There is something missing from my new website.
You probably wouldn’t notice it at all.
But I do. Every day.
When I decided to start this new blog, I decided to start fresh with my mind "right." Or at least as right as it could be. I wanted to really think about what my goals are here.
What do I want to accomplish?
I want to encourage you.
It’s a little funny because this goal is the exact same goal as when I started my first blog, Stinker Babies. I wanted to encourage any readers I had by being honest and real. I wanted to help others know they weren’t alone in what they were feeling or experiencing.
But something got in the way of that simple goal. There was one little thing that I naively added to the first website. Just like an adorable gremlin, I thought it would be this interesting little thing that ended up being a controlling, freaky monster.
My stats monitor became my measuring stick of how "good" I was.
Image: Benson Kua via Flickr
The stats didn’t measure how encouraged people were or if they left feeling less alone in the world. Even if I was achieving my original goal, I didn’t feel successful unless a certain number of hits were happening.
I found myself writing with clicks, comments, and numbers in mind instead of hearts touched or smiles brightened. It was scary how easily it began to be about campaigns and recognition. For me.
I found myself constantly comparing stats with others. I felt discouraged, lonely, and frustrated because I would never measure up.
Once, I wrote a post that I was feeling really great about. It was original. It was funny. It had something for everyone. I loved it. Barely a week later, another blogger wrote a very, very similar post. But she did it absolutely beautifully. And it went viral (as it should have). And everyone sang her praises for weeks (as they should have).
And I had all the feelings. And it was not pretty.
I was too busy looking at the stories that others were living out and trying to make mine look like theirs. I picked the ending I wanted for my story, and I was trying to force the plot to move in that direction. That does not make for a very good story. I more-than-momentarily forgot that my story is the only one I’m meant to live out. Not hers. Not his. Not yours.
I took a long time away from blogging to refocus. My posts were very few and far apart this last year. I spent some time praying and really listening to see if I was even supposed to keep writing at all.
I feel like I’m starting fresh where I’m meant to be, and it’s not with a million visitors. It’s not with paid advertisers. It’s not with a book deal.
And it’s definitely not with a real-time stats monitor.
It’s with a new home on the web and refocused intentions and you.
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