image by SleepingBear
You wonderful people made my day yesterday. This blog has never seen so many readers and commenters. My Twitter handle (thewordcellar) has never been bandied about the Twitterverse so much. It was insane in the nicest of ways. Thank you to everyone who spread the word, who stopped by, and who commented. A special thank-you to my friend Rachelle at Magpie Girl who tweeted the link after I told her it was up, as well as to the kindly Chris Guillebeau of The Art of Nonconformity who took it upon himself to tweet it. Without them and everyone else who retweeted the link, I would not have seen such a spike in my normal traffic.
I was thinking about playing it cool, you know? As if watching my traffic go up more than 34 times what I get on an average day didn't totally geek me out. But why bother with a patina of nonchalance? Why pretend that it didn't happen or didn't mean much? The whole point of my last post was to encourage people to be inspired by others' success and to pinpoint what they want to achieve.
So I'm being very honest about what this was like for me. I consider yesterday an immense success because one of the things I covet (remember, covet = love = meant for) are connections with readers. I write because I love words and because I have things to say. Writing helps me to make sense of the world and feel more complete in it. I'll always write, no matter who reads my work. So yes, I write "for me," as the saying goes. But I don't write for me alone. I want to share things with you! Isn't this why we write, make art, start businesses, follow our hearts? We have something to share with the world. (Making money can also be a strong motivator, but that's a topic for another time.)
I was flabbergasted, gobsmacked, overwhelmed, blown away, knocked over, and tickled a lovely shade of pink (not too pastel, not too "hot") when what I wrote resonated with so many people. I am feeling so inspired, not just because it was a nice little ego boost, but also because so many people want to embrace inspiration rather than low self-esteem and meanspiritedness. It feels really good to write something that I'm passionate about and then get to see that so many other people are passionate about it, too.
Since I'm being honest, I'm also feeling somewhat nervous. Even as I was blissfully checking my stats, Twitter, and comments section yesterday, my mind was already going a mile a minute with questions. Mind you, these are all legitimate questions, but my inner gremlin decided to phrase them in such a way as to stoke my self-doubt: What on earth am I going to write next? What if this is my 15 minutes of bloggy fame and it's all downhill from here, baby? What if none of these new people ever come back again? How do I keep from being a one-hit blog post wonder? (My little inner gremlin also pointed out that while my traffic had skyrocketed, I was still nowhere near bigtime Internet superstars in terms of hits and unique visitors. Yeah, thanks for that, little gremlin. I know. But it's not important right now. Right now we're celebrating and feeling thankful. Move along now.)
All this internal chatter ties in perfectly with what I wrote in the last post regarding the so-called doers and wannanbes. That post made me a feel like a "doer" because I put something out into the world that I cared about. But right away my "wannabe" mind worried about what would happen next. That worry isn't useful. It doesn't help me to write another blog post or focus my energy on topics that excite me. It doesn't make me a better writer or help me to build community. All it does is keep me stuck, fretting about my next move.
So instead of worrying, this little confessional and thank-you post is my next move. And the move after this? Come back on Friday to read about what comes after inspiration.