Is This Significant?

Image courtesy of [Danilo Rizzuti] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of [Danilo Rizzuti] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I’ve been looking around the blogosphere and it seems that 200th post is significant, so let’s be significant today. I’m not entirely convinced that it is a point worth noting, after all it simply says I’ve pressed ‘publish’ 200 times. So what? If I’m honest, quantity has never been important to me. What matters to me is quality?

Every time I pressed ‘publish’ did I have something worth saying? I have absolutely no desire to simply meaninglessly fill your in-box, but am much more interested in knowing whether what I have to say each time I press ‘publish’ actually makes a difference.

So far, to my knowledge WordPress hasn’t found a way to let me know that.  I have numbers coming out of my screen at a rapid rate, and while WordPress also can convey ‘comments’ and ‘likes’ to me, they can’t actually tell me if I made a difference.  Did what I say, inspire or encourage?  What about all those who chose not to ‘like’ or ‘comment’?  I often don’t feel like doing either myself, but I know that a post can have made a difference without that.

If you’re looking for a great 200th post, this one, My 200th post from aliceatwonderland is great.  As usual with her work, I laughed my way through it, and I know I could not repeat, or even replicate her imagination.

Meanwhile I keep pondering.  Numbers have not meant a lot for me for a while now, and blogging is no different.  You see after years of thinking the size in an article of clothing meant the world, and the number which shows up on the scales is the most important thing that day, I know that numbers just don’t matter.  Numbers meant a lot when I had anorexia but now I know I’m better to ignore them and focus on something else.  Numbers are after all, completely relative.

The last time I stopped and thought about numbers here was when I wrote my 50th post, Lessons For Cate So Far…  It was useful for me to think about what I had learned from the blogosphere in the time I had been involved.  At this point, what is relevant to me is what I have learnt about myself as a blogger.  There’s a couple of things worth noting.

I’ve realised that advice is not the thing I’m interested in.  That is, I’m not blogging to give you advice.  And I’m not blogging to get advice.  I’m neither experienced, or trained enough to offer advice to anyone and therefore I would be insulting your intellect if I did.  There is, sadly, plenty of rubbish on the internet, blogosphere included.  That’s okay if that is what you want but I really don’t have any passion for adding to it.  All I want to do is share my experience and my opinion in a way that is hopefully helpful.  None of it is fact, or necessarily right or wrong.  If readers manage to draw their own conclusions from what I have written then I am a happy woman.

I admit too that I’m not even that interested in drawing advice.  That’s not why I share.  If you want to give me advice, fine but what I am more interested in hearing is about your reactions.  Again, there is nothing right or wrong.  You don’t have to agree with what I have said (I’m not used to that anyway), and actually I welcome constructive dialogue.  I won’t be upset if you disagree.

The other thing I have come to realise about myself as a blogger is that I am passionate about being careful with other people’s work and respecting the effort they have invested.  The amount of times that bloggers break copyright that is atrocious, and often it is probably because bloggers haven’t taken the time to find out the rules. Ignorance is not an excuse for breaking the law.

I’m not about to give a lesson on copyright except to say check it out from a reliable source.  Copyright is not only illegal, it is also a hard slap in the face to our fellow writers and artists.  It’s not difficult to respect those people enough to either not break copyright, and at least ask permission before we use their words or images.

I am not aware so far of anyone using my material in this way, and that’s not why I object to it.  Instead it is because I see it regularly on blogs I read, and have come to the conclusion for myself, that I will not follow blogs where I see them consistently break copyright.

Actually I don’t follow your blog to read what someone else says anyway.  I’m interested in what you have to say.  For the same reason I rarely chose to read re-blogs. And if I don’t stand up for the rights of other writers and artists, then I fail to be honest and fair.  I’m not telling you this in order to tell you what to do, but rather to explain my own choices.

“We have to dare to be ourselves, however frightening or strange that self may prove to be.” 

―    May Sarton

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14 thoughts on “Is This Significant?

  1. John Richardson

    Quality? Yes, your blog has quality, and the basis for that quality is your honesty. That is also where the value of your blog lies. You give a perspective that allows your readers to feel and understand your pain. Pain is where real wisdom comes from. You alert your readers to the issues that have effected you and have armed them with enough enough of your own experiences that they are in a better position to deal with similar issues in their own lives. The light of truth casts long dark shadows, and everyone has to find their own way, but you are a rock upon your readers can stand to help see the path ahead. Happy 200th!

  2. You make a tremendous difference in my life, Cate. Every single day (and more). There may be a lot of rubbish on the internet, I agree with you there, but if you can sift through it and stand it and come away with even one person like you, then it is wonderful rubbish, to me.

    xoxo

      1. I’m sorry you have. I love you Cate, and I hope you feel better. I’ve missed you these past days (I know I haven’t really been available), you’ve become this amazingly important piece of my life, and I’ve been lonely for you.

        I hope whatever crap the day has been throwing at you has settled.

        xoxo

      2. Thank you and your absence is perfectly fine. No need to apologise and actually I haven’t been around much myself. That said I know you’re always there in my heart.

        As for the crap, I’m trying to forget (or ignore)… whichever works first. You take care, and don’t you go overworking yourself. I know I’m probably too late with that advice but start practising now. xox

  3. I hit publish 200 times! Haha. You are very right. Quality is more important than quantity. I just happen to be exceptionally good at blabbing. Goodness knows if you went back through some of those posts you’d go, what? One of her posts is just ten words and a picture of a Squirrel?

    Everyone wants that recognition, to know they are making a difference. And so many of us forget to tell others that. We’ll think it, but move on. I will say one thing – after my Mental Health post, a few people said they were checking out Canvas. As we know, Canvas has some awesome writers ;). If we make a difference to even one person, that’s significant.

    The copyright thing is tough when it comes to the Internet. I know I’m bad about the images – I use Google Images and search for royalty free, but that’s no guarantee. If it’s been copied four or five times already, it’s hard to know if you’re crediting the right person or not. And one blogger got his blog shut down temporarily for crediting a site he didn’t realize was banned by WP! I’ve not seen it so much with words, but I’m sure it happens. I work at a library, and it amazes me how bad teachers can be about this kind of thing. I also don’t reblog much. I usually just link to the person – like you did. Thanks.

    1. Being an exceptionally good blabber seems like high praise to me. It compares with Ruby’s ‘wonderful rubbish’ label for me. Girl we might have pressed publish 200 times but we’re going places… 😀

  4. Sharon Thomson

    Do you have something worth saying? The answer to that is yes of course you do. You inspire me in so many ways Cate and I really look forward to and enjoy your blogs. Reaching your 200th blog is something to be proud of, so i hope there are going to be many many more.

    🙂

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