Inspiration comes from all sorts of sources and in this case this post was directly inspired by one written by Allison over at AA . She details all of the things she wants her non-blogger readers to know about her as a blogger. The blogging community is such a weird place because there are literally millions of people with blogs but you feel like such a minority when trying to find someone else like you, the blogger, in real life. And unless you are a blogger, it’s impossible to really know what it’s like being a blogger. But I’m going to try and explain to you, the non-bloggers, what it’s like for me.
I know it sounds trite but it takes a lot of courage to bare my self on here. Sure posts like “Deep Thoughts At the Gym” aren’t truly a peak into my soul but other posts are (see “To All The New Mothers“). A life full of anxiety and taking other people’s comments and criticism to heart has made me hesitant to show my true self. I hold back a lot, even with people I’ve known for years. So when I muster up the stamina to share what’s really running around in my head know that it took a lot of talking myself off the ledge, there was a lot of hovering over the “delete” button before finally pushing “schedule”.
I Want to Remain Anonymous…Sort Of
I suspect I am like many bloggers who want to their blog to remain unknown among family and friends. When I started blogging back in 2008, I didn’t even tell Tim about it. It got leaked to him through a mutual acquaintance who also happened to be writing a blog at the time. And it started to slowly trickle out from there, usually not by me, and it was met with an array of reactions from people thinking I am the next Hemmingway (I am certainly not) to being upset with my take on situations. When I started blogging, I figured it’d be a safe space that no one I really knew would be able to find me. Ha! Now that it’s out there I try to distance myself from it when I’m not behind my computer. I like to think that I am two separate people: the writer and the non-writer because the thought of someone I know reading something I’ve written and then wanting to talk about it in person turns my anxiety up to eleven. Why didn’t I just remain anonymous? It’s a difficult thing to pull off as a blogger since it is a social platform. I know of only one blogger who has pulled it off successfully.
Talk to Me
With all my talk about wanting to remain anonymous, I still want people to read what I write and I want them to engage it. For those of you who don’t have blogs, that means comment here, comment on Facebook, share it with everyone you know. Just don’t tell me about it in person. Don’t allude to it on my Facebook personal page. Don’t tag me the person, tag me the page. Yes, I realize it’s contradictory behavior but I’m a writer I’m a little off to begin with off.
It’s For Real
Have you ever wondered if what I wrote about was real? I know I’ve asked that very question about other bloggers. While I can’t attest what other writers do, I can say without hesitation what I write about is 100% true unless I say otherwise. I write fiction…I have two hundred plus pages printed out and sitting on my nightstand worth of fiction and even more tucked on the hard drive of my computer. But when it comes to my blog, I feel like I should write about what’s really happening to me. I can spend years editing and reworking a piece of fiction but there are only so many ways to spin a true story and I think I owe it to myself and to you to be as honest as possible. It also makes me a better blogger because if I want to keep generating content I need to tell the story and move on.
I’m Not Raking In the Cash
Your cousin’s boyfriend’s sister’s friend may have made six figures off of her cat blog last year but I can tell you for every one of those blogs, there are thousands more than are lucky to make a hundred dollars in a year, if any income at all. That includes this blog and I’m perfectly fine with that (another topic I’ll revisit later). Blogging is not the fast track to quitting your job and staying home. In most cases, the effort you put forth isn’t returned in high values. I spend my own money to pay for my host, own the domain; not to mention the time it takes me to write posts, maintain social media channels, and be part of the community. I’m definitely in the red at the end of most years.
No. Nope. Not Gonna Happen.
Way back in 2008, when I first started, I would type up something brief and post it. There were no stylized pictures, no researching keywords, no editorial calendars, very little social media planning. It was mostly words on a screen that got passed around the internet word of mouth. Now it can be a full-time job if I let it and there are times that I really do let it consume me. But I try to reign it in as much as possible. That’s part of the reason why I started over (a topic that I’ll revisit later on). Now I try to make the most out of my time, focus on the most important things, the words, and fill in the social media aspects of it when I can. All of that is to say “No, I can’t help you start a blog/website/get a job doing what I do.” Well I can if you’ll pay me for it…because I do get paid to do that. “No, I can’t tell you the secret to success” mostly because I don’t have it. But if you’re words are your only product and you’re willing to pay someone to do the dirty work maybe blogging isn’t for you. I don’t know call me an elitist or a purist or just a jerk but I feel like every blogger needs to pay their dues, learn as you go, and not look for the easy way out. That’s not to say I won’t point you in the right direction, answer a question here or there, or read what you wrote; simply don’t take advantage of it. And “No, I don’t think anyone could be a blogger”. In addition to all of the work that goes into it, the hard truth is some people just aren’t good at conveying their message through the written word.
So why do I blog? Easy…I enjoy it. I took a break from it last summer with the serious consideration that I step away from personal blogging all together but in the end I couldn’t resist. I like having an outlet, a platform. I like the connection it creates with other people, writers and non-writers.
Are you a blogger? Have any questions for me? If you’re a blogger, what do you want your readers to know?