Why We Writers Write
Anyone who’s perused the classic lifestyle blog has noticed its tendency to portray the writer’s world as fabulous, glamorous, and painless, which to be perfectly honest annoys me to no end. I don't always just want to see how perfect someone's life is. It's the rawness of a blogger's writing that will permanently secure my readership.
Which got me thinking.
Yesterday, my blog reached 250 followers on Bloglovin, which I know is not much in the blogging world. But, for this newbie writer who, for years, has shied away from adding tags to her posts for fear that someone might actually read it, going from maybe about 20 followers this time last year to 250+?? Now, that was one freak out-worthy experience.
Naturally, my mind started to overflow with ideas for blog posts I could write next. “This post will get LOTS of views, no doubt,” I excitedly thought to myself. My mind soon began slipping down the rabbit hole of catchy list-article titles, in hopes that hundreds would click on it. “I’ll post more regularly,” I convinced myself. Even if the content isn't so great. That’s what the readers want. Isn't it?
Now, I must emphasize– there is nothing wrong with list articles. Admittedly, I will probably draft dozens of them to have published onto various websites in the next year. The truth is, that’s just what non-invested readers are drawn to. Heck, unless a blog has managed to seduce me into emotionally investing in the writer’s life, I also participate in the click-bait culture. There is certainly nothing wrong with that. But that is not what I want for my personal blog. That is not why I started this in the first place. And so, this thought process is inherently problematic for me.
So, why do we write? It’s a question I’ve been asking myself a lot over the past few days.
At the risk of sounding disingenuously altruistic, at the core, I think that I write to connect with others. Even when I shied away from public readers, I always had one loyal follower that managed to connect with what I was saying. And that was enough impetus to keep me going.
There’s something very liberating about exposing yourself somewhat anonymously on your blog. The most rewarding part of seeing my blog grow was not the high number of viewers that my page was getting, but rather seeing those that stayed behind, that chose to follow me for whatever reason, and that (gasp) actually commented on some of my stuff. It’s the conversations that come about when you throw your vulnerable self out into the blog-verse that make writing most meaningful. It’s the feeling that someone, somewhere out there, can relate to what you are saying, and that maybe, just maybe, that connection might have comforted that person ever-so-slightly. And that, at the core, is why I think I write.
In all honesty, my overarching goals for this writing endeavour that I've begun are still fairly ambiguous. It’ll be an interesting development to watch unfold. Am I looking to one day become a freelance full-time internet writer? Not at the moment. Am I hoping to make some extra cash on the side with writing? Well, sure. Am I searching to be the next big lifestyle blog? If I’m being honest, I think a part of me secretly was– the part of me who lacks self-control and jumps head first into the newest shiny daydream and explores multiple facets of it with full delusion. It’s an appealing career idea. Still, I don’t think I could handle exposure to that degree, especially when it would involve my (maybe one day) family.
As a result, I probably won’t be getting many followers or likes. I probably won’t ever get to lifestyle blog following status. I won’t get tons of comments or mentioned on fancy websites in twenty different countries. And, frankly, that’s okay. Because at the end of the day, I don’t write for the clicks.