One of the things I've discovered recently is that tracking blog stats is strangely addictive; more so than blogging, in fact. In the last few days, when the page views were beginning to lean towards the 1,000 mark, I started signing in almost obsessively - wishing, willing that 834 to become 900 and that 967 to become 1,000. Eventually, the 998 became 1,002. I did feel a little cheated at having missed the exact moment, which was also when I realised that I was acting like a paranoid blog freak.
Perhaps it's the curse of the baby blogger. You start posting, expecting no one to read but secretly hoping that your blog will go viral and be featured on MSN news by the end of the week. What happens in reality is decent enough and pleasantly so: you get a moderate number of hits that keep rising steadily and ultimately settle into a spike pattern that coincides with each new post, indicating that you've finally got a regular readership. Your blog isn't featured on a major news network, but it does make it to the lists of a couple of other popular blogs, most of them maintained by your cousins who are either trying to help or have succumbed to duress after putting up a half-hearted fight.
By now, you haven't quite 'arrived' in the blogging world but you are becoming conscious of the new public nature of appreciation for your writing. That's when you start monitoring the stats. It takes you a couple of days to become completely obsessed and to start judging the worth of your writing on the basis of the response it gets. When no one comments, you go on a chocolate binge. When someone comments, you google yourself. You start spending a disproportionate amount of time every day wondering what to blog about next. By 'you', of course, I mean 'I'.
And then, you hit 1,000 page views in six weeks, and you realise that that's far beyond what you ever realistically imagined for your little, unknown weblog. And in that moment, there's nothing to do really except to grin and accept the amazingness of it...
... after which you Facebook the news, check back obsessively to see if someone's responded to that, monitor the stats some more, fret about not having a new entry up, write one eventually and click 'PUBLISH POST'.