Over the past five years, I’ve had people ask me a lot about blogging. Apparently there are tons of writers out there, hesitating over hitting that “publish” button. It got me thinking about why I do this strange thing. Here’s what I love about blogging and here’s the one awful, cringe-inducing thing I hate…
First, things I love…
I love how once in a while a reader will say they really liked a post. And it usually comes at the perfect moment. So many times (more than I care to admit) I came close to taking a sledgehammer to my computer. Then one person said something kind… and that kept me going.
The math is simple. Without readers, there’s no blog. I appreciate each and every one.
Fellow Bloggers—Some of the best writers I know are bloggers. They teach me. They awe me. They make me laugh. They make me cry. From the mega-bloggers with millions of readers to the “charming boutique” blogs, they never fail to inspire me.
They ‘ve also taught a valuable lesson — “good and done” is better than “almost-perfect but never done.” In other words, do your best and let it go.
Practice – I look at my earlier posts and cringe. In fact, I’ve deleted many of them. The world is better off. And although the Pulitzer-prize committee isn’t knocking on my door, it’s nice seeing how the writing has evolved over time – like any art if practiced.
(And at this point, I must give props to my talented editor/husband Randy who keeps me from making a complete fool out of myself… well, every week. Thank you, honey).
Comments – Bloggers live for comments, even the occasional snarky one. I’m no exception. It means people are reading. They’re engaged. What’s even cooler is some of these comments come from around the globe – China, India, Australia, and the Philippines.
The more I read them, the more I see how we’re more alike than different. We all have opinions, hopes and fears. We all worry about our kids, health, marriage, dieting, and whether we’ll be able to binge-watch “The Crown” next season. I love that.
That One Big Popular Post – Occasionally — like lightning in a bottle — something magical happens. A post is read by tons of people. Traffic goes through the roof. And like the fisherman who hooks a big one and keeps going back to the lake, this feeling fuels many bloggers to keep writing. For a day or two, you’re convinced you’re the next Ann Patchett or Charles Dickens.
Strangely, any time I write about my pets, the traffic goes crazy. It makes up for those fun times I hit “publish” and hear crickets chirping.
Okay, now here’s the thing that sucks…
You make your mistakes in public – And when you do, you’re convinced the earth has stopped spinning. Everyone on the planet is doubled-over, laughing. This usually happens in the beginning, before you get that tough hide.
And what creates that tough hide? When you realize most people aren’t paying that much attention. They’re into their own lives and problems and issues. Hardly anyone noticed your epic fail, and if they did, it lasted five seconds before they went back to cooking dinner.
But here’s the good news… you learn.
At the beginning of “Musings, Rants & Scribbles,” I took the rant part too seriously. I sometimes let myself get negative and always regretted it. That’s when I realized I wanted to be a force for good in the world, not just another complainer.
Now I keep rants infrequent and light (Okay, except for my last post about annoying holidays songs.)
I guess the take-away is to encourage anyone with the smallest, faintest inkling to give blogging a whirl. Like any art, you never know until you hit that keyboard, pick up that guitar or dabble on that easel. You never know until you try.
And here’s one more cool thing — like any creative endeavor, its nice to know you’ve left even the teeniest, tiniest mark on this insane world.
It’s nice to know that out there somewhere…another big fish is swimming around, just waiting to be caught.
Do you blog? Thinking of starting one? Comments are always welcome. And if you like, please share.
If you’d like to get posts by email, just press this button. Thank you!