The Mysteries of the Blogger
It has become increasingly apparent as I continue to blog that there are lots of misconceptions about bloggers out there.
Like one of those crap memes where you challenge what people think against the reality, I bring you this post. You know, this kind of rubbish:
I am here to state what people may think against the reality. Well, my reality anyway and I’m a blogger so that counts *covers bases for potential blogger backlash*.
You May Think We Stay in Our PJs All Day
In reality we, er, do. Well, sometimes. Just me?
Personally I think a fleecy dressing gown and a cosy pair of ‘My Little Pony’ PJs enhance creativity. You’re comfortable and relaxed; therefore stress is at a minimum. Bagginess of PJs leads to more flexibility of movement to reach the keyboard, drink the coffee and occasionally pet the cat.
You can write with reckless abandon, sporting serious bed head and crusty eye bogies. No one can see. Until the people you live with are due home. Then you perform the world’s quickest shower, dressing and getting your shit together combo, seen to man or woman. Move on people, nothing to see here.
You May Think We Never See Daylight
Contrary to popular belief, bloggers do occasionally emerge from their writing caves. Admittedly it’s only for the essentials, like food, because your fridge boasts a single wrinkled carrot and the bread is so mouldy it’s growing a personality.
We will also venture into ‘Outside’ for stationery items and bookshops. One sniff of a shiny new notepad or the spoils promised by a book token and we are cartwheeling down the street.
However, we do favour our domain of ‘Indoors’. Here is where we thrive: closeted by the computer screen, the tappety tap mating call of the keyboard, and ‘All the Ideas’ TM that seem to lose their way in ‘Outside’. Maybe we are vampires; plot twist.
We may have to visit the GP every year for a rocket booster shot of Vitamin D and we turn into gremlins if you shine daylight on us, but we do this for you. We sacrifice ‘Outdoors’ for our blogging art.
Therefore send supplies whilst we tell you the latest hot travel destinations, how to appreciate nature’s beauty or how to get a life. Irony rules okay?
You May Think We are Resistant to Trolls
Because we have decided to put ourselves ‘out there’ in the big bad world, you may think we have made ourselves fair game for trolling and negative comments. I beg to differ.
If a blogger is being a cockwomble and writing something they know is incredibly offensive in order to stir up controversy, then I think that they deserve derision. However, a note of caution; what is one person’s offensive may be another’s amusement. I wrote about this recently: Offensive Writing: the Places in Which We May Fear to Tread
Maybe I’m a bit of a fragile flower but I’m always surprised when someone comments on one of my blog posts telling me how crap I am at writing, nastily details how I am incredibly wrong, or that I should eff off.
I read things that I think are crap but I’d never cut the writer down by bitching about it. I’d be constructive if they were asking for feedback. If they’re not, I keep my nose out of it.
I can guarantee that there will always be something online that presses your ‘Pisses Me Off Button’. Some bloggers are arseholes. Sorry fellow bloggers who aren’t but it’s not you I’m writing about here. Some bloggers live to offend. They love to shock and if you spend time engaging in a war of words with them, you will never win.
Trolls look for an apparent chink in a blogger’s armour and the keyboard warrior attacks. I do not feed trolls. I ignore them and leave them to dwell under their dark bridges. It is tempting to call them out for their areshattery but the second I comment back they are getting their rocks off on my response.
Decent bloggers don’t deserve to be attacked and harassed just because they share their work publicly. We are not fair game. We have feelings too.
You May Think We Are Self-Indulgent
It’s all about us isn’t it? Except often it’s not.
Bloggers have an ego, as do writers. You may be a wallflower who blends so well into the wallpaper we have to send out a search party, but you still have an ego to do this.
As painfully introverted as we may be, something spurs us on to get our writing out there. We want it to be noticed, enjoyed and responded to. We need an audience. This does not, however, mean that we are self-indulgent.
I share my writing because I want to help other writers, inform people, entertain and engage with fellow writers and readers. However, I am not entirely altruistic. I started this blog with the knowledge that every writer needs to build social platforms. This blog is part of that.
I occasionally write posts about my life struggles, particularly about depression. You may prefer posts that are ‘for all’. However, I know I will never please everyone. I will not stop writing from a personal place because it’s all I’ve got; me and my experiences.
There is a fine balance between the personal and offering something to readers that resonates with them. I can only hope that I’m getting it right and you don’t see this blog as ‘The Lisa Show’. You may show your adoration in the comments though.
You May Think We Are Blagging It
I have to admit that sometimes I wet my pants laughing at bloggers who think they are the authority on certain, often strange, subjects, when they’re clearly not.
It is amusing to read a post that is being earnest about imparting knowledge regarding how to pee whilst wearing incontinence pants. Pardon the irony but this kind of writing makes me want to piddle my pants, laughing that is.
I am also incredibly concerned about bloggers who purport to be experts in curing things such as mental illnesses and cancer. It grinds my gears. I always look for their professional credentials and funnily enough, never find them. This kind of blogging is not blagging, it’s dangerous.
Occasionally bloggers do blag it, albeit in a far more innocent manner than dictating how rubbing a leaf into your privates, chanting and performing a twerk will cure you of all your ills.
Blagging has a bad press because of these bloggers.
In the early days of blogging, many of us are trying to work our way through and hope that the readers don’t smell fear. We blag it. We write posts and aim to exude some kind of confidence in sharing a recipe for marvellous macaroons or how to fight the urge to lock your child in a cupboard until it reaches 18.
Blagging dissipates with blogging more regularly and finding our voice and audience. I don’t just throw this blogging malarkey together. I conduct research. I plan my writing. I take time on it. Hopefully you can tell.
You May Think We Are Disillusioned
There are times as a blogger when I have felt like I have been shouting into the wind of the hurricane of voices on the internet. I smile now when I look back at the post I wrote as a newbie blogger and most impatient little madam: Is There Anybody Out There?
I had only been blogging for a month and I was ready to give up. It felt like no one was reading my posts. My insecurity brought out my bratty tendencies. I can laugh at it now.
The problem is that we live in a world of ‘fast’: fast food, fast service, fast living and fast communication. We want everything as soon as possible, if not yesterday.
In this world of ‘fast’, new bloggers have to do the reverse and learn to play the slow game. It’s initially painful and it goes against all out modern instincts but I’ve found it’s the only way to enjoy blogging and get more lovely people reading and responding to your posts.
I have seen my blog steadily grow. I am no mega bucks blogger. I don’t make money from blogging and I may never have thousands of followers. I am happy with my small but lovingly formed little blog.
I have to add here that some of the bloggers who are monetising their blog and pulling in the hordes need to show some respect to the smaller bloggers. May I add that not all larger bloggers (in terms of blog size not their butts) are like this. Many have been a great source of support to me. However, there have been many who have been blogger snobs.
Every blog has its place in this strange old world of the t’interwebs. Please some of you bigger bloggers do not deride us ‘smallies’ because we aren’t hungry for the fame or cash like you are. We are happy pootling along with our humble blogs and spending our time engaging with our followers.
Some of us don’t want the stress of relentless promotion, checking our stats at 3am, worshipping at the altar of SEO, and pulling our hair out because our blog pin didn’t go viral on Pinterest.
‘Successful’ is as ‘successful’ does. I have written a blog post every freaking week since I started this blog. That is success in my eyes. I have published posts despite deep depression, crappy life stuff and crippling self-doubt. That is where my success lies.
You go with your big blogging selves, bigger bloggers. Just go easy on us ‘smallies’ please. We may be hard to see but we are most definitely here and then some.
The Secret Life of This Blogger
Have you learnt much from all this about bloggers? Possibly not. Therefore let’s tell you my blogger secrets so you may have a final laugh:
- I get a lot of blog post ideas when I’m showering or on the toilet. Sorry to plant that kind of imagery in your brain.
- My first drafts of blog posts are so bad that when I read them back I often ask myself, ‘What the merry f**k is this?’
- I have written posts that have been a form of therapy for me. Those posts have sometimes been the first time I have dared to express my feelings. I feel humbled to share them with you.
- The Husband is made to read every blog post the second it is published. Poor bloke.
- The Husband resizes all my images because I am still too bloody lazy and too much of a technophobe to try to figure out how to do it.
- My brother built and maintains this site. He does an amazing job and has to put up with my stupid technophobe questions and errors.
- I take some time writing revising, editing and finding images for my posts. Some bloggers will laugh at this. I’m somewhat of a perfectionist. I only ever want to share my very best work, be it blogging or writing a novel.
- I always respond to every comment written on my posts. I feel that if you can take the time to comment, the least I can do is respond. I love reading your comments!
- This blog saved me at a difficult time. It continues to do so. It gives me purpose. Thank you for being part of that. Let’s keep this relationship going, eh? This blogger cannot do this without you! Thank you.
Here’s the biggest blogger secret of all…