Its better to write for yourself and have no public than to write for the public and have no self - Cyril Connolly
I spent the better part of last evening amalgamating various old blogs of mine into this one. Why did I put myself through that? Well considering that it took me the best part of an hour to upgrade to the latest version of WordPress thanks to a dodgy plugin I thought I’d deleted months ago and the inability for my install to successfully import the blogs correctly at first I really did start to wonder myself.
Over the years I’ve picked subjects I’ve had an interest in and started various blogs to explore them. I never thought I’d get a following but after watching many writers, and for some I call them that out of sheer politeness, gain a loads of readers I wondered where I was going wrong. I tried the various circle jerk sites like Entrecard to get new readers and all I got was warnings from my web host about my traffic being to high for my package. If I was lucky I received a very veiled attempt at self promotion in the form of a comment designed from the start to make it look like they had actually read my post. I just didn’t get where these bloggers were getting their readership from.
When my RPG blog joined the RPG Bloggers Network it’s traffic didn’t so much as jump through the roof as gave me a slight boost but those that came to the site actually read my posts and I was very lucky in that a lot of people took the time to comment on my writing and I’ve got to know a lot of folk through it but at the end of the day this blog gets only a handful of visitors a day. It’s a personal blog so I don’t expect much but if I was to tell you that almost every day around 80% of my page views are for the Malteser Cake recipe I posted months ago you’ll see where my angst comes from.
I wouldn’t go as far as to say that I need validation or acceptance when I write but I certainly want someone to have read it. Over the years my writing has changed and it’s not just the spelling that has improved but I always feel that I’m always grasping for things to say. If I have an idea for something to write about I’ll then spend four hours struggling to put the words together. Whether that’s my dyslexia showing through I don’t know but it certainly shows with anything I rush. I joined in a conversation a friend of mine was having on Facebook today and no matter what I typed it felt as though I was digging a deeper hole with every sentence. For those curious it was a discussion on why people were being so upset about horses dying in the Grand National when loads of animals die every day for our needs and desires. He is a vegetarian and I’m a conscientious meat eater so we’re never going to agree on the basics but I found I really struggled to put together an argument for my view point. I know why I believe the things I do but could I get anything writing down other than, and I’m paraphrasing here, ‘I’ve got grindy teeth and choppy teeth so I’ll use them for what they are meant for’? Needless to say I don’t think I came out of that battle with to many hit points left. On a side note I need to learn more about basic punctuation I feel…
I just took a couple of minutes there to check if my wife had updated her blog before going to sleep and reread her latest post. I’ll hold my hands up and say that because it’s got a lot of crafty posts I tend not to click the links but this time I did. Can you guess what the first link was about? This exact same topic!
Everything I write is there for the general public to see. I don’t mark anything as private for my eyes only. Maybe I should do that? I don’t know. You only have to look at the varied and many categories in the sidebar to see just how far I wander at times. The only brand I’m pushing is me and aside from friends and family I don’t really see who would actually care about what I write. I love to write though.
My written English skill levels are always a major fear for me when I put something out there even if only a handful of people will actually ever see it. It’s not just my writing skills that are out to stop me actually writing though. In my days of writing for Wired’s Geekdad blog I enjoyed every second of it but seeing the level these guys take their hobbies to really intimidates me and so any time I come up with a topic to write about I end up dropping it as they would either be far more qualified to write it or already have. Why even try and write a smart blog post on something topical when someone else out there will be able to do it far better than I can. On here my answer would be that I’d try because in the grand scheme of things noone would see it. Add possibly a few hundred thousand readers and I’ll shrink back into my dark corner and let someone else give it a try.
For those that haven’t guessed yet this is one of my rambles that like my earlier discussion on Facebook isn’t actually going the way I originally intended. I’m grasping at a point but never quite getting there. I can almost guarantee I’ll wake up in four hours time in a eureka moment with a way to make this more structured, readable and to the point but that in itself completely misses the point of this post.
I’m getting a huge feeling of deja vu with this posts…