When I started to blog a few years ago, I figured I had this, no problem. After all, I am a writer, which has to give me a least a little leg up on a lot of bloggers who post, not because they consider themselves writers, but because they believe they have something valid to offer. They’re experts in something, or they have an incredible sense of humour or strong viewpoints and opinions they just know the world is dying to hear.
I figured this was a natural fit for me, just another outlet to express myself through the written word. My hope, of course, was to sync that writing ability up with topics that I might be able to address, if not in an expert, at least in a semi-intelligent manner, offering my viewpoints and opinions on various matters relating to writing and life in general and at least occasionally incorporating the use of humour.
I would develop a following. Immediately. Of course I would. The question wasn’t would anyone actually want to sacrifice five to ten minutes of their lives a couple of times a week to read whatever I had to say on a given subject, but how on earth had everyone gone so long without being able to do so?
Like so many others, I dove right in. I was a bright, shimmering, turquoise-coloured fish, the kind you see swimming in and out of the coral reefs along the coast of Australia. It was my time to shine.
And then the camera began to pan out.
Even from my limited vantage point, I could see the problem almost immediately. I wasn’t alone. I didn’t stand out. I wasn’t the most brilliantly bright or dazzlingly shimmering fish in the sea. The cliché was true. There were plenty of us down here. And by plenty I mean mind-boggling infinite numbers stretching as far as the eye could see and beyond.
And when you’re a fish, swimming in the sea, that generally means inhaling a mouthful of water and starting to choke.
And when you’re a writer, drowning in a sea of words and voices and opinions and wit and advice, choking also becomes a very real possibility.
So what now?
It’s a new year. Largely considered a good time for a new start. Can I shift my focus? Find something new to say, or at least a moderately original way of saying the same old thing? Will anyone find me flopping around out here in the cyber-world? Will anyone care enough to stick around and read what I have to say if they do?
The answer, of course, is I don’t know. No one does. Viral-ity is a tricky and unpredictable beast, and not even always desirable when it does happen to you.
To be perfectly honest, viral-ity freaks me out a little. I have little to no desire to have that many people reading my words and responding in the all too often hostile, antagonistic, cowardly anonymous manner I’ve seen in far too many comment boxes.
But the thought of a few more readers holds definite appeal. Writing is a lonely occupation, and it would be nice to feel once in a while like I’m not entirely alone here, that others are interested in what I have to say, find it encouraging or inspiring or, at the very least, not a complete waste of their time. And are willing to post a comment that encourages and inspires me and others in return.
So I’m going to try. It would be senseless at best—and hypocritical at worst—of me to quit writing my blog encouraging writers to persevere through all challenges and obstacles just because a seemingly insurmountable one looms before me now.
So yes, I will persevere. I’m not a big fan of making resolutions, but I will make a few regarding my blogging in 2014:
1) 1) I will attempt to sharpen the focus of my blog so any potential readers will know what to expect when they come looking for it.
2) 2) I will post every Friday unless I am lying in the hospital, every Internet connection within a one hundred mile radius has been severed, or I have lost the use of both hands in a senseless blender incident (and I warn you, things like that do tend to happen in my home).
3) 3) I will do everything in my power to make my posts reasonably short, to the point, semi-interesting, quasi-relevant, somewhat encouraging and hopefully, here and there, at least slightly amusing.
4) I will consider involving other writers in my blog, so it’s not the isolating activity it can so often be and so more and varied viewpoints can be offered at this site.
So come see me. Spread the word. Give me your comments and suggestions. Share your thoughts.
We can dive in together.
Press on, my friends. Press on,