So it’s been well over four years since I started this blog, and I have a confession to make: I didn’t know where I was going with it, but I’d like to know going forward.
I wrote some poems, some stories, some rants, some day recaps, some reviews. Little of this and that. Not a whole lot of themes or intent, just doing.
I’m okay admitting this. I started this blog not really knowing a whole lot about blogging and just needing an outlet. Maybe I would write things that relate to other people. Maybe not.
I enjoy literary writing, which requires a good deal of time and thought. I’m proud of a lot of those pieces and wanted them to be shared outside my blog in a collection with other strong writing. I have sent a lot of my work to small lit presses. I waited months for a response. Sometimes, I didn’t want to wait and posted on my blog.
Writers and people before me who have a thing to say or two about writing have always said this: write for yourself first. And if anything else, I’m happy that I have been able to do this in my lifetime.
Reasons I write
- Emotional release
- To know more about myself and what I think, even if it’s hard to articulate
- The craft of writing. Because getting better at something I like is fun.
- To connect with other people
- To create a name for myself
Writing for emotional release and understanding is a well-known use of the trade. Emotions are complex, beautiful beasts and if you don’t spend getting time to know them and how you use them, life can get pretty hazy. Not saying writing is the only way to get intimate with your emotions, but it’s my way of doing so.
To know myself
I want to know what I think and why I think that. Being authentic, no matter how painful it is and what I learn about myself, has always been one of my life goals.
It’s so easy to get caught up in what other people think, especially when we’re connected to each other’s opinions and thoughts more than ever before. This blog was supposed to be a spot where my thoughts could free fall. I say “supposed to” because I think I went through a few big life phases during this blog, but was unable to fully capture this experience openly. Because I was afraid of what other people think about me.
Along the way I also learned about “boundaries” and have grown to appreciate my privacy. I allowed myself to go through these changes on the other side of this blog. I write very personal things, and sometimes I’m not always aware of how this information can open myself up in vulnerable ways that some people may try to take advantage of. People who are not actively trying to understand their emotions tend to do this, and are not always aware of or care about how their emotional responses affect other people.
That being said, I’d like to continue to write what I mean in the best way possible, regardless of how others use their emotions.
I’ve spent more time and energy on writing than I have on any other passion or skill in my life. Why stop now? I’m not a perfect writer, and I don’t intend to be, but I’m not done learning. Do you see the headings I’m using in this blog? I more recently learned why that’s important for a reading experience. Learning about writing and implementing what I learn is very rewarding to me.
Don’t get me wrong: writing is still pure agony. But then the agony is also plain fun. And maybe that’s sadistic, but there are worse things.
To connect with other people
Notice that “to connect with other people” is fourth. Especially for writers trying to figure out their groove and niches, writing for people before knowing what interests you is not something I and others who write recommend.
That being said, I care about my work being read. A few months ago a woman commented on my blog about combatting anxiety. I appreciated her comment and thought about it a lot.
To make a name for myself
I still struggle with this one just as a lot of writers and people who want to be known for something they put a lot of heart and time into something do. Because I care about the artistic experience, I don’t want to come out with quick, easy material that isn’t accomplishing my emotional and self-awareness needs in writing for the sake of being provocative and being known.
However, marketing myself and being confident about my talents needs to be on this list. I want people to know me, and I think it can be accomplished since I require a lot of honesty with myself.
What I dig
Since starting this blog, here is what I learned that I like to write:
- What I’m reading or watching
- Current events
- Travel logs
- First hand accounts
I have always been overwhelmed by my amount of creative interests, which is why I tried not to limit the types of content on this experimental platform I created for myself. I even started putting my sketches on this site, which is another creative interest I tacked onto my interest load.
This has made planning and consistency for this blog highly problematic. The amount of times I overthought form and ended up with no blog at all is very frustrating to me. And looking at this blog as a whole entity is also very interesting and confusing to me.
Blogs you liked the most
Writers are nothing without their readers. And that’s where I’d like to improve this year. I renewed this blog because I’d like to be more consistent, open and aware of my audience.
Here are the blogs you viewed/liked the most:
- Practical ways to kick anxiety’s ass
- My favorite spot is your favorite spot
- Love’s blue skies: a letter from aunt to nephew
- The bonobo and the blues: Couple finds lost mojo in Memphis
- In loving memory of my grandmother, DA BOSS
- Carrying my own weight in TRX
- Sex on the third floor
- I feel like a Linkin Park song
- A series of mini epiphanies (and other unintended resolutions)
- Success in solitude
What this list tells me is that people tend to click and engage with posts about my family, sex, life goals, best tips and relationships the most. This makes sense because they are the most articulate and often openly emotional.
Based off the stats I have on this blog, I also learned that 2015 was my best year. I posted only 15 blogs that year, but received the most amount of views. It would appear that in my case quality over quantity makes a big difference.
I’m sure I could spend a lot longer on analytics. I’m telling you about them because I want you to know that I care about what both you and I like and want to create more of it. In reorganizing this blog and strategizing from this point forward, I will be more consciousness of what content works and doesn’t.
In the end, this stuff does come from the crevices of my heart, so it means a great deal that you would choose to spend time on it. Life is short and your time is important. Thank you for reading!