The Funny Thing About Being Serious

I’d be a liar if I said I didn’t care about the number of views on my blog. I mean come on, let’s be serious. I write this stuff on here because I hope people will read it. Why I’m not really sure, I guess so some people may get some enjoyment or meaning out of something I write. Now my posts have gone from funny to deep, pointless to meaningful, thrown together at the last minute or slaved over for days, possibly weeks. Believe it or not, this blog takes work, time, and effort, and I do it all for free. I don’t make a dime off any of these. I mean how could I? I’m not averaging a million hits a week or anything. But I’m thankful for any hits I get because it means at least some people are interested in what I have to say, and that means a lot.

I noticed something interesting today. I occasionally look at the stats of my blog from time to time, hoping maybe I reached 10 million hits in two hours and a book deal from a publisher is waiting in my email inbox. And so far, it hasn’t happened. I am sometimes surprised by maybe a 100 hits in a day, rarely I have more. There are also days where I get 1 hit, or 0. It really goes back and forth. I looked on my stats today and saw that one of the more random pop culture articles I wrote (The Link Between Heavyweights and Dodgeball) over 6 months ago got over 500 views this week. I was stunned. I then saw it has over a 1000 views all time, which is more than any other post I’ve ever written. I then started examining the views on individual posts.

Of the most read things I’ve ever written, there are posts about: the similarities between a 90’s Disney film and movie about Dodgeball, an obscure moment in Star Wars, kinda serious dating tips, a forgettable 90’s disaster movie about the love/hate relationship between Pierce Brosnan and a volcano, then finally a post about a recurring dream I used to have. Of those 6, only one is a serious post I put a lot of thought and effort into, you know, a post where I expose my soul in a small way. Another interesting thing I noticed: all of them are from last year. In fact the 10 most read things on my site are all from last year. The most views on a post written in 2012? 110. So this information has led me to ask the question? What am I really doing?

I’ll be the first to admit I’m kinda disappointed by these stats. Anyone who writes their heart into something, be it a book, short story, blog post, or even a letter desire it to be viewed seriously. Anyone who writes wants to be taken seriously. I’m not someone who can write comedy. I may occasionally say something funny, or I may say quite a few funny things, but I don’t feel that is where my heart is when it comes to writing. Writing is something I take in earnest. I know I am probably never going to write a best seller, or my blog will end up on the Today show, but I enjoy it the same, because it helps me, and hopefully it helps some of you. Maybe my disappointment comes from my own expectations. People have told me I’m a good writer and maybe I got a big head about it and thought my serious writing deserved to be taken as so, and this may possibly be my reality check. Maybe I’m just like all those other bloggers that are never taken seriously. I know there are blogs out there with brilliant thoughts and writing that will never get any recognition while Snooki gets on the New York Times Best Seller list for a book she probably wrote in crayon while getting a spray tan, if she even really wrote it at all. Anyone can write now days, and I think I’ve realized I’m no different than anyone else who has a blog out there in the vast expanses of the internet. So what am I going to do? Am I going to get discouraged and act like some idiot with an over-inflated and misplaced ego because the internet isn’t falling over itself to read about what really moves me, challenges me, and stirs my spirit? Am I only going to write funny things because that’s what the stats say people like? Should I even care?

As I write this, I think back to something a friend of mine said to me one day. He came up to me and said, “Hey man, I read your newest blog and it just got to me. That is exactly what I’ve been feeling, and it felt so good to know someone else was feeling the same. You said what I felt like I needed to say, and it encouraged me and helped me so much, thank you.” Or I think of the time another friend told me how much he likes my writing and how it makes him think and challenges him. Or the other time someone told me how funny they thought one of my posts was. I could see the genuineness in their eyes. They really did like what I wrote. It really did encourage them, it really did challenge them, or it really did make them laugh. And that means more to me than 500 people I don’t know or will ever meet reading a post about Star Wars instead of a post about what God is showing me in my life. I’d rather encourage one person than mildly amuse 10. If by some way something I write helps someone, or even changes their lives, then this, all of this typing, proofreading, editing, brainstorming, and work was worth it. I don’t want to be in my casket dead with 500 people there because I once said something funny. I’d rather be in my casket with 20 people there because I helped their lives for the better in some way. And if this blog does that for someone, then I’m going to keep on doing it until I feel I can’t anymore. So keep reading. I don’t mind.

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