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?
“It doesn’t matter what you write, no one is reading it anyway.”
Believe me, I know exactly how you feel.
What I’m trying on my blog is to have a theme for each day. So far, the only two I’ve managed to maintain with any consistency are Recipe Wednesday and Writing Thursday. However, I have high hopes of being able to revive Dragon Friday today, and I’, hoping to get Creativity Tuesday back on-line, too (maybe as early as next week). And it still leaves me Saturday, Sunday, and Monday for random drive-by postings.
For what it’s worth, the “Recipe Wednesday postings do seem to be drawing people to the blog. I’m up to 9 whole followers now! (And that’s not counting my Beloved Husband.)
My advice? Do what makes the blog enjoyable for you. Because if you love what you’re doing, it’ll show, and the rest will follow.
Thanks… It’s a good point. I had worked out a theme plan at one point, and never really followed-through. I’ve been struggling with content on many fronts, trying to use some of my writing time to bigger projects, and then, falling behind on it all.
But, I’m glad recipe Wednesday has been good. And yay for 9 followers! That’s awesome! It’s about 4 times more than me 🙂
(Well, the Flying Solo list is at 60 people, the WoD list is 30 people.). It’s odd to me because figuring out how to navigate these clearly different audiences is odd. But, your advice is good.