personal growth, writing

My blog got 50,000 visitors this week!

Remember that blog post I wrote about manipulation a year and a half ago? Well, someone posted it to reddit this week and 50,000 people clicked through. I didn’t notice until today. I’m geeking out about it. I received 2,000-something visitors in the entire month of August so 25 times that in a few days feels insane.

If you use reddit, I’d love if you added to the discussion over there. I’ll be grateful even if you disagree with my article and want to join the people dissing it. I’m just pumped that so many people are reading and discussing something I wrote. This is definitely the most-discussed article I’ve written. The second most discussed thing I’ve written is probably “It Happened To Me: I Witnessed An Exorcism” (published at xojane) and the third is probably “The Friend Zone Doesn’t Exist,” published here, and that got some traffic because Tony Pierce shared it.

I’ve learned two main things from this. One, I am finally comfortable with a larger audience reading and responding to my work. Ten years ago, heck, even five years ago, I would delete any blog (the entire website, not just a single blog post) that became “popular,” i.e. began receiving over 100 visitors per day. I just wasn’t comfortable dealing with criticism, real or imagined. I felt too vulnerable and worried too much about the possibility of my family disowning me or me getting fired from my job. It seems like I’m over that. Woo hoo! Finally. I’d like to become a successful writer someday so being comfortable with having large numbers of people read and criticize my work is an important step.

The second thing I learned is that it is really important to clarify my points when I write essays. The vast majority of the people who commented negatively about my blog post on reddit did so because they seemed to think I was judging them as manipulative. They felt defensive and in response, called me an idiot or whatever. (“Whatever” being a slut a couple times because, well, this is reddit after all.) Calling people out wasn’t my intention with the blog post at all. I was intending to be kind and helpful to readers, not judgmental or insulting. I now realize I could’ve chosen better wording in a few spots that would’ve clarified my intention and set a tone more like the one in my mind.

I have a lot of work to do so I’m going to peace out, but thank you to all of my loyal blog readers. You probably think I’m being a little dorky right now by being so pumped about this, but hey, writing and having that writing read is my life’s dream. Today felt like a little taste of it coming true, or a little more evidence that it could come true, corny as that sounds.

PS, if you’re on reddit, feel free to post any of my other stuff there…