Welcome back for Part 3 of my super special two year anniversary post! Today I’ll explain why it’s all about me, not you, the reader.
You see that image up there, that was my office a few weeks ago, one of the benefits of freelance life, spending the day working in Richmond Park with my little pooch!
It’s Not About You.
In the early days of writing my blog, I read some enormously misguided information. In particular, I read an article about how to create blog posts, which extolled the virtue of writing for the audience. Writing for you, the reader. It was saying how it’s all about the reader and that’s what I needed to focus on.
It was a lie.
Fact 6. You can never, ever expect to know what someone else is thinking.
It’s About Me
This signalled one of the epiphanies I discovered during my blogging journey.
I can never write from someone else’s perspective. All I have in my life is my own personal experience of the world and it would be foolish to expect anyone to feel precisely the same way. I might find people who feel similar, or who find connections in my words, but I cannot put words into their mouth. People who write candidly, honestly and openly about their OWN experience in life will attract people who associate or empathise with their words naturally. Because that’s all any of us have, our own perception of the world, our own unique experiences and stories and we seek out those who share similar perspectives on life.
After I read the article explaining how I should be writing my blog posts for the readers, how I should be writing for YOU, I tried to force my style. I put a note on my desk saying “It’s all about YOU”, I tried to put words into your mouths, I tried to tell you what you wanted. It was all a big mistake, it was unnatural, not to mention untrue, because I was guessing at what you thought, or I was telling you what to do. Because the reality is that it’s my blog, and it’s about me, not you.
Listen To Yourself.
I shouldn’t have listened to that particular nugget of advice from the blogosphere. I don’t know what you want and I never will. I can only write about myself, which is what I do now. I only write about what I know and think. I write about my experiences and my perceptions of the world. That’s the only position in life where I can be honest, true and authentic. You can never be those things when you are telling people what to do or how they should do it.
The moment I write based on what I believe other people want, I’m creating a sales spiel, shaping myself to the image of others. This is not a fulfilling way to write a blog, because blogs are personal, they need to be written from a personal perspective. The long term enjoyment I get out of blogging has increased as I have pursued more intensely personal thoughts and feelings in my writing. The least enjoyable pieces are the ones written on behalf of someone else. If you want to enjoy your blog today, tomorrow, next year and in five years time, you need to start writing for yourself.
“In order to know virtue, we must first acquaint ourselves with vice.” – Marquis de Sade
Blogs Are Creative Freedom.
It’s also a vital point in how I developed my career in blogging. I feel the reason blogging is amazing is because it gives me utter freedom to do whatever I want. That really is the pure essence of blogging. It is also the only way that I will develop, through independent thought. As soon as I are writing content for anyone other than myself, I’m passing up my personal opportunity for growth. That is why monetisation is such a dirty word to me, because it encourages me to write for other reasons, it pushes me to fit into a certain constructed world that will result in money, rather than personal growth.
The irony is that personal growth will always make me happier than money ever will. The fulfilment and development of my soul will always nourish and feed my happiness in the world far more than the quick hit of a few extra notes in my pocket. That is why I have developed my own opinion on dealing with PR opportunities, which only came about after taking part in some events which I later regretted. Sometimes, I need to experience something to discover I don’t like it.
As my blog developed around my own writing style and my own photography skills, I also saw my confidence traffic and engagement increase, as did my income.