Looking at the Value

A post that Martha Kennedy wrote wherein she ponders the value of her posts now that she has purchased Premium WordPress has prompted this post. I was pondering the value of my posts, her posts, and numerous other bloggers’ posts. I commented on her post, “That is the problem when you start thinking about putting a monetary value on your words – you get worried that the words aren’t “worth the money”. Perhaps it isn’t the cost of the blog. Maybe the value is not yours to assess. A word that you think less than a penny’s worth is the word that starts another on a grand adventure or turns them from self-harm. Perhaps they see a photo and their soul catches fire for nature or photography or even the feel of the wind on their face. What is the price of that? I suggest that you fling your words into the universe via WP and let them rain on us in abundance. Let us soak them in and feel the benefit…”

A very long winded way to say that all words and posts have value. It reminded me of a conversation I had many years ago. I belonged to a Bible Study group. We were just getting to know each other and the leader asked us to share an aspect of our jobs that caused us sadness or distress. I spoke about the necessity of euthanizing animals. I don’t recall the exact words I used but it was on the order of: I love and protect all the animals in my care but when the study ends they are sacrificed. I am sad when that day comes. I sometimes cry. But I know that by giving up something of great value I have in return something of equal or greater value.

There was silence when I stopped speaking. I felt that maybe I had said too much and they would all think me a monster. Instead one of the women burst into tears and came over and hugged me. She kept saying thank you over and over. After she composed herself she explained that her daughter had died. She didn’t understand how God could let that happen or believe that God would purposely take her daughter away. My words were what she needed to hear so that she could find peace. To me they had no value. It was just a description of what I did and how I felt. To her they were as if an angel had whispered the truth into her ear. That was the day that I stopped putting a value on my words. I let others decide the value to them. It could be that a post is panned by all but that one person who laughs, or is motivated, or decides to try something new. How to you rate the value of your posts? Number of views? How many “like” the post? The number of comments generated? There are lots of different parameters…

65 thoughts on “Looking at the Value

  1. Ahhh, yes, the value of words . . . especially well chosen words. 🙂 It seems at just the times when I begin to wonder why I do what I do when it comes to words, God sends someone along to say they listen to my broadcasts all the time or look for my photos every day or anticipate what I will write next because they are encouraged by it. I suppose there are instances when we ought to keep our words in check because they aren’t well chosen, but overall I really like the advice “I suggest that you fling your words into the universe via WP and let them rain on us in abundance. Let us soak them in and feel the benefit…”. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Thanks Tom! I know that you are a very busy person and don’t comment all that often so this is special to me. I do listen to your audio and read your posts – though there usually isn’t much that I feel I need to chime in about except to say “Amen”. Keep posting because I do read and so do so many others!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I had a pastor mention that sometimes bloggers are the vehicle of the Holy Spirit. We don’t know how our words will fall, but they may have guidance. I loved reading the story of your Bible Study experience very much.

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  3. “ Fling your words into the universe via WP and let them rain on us in abundance. Let us soak them in and feel the benefit…” Oh, Muri, this is just so gorgeous.
    I’m not so sure that value can be measured by either the reader or the writer. Who cares? It just is.
    I’m not so sure that everything we do needs analysing or rationalising. Who cares? It just is.
    There have been storytellers since time began. Blogging is just a form of storytelling. Someone once said, “ Dogs sniff each other. Human beings tell stories. This is our native language.”
    Just keep flinging those words into the universe, my friend….

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  4. This is a great
    Ost. It so often happens, with me, that something I posted that I did not especially think was much good, had a great effect on people, or just one person. We never just know what oyr words can do or achieve. Sometimes I feel like giving up, but then someone says something that makes me believe it is worth carrying on.

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    1. I’m thrilled you connected with this post. I’m never a good judge of my own work so I have stopped trying to sort what I write into “good” or “bad” posts… I love to read your poetry and your everyday posts. Don’t give up! I’m reading!!

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  5. You never know how your words will effect people. I have had a number of my friends tell me they look at drug addicts differently because I have been so open about what happened with my daughter. One is a nurse, so if an addict is treated more with compassion and the understanding that there are people who love them no matter how horrible their current situation seems, that’s a good thing. Always speak your truth.

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    1. Thanks for the comment Patti! We have to speak our truth and let the words fall like rain. Sometimes it causes ideas to sprout and other times the words just run off and join the torrent of words streaming past on the internet. When they make a difference I feel satisfied.

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  6. I got mildly? A little? angry yesterday when a reader of my blog told me to “stop complaining about my life.” I wasn’t complaining about my life and what if I was? It’s my blog, my words, my thoughts, my moment. I responded to his comment with what I AM upset about (the state of the nation) and he responded by telling me to write that on my blog. This morning I began writing about how I don’t think it’s my job to tell other people what to write or not to write, but ultimately, I just deleted everything and did the dishes. I don’t think anyone should tell anyone else what to write in their blog posts. I’ve stopped reading a few bloggers who have done that, written posts telling other what to write. Seriously?

    It seems to me that we really can never know what a reader brings to our blog posts. They will always mean something to somebody even if it’s just, “OK, well, that was that”). The meaning might be totally subjective and the result of their projecting their moment onto what they’re reading. You never know. I look on the offerings of the bloggers I follow as small gifts. None of us have to do this. You are so right that we can’t estimate the true value of our words to others.

    We hold all kinds of stuff in our hearts all the time and the story you’ve told here about the woman identifying with your story is very lovely. I believe that’s one of the best things of human connection, that there is the potential to offer something meaningful to another.

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    1. Martha your posts have made me think, laugh, gaze at my navel, and spurred me to write things on my blog. A lot of the “monetized” blogs have loads of advice on what to write in addition to how often and when posts should go live – to score the most views. I’m with you that bloggers who try to tell you what your blog should be about are buttinskis and should be ignored.

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      1. That one has been blocked. 🙂 I have read some of that advice about how to best blog and I realized that my whole life was that kind of stuff, competitive and success driven all of which was always antithetic to who I am as a person. Now that I don’t have to compete for anything or satisfy some boss somewhere, I’m sure not.

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        1. Yay! I’m out of that “rat race” too and it feels good not to have to meet any deadlines or prep for meetings. Now I just need to show up on time and preform my magic. I then can go home and not have any “baggage” from work hanging over my head. It is very liberating so I don’t want to pick up that stress again. Blogging is fun and I enjoy the community. I’d still blog even if I had zero followers!

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            1. Hehe! I think the prerequisite is that you have to have “shuffled off this mortal coil” and I am in no hurry for that to happen to you!!!! Perhaps a time capsule buried in the yard, Bear could no doubt assist in the digging part…

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  7. I have not any idea about the way a blog may generate money, Val .
    When I look at all the posts you wrote since your beginning on Xanga I think you have matter for a book and even a few books . Your talent of writer is very high and you are inspired , ( you will be able to gather your posts by topic )
    For me , I think my blog is not valuable because my English is so poor and if the money comes I think I would lose my pleasure to blog, roten by the money.
    Love ❤
    Micchel

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Michel. I don’t know about making money from my blog – I just write for the joy of it. I love your posts about your home and family and your life – all of it is very interesting. I think your English is very good (and all together better than my French)!!! I found that when I was doing a ceramic art commission it took a lot of the fun out of playing with clay. Now I just do what I want and if someone wants to buy a piece I sell it…

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  8. Your grandmother gave me a paperweight that said, “ Always make sure your words are sweet and tender for someday you may have to eat them.” I think I may have said something hurtful to her . I hope not, but I always remember the paperweight words. What we say can hurt when said directly to a person … especially to children. We have to be careful what we say to children because those words can cut and injure them. As far as blogs go I think you do extremely well! Your wise and beautiful thoughts inspire and at times amaze me. And Michael is right you have enough for a book.

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    1. Thanks Mother! I am in the process of recovering all my poetry. It was on a flash drive that got corrupted (another casualty of 2020) so I lost all the work on the poetry book. I’m attempting to get it back and start over. I’m tickled pink that you like my blog…

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    1. I think I have just a little over 200 followers, many of which have never posted (or if they did it is for a product that they want me to buy)! I like the intimacy of a small group of friends where we can comment and have conversations. Sometimes they are light and easy and other times we touch on serious topics – just like life…

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      1. That is how I am. I have around 120 followers. I have 5 or 6 who interact mostly. And a few on occasion. I have had some disappear over the years. Like one was diagnosed with cancer and disappeared right after that.

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        1. That was how it was on xanga too. It was always sad when they just evaporated – but just as bad when you had a relative of theirs post that they had passed. I suppose that is to be expected but it doesn’t make it any easier.

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  9. Such a powerful post Val … been busy – a river cruise 🙂

    Just read this as Punam had linked it to another post I was reading, would have got around to it but WOW … this resonates deeply! We never know what we show or say will trigger in others and if it reaches just one, touches just one heart as this post does then let’s keep circulating love and cheer via WP!

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    1. Thanks Kate! I’m gratified that this one touched you. I’m so glad you are still posting and sharing your poetry. I look forward to reading them and can’t wait to see what is next! (as for love – it seems in short supply but it is an endless well.)

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    2. Thanks Kate! I’m gratified that this one touched you. I’m so glad you are still posting and sharing your poetry. I look forward to reading them and can’t wait to see what is next! (as for love – it seems in short supply but it is an endless well.)

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  10. feels like you wrote this post for me. I strongly believe every story has value and needs to be told. You never know when your story could save someone else. Every word has value and counts, every story is precious. Thank you for writing this.

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    1. I’m so tickled that this post struck a chord in you! It is so true – we never know when a word can save a life. All stories are unique and valuable. Too often we focus on the rich and famous seemingly eager to hear their stories and discounting our own! You are so very welcome! Keep telling the important stories!!

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  11. Val, I can’t tell you how much I love this post! Such precious, meaningful words! I shared the link of your post with another blogger before commenting on yours! Our words have the power to touch others…you showcased it beautifully!

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      1. See Val, that’s the beauty of words…they find place in other people’s hearts and minds without the writer knowing about it! That’s the reason we should not underestimate our rambles!
        You are so welcome.

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  12. As a new blogger, I definitely thought that my stats reflected the value of my posts. But then while scrolling through other blogs, I came across one that had around 10,000 followers. And you know what his latest post was? “Dear birth mom, I still hate you.” That was it. And it got thousands of “likes.” That was the moment when I decided that if a post I wrote truly spoke to even one person, then it was worth the effort I put into it. Even if the message they got from it wasn’t the message I intended. Because as you’re example proved, we have no idea how our words will be interpreted by others, and that’s okay.

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    1. I agree! I prefer comments over likes but also know that not all posts are going to spur each and every reader to comment. A like lets me know they read it. It is funny but the way some blogs are “rated” is by how many likes they receive. I’m not part of that competition. I don’t get “paid” to blog so I’m not beholden to the generation of traffic on my blog…

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  13. While we cannot put a monetary value to our words and emotions that we put on paper, I cannot begin to measure the kind of love I have for you and your writing prowess. Val, you are a gem! Thank you for this post.

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    1. Thanks Zakiah! You just made my day! I think you and your poetry are very special too. I’m so humbled that you think this post was so good… Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

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    1. Hi! Thanks for the comment and especially the visit! Please feel free to come around any time and if you are moved to comment all the better but don’t feel that you have to say anything… I’m thrilled that this post touched you. That is the only way to measure the weight of these words.

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  14. I totally get your point of view. I at times ponder the value of my words too and this sometimes leads me to obsess over my stats. That being said, if I’ve touched just one person with my words, that means they’re worth something. Like you say, maybe Martha’s words keep someone from engaging in self-harming. Maybe they inspire another blogger, like you. I have never wanted to monetize my blog, so I have to find the value of my words elsewhere. That’s the beauty of it though.

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    1. Hi Astrid! So nice to see your comment. I’ve thought that monetizing a blog would take all the fun out of writing it. We do impact others for better or worse. The saying that the pen is mightier than the sword has merit.

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  15. I have Premium, so that I may post as many photos as I wish, in my hiking and travel posts. As for the content, as you know, I write what I feel. Sometimes, it has cause done or two people to up and leave-deleting my blog from their Reader. Too bad-as faithful readers, like you, always have a reassuring word to say.

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    1. Words do matter. The pastor at my mother’s church used to say a prayer before his sermons that had a line in it about hoping that one small word of his would join with one small thought of ours and open our hearts to the word of God….

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