In A World Full Of Critics: Writing

When I decided to start a blog, I read all of the advice out there. To summarize that experience, I emerged overwhelmed and disappointed. Even in starting this blog, I’ve struggled to hold on to a voice in a sea of voices out there. In my visits to popular or trending blogs, I’ve noticed that many of them are popular not for the writing, but for the subject matter presentation. I read plenty pertaining to gaining tons of followers.

You should stick to ONE topic.

Post pictures.

Use sub headings.

Keep paragraphs to a few sentences to keep readers attention.

Make it colorful and visually appealing, but not too cluttered.

…what in the actual fuck?…but people still read actual books don’t they? Or are picture books for adults now a trend?

There are so many differing blogs dedicated to fashion that I have no idea what to wear anymore. One only has to throw a stick to hit a blog about make-up, or relationships, or motherhood, etc. But what I started to notice is that so much of the writing seemed disconnected from who the person writing these blogs actually was. It made me wonder if that is what the world has come to. Are we so starved for fashion and make-up tips that we no longer care about the personal voice of the person writing these articles?

I’ve learned that you should post on a schedule or you’ll lose readership. I suppose the threat of this isn’t as frightening. I always go back to pages I’ve found that I enjoy. To see what’s new, and to break up the monotony of all of the repetitive stories in this world. Even if these writers are commenting on the same thing, it’s the way they write it that gives the subject a new perspective. So, it’s worth the work for quality reading. Something I do not believe is as important to many “followers” anymore.

I could go on about all of the rules for successful blog writing, but that simply does not interest me. I’ve never really been good at the rules, and instead have excelled at finding loopholes in the rules. It’s not even intentional so much as it is a feeling that rules are one-size fits all, and rigid.

The fact is, sometimes I can’t give a list of  “10 things” for this or that. I have no idea what headlines grab reader’s attention. I’m not sure why I can’t write full, proper paragraphs… has attention span really gotten that spastic? All of it just seems crazy when you lay the rules out end-to-end. The writing itself becomes convoluted by all of these do and don’t boundaries. It takes the fun out of it for me.

I have virtually no readers. I get the stragglers here and there, and a lot of this is probably due to the fact that I have followed none of the rules in gaining readership. I can’t stick to one subject in writing. There are so many things to say. There are subjects I try to shy away from for now, but I certainly don’t eliminate the possibilities to discuss everything. It’s apparent that my desire to write about what I want far outweighs my need to be followed by thousands.

I’m terrible with marketing, and managing a blog site. I’m an average person, living an average life, and pondering the bigger complexities from my own personal vantage point. I could inflate my importance, but how is that relatable? It seems more like false advertising in an attempt to impress.

I am starting to understand the inner workings of search engines and how the content should be tailored, but it doesn’t mean I have achieved proper application of this newfound understanding. To me, it’s reminiscent of life. Sticking to one topic is boring. Following rules can become cumbersome. Understanding something does not mean you have the expertise or the means to apply it.

So, I write to an audience that changes and cycles through, and is far from impressive. Still, I write. Because winning the popularity contest in blogging feels much like high school. Jumping through hoops to do and say all of the right things only to lose favor when something newer and shinier comes along anyway. Feeling as though I am not myself to “fit” into a mold cast by some unknown organization of people.

This is one of those risks that comes with the understanding that not everyone will like what you have to say. Not everyone will be interested in your perspective. To some, you may speak to their souls, and to others, your perspective will be meaningless or average. This is no different than anything we will do in life.

I’m personally more interested in reading a writer that has been creative in expressing their voice in this world. I love to see a genuine perspective in someone’s words. I am entertained by a writer that is brave in their approach to any subject. Even I’ve personally failed in this arena at times because of fear of losing something in some way.  In the beginning, there is always the fear of failure. I’ve definitely wondered what my niche in writing is, but I am interested in so many aspects of life, I don’t think I have one.

For now, I am committed to writing what I want, and working on strengthening my personal voice. I figure that this will either succeed or fail, and both are okay. It will not stop me from writing. Who knows? Maybe someday I will be a seasoned writer.

In a world where popularity is constantly based on the appearance and not the content, it can be hard to stick to your principles. It can be difficult to stay the course and remain diligent in sticking to your original plan. In reading the rules of life, the rules of blogging, and all of the frigid advice to win a false sense of popularity, I wonder when burgeoning writers will be reminded to be themselves. To develop their own unique voice, and to remain committed to the original goals they’ve set for themselves.

Today I published a blog with no pictures, no sub-headings, and nothing visually appealing. Because it’s hard out here for a new writer, and there are more critics in this world than there are cheerleaders some days. Most days.

 

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