Want to know something that will freak you the fudge out?
There are 59.3 million new posts published on WordPress per month.
Another large number is 291.7 million – that’s how many Tumblr blogs there are (currently).
Makes you feel pretty damn small doesn’t it.
My blog feels very small sometimes. I can neglect it for a week and see the stats go down to five views (or less) per day. The addictive checking of our view count can make our blog seem completely pointless – if only X amount of people are reading it, then why bother? Why feel guilty about not posting anything for a week, a month or a decade? What’s the point of trying to get my voice across when nobody gives a shit?
But your writing does have meaning, and your blog is worthwhile.
Whatever you are writing, you are writing it for you. I know, how bloody selfish and vain of you to write for yourself – can’t you just keep that crazy emotional crap in a diary? Well you can (I do), but you can have a blog for your own personal gain.
And yes, personal gain can mean some lovely cash dollar from advertisements or product reviews or whatever, but I am referencing something a little deeper and of greater worth.
When I write, I am relieving myself. I am sorting out my thoughts and feelings into word format. Sometimes if those words sound good or have the potential to resonate with others, then those particular words get typed up on a screen and published for the world (or a small X amount) to see.
I need writing for expression. Writing lets me be myself, lets me rant, lets me explain, and lets me create something. Writing doesn’t judge me; unless spell-check fancies a go and shows me a couple of squiggly red lines; and writing doesn’t quieten me. Writing lets me shout and scream and talk and whisper.
Writing can also be a little bit of a pimp too. It has the potential to connect me with others in a lot of ways, whether that is through comments on my posts or reading some of their words. I’ve made friends and met real life people through writing.
Writing can make you feel less alone. With just one comment from somebody out there on the world wide web, you can feel like somebody else gets it. Somebody else knows what it’s like. Somebody else agrees with you. Finally, validation that you are not as weird as you once thought, or at least, there’s somebody out there who could potentially be just as weird as you. Hurrah!
If you are brave enough to put your heart and soul into your writing, then you will see some love come your way. It may not be the traditional rom-com love in which you are a stereotypical quirky, half-drunk writer who falls in love with the super organized, head-in-the-game corporate cog. It’ll be the sort of love that is of acceptance and appreciation. You’ll find people reading your words because they need and want to. These people follow your writing because it helps them feel better, whether that’s because they are laughing with you or crying with you. Some part of their life will mirror yours and they will embrace your writing as if it was their very own diary entry.
People need to share themselves with others in order to make any sort of connection with the world. Your writing can help you do that.
Some of your best writing will flutter in front of your face like a butterfly. It’ll look super pretty and spectacular as it dances in the air. But if you don’t catch that little bastard then say goodbye to that excellent thought and that potentially brilliant blog post. Your thoughts and therefore your words need your attention. Just like this quote I have in my notebook – which I carry around with me everywhere I go, just in case of butterflies getting up in my grill:
“Look after your thoughts. They come unlooked for, like a bird seen in a tree, and if you turn back to your task, they disappear.”
Record everything. Every little idea you have, or thought you think could turn into a decent argument or conversation. You’ll thank yourself later when going through a writer’s block – you’ll have some ideas that could get you up and running again.
I know what you’re probably thinking (I say probably because I’m not a mind reader). You have read other people’s work and are thinking what the heck am I doing, I can’t write that good shit. I can’t write about those things, I can’t engage readers like that, and I can’t put into words my opinions on things like that. Well, good news for you – none of that matters.
If you want to write, then write. Your words are your own. There are about 1,025,109 words in the English language. Think about how many different ways you can put those words together. That’s maths that is probably impossible and therefore something I do not recommend trying at home. That many words provides you with endless possibilities, so why on Earth would you compare your writing with somebody else’s, when there are so many combinations of words to chose from?
Your writing can be in diary format, essay format, poetry format, letter format, whatever. You can write about yourself, your travels, your relationships, your career, your hobbies, your addiction to a particular TV show – it’s totally up to you. Look how freeing it is already!
Ignore your stats (easier said than done), and write for yourself. Explore with styles and formats and topics until you find your voice.
That writing voice of yours might not sound like the successful bloggers you read regularly, and that’s fine. That’s better than fine – that’s what will make your blog worth reading. It’s something different and genuine that only you can bring to the party.
It’s your kind of writing. Nobody else’s, just yours. That’s what makes it matter.
So go ahead and write something cool. I want to read it.