Every morning, when I post my new essay (and my new story, on Fridays), I always check my web traffic on Weebly before I upload my post. Then I check it afterward, and I always notice that there’s this small spike in web traffic.
To be sure, it’a not much. As I’ve written again and again, Weebly grossly overstates how many people are really visiting your website, so when you see, say, seven visits in the mornings, it’s probably best to think that the number is closer to two or three. And when that number grows to, say, fifteen, it’s best to think that the number has actually grown to four or five.
Yet, however small that number is, there is this uptick.
I always get this little pulse of satisfaction when I see that uptick. If stats are to be believed, it means that someone is reading my writing right after I post it. In fact, it may even mean, wonder of wonders, that there is actually someone who is waiting for me to post it.
Again, I have no idea of knowing who these people are, and Google Analytics is notoriously unreliable at really telling me where they’re from, and how long they visited the site. Still, there is this possibility, however small: someone is actually looking forward to me posting the next thing that I post.
I think of all the times that I read something that was, say, part of a series, and eagerly awaited for the next work. When the comic “Watchmen” came out in 1986, my friends and I eagerly awaited the next issue. My friend Bob worked at a comic store then—and would go on to start up a comic store of his own—and on Fridays we would crowd around his dorm room, eager to see if he had brought us the latest copy.
Alan Moore, the writer, was notorious for missing deadlines, so the monthly anticipation, as the series went on, slipped to ever five weeks, and then every other month. It’s just such a great memory, eagerly awaiting for the next segment of something that was so well written.
I also think of how, as a kid and later in college, I looked forward to the next installment of my favorite comic strip. This was particularly the case with “Doonesbury” and “Bloom County,” where there was often a story line that stretched for several days.
So it’s wonderful to look forward to these things, but it’s even wonderful to entertain the possibility that other people are looking forward to something, and that the something that they’re looking forward to is the next installment of my blog. I’ve only been posting these daily essays for about three months, and if I’ve developed a fan or two, that’s pretty great.
Whoever these people are, they have given this little thrill to my mornings. I copy my essay from my Scrivener program, copy it into Weebly, and post it. And then, when I check out the web traffic and see that spike, I love imagining that somewhere, someone is saying “ah, good…Derek Leif has posted something new. Just the way to start my day.”
Thank you, whoever you are.