Tuesday, March 25, 2008


I worry too much about what you guys think of me.

Every time I read a post saying they're not reading me, or notice that someone has unsubscribed form my feed it bothers me. It bothers me more than dropped stats (stats being something I don't always check anymore anyway) because those are the regular readers who are sick of me.

After the latest "I'm no longer reading Ragnell because she's a big meanie" sentiment that flowed into my sphere of attention, I realized just why it bothers me so much when even someone I despise stops reading my blog.

Because I've seen blogs that are consistently good, but that aren't always linked. I've seen people with absurd opinions, who are nevertheless always entertaining to read. I've seen people I disagree with who are always thoughtful about their opinions, and who communicate clearly. And I can never see myself dropping those feeds over a personal disagreement, or because the opinion was one I thought was foolish or stupid. These blogs may be challenging on a mental level or just plain entertaining or written by a person with a particularly unusual viewpoint.

I've also seen those blogs that aren't very good, where the writing is terrible and the logic is muddled and the humor is questionable. I've seen blogs like that get linked everywhere because they said something that affirmed the opinions of the linkers, but offered nothing truly insightful or original. Either they've brought up something first, or have some sort of status (experience/social background/occupation/history/ROAARS category) that they can put behind the opinion for extra oomph. I've seen blogs that popular even though the blogger is not a talented writer, and it's usually because of that.

Now, that's not to say there's something wrong with being linked when a number of people agree with you, or because you have a special trait that lends weight to the argument. But that can't be all there is to your writing. At least, there can't be for me. I'm not doing a good job unless I'm writing something someone who disagrees with is still willing to read.

I don't want you to read me because I said something you agreed with before you started reading.

I want you to read me because I'm entertaining. Because even though you think I'm wrong you enjoy watching me be wrong.

I want you to read me because I'm insightful. Because I just blindsided you with a thought that never would have occurred to you on your own.

I want you to read me because I'm a fucking genius. Because my flawless reasoning brought you around to my way of thinking.

That's why I flake a ltitle when I see someone swear off my blog after a disagreement with me. Not because I feel guilty, not because I was particularly fond of that person, and not because I'm not 100% certain I was right.

It's because when someone stops reading me over a conflicting opinion, what they tell me is they only thought I was worth reading when I was confirming their existing ideas.

Which is telling me I'm not writing anything worth reading.

Which irks me.

I'll get over it. I have a naturally cantankerous disposition that combines with an inflated ego that leads me to eventually disregard the opinions of others in favor of my own. It just takes a bit to kick in. Plus, I enjoy being mean. No amount of social anxiety will take that away.