General · Inanity · Writing

Me? Obsessed with stats? Surely you jest!

Statistics have always been there. Whether they are honest or not is a different story, but they’ve existed and slowly fed a little something I like to call stats addiction. Whether you’re a blogger, a published writer, a business owner, a gamer … stats addiction comes with the territory. There’s something mesmerizing about watching these numbers rise and fall. When you notice an increase you feel happy, but your spirits sink when there’s a decrease.

Bloggers are always anxious about increasing their page views are trying to figure out what could be done to prevent them from being too close to the x-axis, business owners lament when their monthly clientele decreases, gamers don’t like it when their ranks are lowered, whereas writers observe their sale ranks and reviews like hawks (of course I’m just speaking about myself 😉 ). As a stats addict who’s trying to reform, I guess I need to answer one question: what’s the point?

Sure the graphs are pretty and the numbers are pretty interesting, but beyond that, what can we get out of them? I can’t count the number of times I refresh my stats during the day, or the times I visit my venues to see if someone has purchased a copy of my book. Isn’t that a waste of time? What does observing stats do for me? Think of the things you could do when you’re not constantly hitting the refresh button. You could:

  • Catch up on your favourite blogs or discover new ones.
  • Get some work done.
  • Write a blog maybe? (hey I’m writing a blog post about it, so I guess it’s not so bad!)
  • More importantly… work on your novel that’s suffering terribly in favour of these stats (this I’m guilty of).

These days I’m trying to limit myself. Instead of checking my blog stats every half an hour, I’m cutting down to three or four times a day. Instead of checking my sales, number of people who added my book to their To-Read list and reviews every hour, I’m cutting down to two times – one at the beginning of the day and one before I sleep. That sounds reasonable, right? You can’t take someone’s coffee or chocolate right away, can you? You’d crash them! *totally not trying to convince herself that it’s still too much*

I still do have moments of weakness, but I’m slowly getting better. Maybe some penalties will make me think twice before checking those stats!

I’ve come clean, but how about you? Do you suffer from stats addiction?

30 thoughts on “Me? Obsessed with stats? Surely you jest!

  1. I believe it is natural you want to know how your book is doing, or how many people are clicking your page. In fact, I was obsessed at the beginning. I even posted about it once. LOL! But then, just like you, I realized it was taking over my life and giving me too much anxiety. Now, I do check stats once a day and no more. It has given me more time to think, be creative and focus on my book, editing, blogging and reading.

    I am sure you’ll make it happen. Good luck! 😀

    1. Thank you! I really hope to achieve that someday, because I sure won’t be accomplishing anything when I keep itching to view my stats. xD There’s natural behaviour, then there’s obsession!

  2. When my blog was new, I checked my stats ALL THEM TIME. When my blog was gaining momentum, I checked my states ALL THE TIME. When my hits were trending upward everyday, I stopped checking my stats so much. Now that my hits are trending downward, I check my stats ALL THE TIME, and wonder, Why? Why? Why? Ah me.

    1. Ahaha, that seems to be the pattern with me! Just when you think everything is fine, those dratted stats spiral down again and make you all anxious!

  3. Absolutely! Every time I’ve felt down about my writing, seeing one more sale brings me right back. It’s the encouragement of knowing that someone out there is reading my stuff that keeps me going some days.

    1. It is encouraging! But also quite nerve-wrecking if you ask me. I’m always wondering what the purchaser is thinking of the book!

  4. I kind of wish I could relate, but I can’t. I hardly ever check my stats. I guess they just don’t change enough to warrant ever looking.

    1. Well I guess that’s a blessing and a curse? On one hand you have more time to do other things, but on another… well, either way I hope that starts to change. =]

  5. As someone with a quiet blog, I like to think of who is enjoying my writing…there are few enough hits to concoct a story from…haha.
    I will say though that watching stats sometimes feels like watching water boil–it always seems to magically happen when you walk away for a period of time.

  6. “More importantly… work on your novel that’s suffering terribly in favour of these stats” GAH! That’s what I’m doing right now…*hangs head in shame*

      1. Actually, I just got this Scrivener demo to work last night and I’m going to spend some time writing with it today. It has helped me already.

  7. I have an app on my phone that allows me to check my stats. So far it isn’t too out of hand. I think chasing after kids all day has been great at keeping me from going to crazy with it. I do check it at least a half dozen times before bed.

    1. It’s good that you have something to occupy you! I think if I had that app I would be refreshing my stats every few seconds. No need to fuel the addiction even more. xD

  8. I’m addicted to the little part on the stats page that tells you what links people followed to get to your page or what search terms they used. Sometimes it’s pretty surprising 😀

  9. Hi Zen, I am very much like you… I check my blog stats so often it’s embarrassing!
    More so when I have just released a new post. I have been trying to stop hitting the refresh button, but sometimes it is very hard.
    I have even downloaded the WordPress Android App – So I can keep an eye on my stats, posts and other’s blogs while I’m on the move… Is that bad?

    I think you cutting it down to what you have is good. You need to remain focus on the other work you need to do and then be pleasantly surprised (she hopes) when you allow yourself a look at the stats.

    Good luck with it 🙂

    1. I think this addiction hits its peak when a new post is published, because you’re anxious to see if it’s going to be ignored or not. xD
      Hmm. I wouldn’t say it was bad on its own, but if you keep using it to check your stats every few minutes, you may well be having a bad case of addiction. D= You too should try to cut down, as you said, the stats can give you a pleasant surprise when you come back to them. =]

  10. I was going cold turkey but this is like being in a room full of smokers when you’re trying to quit! I shouldn’t look – I haven’t had time to post for days so I know the views will be low. It’s possible I haven’t had any. And that will just bring me down but… Oh dear.

    1. Or like being in a room full of people eating chocolate while you’re on a diet, right? xD I too don’t like to look at my stats when I haven’t posted in a while!

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