Stats Doesn’t Mean Shit. That’s How You Write Hits.
This is the simple formula I use to stay away from unnecessary worries.
Top writers say your stats are everything. “They’re your performance review.”
Well, I have this to say them: You can’t control someone’s mood and bad hour and countless other things that matter: Someone opens your work, the internet shuts down. Someone reads the first line of your story excited to continue reading, her daughter woke up.
Please forward this to them.
I learned this the hard way: Here’s the true performance review: When you finish something, you aren’t happy to finally finish it after messing up a lot in the way but you are happy to finally have written this story.
You don’t care what others think but you’re happy to have written the story because you wanted to. That’s 200/100 performance.
Here’s how you get into that stage.
Write what’s hard for you to not write
You can’t control the quality of your work but you can control it by writing what you love to. Writing what you love means you know what you are writing. It’s not foreign. Foreign-ity requires force. Familiarity is when the juice comes out.
Are you happy with what you wrote?
When you are happy with what you wrote, it’s easy to improve. You know what is wrong with your writing because you know what you actually wrote.
Uninteresting writing doesn’t mean you are a bad writer. It just means you didn’t write stories you are deeply in love with or know the most about.
Most of the time your story doesn’t even reach
Imagine this happening: A junior developer comes in, thinks he’s cool, accesses the database, messes the algorithm unintentionally, now can’t fix it, turns his phone off out of fear.
Most of the times you aren’t the problem. Maybe the algorithm is. Or something else. Maybe something else is trending and people are caring about that.
The good news? Your post can always get trending when the problem you wrote on gets trending in someone’s life.
Stats won’t define you anyway
Deep down everyone knows stats don’t matter much. Why do you want stats anyway? To show it to someone?
Stats are the vague idea of …nothing.
Number sucks but here’s the number that doesn’t suck: How many people have you impacted in your tiny life?
These impact usually comes later in the future. You won’t even know or be ready for it. You changed someone’s life. They’ll message you to let you know. I didn’t feel this yet. People say it works that way. I’m waiting for that message.
Stats are a pain in the ass, trust me
Stats are slower than petrol pump gas filling. Someone clicks your story. You get one view but no read. You drive to the shopping mall and arrange a rope for suicide. It took you 23 minutes. Your younger brother comes to you (he doesn’t know you’re going for suicide though but God is cool): “Brother, you got 1 view and 1 read in your latest post.”
You never know what happens with stats. Some people are a slow consumer. Maybe someone bookmarked it for later reading.
Here’s the bad news on stats. I’m afraid you’ll kill me after this: What if the views and reads are passive? Someone is bored. He keeps scrolling up and down through your 5-min-read story for three hours. That’s counted but does that matter? You know it better.
Stats slow you down because it can fool you up
Stats sucks. Rather than spending time learning the game, you try to game the game. That’s not the way it works my boy.
Stats lie, my boy
What do 239 views and 239 reads mean, anyway?
How do you know the views aren’t fake, the reads aren’t false. Or how do you know someone isn’t using your story as “This Is The Worst Way To Write A Story” dissection in a class of 234 students and 5 top writers?
Stats are cheaper than french fries
You can buy stats without going broke. Buying stats doesn’t mean buying people’s attention or touching their heart, however. You know that.
In the long term here’s the key:
Stats are marketing. Impacting is the real value-adding.
No platform wants your “best” contents to be hidden. It’s their loss. The platform wants you to write better contents so they can get more new traffic to the platform and incentivize old users to stay.
Here’s the worst part about running after stats:
You get stuck in the Bubble of …Nothing. You think getting into a highly followed publication will increase the numbers in your stats. Cool. But when the publication doesn’t accept you for some reason, you feel bad. They don’t simply feel it fit them yet, but you take it personally, feel demotivated, and stop writing. The worst part? You fear even self-publishing it and keep piling up your drafts folder with completed stories.
Here’s an interesting question: What if now is the time someone needs your story? Your story today can save someone’s life, you never know. At least one person might need it now.
Or you stress about trending topics. You try to write contents you know nothing about just because it’s trending. And deep down you know it sucks.
Here’s what you miss: It’s hard to stand out when things are already trending. Everyone’s writing on this already. This increases your anxiousness. First of all no views because of bad content quality. Then, nobody is even reading it because they already have and read many.
This is the worst. You get into the bubble you can’t get out of. You fall in love with your work. You spam people to read it rather than working on your next story. You want more numbers in your stats, especially the latest story you wrote. Stats don’t allow you to move on. You want every latest story to get more views and reads. That’s the sad part people miss about running after stats.
I too see my stats. I see whether my stories are curated on Medium. It’s not a must but nice-to-know what impacts the curation. What matters is you have to move on. I see the stats of a story just one day, the day I post it, after every few hours to know how’s it going. The next day? I don’t care about the stats of that post anymore.
True performance review is when you aren’t happy to finish an article but you’re happy to finally have written it.
When you’re happy writing something, you wrote it from the heart. The heart connects hearts. That’s when you truly impact people.