Every time I sit down to write a post, I wonder if I’m wasting your time.
The cynical part of me says, “Hey, I didn’t make anyone read anything. If they feel like they wasted their time, that’s not my fault.”
I don’t usually let that part out to play. That part doesn’t play well with others.
It took me years to even be willing to admit that it was ok if I people read my material just to be entertained, and that “entertainment” was itself a worthwhile product. A good story can be as good as a “How to” article.
It is ok, right? You don’t mind being entertained, right? I’m amusing, right? Not as funny as the Bloggess, granted, but, you like me don’t you? Can I make you some coffee while you read? Maybe I can teach you how to do something later on in this post?
I want my content to be of high quality. I don’t want to be one of those people that posts the web equivalent of junk food, that seems good at the time, but, there’s a certain amount of regret that follows. That feeling of wanting to die after eating 40 gallons of ice cream, covered with chocolate and whipped cream and cherries, and maybe some sprinkles for color.
So, if there’s to be pleasure, I want it to be the kind of high after running a marathon, one where the good feelings of accomplishment last long after the initial completion high and the shin splints have gone away.
I kept trying to figure out how to find a topic that would encompass all the things that fascinated me, and that I could somehow master (or know enough to fake), and then make a blog that fit that topic and write all sorts of helpful things in that area.
But, I could never pick one. As soon as I did, I didn’t want to do it. EVERY other topic I felt I could work on instantly became infinitely more interesting than the one I just picked, and I now hated the one I had picked. I knew I would get tired of talking about it, I was already bored with thinking about it. Everyone knows no one should ever choose an overall blog topic that bores him. Or her. Or me. And then I was back to square one.
I then would try and find examples of successful blogs that covered many topics. How did they unify their topic? Could I do that? Am I kidding myself? Could I create something as compelling?
Many articles offered the same advice about starting a blog “DO it!” It doesn’t matter what you write, no one is reading it anyway.” That’s encouraging.
Certainly, I knew no one was reading. But how do you reconcile the “just do it” with that same author’s advice later in the same article to “pick a topic, and always keep things related to your topic.”? Could I be the exception? Was I really stupid enough to take that risk and try? Did it matter whether I was that stupid? Maybe I should try anyway. Artists are compelled to create.
Wait. I am not really calling what I do art, am I?
And, truth to tell, creating is hard, and I’m not entirely sure that “compelled” is the correct description for any motivation I have.
Where was I?
Trying not to waste your time.
I’m not doing so good at that am I?