Readership, of late, of this humble blog has declined somewhat. No matter what I write, no matter how decent I think it is, or funny, or, even astute, I've been getting about 1/3 fewer readers than just a few weeks ago.
I'm still doing ok, getting about 20,000 readers a week--down from 30,000. But it pissed me off a bit, this decline. Because to my eyes, my writing has been better than ever.
Of course, to be fair, I've been in a shitty mood of late--I won't go into that mood here. But I could be reading my own writing wrong. Because 9 times out of 10, my writing suffers when I feel lousy.
My wife asked me about all this. "What are you going to do," she asked me.
I just smiled.
"Here's what I've learned having written a million blog words," I said to her. "You can never tell anything."
"Whaddaya mean," she asked.
"It's pretty easy," I began. "What I've learned after all these million words, after 5,000 posts, is you can never tell.
"Sometimes you think you've written something great, and no one seems to read. Other times, you just scratch something out, and you get thousands of readers.
"It's like most things. You just never know. You never know when you'll write something people like. You'll never know when something is just flat-out ignored."
"So what are you going to do about your decline in readership," my wife asked.
"There's only one thing you can do," I answered. "Just about the only thing you get ever do with just about everything."
My wife waited for my ineffable wisdom.
"Just keep writing. Just keep writing every day. That's all you can really do."
"Just keep writing," I repeated. "And hope you can muscle through. That's all you can do. Muscle through."