I know how many people will read these words. I also how many people will open the email I am about to send, how many will click any link in that email, which link, when and how often.
I am well aware of how long it's been since my last email: "It's been three weeks since you last engaged with your customers" was the most recent warning from my email platform.
Instagram and Facebook keep an exact count of my "followers" and report on their "likes" with every post. And I have received multiple surveys from art organizations asking me to report my income which, depending on the survey, is meant to measure the extent of either my success or my suffering.
It's hard to escape the incessant numbers, what they mean and what I think they mean.
Some number are helpful: the nudge from the email service did get me to sit down and write this blog. A steady social presence is useful. Instagram is a lot of fun.
But the rule of the game is quantity: more followers, most posts, more emails, more ads, more activity, more sales, more shows. It's exhausting.
Last month's art festival was a flurry of activity. This month, I am turning inward. I am creating samples. I am reading. I am starting to meet friends again for coffee. I am sketching, incessantly. I am napping. Something is forming but I don't know what.
There is no timeline for this phase. No measurement. Nothing precise to like or dislike, just a few ideas that keep shifting.
The Number Patrol would call this a big Zero. In fact, it's a Minus One Hundred. Everything under the radar, murky, jumbled, tentative, waiting, waiting and waiting to come together.
Minus One Hundred is where the good stuff happens. It's where I listen in the shadows for when my number comes up.
It will. It always does.