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The Hit

Back when I was writing fan stories, I was very concerned about hit statistics. I would check my hit meters every day, and, if I didn’t match my numbers from the day prior, I’d get a little depressed, or I’d worry about why I was “losing readers.” Was I not making them happy? Were they bored with my story? What had I done wrong? I’d wring my hands over this nonsense, even though – rationally – I knew the numbers meant nothing. I could get 150 hits in a day…but it’s not like anyone would ever leave me any feedback, which was what I really wanted.

A typical hit stats graph

I still check my hit statistics on posts and stories, but I’ve become so much less affected by them. If a story or post goes days without garnering any interest, I feel a little sad, mostly because I think of my stories as part of myself. And I don’t particularly enjoy feeling neglected. But then I’ll look at another piece that gets a lot of hits, but very little feedback, and I’ll be reminded that it’s not the numbers that make me feel fulfilled.

It’s not important how many people glance through a post or a story. What’s important to me is when I’ve made someone laugh, or cry, or reflect a little on their own lives, with my words. And if they take a moment to let me know that my story affected them in some way? That’s one of the best feelings in the world. I’d much rather have one person be genuinely touched by my story, than a hundred or even a thousand who just take a glance and feel nothing.

Some people will tell you that hits are valuable: essentially, they’re a measure of your success. Others will tell you that hits mean nothing. I’m here to tell you that – in my experience, at least – hits can represent popularity and how successful you are with reaching your audience…but they truly don’t matter, so long as you love what you’re doing.

Which would you rather: get the hits, or love what you do?

What are your feelings on hit statistics?