*Looks around furtively*
*Whispers* “Who’s here? Is it just us?.. good… ok… huddle up and we can have a chat.”
See, last week was a bit of a crazy week on this blog. If you’ve read my last post: on being a revolutionary (hahaha to that, I’m mean, I’m just not.) You’ll know that I wrote a post about education called No, Mr Cameron, No. that made, by my (admittedly teeny) standards, a huge splash. It got shared on social media far beyond the realms of anything I’ve ever written before, I was inundated with positive comments and reactions and was contacted by so many people (parents and teachers across the country) to say ‘thank you’ and ‘yes, I feel the same’ and ‘what now?’. I spent hours and hours (across days and days) on social media chatting about the content of the post, what it meant and what could happen next.
And in the space of seven days my blog went from its usual number of weekly views (in the low/mid hundreds) to being viewed ten thousand times. TEN THOUSAND. I mean, how amazing! Ten thousand people reading my words! Ok, they may not have all read the whole article or whatever but still – how exciting! How thrilling! How… how…
I’m just not used to it, you see. Not remotely. I’m used to this blog generally just being read by a few people. Just my little ‘tribe’ – my collection of like-minded people who have gravitated towards each other the past few years. When I write, I’m really thinking of them. I mean, I know this blog is public so anyone can read it and and I’m glad of that – I like new readers! But the experience last week was kind of like… ok, I’m going to ask you to imagine it:
You’re sitting, relaxed, legs curled up under you, favourite comfy jumper on, chatting to friends. Everyone is on squashy sofas and armchairs, surrounded by cushions and fleecy throws… the room is lit by a few table lamps… there’s a wood burning stove in the corner radiating a gentle warmth. Candles flicker from the side tables sending shadows dancing across your friends faces as you all giggle at a joke or gasp at a revelation. There’s cup of hot tea in your hand and plate of freshly baked biscuits on the coffee table in front of you which you’re all dipping into as you chat. Just a few of you. Dim light. Cosy room.
WHAM. Someone turns on the overhead light and, oh! Your little selection of armchairs and sofas turns out to be in the middle of an arena. There are microphones above you recording every word you say and transmitting it to thousands of people. And look up, yes, UP – see that enormous screen above you? Wave! Yes that’s you! Ok, let’s have some questions and comments from the audience! Do your best to answer them all!
I mean, don’t get me wrong, last week was AMAZING! I was THRILLED at all the likes and shares and comments and support (I think my husband may have got a bit sick of me showing him my blog stats and saying ‘Guess how many views now?!”– I wasn’t remotely cool about it!). I was genuinely moved by people’s responses (I may even have cried a bit at some of the ones from teachers) and it felt AWESOME to have connected with people like that. It really showed me the power of words and gave me a massive confidence boost.
But each night when I clambered into bed (far later than I intended because I’d got caught up in a chat on Twitter or FB or whatever) my head would be spinning. I felt like I’d been at a busy party in full-on social mode. And honestly, busy parties when I’m required to go into full-on social mode exhaust the crap out of me. (I have been known to go to the loo just to get some peace and quiet in such situations!).
But it’s ok. Because my blog hits have gone back down now. Not back to where they started (yet) but the arena-feeling has gone. And I know, before you say it, ten thousand views isn’t that many anyway, not if you write for a big publication or if your blog has considerably more views than mine. But it’s all relative. When your posts routinely reach maybe a hundred people and overnight, they suddenly reach thousands and thousands, that feels huge. When you write something and share it only once on Facebook and it still ends up in the ‘other people shared this’ scrolling bit, that feels huge. Last week just felt huge.
And I’m one for the quiet life. So lets have little chat. Just us.
Pass the biscuits, would you?