I am a recreational blogger. I have been blogging recreationally for a while now. Yet, by all objective measures, my blog is a dismal failure. I am not only my only regular reader, I am, as well, my blog’s biggest fan.
Of course, my wife will occasionally read my blog, and sometimes so will our son and daughter. Once in a great while someone I don’t know, perhaps as a result of a misdirected Google search, will stumble upon my blog. A few total strangers have even posted a comment or two on my blog. But, alas, my blog goes mostly unnoticed, unknown, and unread.
The first time I formally acknowledged that my blog didn’t get much traffic was about a year and a half ago. Nevertheless, despite its lack of readership, I decided to persevere, to press on, to keep at it, to stick with it, to...well, you get my drift.
And so I have continued to regularly publish my thoughts, observations, and opinions on matters ranging from politics and sports to religion and daily living. From bats and fruit flies to dogs and cats. From from silly and stupid things that people do to a cross-country roadtrip in a 14-foot U-Haul truck with my son.
And why not? What’s the harm? Blogging, for me, is a creative outlet, a diversion, a hobby. I simply enjoy being a recreational blogger. I, for one, find my posts to be witty, entertaining, and informative, even if no one else does. See. I told you. I’m my blog’s biggest fan.
Fast forward to this past Friday night when my wife and I were invited to our daughter’s and son-in-law’s home for some snacks and a few spirited games of Hearts. Because we had been in San Francisco for the holidays, this gathering was the first opportunity for them to give us our Christmas/Chanukah (dare I say “holiday”?) presents.
My wife was presented with a lovely scarf that our daughter hand-knitted. She also received a 2012 calendar beautifully illustrated by our daughter’s nature photographs and pictures of their dog, Shadow.
I, too, was given a personalized calendar, as well as a mousepad. The mousepad was imprinted with a simple but honest appraisal of the traffic my blog generates. “More people have read this mousepad,” it said, “than your blog.” The image of a digital counter on the mousepad read “0000002.” Oh snap!
So the question must be asked. Does my blog matter? If few people read it or care about my random musings, maybe I should stop wasting my time coming up with topics about which to blog. Why bother attempting to spin my compositions into posts that others might also find witty, entertaining, informative, and, yes, even provocative? Why make the effort to locate and embed humorous images to suit the content of my posts?
Truth be told, while I would probably be thrilled if my blog posts were seen and appreciated by a wider audience, I never intended or expected my blog to be a commercial success, to generate a lot of traffic, or to appeal to a large readership. The cold, hard reality is that that just ain’t gonna happen.
As I contemplated the future of my blog, I thought about the calendar my daughter and her husband gave me. The image opposite the month of January was that of an enormous, isolated, steep, craggy butte. The caption beneath the photograph read, “Blogging: Never before have so many people with so little to say said so much to so few.”
That was all the inspiration I needed. I realized that I’m not alone in my seemingly futile effort to share with the world, through blogging, my personal impressions, opinions, and insights. This is the universal quandary, the ultimate conundrum, for bloggers. Who cares? Why bother? Does it matter? Is anyone even reading it?
I know that very few people care what I think and hardly anyone even reads my blog. Yet, despite my nearly non-existent readership and the not-so-subtle hints from my family that my blog is a fruitless enterprise, I will persist.
My fellow bloggers, those so many people with so little to say who are saying so much to so few, I salute you. To all of you whose blogs go unnoticed, unknown, and unread, I say, “blog on.”