Who Blogs For The Love Of Writing?

Star Walkers

Who Blogs For The Love Of Writing?

Does anyone do this anymore because they are compelled to write for the love of writing and not because they hope to be discovered. Does anyone write because they have so many stories floating inside their head they feel like they might explode if they don’t put something down on paper.

Or have we all succumbed to the rat race that pushes us to get more readers, more followers, subscribers and likes than everyone else.

I can’t say that I never write with an idea that this is going to be the post that puts me on the map. Can’t say I never write and think “fuck, I have never written something more profound, more insightful and more deserving of recognition than this amazing thing I am looking at.”

Some people tell me that posts like this where I ask if anyone writes for the love of writing are hypocritical. Some tell me I can’t complain about popularity contests and cliques in blogging because I haven’t done enough to market my blog.

They say people want to work with their friends and that if I did a better job of playing the game I would have broken through. Or they tell me that nothing is in my way other than myself and that my perception is wrong.

Personally I prefer those who say the problem is that old Jack is a crusty asshole and that I have pissed too many people off. I don’t know if there is any truth to that but it just feels better to me, gives me something to rail against.

I Am In Love With A Photo

That wacky Shmata Queen is going to wonder who I am talking about. I am willing to bet she hopes I’ll say it is a picture of her and maybe that  picture exists but I am not referring to it here.

No, I am talking about the shot above because I can’t stop staring at it. That is a picture that I could use to tell a thousand stories. It is the kind of picture that makes me wish I was like Gumby and could just step into it. Oh the places I would go and the things I would do.

The kids went back to school today and came home with homework. My son told me I was right and that the teachers told them this year is going to be tougher because they are preparing for high school.

I laughed and then wondered how I have a kid in 8th grade. That is young to some of you and old to others. Those of you in the latter crowd might appreciate how surreal it is to see puberty start to turn our babies into big people.

His body is changing, he isn’t very tall yet but he is filling out and the muscle I remember gaining a thousand years ago is starting to appear.

Hair is showing up in unusual places and he is asking me questions about when certain things happened to me and simultaneously I am discovering some new aches, gray hairs and other heralds of older age.

Eight or nine hours ago I took a break to lift and felt something pulling in my left forearm. I looked at my arm and muttered “what the fuck” and tried to decide what sort of pain it was. Wasn’t enough to stop me from lifting so I did another set to see if I could work out the kinks and it never went away.

Marched downstairs and went outside and tried breaking into a sprint from a dead stop and cursed again. I just don’t move well until I have broken a real sweat.

It is beyond frustrating, I am not old enough for my body not to respond. It would be fair to say I have put it through its paces. We have lived and lived hard.

There have been more than a few moments of contact sports and lots of pounding but I always prided myself on being the guy who didn’t break because I don’t. It is those other guys, you know the two that broke their hands hitting in me in the head, what is this.

Change Isn’t Coming, It is Happening

I don’t have to look at my kids, myself or the calendar to know that change is coming. I can feel it in every part of my being.

This is a time of transition and part of the great adventure of life. It is the time when certain decisions will send us all in a new direction and there is no telling what will come with that.

There is nothing particularly new, insightful or profound by saying that but I do because it makes me feel better. Reminds me that we can’t control all that happens but we can try to smile while it does.

I kind of feel like I am in that kayak Marshall, Will and Holly were riding in just before they ended up in the Land of The Lost.

Did I mention that someone told me they were having trouble following some of my references. I had to thank them for making me feel older.

I suppose it is fair to say aging is on my mind and has been for a long while. I am not old, don’t really think of myself that way but I definitely don’t feel like a kid.

There was a time not long ago when I was the kid in the office. I was always among the youngest but it hasn’t been that way for a while.

Been working long enough to be a guy who has seen more than a few things. Been around long enough to see friends grow up, get married, divorced and die.

Seen the economy go through cycles, up and down. Heard lots of stories and told a few, some of which actually happened.

I like that. It adds some depth and substance that didn’t exist years ago because there is not substitute for life experience. But sometimes I think about the story I have been writing and wonder if this is the life I want to be living and think about how to make the adjustments that have to be made.

Think about the tinkering and tweaking that needs to happen to bring more happiness and joy and wonder what it will cost to make those things happen.

There is a price for everything and that is not a bad thing. It is part of life and sometimes you need to live a little bit before you really figure out what you need and what you want.

You Are Never Too Old To Change

My entire life people have said you are never too old to change. I have seen more than a few blow their lives up and make changes so I know those aren’t just words.

Seen enough to know that sometimes it worked out beautifully and sometimes not as well as they would have hoped but always respected those who were willing to take a chance, better to fail than not try.

I keep looking at that photo and imagining what it would look like to be inside it. I keep remembering moments where I have been out of the city and under a starry night sky that felt like I had been dropped into a magical painting.

Keep looking at it and thinking about how much more I appreciate these things because I am so much more conscious of time.

Keep thinking about Robin Williams and the other people I know who reached the end of their rope and couldn’t find a way to tie a knot in them.

Makes me angry to think about the people who make these proclamations about how weak those others were. Those judgmental souls who have answers for how to fix everyone else’s life.

Feel badly for those who have lost loved ones and the people whose lives became so dark they couldn’t find the light.

At the same time I am grateful for never losing sight of my north star. Even in my darkest moments I always feel like if I fight a little bit longer something good will come of it.

Does anyone blog for the love of writing anymore.

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18 Comments

  1. Underdaddy October 25, 2014 at 8:52 pm

    I blog because I love to tell honest stories. I search for genuine emotions, whatever they are so longs as they are real. I keep writing because I have all these things in my head and as I let my humility grow and fight over insecurity, I find out that someone really related and it made their day. People I wouldnt have thought were even listening would be the one it hits the hardest. I love that feeling of a connection through a story. It is the power to make a brother out of a stranger by knowing you share a common thread. That is actually why I do it. It would be a sad place to only be chasing renown in a world where nothing is new except individual perceptions.

  2. Renee August 18, 2014 at 9:11 am

    When I have the time to write, I do it because there are stories beating me up from the inside.
    I don’t have a big following, and I have spent the last couple years writing to prompts. It has been good practice for me, and I’ve met some wonderful people.

    So yeah, I blog just to write. And I’ll keep doing it (if my job would disappear, I’d have more time for it).

    And that aging thing? Grandchildren, three grandchildren. I keep watching the sand in my hourglass trickling down. I’m not ready. I’m not finished yet.

    Damn It.

    • Jack August 18, 2014 at 8:56 pm

      Writing to prompts is an honorable way to go. I always have a greater appreciation for those who write for the joy of writing, probably because I relate so well to it.

      I am a good chunk of time away from grandchildren but every day I understand better that grandparents are often far younger than I had once thought.

  3. Brian Meeks August 16, 2014 at 7:00 pm

    I write because I do enjoy it, have some acumen in that area, and I’ve been doing it every day for a very long time. It’s just part of who I am.

  4. Chloe Jeffreys August 16, 2014 at 6:15 pm

    Well, Jack, this is a damned good question. It’s very hard when it appears that others around you, that you know are less talented than you, are getting discovered while you aren’t. It’s damned difficult not to take that personally.

    I’m sure you’ve been around the block, probably longer than me, and you understand how the game is played. I gave up the notion of making money with my blog when I realized how much ass I’d have to kiss. I went back to nursing because I’d rather wipe the dirtiest ass on the planet than kiss the cleanest one. It’s a character defect, I know.

    Not only do you have to kiss a great deal of ass, but then you have to be ruthless. And I’m not ruthless. When they were handing out ruthless in heaven I thought the sign said, “Toothless” and I knew that in this lifetime I’d want to keep my teeth. So I passed up that line and I’ve been suffering from ruthlesslessness since.

    I know a woman who has become very powerful (I hear) in the blogging community. She’s one of the most unpleasant women I’ve ever known in my life. She hates people, and she’s incredibly small and jealous. Oh, and she uses a ghost writer. This is especially hysterical because once I asked her how she was so prolific and she told me that writing came so easily to her. I stood amazed because writing is not easy for me. Then I found out she uses ghost writers. Well, fuck. Yeah, writing is easy for her. Anyway, I digress. This woman has a keen knack for figuring out whose ass needs kissing. And she’s ruthless enough to step on anyone who stands in her way to get to a bigger, more important ass to kiss. And she’s able to use flattery (don’t we all want to be flattered?) to trick people into thinking she’s actually a feeling human being. But she’s not. But she’s powerful. I used to cry over this. Now I just laugh.

    When I was at BlogHer last month the #1 comment I heard and overheard again and again was, “But I need to start making some money from this.” I heard people who you’d think are big and have made it say this. And it got me thinking. What does “made it mean” in blogging? Because, and believe you me, it is damned easy to look very successful while you aren’t making a penny.

    And one last note on this topic. I’ve also seen enough now to know that the game is fixed. The very wealthy are buying themselves their success. So it might look like they came out of nowhere, but they didn’t. They bought their way there. And they (or their ghost writers) are not better writers than you, or even me. They just have the money and the contacts. And people do want not only to work with their friends, but keep the cash within their class. And I want to tell the people trying to kiss all this ass that it’s not worth their time because the game is fixed.

    Just keep writing.

    • Jack August 16, 2014 at 10:34 pm

      Hi Chloe,

      You touched upon so many good and interesting points. Ten years in the first thing I talk about when people ask me how to make it is to ask them what making it means.

      I don’t have as many readers and am not as well known as many bloggers. There are a bunch who haven’t been at it very long who passed me on that path a long time ago.

      So if it is notoriety that makes the difference, well they passed me by. If it is getting asked to be a brand ambassador well I have had a few but probably not as many opportunities as others. I don’t get asked to speak at the blog conferences but I haven’t ever responded to a call for speakers.

      There have been posts in which I have suggested that nepotism exists and that the people who pick the recipients of the blog awards have a very narrow focus.

      Some have accused me of being bitter about it. I suppose there have been moments where it irritated me to see virtual rookies get in, especially those whose writing doesn’t measure up.

      But overall I am ok with that. I like who I am as a blogger. I write as I will and as I want. I am not the same dad blogger I once was. My kids haven’t been in diapers in years and the toddler days are a memory so I don’t write about those things much any more.

      Now when I write about the kids I am more cautious because I don’t have the same ownership of their stories and because they are old enough to catch some flack from their peers about some of these things and I don’t want that. It is one thing for people to yell at me for what I write, but my kids are off limits,

      Anyhow, I am not surprised to hear your story, sad but not surprised. I have had some encounters with some bloggers who aren’t fooling anyone but if it makes them feel good to pretend they got their status through ‘good old fashioned’ blogging well that is for them to sleep with.

      Keep writing indeed. More often than not the people who last here are the ones who really love to write and it shows.

  5. Vicki Weisfeld August 16, 2014 at 3:16 pm

    Actually, after a period of blogging (almost 2 years for me), which started out to expand the network of people who knew about my writing, I think the only reason to keep sailing into the Sea of Indifference is because you love doing it! I don’t believe the stories that interest me are of universal interest, but I do think a few people will resonate to this one and a few others to that one, so maybe, with good will all around, there will be a generous audience for the things I write. Bon voyage on that darkling sea to us all!~

    • Jack August 16, 2014 at 10:23 pm

      Hi Vicki,

      Welcome to the blog. The mighty Sea of Indifference requires sailors who are willing to risk both calm and storm. I always figure those who make it are those who are willing to set sail even under the moonless night on a ship with no compass and nothing more than the moxie of a crew that is willing to take a chance.

  6. Lori Gosselin August 14, 2014 at 11:39 am

    Ah! This is beautiful Jack! I especially loved the parts at the end like this: “… people whose lives became so dark they couldn’t find the light.” What a poet!

    And in answer to your question: I do.

    Lori

  7. Dan Poore August 14, 2014 at 8:16 am

    I would love to say that I write for the love of writing, it would make me feel more legitimate. The truth is, I started my blog with the best intentions: To keep a simple journal of having a baby. But then I got compliments, then I got an audience, then I got a taste of numbers. It is what it is.

    This line really got me: “There was a time not long ago when I was the kid in the office. I was always among the youngest but it hasn’t been that way for a while.” – coming to terms with age is really an issue I have to come to terms with.

    • Jack August 14, 2014 at 4:51 pm

      I rarely call out bloggers for being illegitimate. Degenerate, illiterate and immoral yes, but not legitimate. 😉

      It is easy to get sucked into the numbers game and I understand who, how and why. I won’t say I don’t have my moments in it, but I really do believe that the people who last in blogging are those who love writing because it doesn’t feel like work.

  8. Sebastian Aiden Daniels August 13, 2014 at 12:07 pm

    I write and blog because I like the feeling of having written. It can propel me forward for a day or two with good feelings because I feel like I’ve accomplished things. I’ve gotten the things out of my head and onto the paper. I agree that it is hard to get rid of that basic desire for recognition. I try not to focus on it too much because it will “never be enough.”

    Hope your kid enjoys 8th grade before the lovely high school experience starts.

    • Jack August 13, 2014 at 10:56 pm

      Hi Sebastian,

      I like your answer because it is very similar to mine. Writing is a great way to get out our heads and to figure out what we really think and want.

  9. Jon August 13, 2014 at 5:17 am

    I definitely do. As a blogger, I write my posts because I feel like I have something to say about fatherhood and parenting, and I like to share my thoughts with others. I don\’t do PR campaigns or giveaways. I just like to blog. I know that I\’m not the greatest writer. It\’s for the love, though.

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