01 November 2011

The Inevitable

"Can I say something about destiny? Screw destiny. If this evil thing comes, we'll fight it and we'll keep fighting it till we whup it. Because destiny is just another word for inevitable. And nothing is inevitable as long as you stand up, look it in the eye and say, "You're evitable." (pauses) Well, you catch my drift." (From a geeky show that so geeky I'm going to make you click to find out how very geeky and girly I am)

Today, I'm writing about the inevitable (and possibly the evitable, too): writing. There's a certain kind of people out there - if you're a blogger, you're probably one of them. They're a kind  of people that no matter what they try to do, they end up scribbling or typing things down. Sometimes its random impressions or bits of fluff. Sometimes it's a novel's worth of words. Whatever it is, it's writing and it comes out of us. It's inevitable. 

There are some difficult parts of being one of the writerly population:
1) It's not always easy to express what you want on paper. Usually stuff comes out, but it may not always be what you're trying to say.
2) We tend to gather piles of little scraps with tidbits of writing on them around us. They end up in the shadowy corners of our desks, the pockets of our bags, under the bed... the list goes on and on.
3) We have to find an audience for our rubbish writing.

This third one, I think, is the one that stops many of us, especially when it comes to the blogging world. Here's a few scenarios:

A handsome young man excitedly opens his laptop and pulls up a blog hosting site in his web browser. He clickity-clacks away on his keyboard, knowing it's good. Excitedly he presses the "Publish" button and waits. And waits... and waits...

A beautiful woman whose children have just been put down to nap for the afternoon goes to her desktop and pulls a notepad out of her purse. She's scribbled some profound moment that she experienced while in the grocery store. The grocery clerk had stared as she awkwardly held her notepad against the milk jug and written messily with a broken pencil from her bag while her kids took a dozen boxes of cereal off of the shelves, but she knew it needed to be written then. She flips to the correct page and types the words. She, too, presses "Publish" and waits. And waits...

The ending is the same both ways: no one reads the blog posts. Maybe they'd change someone's life if only that someone would READ IT! A blog seemed the perfect medium on which to post my (poetry/recipes/stories from my childhood/diy tips/love of all things Wilma Flinstone/fill in the blank). It is the perfect medium... when you get some feedback.

Everyone and their mommy blogger has written a post about creating traffic on your site by forming an online community, but when you're first starting out none of that comes easily. It takes time to find the right kind of bloggers to start that community with. You have to go out searching for blogs that are interesting that are written by people that are interested in your writing. That doesn't always happen. 

Here's where we say: "You're evitable." 

I've found a  few good communities, but it took some time. I was lucky enough to already know some people who blogged and could start there. The great thing that I've found out about blogs is that everybody in the blogosphere is rockin' a meme. Every other blog you hit hosts some sort of "linky" on a given day of the week and has a nice name for it that uses alliteration (like "Susan's Silly Sunday Post" or "Mommy's Frickin' Tired Mondays"). Sure, they may not always be the topic or format that you've been wanting to write in, but I know some people (for the sake of these examples... person) who write things like Listicles (list blogs), but break the rules or make them stream of thought*. It may not be the perfect thing for you, but you can make it work. Best of all, when you link up you get a few people coming by your site. Most blog designs have ways of enticing readers to click on other posts (previous post buttons, popular post widgets, recent post widgets, etc) and you'd be surprised what they'll do. Sometimes I link up a blog post, only to find that more people are reading a previous posts than they are the linked up one!

Crazy stuff. 

Even seasoned bloggers need to be reminded sometimes that if you put a few backlinks to previous posts, you can gain readers by helping new people see what you're about. I like to feature awesome stuff I find on other people's blogs from time to time to help spread the love myself and I LOVE when people recommend things in comments. I like to tie them into follow up posts. 

But back to that evitable bit. If you're someone who's writing all the time, but the blog traffic just ain't happening - try it again. Stop by here and let me know you're out there to be read. Link up on a site like lovelinks or Write on Edge or Just.Be.Enough or Monday Listicles and get to writing! 

And that's the point - to get to writing, because writing is inevitable, but a lack of people reading it doesn't have to be.

This post (in fact) is being linked up with lovelinks #29. Check it out! Also, let me know you stopped by in the comments. :)

*A special thank you to Erica at freefringes, who did not volunteer her blog posts as examples, but who got taken advantage of here because she just has such good examples. 

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