For those that didn’t just stumble across my blog, there is a good chance you are on my newsletter. (Oh wait, shameless plug, if you aren’t on my newsletter, subscribe here!) On the subscribe page, and in my newsletter on several occasions, I mention if you wish to unsubscribe, you may do so at any time and with no hard feelings on my end.
I still stand by this statement but it was put to the test.
Last week, I was putting together the Throwback Thursday email and it showed something strange. Something I had not seen before.
Usually, the contacts and subscriber counts are identical.
I knew someone had unsubscribed. I knew all about list attrition and email list decay from my previous career. I knew that the first unsubscribe would happen eventually and felt content in knowing that I am not for everyone and that was okay.
But being naturally curious, I thought I would see who had unsubscribed. Nothing would have prepared me for the name I saw.
My own brother!
The funny thing is, I have another friend who started a blog and they had noticed their blog’s traffic was declining. The day before my first unsubscribe happened, I mentioned how long I had written in a vacuum. Even when I started again last December, I thought my blog would only have one person checking it, my co-worker with who I am in a blog challenge. My accountabiliblogger. That our art should be made for ourselves first and we shouldn’t be concerned with who enjoys it.
But this all made me realize how full of it I am.
A day after that post in December, without me sending notification of the blog to him, my cousin called to say how excited he was that I was blogging again. Knowing he was going to my blog on his own. That was a huge inspiration for me.
My ego is just as fragile as anyone else’s. I just talk a big game. My advice was a bitter pill I now had to swallow.
After gaining some perspective, and in my freshly enlightened state, I decided to ask my brother about the unsubscribe.
Okay, so it looks like I had overreacted.
After experiencing an emotional rollercoaster for essentially nothing I suppose the lesson is that in life we have to separate our ego from our work. We create the best work we can and if people like it so be it. I really like some of what I have made in this blog. Some of my writing makes me cringe. Looking at my earlier photoshops, they could be better.
But the act of creating is meaningful to me. Life can easily be consumed by work or whatever leaving you little energy and little to look back on. But for me, this blog and making art, in general, gives me a lot back.
And on my best day, it is enough.