Posted by: elightkeeper | October 6, 2011

Keeping it real

I read a tweet the other day that said 87% of all blogs begin with, “Sorry I have not been blogging lately”. It’s a funny statement, that.  First of all, it implies that people actually care that you haven’t posted something. And second, it puts blogging relationships in a level of functional guilt that should strictly be reserved for family, close friends and border guards. 

If you have been feeling badly about not blogging, I am about to deliver a bit of harsh news:  Nobody really cares.  All that stuff about retaining your regular readers and driving traffic to your blog?  Hogwash.  Unless you are one of the few bloggers who actually makes a living by writing on the internet, it doesn’t matter when you wrote your last post. Unless you are an important figure who has thousands of readers hanging on your every word, it doesn’t matter that you got busy, had the flu, melted your hard drive or otherwise fell off the grid. 

So why bother blogging if nobody cares?  Let’s be clear. People do care if you blog. They just don’t care WHEN you blog.  To further make my case, I would submit to you that the majority of  readers have much more important stuff to notice and remember than the last time somebody posted.  And there is also the point of quality over quantity.  I shall avoid turning into that cul-de-sac for the moment. Besides, it is self-explanatory.

The question, “why blog?” has been answered all over the internet by all manner of bloggers. At the risk of flogging the topic to death, allow me to add to the heap of reasons. I blog because:

I like to write.

I like to play with and distort ideas.

I like to see the world – and myself in it – in its most amusing, tormented light.

I like to explore my beliefs, my purpose, my goals, and my identity (yet to be stolen, but don’t take that as an invitation or a dare).

I am much more than the work I do for a living.  I am also much less.

I like to write. Did I mention that already?

I have too much writing growling at me from dark little books, dark little shelves, and dark little drawers.  If I do not release some of it into the wild, it stays caged, waiting for me to feed it small animals. As a borderline vegetarian personality, I cannot handle this.

Before I go any further, I should point out that it does matter that you blog at all.  If one of my non-blogging colleagues begins with a single post this year, I would celebrate this. Next year, perhaps she will post twice. One post is a far cry from never blogging at all. I hope people will see the value in writing something, in taking steps, no matter how small.  It is important to have a voice. Blogging gives you one.

Back to why I blog for a few more complicated items. Steve said (we all knew Steve), “You can’t connect the dots looking forward…”.  Here are some of the messier reasons I blog, where the dots aren’t yet fully connected:

Maybe I will write something that will inspire someone else, or give someone permission to write and express or be creative in their life or work.

Maybe I’ll get the courage to speak my mind here – I don’t get to do that much in my work and it creates a sort of creative dissonance for me that I’d like to resolve.

Maybe someone will read this and see that it is great to be imperfect, to fall down (and get up), to crash a virtual bicycle while learning how to steer on the unpaved shoulder of the information highway.  (Wear a helmet out here, people. Ride, but wear a helmet.)

Maybe you will laugh and feel better about a tough day, a challenging situation and not getting everything done that you’d hoped to.

Blogging once is better than never blogging at all. So go ahead and post when you can. Don’t feel guilty when you can’t, don’t apologize for being away, and forget about the “5 rules of successful blogging”, the “10 ways to increase traffic” and all of that blather.  Please stop thinking you won’t be any good at it because you will be good if you just write a little from the heart. And most of all, call someone you love, to chat and catch up when you are done.  It is all about keeping it real.





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