A friend of mine passed along a link to a blog that is being written by someone he knows who’s obviously bucking for a book deal. She almost comes out and says as much, continually comparing herself to the writer character on Sex in the City. The site has a very strong “brand” to it – the color palette, logo, etc. are all ready for print, tee shirts and the “movie based on the popular blog.” She is chronicling dating after divorce, and her attempts at being edgy or provocative come across as contrived and unnatural. It’s an awkward read, so of course I shared the link with my brother Tohner. After reading it, his response was much more enjoyable and way funnier than her blog. (In fact, I laughed so hard that I snarked some green tea on my computer screen.)
As this article attests, there are lots of abandoned blogs liberally sprinkled around the internet – people thought they’d immediately get a million readers and didn’t, so they quit writing. Or they thought publishers would beat a path to their door and didn’t, so they quit writing. If I had to wager a guess, my bet would be that this chick writes for a few more weeks and then gives up the ghost. It’s hard to build an audience – in the beginning, you’re not even sure if anyone is reading the thing because they want to or because they landed there via googling for something else. You have to do it purely for the experience of doing it, at least at the start.
Lucky for me, I started blogging for myself – to make sure I was writing something other than grant proposals every couple of days and to record some of the funny and/or awkward things that happen to and around me on a constant basis. That has slowly morphed into somewhat of a conversation. People are feeling more inclined to comment (here or on facebook), which I love love love. Though I do enjoy the sound of my own voice, it’s always nice to hear a response or three. [Especially when you guys knock me upside the head when I say I’m conflicted about what to do with my life – EVERYONE pretty much feels that way. It was good to be reminded that I’m not alone or particularly special in that regard.]
Even though I make my living as a grant writer and write plays on the side that generate a tiny amount of income, I’ve never wanted nor expected my blog to turn into a paying gig. It’s purely about communicating. Nothing more, nothing less. I think that you would sense if I were trying to impress some unknown $$$ entity with my wordsmithery (bullshittery, really), and I think it would turn you off. It wouldn’t be genuine communication, it would be a job interview. And who wants to read that crap?