Writing For An Audience Of N

I have something of an unhealthy relationship with metrics and engagement. I don’t think about it much when I’m only blogging and updating my homepage, but once I have any sort of social channel involved in my day-to-day it all becomes noticeably more complicated and problematic. It’s true that I blog and update because I can’t not. It’s also true that if I share things I’ve blogged on social media and there’s but crickets, it can become a spiraling inner argument: what’s wrong with me, or is it that something’s wrong with them. At the same time, I deliberately eschew any means of response on the blog itself, save for an invitation to reply via email. Maybe I simply shouldn’t be mentioning my blog posts on social media at all, leaving that space for a deliberate ephemerality. When I started in on this latest round of trying in some fashion to make Mastodon work for me, I’d enabled automatic post deletion; I’d soon disabled it but I’m beginning to wonder if that was a mistake. (Yes, it was; I will have to rectify.) I sometimes wish I could disable anyone being able to like or boost my posts at all; I wouldn’t any longer have to think about it at all. There’s a barebones bit of tracking code on my blog and also my homepage; I wonder, too, about removing those. It doesn’t specify beyond referring domain name anyway, so it’s not like I can see what linked me. There’s a tension in a lot of blogging if you’re not some sort of niche influencer: hand one, you know you’re writing because you can’t not; hand two, you don’t want all your effort not to matter. You blog for whatever reason that matters to you, but how long can you go not knowing if there’s a reason that matters to anyone else. Likely this is the tension that runs through much of my twenty-odd years of blogging then not then back again. As much as I weary of a culture in which most all things are judged on the basis of what use they are, I also don’t know how to calm my mind over the question of what use are all these words I can’t not make.