Bloggers are different. They are the green grass on the other side. They are the friendly neighbour. They are funny. They are genuine. They love pizza. And when they leave a comment, well, they put YouTube commenters to shame.
I think I just inadvertently described Canadians.
I’ve been blogging long enough to notice that all bloggers face the same hurdles.
A lot of us think the same way and possess the same sense of humour. It’s eerie. I love it.
Many times, I have an idea for a post, when all of a sudden I scroll through my Reader and see someone else has stolen my idea and beat me to it. Now, I can’t copy them. I go back to the drawing board.
Kudos to them for having the same thoughts as a genius like myself!
All bloggers start off their “journey” with the dreaded first post. Almost every first post follows the same outline.
It goes something like this:
Start off the post with a rolling start. Say this is your first blog and first post. You don’t really know what to say. You guess you should introduce yourself. (You guess?). Try and be humble. Try and be humble. Act nonchalant. Mention that you don’t think anyone will read your blog. Say that it doesn’t matter if no one reads your blog. You are blogging for yourself! Tracking your progress. If people read it, great. Running out of things to say. Ask rhetorical questions. Reiterate that you don’t think anyone is going to read it.
Use the strikethrough feature a few too many times. Ask people to tell you what to write about. Sign off.
That sums it up, no?
Let’s not kid ourselves, we all care about our statistics. We all care about views, likes, and follows. Let’s stop beating around the bush and admit it. Can we all just admit it? We refresh our stats page and hope the numbers change because that means someone in the world actually cares.
WE JUST WANT PEOPLE TO CARE.
It hurts when we post something that we put our blood, sweat, tears, and bad breath into, and yet it gets very little response.
And if you think I don’t know what that’s like because my recent posts have been getting close to 50+ likes and comments, then go check out everything I wrote between June 2013 – February 2015 and tell me how much interaction I got back then.
I REPEAT, WE JUST WANT PEOPLE TO CARE.
I’ve used the “I blog for myself” line before. A lot of bloggers have. I’ll admit, I was lying. Sure, one of the reasons why I blog is for myself. But it’s not the main reason.
If I was only blogging for myself, I’d write all of my posts in Microsoft Word and then call up my imaginary friend Carlos so we can meet up at a coffee shop and sit at a table with crumbs on it, where I would just stare at ‘arlos (my nickname for him) and not tell him anything I just wrote.
As bloggers, our most important post is the next one. Sometimes, it gets really hard coming up with that “next one.”
Every single day I’m looking for something I can turn into a post.
People were slow at the buffet. Maybe I can turn that into a post? Done.
A fly is attacking me in the dark. Maybe I can turn that into a post? Done.
I can’t tie a balloon. Maybe I can turn that into a post? Done.
Dogs hate me. Maybe I can turn that into a post? Done.
It’s a never-ending struggle. Because when we do find that “next one”, and press publish, we are once again in search for another “next one”.
When we don’t know what to write about, we write about blogging. Ever notice that? We write about blogging and preach from our high horse how other people should run their blog. We write about what blogging means to us and the connections we’ve made. It’s cute.
If we haven’t posted in a while, we feel the need to apologize. I stopped doing that a long time ago because I felt silly. If I don’t post anything for an entire week, why am I going to come back and bring attention to it?
If you haven’t posted anything in an entire month, I don’t want an apology from you. It’s too late too apologize. I want a pizza at my doorstep, a hand-written note, and your tears on that note.
Honestly, don’t apologize. It’s your blog. You write whenever you want to write.
I can be a bit cynical. Do people really care about my post, or are they just interacting with me so I check out their blog? Or do they comment because they know I have a lot of followers and they can win some over by invading my posts?
Don’t tell me I’m the only one thinking this.
Yet despite all the struggles behind the scenes (in my head), the genuine interactions I have with other bloggers is what makes this whole thing beautiful.
You make me feel like I did something right when you tell me you can’t stop laughing, or that you found something I said very relatable.
A single exclamation mark in someone’s comment on one of my posts is enough for me to throw a pizza party.
The bonds we create aren’t forced. They aren’t built off of a series of comments like “Good post” and “I agree.”
They are built off of our willingness to share our real thoughts with people we’re 98% sure aren’t psychopaths. They are built off of how willing we are to turn the comments section into a conversation.
They are built off of a genuine need to know what someone on the other side of the world is experiencing on a daily basis.
There are some blogs I follow that I need to read every day. They have become a part of my daily routine.
Because when people, who I may never meet, can make me truly care about them, while constantly putting a smile on my face and forcing me to see things from their perspective, then everything else – the stats page; the struggle to think of a new topic; the cynicism; the flies that attack me in the dark – does not matter.
I call myself a blogger because of the friendships I get to make with people around the world, without ever leaving my house.
Though it may try, my stats page will never give me the same gratification.