week, I throw myself on the chopping block to be hacked up into little pieces. There are never simply wins. Every post comes with some level of insecurity. Enough to make you insane.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Hell’s Bells, Jeff. Six thousand visits? I’d be hiding under my bed, quivering.
    Seriously, though, you’ve nailed the ambivalence of revealing oneself brilliantly in this piece. I want to be read! Please like me! (Or at least don’t hurt me).

    In my obit piece on Chick Corea, I wrote “Fuck cancer. Fuck Scientology”. Pretty tame, really, but this morning I edited out the fucks. (You can too, if it’s uncomfortable. It IS your blog! 😎 ).

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Jeff, my feeling is – your blog, your rules. My son just got an endorsement from the Democratic Party in our county to run for a county-wide position this year. His chances of winning in this Republican stronghold are slim to none. He is taking it seriously, though, and I support him. I recommended that he develop a social media presence, but my advice was, “Don’t engage with the haters.” Just let it go. He is not going to convince anyone who leaves a comment on a social media account. I think my advice to you is the same. Enjoy the added exposure (you wrote so that you can be read…right?) and don’t worry about those who disagree. When someone writes a negative comment on my blog, if it is polite and well-written, I say something like “Thanks for the comment”. If it is wacky, I send it to spam.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s