Thursday, November 07, 2013

A Milestone - 800 posts

I think that's Ohio?
Looking at the stats for my blog this morning, I noticed that yesterday's entry was the eight-hundredth individual piece I've published on this blog. This comes a bit ahead of the eighth anniversary of my first entry this coming February. (Technically, that means this post, covered in 800s, is the 801st post.)

I've impressed myself, but I also feel an urge to quash that feeling. Being impressed is for things like climbing mountains or earning awards. The only thing I do a lot of is tap keys and click the mouse. Even I don't consider wrestling with word choices or struggling with similes to be impressive.

But lest you think I have low esteem for this project, I will tell you that I am immensely pleased with it. It has far outstripped what I originally thought might come of it. The fact that ANYONE reads what I type into my computer never fails to surprise and delight me. Writing is a solitary pursuit (at least if you aren't on a team writing for a sitcom), so there's always a moment of "oh, really?" when I realize that someone outside of my own head has taken the time out of their busy day to read what I have to say.

When I write, I don't think about anyone but myself -- or rather I should say that I don't think about anyone but myself reading the entries. I write them to please myself, and I'm slightly embarrassed to admit how many in-jokes, quotes from old media, and double or triple-sided puns are included in the lines. The fact that anyone gets any worth at all out of them is practically a miracle.

In the last year, I've been gratified that people keep coming up to me and indicating they read my blog. It usually takes one of three forms:

Them: "Hey, I've been meaning to say that I read your blog now and then and I really enjoy what you have to say."
Me: "Wow, thanks very much. I don't know how to respond to compliments well at all, so allow me to make happy and excited noises that are pathetic and vaguely disturbing."

Other person: "Yeah, I read your blog. It's cute."
Me: "That sounds insincere and 'cute' is a strange adjective for a bunch of words, but I'll provisionally accept it as a compliment."
Other person: "...Sure."
Me: "...and now it's even more uncomfortable."

Me: "Please pass the salt."
Them: "And I don't think we should have mushrooms as world leaders either."
Me: "Err...what?"
Them: "The Mushroom dictators! You were just writing about them last week on that thing you do!"
Me: "Oh! Right! Of course. Excellent!"

The latter two are rare. Thankfully. But it does bring up an interesting point - I am TERRIBLE at receiving compliments. Even the mild kind like "I generally enjoy part of this thing you do." There is not a thing I can say to answer that sounds relaxed or casual. I end up brushing it off as a casual thing, or overdoing it and making a spectacle of myself. There is no middle ground.

In conclusion, thank you to you. Though I say that I write this with only myself in mind, that's not a completely accurate statement. If I was the only person reading this, I wouldn't bother publishing anything. All of the entries would just stay hidden behind a wall and I would basically have a second journal (well, a sixteenth journal, considering how my journals tend to fragment and reorganize). Part of the point is the interaction, whether it occurs in the real or the digital world.

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