I remember when I started blogging, it was long ago. I was ill- quite ill. There was nobody to talk to, and I would just talk to myself via the blogs I wrote. A blog represents a notebook to me, where I put in ideas of a similar kind in one folder. In a way I used blogs like multimedia. My brother had got me a digital camera- i loved the medium of photography. It was engaging, made one focus and concentrate, it was a communication for one was trying to say something without having anyone to listen to it.
I have not yet written much about it, but in a recent article I wrote about using the arts for self help and I want everyone to understand that we can all utilize the options within the arts for self healing. Without worrying about what response a blog gets, one should just write- because the purpose is not to impress anyone, but to express yourself, clarify your thoughts and streamline ideas cogently. Blogs can be an effective medium for rehabilitation from mental illness- I talk from self experience naturally. In the earliest blogs I wrote I would observe life around me, very insignificant life – nothing spectacular about it. it gave me an inner peace and quietude to watch the lives of people around me. Day-to-day lives, not celebrity or special people, very simple, humble folks who would make my day and my life move around- even if they made it ugly. I would sometimes capture it in poetry or in writing, mix with photos and post it on my blog. Sometimes I had other recollections or dots to join. I had nearly 14 blogs on blogger alone, and now on wordpress there are at least six-seven. Most of them are shared and some are linked to one another as well. Blogging was therapeutic for me-seriously.
In the article that I recently wrote, this is what I say-
Writing on the road to recovery
To initiate the process of communication one can directly establish it via literary expressions, like poetry, short stories, blogs, novels, or any other form of writing. At first it may be difficult to start any of it, but that does not stop anyone from reading them. Then a point comes where the inner anguish starts finding a verbal expression via literary devices. Scores of people write poems about their mental anguish and also find publishers for it. Nowadays with the advent of social networks, and in particular blogging- a whole lot of it can be shared easily.
Writing is an effective medium toward reclaiming one’s lost sense of identity, and initiating a flow of communication from the heart, even if nobody is paying heed. Frequently during deep depressions people just forget language and words. A small start one can be made- by reading. The idea is to find a mechanism of expression and not remain emotionally frozen or bottled up. Even if one’s own expression is frozen, someone else’s writing can become a path to connect to your own self.
Why bother about blog statistics! (for goodness sake, just write)
In the times that we live in, I notice a new thing – or maybe only now I get to read/hear about it. it is about blog statistics- the sort of stuff this post shares with you. I am not sure about the utility of people worrying about how many are reading what they are writing- is your writing nothing more than attention seeking? Why this all time obsession for who is paying heed or who is not? Why the exhibitionism? Perhaps this is a new way to show how anxious you are or how keen to impress. Once upon a time I did not even know whether anyone read my blog or they didn’t. The reason why I am doing a blog is to share simpler things- for the more complex, i will probably choose a journal article or a book.
I see whole blogs dedicated to telling people how to get more readers for yourself or how to attract further attention. Of course these ideas have utility in the own right- however if people only start worrying about blog statistics instead of worrying about creating meaningful work, or about finding their own expressions, it would be detrimental for them in many ways.
People need to think about these issues in the context of mental health. I, for sure, am thinking in the context of how anxiety comes to us from life around, from social triggers and from things which are insignificant yet become significant. Research reports about social media say how young people (or people) derive a sense of satisfaction when people ‘engage’ with their posting of photographs and one-liners. In a curious twist they also ascribe their sense of self and confidence to these posts. Instead of engaging with people on a heart-to-heart, real life basis, people are happy to just click LIKE buttons and so forth on social media (i am particularly referring to facebook). So I am going to warn about the egoistic or social utility of blog statistics- even if they give you a momentary kick about how popular you are becoming.
The reality of life is that we do not need to be popular- we need to be true to our core, once we know what the core is. It is easy to be inane and get popular (without offence, to be like a filmstar in India). But if you search in your heart of hearts and see whether you really did the most you could have done to ameliorate human suffering, you will realize that a lot of things do not really achieve that end!. A film star’s significance to my mind is less than that of a farmer- for the farmer is creating something of real utility, while the filmstar is just acting and not even living up to the role after the acting is over. S/he is also taking a lot more money home than a farmer…anyways these are simple or complex issues depending upon how you see life. There can be a whole worldview on what is worth doing in this world. To someone like me, whatever I do, should diminish the misery of life around- for anyone- even one person in a day, even if they do not give me anything in return. In a nutshell being truthful to your core is more important than being popular…truth will last longer than popularity- in any field of life and work.
We certainly do not want the DSM’s next version to have a new category titled- blog-statistics induced anxiety/neurosis (becoming BIN!). Trash it! 🙂
Anyways, just to share with you the trigger that got me to write this post- The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 930 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 16 trips to carry that many people.