I threw a penny in Bethesda Fountain and made a wish.
I wished I was a better blogger.
I held the penny in my hand and imagined waking up at 7AM every morning, fresh and ready to write. Sitting at my desk with fresh coffee in an instagram-worthy mug, my mind uninhibited by doubts. Free and open, creative juices flowing. Inspiration, humor, and wit flow from my fingers like water from the open fire hydrant on the corner of my street in Harlem. Metaphors too, obviously. I’d whip up engaging posts in a mere hour, I’d even proof read!
I fed a quarter to the ZOLTAR machine at FAO Schwarz.
“Make your wish,” Zoltar commanded.
“I wish I was a better blogger,” I whispered.
I aimed the quarter at Zoltar’s mouth and imagined churning out content like a well oiled blogging machine. Every single day at the same time a new post would appear on newyorkcliche.com. I could see the tweets from readers, “I love that I can count on a new post from you every weekday at 10AM!” “You’re blog is more reliable than re-runs of #SexAndTheCity on @TBS!”
I stared at the candles on my birthday cake two weeks ago. “Make a wish!” my friends chorused.
I closed my eyes and made a wish.
I wish I was a better blogger.
By the light of the 29 candles, I imagined my writing deeply connecting with readers. Long time lurkers would jump out of the wood work, “I’ve never commented before, but now I can’t resist!” I’d reply to every single comment, not just in my head but typed out for all to see. My dream of going viral would come true in the best of ways, sans trolls, sans “ugly blonde bitch” comments, just thousands of people connecting with what I have to say.
I picked a dandelion in Corona Park, the one with the fullest head of little, fuzzy seeds.
I took a deep breath in and made a wish. I think you know what I wished for.
I exhaled and watching the tiny seeds dance on the air I imagined what it would be like if I stopped caring so much. If everything I wrote was for me and it didn’t matter who else read it. If I could see three comments on a post and think, “Yay, 3 comments!” and never, “Aw, only 3 comments.” If looking at my visitor stats made me feel accomplished, “Wow, thousands of people visit my blog every month!” instead of like a failure, “Ugh, no one reads my blog.”
I’ve been feeling that way a lot recently, that no one reads my blog. Why do I spend so much time writing if no one reads? I’ve been doing this seven years and I only have 10,000 visits a month! I suck! So many people have been writing a quarter of that time with much better success. What’s wrong with me? I’ve been doing this for seven years, if I haven’t made it by now… what’s the point? Sure, I love doing it, but not every time. It’s so much work. And it’s not even paying off! What am I doing wrong?
Oh. Oh shit.
I feel awful and I owe you an apologize. I haven’t been thinking about you and it’s really unforgivable. I’m sorry. You’re clearly not no one. You are very much someone, someone who is reading my blog right this very second. You’re amazing. I’m so thankful for you! What’s wrong with me that I’m failing to focus on how wonderful YOU are, right here, right now, and instead thinking of all these other people who aren’t you?
That’s what’s wrong with me.
Starting now friends, I’m abandoning the focus, “How do I get more people to read my blog??”
There’s a new focus ’round these parts, “How do I better appreciate the thousands of people who do read my blog?” That’s how I’ll be a better, happier blogger.
If you want to help make all my wishes come true, I hope you’ll share your thoughts with me, and maybe even some wishes of your own.