Breaking The Stats Habit


It’s interesting how a number can influence so much.  For some, the number of birthdays they’ve had can lead to depression and for others the number on the inside of a waistband literally deflates all hope of retaining a drop of self-esteem.  The same is true for bloggers.  For the last few days my stats have been a little wonky and its driving my crazy.  This little bout of insanity has made me realize my confidence as a writer hinges entirely too much on one number.

The bar graph that threatens to define my worth.

I fully admit that I am a total stats addict.  The bar graph, sparkline, and full stats page are an intergral part of my life as I check them periodically throughout the day.  I make sure I have access to my stats via laptop, smartphone, and tablet, so no matter where I am I can check my numbers. Part of my obsession comes from pure habit, but the rest runs much deeper.  My inner critic likes to play with my confidence and she loves to cackle when the numbers are low.  The only relief I get from her is when the numbers are normal or keep climbing.

It’s ridiculous and I know it.

So, why do I allow one number to determine my worth?  Easy.  In this realm, higher numbers are equated with success. Interesting topics and high quality writing attract more readers, right?  More readers means I am a success.  This is the driving force behind checking those stats.  Like any writer, I crave the gratification that comes from knowing I’ve written something worthwhile.

As I said before, it’s ridiculous.

In order to put my focus back where it belongs – on writing and creating – I’m challenging myself to ignore my stats for a full week.  No numbers, charts, or averages are going to determine my level of success.  I am going to minimize the bar graph on my dashboard and abstain from visiting the full statistics page.  The sparkline is impossible to avoid, but luckily it doesn’t provide specific information.  In addition, I’ll be removing the WordPress app from my  Kindle Fire carousel. This week it’s all about writing and creating as well as I can without thinking about “the number.”

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If you’d like to join me on this challenge, sound off in the comments section!

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c.b.w.  2012