Upon losing followers

I lost another follower today. Sometimes, I offend people because I don’t make myself clear; other times because I do. Causing offense is one of the downsides of being: (a) utterly opinionated; (b) seeing myself as the smartest person in the universe; (c) not really liking or respecting humanity in general; and (d) being totally off-the-wall terrified about my upcoming surgery and therefore less than sensitive to people’s feelings.

For months, my list of followers grew, and I became increasingly distressed because I couldn’t keep up with their blogs as diligently as some of them kept up with mine. Now, I’m slowly losing followers. In one way, I’m glad because I can start getting a handle on paying attention to those who have remained loyal. In another way, I’m sad because it reinforces my belief that I’m not terribly likeable. How ironic, this desire to be loved by everyone despite the fact that I give most people little reason to love me. I would like them to see beyond the gruff exterior behind which I often appear and to realize that it’s partially composed of scar tissue, but why should I expect so much from people whose intelligence I credit so little? Because I want to be proven wrong.

Here’s the thing. I agonize over this blog. You would not believe the hours I put into trying to get to the core truths behind every post, trying to weed out every superfluous word. I like to think I’m good at this. I like to think my blog is more deserving of your attention than those many blogs that are, in effect, stream of consciousness diaries. Do I succeed? Hell if I know. I often edit until I can scarcely make sense of what I’ve written. To understand what I mean, think of how your impression of a song changes after it has been stuck in your head for days, or how you feel when you stand so close to a painting that you can no longer see what it represents.

When I lost that follower today, it strengthened my conviction that who I am within my deepest self is never going to have mass appeal. My writing will mean a lot to a few but less than nothing to the many. They will find me heavy, intense, cynical, and irreverent, and I will find them silly, credulous, and superficial. Yet, writing, for me, is a matter of such deep integrity that I can unhesitatingly promise you that I will do my best to represent myself fully in the areas into which I delve; not simply as an exercise in omphaloskepsis, but as a way to get to some truth that I can but hope will resonate with your own truth. At best, my truth will stimulate you to look more deeply for your own truth, even though it differs from mine.

Today, I have little time to edit because I am down to measuring the time until surgery in hours rather than days, but what this post lacks in care, perhaps it makes up for in passion.

39 comments:

lakeviewer said...

Good luck on the surgery.
Don't worry about pleasing people, or keeping up with everyone. Stop by when you can. We all have trouble keeping up with our blog contacts.

Marion said...

Funny, I lost a follower, too. There is no rhyme or reason to it, but it's never someone I consider a friend. Don't sweat the small stuff.

I appreciate you! Blessings!

kj said...

snowbrush, i don't like it either when my "number" drops, or i should say my ego doesn't like it.

but i can never figure out who dropped out, let alone why. someone told me it might be blogger herself doing the dropping.

anyway, bottom line, your blog is for those of us who welcome and appreciate you and your blog. who gives a shit about anyone else? (yikes, i don't ususally use this word but i guess i did this time..)

:)

take care. i believe all will be well..

xoxo
kj

khelsaoe said...

Hope the surgery goes well. Thinking of you...

ellen abbott said...

I too lost a follower today. I've had a slow climb over the past year from zero to 76, or rather 75 now, so I am acutely aware of the loss and going over my list, I cannot tell who left. Was I boring? Did I offend? I am not consistently funny or profound or poignant though I am all those things sometimes, but what I am always is real.

I am a relatively new follower of yours though I had visited several times in the past before I came on for the long haul and, you've visited me once or twice and left a comment. I hope your surgery goes well and you get the relief you want and need.

Gaston Studio said...

"They will find me heavy, intense, cynical, and irreverent..." is my favorite line of this post, Snow. You are those things, but you're so much more. It's your honesty and cynicism that drew me to you in the first place, and has kept me coming back for more. I will remain a loyal follower because I want to know what your thoughts are on the various topics you write about, and I also want to know that you are well, albeit in pain much of the time. In other words, I care about you, my virtual friend.

Don't worry about losing a follower is my bottom line. Just saying.

Jane

JOE TODD said...

I lost a follower also but I don't know who it was. I just noticed the total changed. Oh well. It does take a lot of time and effort to post and keep up with other blogs. I post a lot of photos and not so much writing and have always appreciated the effort you put forth. I usually agree but not always but that is what makes life interesting

Mim said...

good luck on the surgery. I must admit, I am more concerned with keeping up with those I consider "close" blogger friends - so the actual number is probably low. I should visit the others more...but time slips by.
Be well, good luck on the surgery

Sarah said...

I do not follow any blogs as such but I read a lot-and keep them on my side bar. I think following is strange to be honest as I can follow without being a follower. That is not to say I don't apprecaiate the few I have of course. I wouldn't worry about it. Hope your surgery goes very well.

Christine Robinson said...

Snow, does it help to know that you make a profound difference in a few lives? Like youth, fame is often fleeting. Independent artists or humanitarians or non-profit employees seek to make a positive difference in but one life at a time. Mother Teresa sought to bring love and peace to the lowliest one soul and spirit at a time.

For every life you touch, that life touches another and another. That is the way of truth and love and passion. That's the way.

Any other way is driven by ego. Ego isn't necessarily a bad thing, but if integrity is what you strive for, Snow, then ego should be second fiddle to purpose. Truth to self and others.

You are loved by many. Surely you know that. Surely, surely you know that. You've saved a few lives with your words. That counts for something, eh?

How many of us out here will be thinking of you as your surgery approaches, occurs, passes? Enough to send a few prayers skyward, maybe?

Christine

Natalie said...

I lost one too! Maybe a spammer left us alone?
I like your good self, Snow. Exactly how you are.

Becky said...

Hi Snow!
As to gaining and losing "followers", I believe it is part of the natural ebb and flow of life... the yin and the yang... the universe balancing what is out of balance.

As to being a people pleaser and wanting to be liked by everyone... welcome to the mindset of every female in western culture! It is how we are raised to be. Then we turn 40 and see what a bunch of bullshit it is... and are liberated to live our own lives and love ourselves as is and not care what others think of us anymore! The fact that you notice those tendencies (being a people pleaser and wanting to be liked)in yourself gives me hope that you will soon be liberated from them!!! YAY!

Finally, ancient wisdom says "Don't take ANYTHING personally... it is just THEM working out THEIR stuff and has nothing to do with YOU."

So, dear Snow, the way I see it, gaining AND losing "followers" is normal and balancing, and has nothing AT ALL to do with YOU, and I hope that soon you will be liked and loved by YOU, as that is all that really matters IMHO! I send prayers and good energy your way for Friday's surgery, friend.

Michelle said...

Snow, the 'follower' may well have ben a spam thing, as happens here. PLUS you should write for you, as a main focus, not for the possible reader.....yes you are opinionated and yes you can be heavy, intense and critical...but you know, no one has to read if they don't like it. And maybe someone didn't and maybe you should care less?
You haven't been posting much either and you know how people like to be entertained constantly :D

Good luck with the surgery my friend. I will be sending you healing ...

xxx

CreekHiker said...

Snow, I agree with Becky...it's more about them than it is to you.

And what about followers like me who (until today) don't follow you officially??? But now I do, so you really haven't lost anyone!

Good luck with your surgery!

I'm headed to Baton Rouge in a few days and hope to get to McComb - dying to eat at the Dinner Bell for the first time in 20 years!

Hope you and Peggy have a good Christmas and that you mend quickly!

Vern said...

I think I've probably become a little more eccentric as I've aged... some may like it, and some may not. But here's something I've found: the more time that goes by, the less I care what anyone else thinks.

I haven't been following that long, but I keep reading because I enjoy the the writing, the topics, and above all, the honesty. Keep on telling it like you see it.

Marion said...

Never mind about the followers; you know what you are worth. Right now, with surgery imminent, the loss of a follower possibly hit you harder than it would have in a better time.

"I often edit until I can scarcely make sense of what I’ve written." Isn't that the truth...I thought I was unique in that I quite often don't understand a word of what I've written, after all the re-reading of the thing.

Good luck with your surgery...I'll be sending Reiki energy your way!

kylie said...

SNOW!!!
i cant believe you think that!

i was never a follower of yours, i dont do the follower thing/ i have you on my sidebar and i read whenever i see you have a new post

i think i have been reading and liking you for long enough to say i'll be sticking around

i was actually gonna comment on the post later so i'll be back when i have more time.......

hope i got you before your big day
xo

kylie said...

this, from the guy with 114 followers! i have 11

i dont officially follow anybody because i think it's a misused crock but i follow a few and you are one. it's good cos i dont want to be in the "credulous, silly, superficial" group and "irreverent, heavy, intense and cynical" are right up my alley.

you may want to think again about reading me though, my blog is absolutely a stream of conciousness thing. i edit little because i have no time to agonise and i love that publish button!

take care, snow

Michelle H. said...

Don't sweat it. There are people who drop out from following because they no longer want to be a part of the follower widget.

There are also others who only follow to gain new people to their sites while never reading your blog. Then, when they get as many as they can, they drop out. Pure selfishness.

Easy come, easy go.

Snowbrush said...

Does anyone but me remember Mehitabel the Cat, a cartoon character who was, in this life, an alley cat but was Queen Cleopatra in an earlier life? She was fond of saying, "Life's too damn funny for me to explain. One day, it's sunny. The next day, it's rain. Life's too damn funny for me to explain."

I'm laughing my head off as I write because I did not expect such an outpouring of support from this post--or to GAIN two followers. In fact, I expected little response and fully anticipated LOSING followers. "Life's too damn funny for me to explain." What is it with you people? Why can't I figure you out?

swan said...

I lost two followers in one week... hmmm.... Snow, your amazing, maybe those followers you lost decided television was more important than scintillating or they moved to a remote village in Peru which internet signals can't reach... maybe they got kidnapped by aliens or started a commune whose sole purpose is to channel the residual vibrations of the Atlantian civilization... Whatever the reason may be... know that you rock and your writing is kick ass and I will keep following you as long as I reside in Blog Land.

His kajirah said...

Hi Snow

It's been a long time since I've responded to any of your blogs, I try to keep up reading when I can, but like you I don't get back to as many as I probably should. It's not because I don't care, I actually care about people too much, I just have a lot on my plate and I know you understand this. I had even gone 6+ weeks without even writing in my own. I use my blog as an outlet to write and feel freely. I figure many are like me and just don't comment and that's okay it is their choice and often times life's circumstances keep us from answering, but we're able to find time to share.

I've always enjoyed reading you. I love the writing style, your mind, the critical thinking and enlightenment.

I do think of you and will be praying your surgery is a success.

Wishing you pain eased days and nights,

~Twinkle
aka cali

Winifred said...

I don't really look at followers. Now that's strange because all my life I've been desperately keen for people to like me and upset if someone didn't.

If you're being honest and open about your feelings you are bound to offend someone now and again. But that's life!

I wouldn't worry. Maybe they're just downsizing!

Sorrow said...

Snowbrush~
so you came by and left a comment on my blog that made me laugh. Seriously, I have done very little to make my man child into anything. I will take full responsibilities for all his neurosis but when he shines, thats just him rising above my lame attempts at parenting.
Then I come here to see who you are, and find some one cynical and irreverent? oh here I am laughing again.
This is me ~~~~~~waving my hand~~~~~ me to me to!
very much no likey people!
so why blog?
~shrug~
some days I wonder why I bother.
But at least you have splendidly spoke your own truth, and you remain true to thine own self.
~clapping hands in a round of applause~
I am sorry you are having surgery, I shall light a candle
and hope for a speedy recovery.!!!
thank you

rhymeswithplague said...

You have 114 followers and you're complaining??? I have 25 and I'm ecstatic.

I do not follow anyone officially, but I have been "following" you unofficially for some time now and will continue to do so, if that is all right with you, and even if that is not all right with you. Everyone needs a few phantom followers.

You made me go to the dictionary with "omphaloskepsis"....

Here is a link I hand-picked just for you: Don Marquis

geek said...

This is something that you might already know -- we can't really please all people. Personally, I find it frustrating. How much meticulous you are with your writing is how much calculative I am with my actions in real life. But sometimes, no matter what I do there's always someone who's not gonna like me. I don't like it but I can do nothing about it.

Sorry if this has been so much of an "I" but I don't know how much similar what I'm feeling to yours.

You might've lost one but always remember that there are still us. There's always going to be the case that you won't have the same opinions as others. But y'know, it's always fun to read what you have to say.

Good luck with your surgery! Big hugs from across the globe.

Teresa said...

Followers, who needs followers, unless you are trying to be a leader of some sort! Why not just try to gather some faithful friends who will love you no matter what! (((HUGS))) T

Bernie said...

Snow why are you so concerned about losing a follower? This blog should be for you anyway, if someone likes it fine if not that's okay too. You have enough to be concerned with right now like your surgery, getting well and buying your wife a Christmas present. Learn to love yourself my friend....then you can share the love with others....count your blessings Snow, not your number of followers..... Heal swiftly my friend:-)Hugs

Just_because_today said...

The mere fact that you care so much for a lost follower says so much about you as a caring person.
I am sure the lost follower is not a personal attack, the person might have inactivated their own blog, etc.
Your writing is exquisite at times, witty often and thought proving always.
I look forward to your posts

CoyotePrime said...

I hope you're feeling better, Snowbrush. As far as losing followers, don't sweat it. People are fickle, and their attention spans are far too short. Those who really matter relative to your posts will be there, losing the others is no big loss. But don't fall into the trap of trying to please everyone- it can't be done, and you'll wear yourself to the bone in the futile attempt. Just be true to yourself, and the rest will take care of itself.
Best of fortune, my friend.

nollyposh said...

i actually appreciate your skillful writing... oh and the gruffy personality... Yes i think i appreciate the unique combination of *you* & (Ps) don't sweat trying to 'keep up' with everyone's blogs (It'll give you a pain in the Supra-spinatus!) x

Snowbrush said...

Rhymes, Swan, Sorrow, and Winifred, thank you for your wisdom and kindness.

Yes, Cali, I know you have a "lot on your plate." It is also true that I feel a bond with you and with another blogger (All Consuming) because you came my way early on and treaded the land of chronic pain ahead of me. You have therefore been my inspiration if not my guides.

Teresa, yes, I like the faithful friends designation rather than followers. Computer-speak has appropriated a good many words that originally meant something very different.

Bernie "This blog should be for you anyway, if someone likes it fine if not that's okay too."

Oh, horrors! If it were just for me, I wouldn't even need to keep it going. I could just write stuff and file it away. This blog is my most personal way of reaching out to others, and it has become my major support network--next to Peggy. I DO write as I please, but I also DO care how it impacts others.

Coyote, my friend, I pulled that Palin book-signing I just posted right off your blog.

Just because "I am sure the lost follower"

Thank you so much for your kind words. You weren't the first to think I only lost one follower. It has been quite a few by now.

Nollyposh "i actually appreciate your....gruffy personality... "

You DO!!! That's the nicest thing anybody has said to me in a long while, maybe ever. I thought you wanted to FIX me so I would be upbeat, dreamy, starry-eyed, mystical--sorta like a prose Rod McKuen. Why, Nolly de Poshily, you like me as I AM?! God but do I ever feel upbeat, dreamy, starry-eyed, and mystical. I'm a changed man. Finally, I've realized my spirit identity, and I'm a comin' down there, honey, to the lower half (of the EARTH I mean!). I'ze YOUR man, so that fellow you're with now had better start packing! I'm sure he'll understand

nollyposh said...

Lol! AND your cRaZy sense of humour! X:-P

Crazed Mom said...

You gained one today. :o) AND you used a word I, the word queen (who reads thesaurus' for fun)have never seen before omplaloskepsis. I have been shamed by a guy from Oregon of all places.

Crazed Mom said...

Oh duh. Belly button gazing. The ompha took me a minute.... snerk

Snowbrush said...

Crazed Mom: " I have been shamed by a guy from Oregon of all places."

Woe is me for I am sick at heart! I'm a fixer, so I've simply GOT to do something to fix this, but what--move away? Tp where--B;C.? How about if I tell you that I spent my first 36 years in Mississippi, my next two in Oregon, my next two in Minnesota, and my next 19 back in Oregon?

Shadow said...

how's that saying go? please some of the people all the time, please all of the people some of the time... can't have it both ways. so don't sweat it.

Rob-bear said...

"I would like them to see beyond the gruff exterior behind which I often appear and to realize that it’s partially composed of scar tissue."

Copy that, Snow. Those of us with lots of "scar tissue" seem to be able to understand each other in a way that others perhaps can't.

Just keep telling your stories, your truth.

Rob-bear said...

P.S.:

ON losing a follower:

"When I lost that follower today, it strengthened my conviction that who I am within my deepest self is never going to have mass appeal. My writing will mean a lot to a few but less than nothing to the many."

I think quality is more important than quantity.