The email announces, “Unsubscribe Notification.”
When I open it, it says only that “(email address) has unsubscribed from Will Write for Food.”
There is no checking of boxes. I want more clues. I want “I am dumping you because:
- You suck
- I’m too busy to waste time reading your blog
- Both of the above.”
That would help me. Really. Instead, an unsubscribe notice sends me through the Seven Signs of Grieving:
1. Shock: Who dumped me? The email address is undecipherable. Fortunately for the reader, I have no idea, even though I sometimes try to figure it out.
2. Denial: I decide not to read email for the rest of the day. It feels great! I spend my spare time cutting out paper snowflakes and looking for four-leaf clovers.
3. Bargaining. One time I recognized the email. It was a famous food writer. I considered forwarding the “Unsubscribe” notice to her with a note that said, “Hey, did you know that I can see this? How are you? Sorry we haven’t been in touch lately.” Instead, I told a few other bloggers she had unsubscribed. Uncomfortable silence followed.
4. Guilt. Do I really suck? I try to figure out why. My record of four unsubscribes in one day came from a post on the Huffington Post’s Food section. But last week I got two unsubscribe requests from a post about funny writing.
5. Anger. I speak sternly to my cat. “Surely you appreciated my last post,” I say loudly. I go on Facebook and look up how many fans other bloggers have.
6. Depression. I stare at past posts and wonder if I’m a narcissist. I fill the bathtub with hot chocolate and try to drown myself.
7. Acceptance and hope. Finally, I put on my adult voice and tell myself it’s not personal, that sometimes readers just want a break, want to try something new, or feel overwhelmed. I tell myself that if I ever unsubscribed from the blogs I read (not that I can because I’m terrified that they would recognize my email), that would be why.
Number 7 is my strategy, now that I’m used to getting the occasional “unsubscribe.” If you’re a blogger, what’s yours?
(Photo courtesy of FreedigitalPhotos.net, by Nutdanai Apikhomboonwaroot)