My musings on the inky trail so far; my appreciation of Tossers; my thoughts and suggestions on the Stats page
About a month ago, I suddenly noticed my long-ignored read counter had ticked up over 3,000 reads. Gosh, I thought. That seems like a milestone and a half! I'd not long hauled myself out of a deep, dark hole known as "writer's block". I used this little number to keep me from sinking back into the pit. I allowed myself a little self-congratulatory jig.
A fortnight later, I spotted that sneaky little counter again, and blow me if it hadn't gone up another 1,000. How did that happen?
Here I am again, another two weeks later (say that in the voice from Spongebob, go on), astonished that I've shot past the 5k mark without noticing.
For context, I joined Vocal in 2020. That means I've got almost as many reads in the last couple of months as I did in the previous three-and-a-bit years. That's... well... that seems like a lot to me.
This isn't self-congratulatory this time. At least, not completely. Hardly at all, really. Scout's honour. I'm actually wondering if there's been some kind of mistake, because that's mental.
Admittedly, I've had a hiatus from Vocal... If I am honest, I've had more than one. I've had times where I knew I wasn't able to get the most out of it, and I cancelled (or paused) my subscription. I slacked off posting for months at a time. That's going to account for lower engagement to some extent.
I know some of it is that I've been managing to post more often, and more regularly. But I've had times in the past where I've managed that, and not seen a spike like this.
What are you doing, Vocal? (Don't stop!)
Some of it is down to you lovely people. A humbling number subscribe to me. Honestly, I think maybe you're all a bit mad. (I'm reliably informed that all the best people are.) I cannot thank you enough for your support. Not only do you toss ha'pennies in my hat every time you grace me with your eyeballs, but you also give me your time and your brain. You talk to me. You engage sincerely. You are encouraging. You offer constructive feedback. You have me believing, for just long enough, that I can do this thing, and I'm not a dickhead. You keep me going. That is worth all the ha'pennies in the world.
So, thank you, Tossers.
I know I am behind on returning reads at the moment. (big stuff happening here, don't ask. Good big, not bad big! But still, it's not leaving me with as much time as I'd like to read.) I WILL catch up again. Thank you for your patience in the meantime.
What am *I* doing, Vocal?
If there is something I'm doing that is making this difference, even in part... please feel free to tell me what it is! I'd love to know! Which segues me neatly to...
Here's my suggestion to Vocal:
On the one hand, I like that the stats page is quite simple. It's one reason it's been easy enough to mostly ignore it and concentrate on words, not numbers.
On the other hand... When you do notice it, when you do that double-take because the number is different than expected... it might be kind of interesting to be able to dig a little deeper. It might be nice to see last month as well as this month, or even last year. It'd be cool to see which stories are doing the legwork. What did I do? Could I do that again?
My questions to you:
I suspect most people just bimble along like I do, and only rarely look at their stats. It's the best way. We can get too caught up in it, otherwise. But when you do pop over there, what are you looking at? What little factoid could Vocal put there that that you'd like to see?
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