So I’m now three weeks into this blogging thing, and I have to say, I’m kind of digging it. For years I’ve often admired bloggers with their legions (small and large) of fans, reading the thoughts that poured forth from their minds. It used to amaze me how these writers could consistently come up with topics and find different things to say. I mean, those who know me well know that I love to talk, and have loads to say—but to write it or express it in a manner suitable for mass consumption, seemed beyond me.
That is, until I made the personally-rewarding but financially-retarded decision to self-publish my book. In looking for strategies at self-promotion, I read that blogging would be a good option. But for me, self-promotion felt more like sales-marketing, and more cryptically self-pimping—and like the Old G’s used to say—pimpin’ ain’t easy. However deeper than that was the idea of putting my work, and more significantly myself on display, and this is something I’m not comfortable with. I think this is compounded by the fact that I have an underlying cynicism about human nature, and tend to watch people with both eyes open. I’ve also read enough online posts and comments to make me full aware of the capriciousness of some readers.
But of course, aside from the fear of being devoured, or lack of topics for discussion, my real fear stemmed from my deep-seated doubts as a writer. I can’t speak for most, but I’m sure I’m not alone in posing the question to myself—is my stuff any good? And the follow-up question—will anyone like my stuff? Underneath both questions, lies the tension—the perpetual pull of believing and not believing—wanting admiration and resenting your neediness of that admiration. This eternal friction is the fire that keeps you going.
The great thing about blogging though is that it not only forces you to confront that, but also puts you in a position to engage in a community of other writers doing the same thing. We are all confronting this tension, this search to find a means to project our voices, to be heard, and to seek validation. That validation is what gives you the courage to write the next post…and the next. It is the special thrill, which I will unashamedly admit to, of checking your inbox and seeing another “like”. It is the feeling of not being alone, when you felt like an island.
So in my three weeks I have learned blogging can be many things. Self-promotion? Yes (cheap Ad moment – www.thevaldiviasagas.com – sorry folks, I couldn’t resist!) but this can be a positive, self-affirming thing. Discipline? Absolutely—as it forces you to continuously push yourself to think, write and remain relevant. But most of all, it is being absolutely true to yourself, because if you stay consistent to your own true message, then you will be able to find something to say. And saying it, speaking it, and being part of the world of creative minds, is a pretty fabulous thing. That I guess is what makes blogging so addictive. Sort of like crack—minus the debilitating physical and mental deterioration—but full of the bliss of an eternal high.