My Navel, My Too Fascinating Navel

Somewhere along the way in my frantic effort to blog about everything, all at once, I stumbled past two months, the point where many bloggers throw in the towel. When I started doing this, it was SO fun that I couldn’t imagine ever stopping. I’d sit down for half an hour or an hour and something would escape from brain to computer and off into the internet. It couldn’t be more fun. Then it changed. Mostly for the better.

Here’s the phases:

  1. I started getting/making comments

I was a good member of the community, commenting on blogs I enjoyed, and being a good host for those who started commenting on my own blog. The early commenters? Commenter? A gem.

  1. I got some positive attention with awards and such

People like it. This phase is/was so cool! There is a downside, in that it’s work to find other blogs for the good karma that barged through my door. It’s not just finding them, it’s a commitment to keep up. Still, I did alright.

  1. I got caught up in … whatever

At the start, I wrote only about music. I needed the focus. Music was easy to have an opinion about and, honestly, I’m a music fanatic. It wasn’t enough.

  1. I looked at my navel, my too fascinating navel

Now, having spent a week with the fewest views in a while, I feel calmer. I’ve failed. OK, it’s not really a failure, but, by some measures, I’ve had a setback.

To be fair, I could interpret my failure as success. The people who do read my blog (that’s you) come by regularly and don’t have to catch up with view-inflating tours of past posts. People who drop by from outside the WordPress world are finding me because what I write about matters to them. Sure, they often leave just as quickly, but that’s just how things happen.

I haven’t really failed, but failing means so much to me that I’m claiming it. Failure means more to me than it probably should. Once I fail,

  • I can only do better.
  • The pressure to keep it up, drops.
  • I can re-invent myself to be what I want.
  • I have the beginning of a new story of success.

It was better, but

I can see how a person might quit. At the start, I wrote just for me. Then, I’d get caught up in discussions with amazing people I wanted to impress or even beat. Did I tell you I can be competitive? I can. I’m the kind of person prone to saying things along the lines of, “I can top that.” Usually, I keep it under control. Usually, but not always.

Still, failure can be freeing. Here failure is merely my grandiose dreams not achieved. The lesson? Dial back the grandiosity. That ought to help!

16 thoughts on “My Navel, My Too Fascinating Navel

  1. No one says Etna is a failure because most days she’s just letting off steam. When she has something important to say, people pay attention. And I wonder, when I read your blog in my inbox, do you get that count as a hit? I don’t know the answer to that…

    • No one dares speak ill of Etna!

      Am I saying something important? To me, yes. I’m embracing a sense of failure, not as a toxic nuclear donut, but as a semi-giddy sense of possibility explored, found wanting, and the new more-realistic places I can go. All I do will continue, but with a more modest sense of what will happen. I won’t be taking over the world …not today.

      Also, I feel sad when people talk of failure as a devastating thing. It is, but it’s also a bottom from which beautiful mountains can be scaled. I want to be proud of my failures as I’m proud of lessons learned. Using the word ‘failure’, though, is a bit histrionic.

      As for hits? I don’t know. I try not to care. I try.

      • Your remarks are spot on. Set backs and failures are awesome! They feel slightly awful at the time, but you never learn more than when you fail. We all fail. I guess the difference lies in who is willing to keep on keeping on and who plans to throw in the towel.

        • Yes! Failure is good but only after it’s bad. Trying to avoid it is good to a point. Celebrating an overreach is great. Now I know my boundaries and can stretch them gradually.

  2. Just keep doing what you’re doing, if you like doing it. If not, don’t! Don’t look at stats. Blogging isn’t a competition! And you can change or improve on anything you want. It’s total freedom.

    • It’s not a competition, at least not with anyone else. With myself? It is. I should take the competitive lessons of my own cycling: feel competitive with your past but respect whatever is accomplished.

  3. As maybe(or maybe not) we once spoke of, this here is nothing more than your online journal. A place to plop down those rumblings in your conscious(sub or waking) and lay it all out so you can give your brain some room fill back up. This is your blow hole. Your gills. A sharpening stone for your skills that lie waiting to be utilized in your frontal lobe.

    Don’t let numbers rule your gift of the “word”. And don’t let them make you feel as though your failing. You’re not. You write great things nearly every day. That’s not failing. That’s thriving.

    Besides, last week was a bit of a bummer anyways. All around.

    Shine on, Orange.

    • My gills? I’ve gotta keep that one on hand!
      I admit that one way I get better at everything is by taking little risks. One way is to mention my icky sides. I shan’t dwell on them but putting it out there directly as here or indirectly by a particular snarky comment helps me. It’s out there. I’m not a rock star. That’s great! Now I can sharpen my own tiny sword.

      Gills, sharpen. Wise unexpected words from a known wise person.

  4. Don’t be hard on yourself, that won’t make it easy to write. This is a safe place to say what you need. I have this competitive thing in me too, trying to start my own blog a small base of followers (and I mean small) sometimes makes me want to quit or figure out how to reach more people. You have thoughts you want to share, so keep it up!

    • Thanks! Ironic, isn’t it, that one sharing point is how frustrating it can be. I’m not Superman. Grrr! I can spell Superman. Yay!

  5. Chin up, I like you. The only stats I ever look at are where people have read me, I get a real kick out of colouring bits of that map in – especially if it’s somewhere I couldn’t automatically point to on the map in the first place (I’m unaccountably ‘big in Bolivia’ this week – 2 hits). The fact remains that even if no-one ever read another word I wrote, I’d still write it, I have to. I rather suspect you’re the same.

    Treat yourself to something joyous in your ears, is my prescription.

    • Yeah, I gotta stop looking at my navel so often or, as suggested in an email, just photograph it.

      Bolivia? Wow! Between my Peru week (last week) and your Bolivia, that’s covers one “export” trade area fairly well.

  6. Looking at you navel can be just fine sometimes, but mine’s probably kinda disgusting right now – you see, I’m an Orthodox Christian, and for me Easter is May 5th. I’ve had to give up picking my navel for Lint.

  7. I am a fan of your blog. I was in a different world for a while (thesis world)… but I am back.

    I write about whatever interests me. Some of “my” best blog posts get very few views. But other posts get a lot of views. I am not always sure what makes a high view post different from a low view post, because in both instances I blog about what I like instead of tailoring it to someone else.

    • Yup. You’re a grown up in this excellent way and I am not. OK, I am, but I get distracted too easily by bright shiny numbers and forget how ultra-fun that first post was to write, the one that, perhaps, none but family have read. I’ve tried to re-focus on sillier version of the numbers. For now, it works. We’ll see how long that lasts. It’s the curse of a pattern-finding mind: I find patterns even where they don’t exist, maybe especially where they don’t exist.

Am I wrong?