The Stats Matter

I was looking at the whole thing wrong.

The Stats Matter
Screenshot by the author.

I don’t write enough. I know this is a fact that I need to remedy but the truth is I’m lazy. The other truth is that as much as I like to pretend the stats don’t matter, the stats matter. It’s demoralizing when you work on a piece and you think it’s got something and then… nothing happens.

The other day I read Ignatius N’s great story, “When Nobody Reads Your Medium Post.” I can relate to everything he said. My most recent story is one I felt the dam would break and people would flood to it. Instead, they trickled like a dripping faucet.

Until I realized I was looking at the whole thing wrong.

I was so fixated on the people who didn’t read my story that I wasn’t valuing the people who did read it.

Sure, using Twitter I thanked the people that recommended the story, but I didn’t really value them. I wasn’t appreciative of the time they took out of their day to read my words. They saw the title and were interested enough to click. They read the first sentence and decided to keep going. They chose to read my story over doing literally anything else.

People that I don’t know took time out of their day to read something I wrote. I should be honored. I am honored! When it comes down to it, who am I really? I’m just a guy writing things on the internet and no matter how big or small the audience is, people out there care enough to read what I have to say. There is something very cool about that.

It’s hard not to get caught up in stats, especially when they’re so accessible. But I’m going to start reading them differently. I’m going to start seeing the little numbers as individual people that care about my words and that hopefully find them interesting. Knowing that there are scores of people out there that will read my thoughts might actually drive me to write more.

THANK YOU for taking the time to read my words. If you would like to leave a response, I’d love to hear your thoughts. If you found this particularly interesting, please recommend it to your friends.

Justin Cox Justin Cox

Justin Cox is a donut-loving, word-writing, nonprofit consultant based in Orlando. He also runs The Writing Cooperative on Medium. Come say hello!