Sunday, 30 October 2011

Number Crunching

Do you ever feel like your identity is made up of an overwhelming array of numbers?
I have 45 followers on my blog, 4707 total views, an average of 80 views per post, and a total of 186 comments.
I have 408 friends on Facebook. 116 likes on my Tickle & Hide page. 30 of my friends like my page. Likes are down 2 from last month and I have 700 less news feed impressions but 500 more active monthly users (I don't even know what that means!?)
On Etsy, I have 150 people who either like my store or an item. I've had 4500 views. 26 sold orders.
I've had 422 views of my Flickr photostream. That's the only numbers Flickr will give me, but if I pay $24.95 a year, they promise:
  1. Be enthralled by graphs and charts!
  2. Learn which of your photos are popular today, this week, or over all time
  3. Discover where your visitors are coming from
  4. See how they found you
  5. Thrill at a helpful breakdown of your photos
...more numbers.

Thankfully, my scales still don't work (you can read that story here) so I have no idea how much I weigh!)

After my last blog post, a recipe and fun photos for Christmas decorations, I set the lap top open on the couch and continued on my way, looking after the kids, hanging out the washing. Every so often, as I'm in the habit of doing, I'd walk past and hit 'refresh' on my stats page to watch the views come in.
But this time, even three hours later, there was nothing. No one was clicking on my link. No one was interested.
I actually discovered later that my stats counter has gone on an early holiday. But it still bothered me that I couldn't measure the response to my post. I checked Facebook. People weren't commenting, weren't liking, reposting.
I took a little while (I'm ashamed to admit) to realise that I don't want to be doing what I do for your approval. I don't want to spend my day informing myself of my personal worth with the selection of numbers available. And so, instead, I went and had a picnic on the lawn with the kids. (Tully, who was told he could choose one thing from the fridge to bring out to share with us, very excitedly emptied a whole bag of shredded cheese onto a plate and presented it to us proudly. It was just too cute and funny to refuse, so we had shredded cheese, carrots and mandarins for lunch.)

I wrote here about my disappointment last month at not being chosen as a finalist for Stitched in Color's Autumn sewing competition. While outside, munching on cheese, I remembered that I wanted my creations to be an expression of me, not what raises the numbers, or gets chosen.

Then, yesterday morning while drinking my coffee, I was scanning through my blog reader and saw my name. I doubled back. I had been chosen as a finalist in the next round of the Celebrate Color comp! I kept reading. I have TWO items chosen! I couldn't believe it! I quickly posted on Facebook to tell everyone to vote for me. Then I went back to check out the competition. One finalist, who had made a beautiful autumn quilt, had over 500 followers on her blog. And she had already written a blog post asking people to vote for her. Another had over 1000. Why did they need to ask for votes? They have blog sponsors, don't they get free fabric all the time? (The prize includes loads of beautiful fabric) I could feel that ugly, black creeping feeling I get when I start to compare, start to feel ripped off. Added to that was my frustration that I couldn't even see how many people were coming to look at my blog as a result of the announcement!

I couple of weeks ago a friend of mine was driving home from my place and her car broke down. It was another break down after a long expensive string of them over the last 12 months. She went home, made herself a cuppa, went outside, and accidently locked herself out of the house. She called a friend. During the conversation, she said to her friend, "I'm think I'm going to have to just spend the afternoon chilling out on the green grass."
"Just think!" her friend replied, laughing "You are on the green grass!"

It is not on the other side.

So I wanted to write this post to share my experience of the last few days, let you know my exciting news, being chosen as a finalist, let you know where you can vote, if you want to, (HERE!) and then close the laptop and build a train track with Tully. Then this afternoon, my friend Rossi is coming over to sew with me. We've decided to order pizza for dinner and then stay up into the night to create up a storm for my up coming market.

Yep. The grass is pretty green on this side.


  1. I love green grass. I also hate numbers. Here's to keeping our creative spaces happy places, and not getting bogged down by comparisons, because no matter how well we do, there will always be people doing better. Those aholes :P

  2. what a really inspiring post. It is so easy to get bogged down in the 'competitiveness' of blogging and quilting sometimes, and thats not why any of us started to blog! Well done - remember why you started all this and what you enjoy doing most

  3. I agree entirely! Lol! It's hard not to look at the numbers - or the entire lack there of in my case... Especially since the reason for blogging was to try and share what I've learnt and discovered - cos I picked up so much from blogs! Then like you I let it go and get back to what I love
    Happy sewing

  4. Well, you can count at least ONE new follower as a result of your celebrate color entries! :) I LOVED your projects, the picinic blanket is so cool, and I can't even fathom trying to make a baby coat, and yours looks like something you'd buy at nice store. Keep up the great work and don't let the numbers get you down, just keep doin what you love!

  5. I want to give you a hug then shoo you off to go and play with the little 'un! Setting up trains is much more fun than reading blog stats :)

  6. Congratulations on winning Celebrate Color this month!!!

    I just started following your blog and look forward to seeing all the beautiful things you'll be making!

    Congrats again and Happy Halloween!


  7. This is such a gorgeous post! I love that you realised so much about yourself and what your crafting means to you - and then to top it all you won!!! congratulations - on your win but also realising you are the green grass :)

  8. Oh chica, I've sooo been there. In fact, I have 80 something followers but I'd say 10 people actually read my blog.
    I stopped blogging for awhile because It became all about the numbers. And then I talked to my grandma one day... She said, when are you going to blog again? I said I didn't know. She saud, that's the only way I see those babies.
    So now, I don't post for Betty blogger. I post pictures and thoughts for my grandma. And for myself.
    Blogging is kinda like my journal. Not a personal one, but just of major happenings around here.
    Anyway, I'm sorry the numbers stress you out. I heart you and am starting to love your family too.

  9. Great post! Your kids are adorable and you're so inspiringly creative :)

  10. That is really fascinating, You are a very
    professional blogger. I have joined your rss feed and sit up for in quest of
    more of your great post. Additionally, I have shared your
    web site in my social networks

    my webpage ... Free Psn Code


I so love your comments! I read all of them and reply when I can. If you don't hear back, I'm lost under a mound of scraps or outside jumping on the trampoline with the kids. Jodi. xx