The Writing Conundrum
[ 5 min read ]
I have a peculiar issue.
Now, before your mind goes wild imagining things, let me clarify. I have a peculiar issue related to writing. I enjoy writing. In fact, I’m fortunate that it comes quite naturally to me. But I am not entirely sure if I can call it ‘love’.
You see, every time I read on someone’s blog that they feel they were born to write or that they write because they would ‘die’ otherwise, I feel akin to gazing into the dark, starless night sky. I know there is something there – a truth in their words, perhaps. But it baffles me – because I can’t see or feel this ‘passion’ like they do.
No, I am not talking about their work, but rather the fact that personally, I don’t look at writing that way. It is the same sort of bizarre feeling that I have when I read/hear some authors state that they write because the story grows so much inside them that it starts to ache, that they can’t wait to get it out. Which on a side note, reminds me of pregnancy.
For me, writing is just the best way of expressing my thoughts and often, the clearest way that I can put across what I want to say. I’ve never felt like I would die if I stopped writing or blogging. In fact, I don’t even feel compelled to write on some days. Yes, I do start to feel slightly agitated when I haven’t blogged for a few weeks. But to be honest, that is a lot more to do with people asking me about my next post or me wanting to write about something, but being unable to write. The fact that this is perhaps my first non-commissioned piece of work in over a month should say something about all this. That, and the fact that I’ve been battling some health issues; but those are topics for another day.
Writing is pretty cathartic for most of us. So I suppose it is for me too. And no, it doesn’t come easy for anyone. Even people who churn out page after page – I’m sure they don’t have it easy. It’s not like they sit in front of the laptop and just vomit words. It requires a lot of effort, patience, drive and most of all, struggle.
Yes, I’ve been there too – when I started blogging, I spent the first year worrying about numbers and comments. I think that at a point I was even having nightmares that nobody would ever read what I wrote. And if I’m honest, that’s still something I occasionally think about. But I’d like to think that I’ve come a long way from there and am no longer losing sleep over posts not being read or shared. Well, not overly anyway 🙂
- Do not value your work solely on the basis of comments on your blog or the number of shares. But don’t dismiss it entirely either.
- Every blog will have a set of loyal readers – the number might vary from 1 to a ridiculously large one, but every blog has it. And it will keep fluctuating.
- Every one has a life outside blogging. So should you. Do not obsess over it; but at the same time, don’t treat it too lightly either. Don’t always expect your readers (even the loyal ones) to read your posts within minutes or even days of posting.
- The amount of information that we are all privy to on a daily basis means that you need to be constantly sharing your work to keep it visible. But yes, don’t go overboard. Use your common sense.
- Not everyone comments on blogs. Usually, the majority of people who comment on blogs are other bloggers. The average reader – they prefer to read, and maybe share at best.
- I’ve been both quoted and misquoted saying this. ‘Everyone can blog, but everyone mustn’t.’ It is not me being elitist. Or being condescending. I’m just being honest. Have you ever wondered why most people who comment on your blogs are mostly bloggers themselves? Compare this to writers (or really popular bloggers) whose works get read, shared and commented upon widely. Here’s what I think the difference is. A lot of us (including me!) have often treated our blogs as online versions of a diary. Okay, calm down. Put those swords down – hear me out, will ya? Yes, that’s your choice. But remember this – Not everyone wants to read a something that reminds them of a diary entry. Unless you’re famous, probably. But people do love personal notes and stories. Because they’re relatable. Because most (if not all) of us have probably gone through something similar or know someone who have had similar experiences. And that’s where I think sometimes our blogs tend to fall off the wagon. You need to be able to find that line between a blog post being a personal ‘Dear Diary’ note and encouraging your readers to chime in with their own thoughts.
- Remember, blogging is not just about writing. The moment you hit publish, it’s visible to the whole world. So don’t put things that you might regret later on. Or write things that you can’t stand by. Blogging is really about engagement. So, write more engaging posts. . Leave open the opportunity to discuss your post – perhaps a question at the end? Respond to comments regularly and similarly comment engagingly on others posts. In fact, some of the best blog posts I’ve seen are the ones where the readers have opened up so much in the comments section. And to me, that’s an important measurement of how people view your blog.