Re: I find it demotivating & distracting to look at the view count

#1
It’s gotta be a long one, so here we go!
 
I got into Royal Road earlier this year but I started writing in the middle of 2020 and posted my fiction on a different site. It didn’t have any movement and most of the views were mine as I did a lot of rewriting and re-editing. 

It kinda bumped me out for a bit but it didn’t stop me to keep on writing. I told myself that my goal is not to make views but to write out everything that is in my head into the page, no matter what.

Eventually, after writing about 20 chapters, I decided to look out for other sites to try my luck. One of them is here, the land of the most royals of roads. I upload my chapters at least once or twice a week and after uploading the first ten, it went great!

The views I got here were 10 times bigger than before. It feels amazing, seeing so many people started reading my stuff. Going to the Dashboard and seeing those views climb up feels incredible. Even got me about 5 followers. A year's worth of work and now it's reaching to more eyes than before. 

Never been happier to see my work grow like this... but then it kinda became an obsession. 

While the views keep on going up and it definitely won’t go down, a part of me feels upset and wish it had been more. I see other people’s work getting more views, even ones that started publishing after I joined. I thought “Why them, not me?” or “What do they have that I don’t?”.

I started feeling more worried when I lost a couple of followers as I post more chapters. I thought “Did I do something wrong?”, “Did they found something they don’t like?”, “Maybe if they stick around, they might like it”.

I try not to think about it too much, but every time I go to the dashboard to upload the next chapter, I see the views, the followers, the slow rise it’s getting, and it honestly just makes me feel sad. 

Not too depressing or anything like that, it just makes me feel bad. And I don’t like feeling bad. It’s tiring to feel bad.

There are a few times that I block the numbers with my hand as I scroll down to the New Chapter button, but it’s very tempting to peek, cause it’s right there... just behind my hand. 

Maybe just a little to see how much has it- oh, I lost another follower. 

Well... at least I got 4 more views.

It's maybe silly to think about but once I got the attention, I started to crave for it. It’s not enough. I wanted more. And those kinds of thoughts really started to get to me. So, I tried to think of ways to not look at it at all. 

Now, every time I need to upload, I went straight to the Drafts page since it’s practically empty other than a New Draft button. I even bookmarked it so I don’t have to go to the fictions page first. 

I haven’t seen my view count and followers for more than a month and I gotta say, I feel better. I don’t feel upset about it and the thoughts don’t cloud my mind anymore. I know I got at least 500 views after getting an achievement for it, but that’s as much as I know so far. 

It does feel tempting to see how it’s growing now but because those numbers are no longer in front of me, I don’t feel tempted to check at all. I’ll probably look at it once I'm done with my next chapter, and given my current situation, it’s gonna take a while. The only way to know is to go directly to the Dashboard or the main page. All it takes is a simple click but that’s a click I rather not take. 

Do I want views? Yes.

Do I want to be on trending? Absolutely. 

Do I want hundreds of followers eagerly waiting for the next chapter of my long-running series that I have no idea if I'll ever get to finish in my lifetime? Duh!

But I have to remember that the reason I started this was never the attention or the recognition. It all started because I needed to express my ideas in some way, in some form. If not, then all these crazy ideas will rot in my brain as I wander around wishing I could have done something with it. 

I don’t know if this journey will ever take me somewhere fruitful in my life, but I should at least feel happy that I didn’t waste it. That I at least tried. That I at least did something. 

As long as I keep breathing, I'll keep on writing. I'll keep on improving. I'll keep on working as best as I can so I could at least see the end of what I started last year. 

These ideas have been with me for over 10 years. It’s about time I should let them go. 

Thank you if you’ve been reading this far. I was thinking of making a thread to know if there’s anyone out there who doesn’t like to look at their view counts like me and it then just spirals into this weird train of thought. 

So, ... anyone here thinks the same? Do you like to look at your views? Care to share why? What is your secret to happiness?

Again, thank you if you’re still reading this god-awful long post. I wish you all a good day.

Re: I find it demotivating & distracting to look at the view count

#2
It's good to know yourself and learn what motivates and demotivates you.

Some people thrive on that sort of stuff, but it would drive me up the wall to keep a close eye on the view and follower count. It's much too easy to start second guessing yourself if the view count for Chapter X is lower because the previous chapter had (whatever) in it, or if it happened to be the weekend, or the moon was full that night or or or or or...

Re: I find it demotivating & distracting to look at the view count

#3
For some sort of reason social media perfectly takes advantage of our fundamental human need for recognition in the form of numbers on a screen. I personally would have never thought I would be a victim to this since I don't have what most people consider social media, but I found myself in the trap with Royal Road. The temptation to always check is there, and seeing the numbers barely go up while others dominate is definitely discouraging like you said. The way I like to think about it is this is just another rite of passage of becoming a writer on RR, just like getting your first 0.5 star, or some nasty commenter. Once you realize these are just numbers on a screen, you'll realize why you wanted to start writing in the first place.

Re: I find it demotivating & distracting to look at the view count

#5
I must admit to sometimes feeling the same way. I would very much like more views and followers. My works are actually complete so I don't get the bump you see when releasing new chapters. I'll go days without a view then suddenly get a few. New followers are even more rare and after a time people choose to stop following. Sounds pretty depressing doesn't it?

Actually it isn't, at least not for me. I find that I now appreciate every new view even more now. People are choosing to look at something I wrote and it still amazes me. It also helps that I've learned to not compare myself against others. All I can do is to put out the best work I can and something I'm proud of. People will choose whether they want to read or follow it for their own reasons which are beyond my control. Don't concentrate on the views you don't have, but on the ones you do. There are people reading your work and that's a rare and wonderful gift.

Re: I find it demotivating & distracting to look at the view count

#7

S.G. Wrote: It's good to know yourself and learn what motivates and demotivates you.

Some people thrive on that sort of stuff, but it would drive me up the wall to keep a close eye on the view and follower count. It's much too easy to start second guessing yourself if the view count for Chapter X is lower because the previous chapter had (whatever) in it, or if it happened to be the weekend, or the moon was full that night or or or or or...


Only we can understand ourselves better than anyone. And yeah, a lot of factors do play that affects the views fluctuating from time to time, but that's too much to think about.


Ushi Wrote: For some sort of reason social media perfectly takes advantage of our fundamental human need for recognition in the form of numbers on a screen. I personally would have never thought I would be a victim to this since I don't have what most people consider social media, but I found myself in the trap with Royal Road. The temptation to always check is there, and seeing the numbers barely go up while others dominate is definitely discouraging like you said. The way I like to think about it is this is just another rite of passage of becoming a writer on RR, just like getting your first 0.5 star, or some nasty commenter. Once you realize these are just numbers on a screen, you'll realize why you wanted to start writing in the first place.


I agree. I was never a social media person myself but I definitely understand what it feels like to chase after likes after getting some attention in RR. And if that's what it takes to be a writer in here, then so be it.


Ararara Wrote: Don't look at it


Okay.


parkertallan Wrote: I must admit to sometimes feeling the same way. I would very much like more views and followers. My works are actually complete so I don't get the bump you see when releasing new chapters. I'll go days without a view then suddenly get a few. New followers are even more rare and after a time people choose to stop following. Sounds pretty depressing doesn't it?

Actually it isn't, at least not for me. I find that I now appreciate every new view even more now. People are choosing to look at something I wrote and it still amazes me. It also helps that I've learned to not compare myself against others. All I can do is to put out the best work I can and something I'm proud of. People will choose whether they want to read or follow it for their own reasons which are beyond my control. Don't concentrate on the views you don't have, but on the ones you do. There are people reading your work and that's a rare and wonderful gift.


It's great that you feel that way, to look for the good in everything. I hope I get to a point in my life where I feel the same and appreciate more of what I have than what I wished for. Not just in here but pretty much everything in life.


littlefoodie Wrote: It would be a lie if I said I don’t care about view counts and followers, but my whole purpose for uploading in the first place was to shell out my story idea and improve my writing in the process. I’ll keep on writing for the few followers I have and make my story idea into something concrete.


Keep on writing and keep on moving forward. No one can write your story but you.

Re: I find it demotivating & distracting to look at the view count

#8
You had the correct mindset in the beginning.  

Telling your story because you had a story that needed to be told.

Don't let views/followers/favorites/rankings influence your creativity.  

I actively avoid my dashboard so I don't get caught up in it.  I keep my last two chapters open so I can reply to comments, and I have a quick link to add a new chapter.

Tell your tale, and let it stand for itself.

Re: I find it demotivating & distracting to look at the view count

#11

Jahx Wrote: You had the correct mindset in the beginning.  

Telling your story because you had a story that needed to be told.

Don't let views/followers/favorites/rankings influence your creativity.  

I actively avoid my dashboard so I don't get caught up in it.  I keep my last two chapters open so I can reply to comments, and I have a quick link to add a new chapter.

Tell your tale, and let it stand for itself.
Thank you for those words, man. No numbers would affect my terrible imagination!


whoever Wrote: Does the " Settings -> Disable Rating Stats" introduced in the last update also hide the viewers/followers numbers? Or is that about other numbers?
I don't know about that, but I'm okay with how I'm set up now.


I Wrote: Don't look then. Just peek...
Just a little bit won't hurt... won't it...?

Re: I find it demotivating & distracting to look at the view count

#13

MortimusWasHere Wrote: I think I'm going to try the "Make a shortcut to my drafts" approach, because I also find myself obsessively checking those figures every time I log in. Which I realise is pointless since I'm writing stories I'd like to read, and anyone else reading and enjoying them at this point is just a bonus, not the goal.
Go for it. It won't be life-changing, but it might make your day a little better to not know every ti- 
MortimusWasHere Wrote: *Goes off to check stats...*
Wa- wait... where are you going...?

Re: I find it demotivating & distracting to look at the view count

#14
Oh boy! I feel your pain. As it stands, I have over 20k words written and 10 chapters up on this site. I've got 7 followers (picked one up this week), but my latest chapter only has 3 views. I posted it on Monday.

I would like to say I don't care, but I do. Writing is all I know how to do, I was looking to make it a full time thing, so right now I'm testing the waters, and all the signs are telling me to run for my life.

I asked for reviews, cause it is possible that my story is just bad, and sure enough I was told as much. Apparently my first few chapters are hard to get past.

It also seems it's easier to gain some traction if you upload everyday, instead of weekly like I do. But, my story isn't pre-written, I write each chapter on the weekends, I also have to proofread and edit too.

I've decided it's a dud, and thus I no longer have any hope. Right now, I just want to finish the story so I can rewrite it and re-upload it later.

I suggest you adopt a similar mentality. Not every story will do well, and I'm beginning to realize it's a bit unrealistic to expect the first one to do well. I've made my peace with it. I'll probably still be chasing my break years from now.

I'm 27, already feeling like a failure, this hasn't done anything to help my self-esteem. Lol, I can only pray you and I become successes someday, though I very much doubt it'll happen.

Re: I find it demotivating & distracting to look at the view count

#15
I've pretty much gone through this exact situation myself, honestly. And consciously, my entire goal is just to write. I get nowhere if left to draft and rewrite stories in private with no deadline, so I do serialized writing for the accountability of getting things done. Also because it's actually kind of fun. But I've grown up in the days of "anyone can make a thing and get popular for it" that is the internet, especially in webcomic communities. There were so many webcomics I used to follow and I would see the creators interact with the audience or I'd see people having favorite characters and having discussions about them, and it made me think, "I can do that!"

I can't because creating is hard and I don't have the energy to be a big-name author like that even if my content was good enough, lol. I learned that the hard way. But that mindset has still carried over now that I'm writing. Being some famous well-known author isn't really what I want, but I want those numbers to go up cause the internet has taught me that it feels nice. I'm honestly fairly happy with my readership even though it's small, and I think my tactic for keeping myself from getting dissatisfied is by setting small goals. Instead of having a nebulous "I want numbers to be bigger" feeling that will never be satisfied, I channel it into "I want my viewcount to hit a nice multiple of 50" or "I want at least the same number of average views/chapter as the last time I updated," things like that which seems reasonable based on my fiction's stats. That way I'm more likely to actually attain any of those goals which makes me happy when it happens.

In general though, I am also trying to stop looking at my view count so much just to keep it from being an exhausting habit. The nature of the internet and social media is just that these things become so accessible that they're always just sort of... there and that makes it very tempting. For now I'm just going to keep writing my story so that I can finally finish it, then move on to the next thing that's been in my head for way too many years.

Re: I find it demotivating & distracting to look at the view count

#16

Double Wrote: But I have to remember that the reason I started this was never the attention or the recognition. It all started because I needed to express my ideas in some way, in some form. If not, then all these crazy ideas will rot in my brain as I wander around wishing I could have done something with it. 

I don’t know if this journey will ever take me somewhere fruitful in my life, but I should at least feel happy that I didn’t waste it. That I at least tried. That I at least did something. 

As long as I keep breathing, I'll keep on writing. I'll keep on improving. I'll keep on working as best as I can so I could at least see the end of what I started last year. 

These ideas have been with me for over 10 years. It’s about time I should let them go.

These words expressed why I continue to write despite me not having as many followers as other RR writers. But that's okay! It's my first time, writing a full-length novel, but I have followed a number of web novel authors too from their first work to their most recent--and oh gosh! It brings me joy to see them write better, create more interesting and moving plots and characters, and bring out the same themes with new twists every single time. 

At first, I was also concerned with looking view counts and how many followers I had.  But, over time, when these same followers would stay with me as I doubt myself, my motivation, and my abilities--I try to think that they must really, really like my work to stay with me for this long.  That, combined with me being happy that I had cranked out over 300+ pages, was enough to encourage me. 

To be frank, I'm not sure about wanting to be a famous web novel writer.  If someone wants to adapt my work into a great live-action series one day, that would be amazing--but other than that, I don't know my writer identity well enough yet.  I don't know what type of writer I want to be, still.  To even imagine myself being waited on by hundreds of followers? I don't deal with anxiety well, so, for now, I write for fun while finishing up my university courses. 

So, I too try not to look at my viewer count! It would just make me compare myself to my favorite web novel writers and the ones who are trending now.  It won't do me any good as compared to 'just keep writing.' 

Re: I find it demotivating & distracting to look at the view count

#17
Not sure if it will help but I have a slightly different perspective. I started writing in college, which was over a decade ago, and since then have written off and on. I got serious about it a few years ago. At first writers block was my biggest issue. I would start a book and either run into an issue where I didn't know what to write next, or I wasn't happy with something I had written. My writing would slow to a crawl and eventually I'd find myself not writing at all. Sometimes for weeks or even months. To combat that I decided I would just keep on writing, even if it wasn't on the same project. That worked great.

The only problem is that I ran into a new issue. I'm not sure which fiction I want to focus on first. I want to finish all of them at some point, and I don't plan on writing an unending web novel with 1000+ chapters. Although I may end up with quite a few in the same universe, just different characters and events. I have at least a dozen half finished books, and a few that are basically finished and just need a final rewrite and editing. Probably around 500k words total. I could sit down, finish some, and then publish some stuff. But that is expensive, I'd want to pay for professional editing, cover art, etc. Plus I'd be in the dark about which of my fictions people will like. I don't let my family and friends read my writing. I feel like it reveals too much about how me as an author thinks, and most of my family wouldn't appreciate the violence and that some of it would be flagged as having sexual content. That also means I don't have a fan base at all. Not a great foundation if I want to make the jump from writing as a hobby to writing as a job.

So I joined royal road. Right now I'm editing and releasing a chapter or two of what I've written each workday. And I'll spend the weekends writing new content. The hope is that I can get a feel for which of my fictions people enjoy the most. Then I can focus on finishing that first. So views, followers, favorites, ratings, and reviews are all things I'm very interested in. On the other hand I don't care about, and don't look at, the views, followers, favorites, ratings, and reviews of other fictions. All I care about is how my own fictions will stack up against each other.

Ultimately I want to write as my job, not just a hobby. I don't need to have my books turned into movies, or even have them printed and in book stores to do that. Looking back on when I started writing I can see how much I've improved. And I know I'll continue to improve. I've also read a ton and seen way too many wildly successful authors that I feel are terrible authors. So if they can be wildly successful I don't doubt that someday I can be at least moderately successful and write as a job instead of just a hobby.

Not sure if it helps but maybe part of the issue is that you are comparing yourself to others. This is especially true if you are comparing genres. Not sure if it's true on royal road, but in general romance is more successful than fantasy, and fantasy usually beats sci fi. Just walk into a book store and compare the shelf space devoted to each genre. Just focus on yourself and your own goals. I know it's not strictly true and scientific but there is a saying that it takes 10,000 hours to master something. Until then I'd focus on whatever keeps you writing. If you stick with it I can tell you it's amazing to be able to look back at things you have written years before and see how much you have improved.