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.