Bloggers need the write stuff is sort of tongue in cheek for me, a comment about the eternal chase to write a post that goes viral.
It is a dread disease that I have succumbed to more than once for no reason other than blog envy.
You read some post that is being passed around Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus and wonder what the fuss is about because the writing is awful, the post is pandering to a particular group and you can’t figure out why some schmuck gets the attention you deserve.
Sometimes I read those posts and I ask myself, “Self, what would you tell your children if they came to you and said they were jealous of the success someone else had?”
The answer is I would tell them we don’t find happiness by comparing ourselves to others. But in the silence of my mind I am making like Gollum and staring at the accolades saying “my preciousss.”
And if I am not careful I start thinking about how to get that other writer arrested so I can have them shanked in prison. Do you think I took Sons Of Anarchy too seriously?
Maybe I ought to go Heisenberg and start screaming about being the writer who knocks. I suppose I’d Better call Saul and ask.
Where Our Focus Should Be
If you ask me for a serious response I will always tell you to stop writing for SEO and start writing for people. People read blogs. People like stories.
Computers don’t care what you write. They have no feelings. Writing for keyword searches and SEO benefits might position you in a way that provides moreÂ organicÂ traffic but it is not the kind of thing that lasts.
There needs to be a balance of some sort. That is why my focus is on trying to entertain, educate and or inform. It is why I keep tweaking my blog in ways to try and provide a reading experience that is easy and pleasant.
It is why I don’t limit myself to writing about one topic. I write about what drives my passion and when I do it well it seeps into the pages and the reader feels my energy.
They feel the effort and they respect that or so I like to believe. Might be wrong. Might be misguided. Might be a lot of things but I am entering into my eleventh year of blogging so maybe there is more going on inside than a Masters in Mishegoss.
If you are among the more active readers you knowÂ Success Is More About Effort Than Luck. It is about putting in the time and doing the best you can to learn your craft.
Most of the time the biggest challenge I have is to shake loose restraint and just write with reckless abandon.
The funny thing to me is sometimes I find it easier to just write here than when I focus on my fiction.
It is a crazy contradiction because fiction shouldn’t have the same restraint asÂ fact.Â It should be easy to just write and adjust as needed but my internal editor barks more loudly during fiction than almost any other time.
I have never read any of Gaiman’s work but I plan on rectifying that.
That quote brings a sort of wry grin across my face because I get it. I get it, I get it, I get it.
Sometimes the children complain about how easily I do certain things and I laugh. I always ask them how they know it is easy and if they can tell me how long it took to reach this place where it is easy.
Easy comes after countless hours of work, effort and practice and no, they are not always the same thing.
If you are lucky you find the write stuff and figure out how to put it down on the page in a way that makes people sit up and notice you but it rarely happens solely because of luck.
It is not all based upon talent either.
I can’t say there is a single formula we can use but I can say there is a recipe and like every good recipe for a home cooked meal the ingredients vary and the method is slightly different for each cook.
The reason I keep throwing myself back into the breach each day is because I figure one of those times I’ll find the mix that works for me and catch lightning in a bottle.
But it is more likely to happen because of the time and effort I put in than because I got lucky but between you and me if getting lucky makes it happen sooner I’ll gladly accept luck.
What about you?
Damien Riley December 18, 2014 at 8:27 pm
Great post … about posting 🙂 I’ve tried so many different patterns for my most it would make most peoples’ heads spin. I like what I have now but I am free to use a variety. I think through disciplining ones self to write at least once a day is very helpful. You learn what works. By works I mean, whatever meets your self-set criteria. I think all of us bloggers want to pay a bill or two from blogging. The posts that make money should be tracked and noted, even imitated if it works. I have a shape that is working for me now. I write, I check a little, I sleep well at night 🙂
The JackB December 19, 2014 at 8:48 pm
@rileycentral:disqus It is a personal thing, the way we choose to write. We are definitely on the same page about that. When you figure out what works keep doing it until you are no longer satisfied and move on.