Are Bloggers Misunderstood?

You know what makes me mad? Don’t guess, I’ll tell you. It’s when I see a new blogger enter the blogging community with a traditional first post and proceed to say things like, “Everyone has a blog these days, so I thought I’d start one too. I don’t really know what I’m going to say or what this will be, so let me know in the comments what you want me to write about. Kthnxbyeee.”

To me, that’s like someone walking into my house, taking the pizza slice out of my hand, dipping it in the toilet like an Oreo into milk, and then returning it to me.

Trust me, a blog is one of the most personal things a person can have. It’s like a pair of underwear. It’s new today, stale tomorrow; constantly changing.

So don’t waltz in here and disrespect the rest of us by saying you’re here because everyone else is and you want to fit in. If you say that, you’ve already lost my trust.

Also, who the hell are you asking for blog ideas? This isn’t Field of Dreams. There is no “If you write it, they will come” mantra.

It’s more like, “If you write it, you’ll get four views and two of them will be from a country you’ve never heard of.”

So, there. That’s what makes me mad. I also really hate gum under my shoe, but I suppose everyone does.

Note #1: Nothing wrong with asking bloggers for ideas. Just don’t do it in your first post.

Note #2: Bloggers are incredibly welcoming. Introduce yourself and put yourself behind the wheel of your blog. We’ll tag along for the ride. Don’t be a backseat-driver-blogger.

Before I started this blog in 2013, I didn’t know much about bloggers or blogging.

All I knew was the poster child (poster adult?) for blogging was a guy named Perez Hilton, who wrote about celebrities and tried to stir the pot without even standing in a kitchen.

From that, blogging just felt really “in your face” and gossipy. But I knew there had to be more. I just didn’t know what “more” entailed.

And then I began thinking about starting a sports blog. So I did. This one. Can you tell?

Ever since that moment, I’ve always wondered, “What do they (non-bloggers) think of us (bloggers)?

Because I’ll turn on the TV and watch people in the media discount bloggers by saying things like, “Oh, everyone has an opinion these days. All these bloggers in their basement who have nothing better to do.” And then they’ll lump Facebook and Twitter users into the same sentiment.

As if we are the scum of the earth and they are the good hockey sticks in the equipment room of an elementary school gymnasium.

I once told someone I had a blog and I could tell they didn’t really understand what that meant. They said something like, “So what, do you just post opinionated things on the internet and hope someone reacts?”

Is that what people think bloggers are? Fire starters? A bomb? Loud mouths? A drunk uncle at a wedding?

Sure, there may be some bloggers like that, but I promise you, we are not a bunch of bees at a picnic who strike the moment the potato salad is visible.

We are, mainly, a community of endearing fruit flies. And if fruit flies still annoy you, then we are cuddly rabbits that appear in your backyard every once in a while. Happy?

I remember the first time I ever shared my blog on Facebook. I was more terrified than if Pizza Hut were to discontinue their fantastic lunch buffet.

I didn’t know how people would react. I immediately thought that I would come across as cocky, egotistical, and full of myself.

Who does this guy think he is? Writing stuff on the internet and filling our precious news feed with it? How dare he?

In trying to figure out what the reception would be, I was creating a misconception of bloggers (myself).

Anyway, I posted it and made sure to include a caption that read something along the lines of, “I like sports. Some people thought I should start a blog, so I did. Read it, bookmark it, tell your friends, or don’t. I don’t care.”

I couldn’t have been more nonchalant. The first part of the caption was me giving reasons why this thing was now on their screen. And the second part was me trying to act like it wasn’t a big deal.

It was a huge deal, but there I was playing it off, as if I was too cool for school and it was the first day.

I find that it can be scary being honest on the internet. I find it even harder being honest, while using 1000+ words.

Every time I shared a post on Facebook, or told someone to read my blog, I always felt like a minor disturbance. As if I was a 23-minute YouTube video and was telling people to immediately watch me. No one does that.

And even though the feedback I got was always positive, I always felt like I was annoying someone.

To this day, if I tell someone via text, or in person, to read my blog, a lot of the time I’ll say, “When you have time” or “When you get a chance.” How courteous, right? How thoughtful of me.

A small part of me will always feel like I’m wasting someone’s time with the words I write, even if they tell me otherwise. Maybe it’s the world we live in these days, with short attention spans, that make me feel that way.

Or maybe it’s from reading that, “Blog posts should be brief, no more than 400-600 words”, in every “How-to” article there is about blogging.

I hate word restrictions. Add it to the list.

As a blogger who has “been in the game” long enough to know a thing or two about a thing or three, I can assure you that bloggers are unlike any other community on the internet.

We are not Twitter trolls who spend the day misspelling words and replying “YAAAS QUEEN SLAY” to everything a celebrity says.

We are not your annoying friend on Facebook who has a heated debate in a comment thread with strangers, about who the 4th best player in the NBA is.

And we are definitely not YouTube commenters. Notification squad, where you at? Shut up.

We are bloggers.

Does the average person/critic even know how many connections we make with other bloggers around the world? Do they know about the friendships they’re missing out on? Do they know what someone else’s words mean to us? Do they?

I log on to WordPress and it’s like entering an idealistic family gathering. Kids are playing board games in the corner. Adults are napping on hammocks in the backyard. The pets are failing at cooking dinner because they’re pets, so pizza is ordered.

You know, ideal.

Yes, we have opinions. Everyone does. If that scares you so much, start your own blog.

That being said, however, I don’t think a lot of us are here because we have an urge to share our opinion about everything.

We are here to share a piece of ourselves with the world.

We are creative individuals who have more ideas in our head than most people have snot in their nose during flu season.

We are a community of people, united by the beauty of words.

This is a community with people like Chris, Tosha, Gabrielle, Reagan, Talula, Michelle and her husband, who share their poetry so we can sit back, let out a deep breath, and be at ease knowing someone else understands us.

This is a community with people like Quinn and Kristen who appeared on the scene -seemingly, at the same time – and have been a breath of fresh air.

This is a community with people like Shaz, who has been by my blog’s side since about Day 73, which is Day 1 in my book.

This is a community with people like Barb, Jess, Meghan, and Myka, who send me more messages, emails, and GIFs about nothing in particular, than a friend probably deserves.

This is a community with people like Suchie, Issa, Angela, James, Miriam, and Rebbit7, who share their lives from the other side of the world.

This is a community with people like Aaron, who I can relate to more than he probably knows, especially when it comes to pizza and banana pudding.

This is a community with people like Liz, Beca, American Paul, and Rebekah, who I can always count on for a laugh.

This a community where I feel guilty for not mentioning every single blogger who has crossed my path and had an impact on me. I know there are more of you that I didn’t mention, and I’ll feel awful when I receive a notification from you and realize it. I appreciate you, nonetheless.

Say and think what you want about bloggers, but we know the truth.

We’re the best community on the internet. Some would call us a cult family.

Oh geeze, there’s the cheese.

A great, big, happy, dramatic, creative, poetic, funny, sad, and always hungry, cult family.

But that’s just my opinion.

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About Paul

This is the part where I'm supposed to write something interesting about myself and you'll read it and think, "That's not that interesting." So let's not do that and just think about pizza instead, on the count of three. One, two, three. Donuts. Now, wasn't that interesting?
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72 Responses to Are Bloggers Misunderstood?

  1. I found myself alternately smiling, chuckling, and even nodding my head through this entire post. Everything you said was a bit like seeing my own thoughts in cyber-print. 😀 Thanks for that. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jess says:

    My first thoughts:

    “You fiesty.”
    “PREACH IT MAN PREACH IT.”
    *dance clapping*
    “Oh my god my name!”

    Liked by 2 people

  3. rebbit7 says:

    Luckily, I haven’t come across any new bloggers who’ve stated what you’ve stated about wanting to blog because “everyone else is doing it.” But really, whoever those people are, that’s kind of a lame excuse to start blogging in the first place. I’ve also had the unfortunate experience of following those bloggers only to have them abandon ship within a month or two of starting their blog.

    What gets to me more so, though, is that some bloggers are blogging just for the sake of getting followers and views, and end up deleting their site after a while when statistics don’t go up. Again super lame, and that detracts from the quality and content that we, as a blogging community put out and have the potential to put out. Really a shame, especially when there’s a certain kind of judgment associated with blogging- are we bloggers really just rant machines or wannabe poets? We’ll never know… /sarcasm

    Liked by 2 people

    • Paul says:

      I agree with you. I mean, I think we all care about our stats page to some extent, but to blog for the sole purpose of seeing those numbers go up, doesn’t feel genuine. I’ve also followed bloggers who trail off really quickly. It’s disappointing because a lot of them keep to themselves and don’t really reach out to people to grow their audience.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. This was so inspiring! I’ve been struggling a lot lately with non-bloggers not understanding what it is that I do or why I do it, so this was exactly what I needed to read. It does feel like a family, even if that is cheesy sentiment, because even though we don’t all post the same content, we understand one another in some way. We all bring something different to the metaphorical dinner table.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Paul says:

      So true. I feel like bloggers “get” each other. We’re all so alike in the sense that we value our words and how to present them so we say exactly what we’re thinking or feeling. I think it’s hard for non-bloggers to fully understand the benefits we reap from this.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. James says:

    Even if I’m not the ‘James’ you mentioned I’m totally claiming that it’s me you meant, cos you’ve liked some of my posts and everything. Don’t disabuse me of this notion. I’ll be dining out on this in the blogosphere for months…

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Good post! I enjoyed reading it!

    I love the challenge of trying to communicate in writing. That includes both getting ideas across and making people laugh. But I also love the discipline of writing. It forces me to think, to organize my thoughts, and to be creative.

    Keep ’em coming, and I’ll keep reading ’em! 😀

    Like

  7. Terri says:

    Bingo! I’m going to read this post over and over again. You hit so many nails on the head. 🙂 Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. ~M says:

    Love this Paul. Too true… I can never get anyone I know to understand what this blog thing is that I do. But at the end of the day, it really doesn’t matter to me. I know what I have here and I love my blog family. As Jeff Goins would say… I’ve found my tribe. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Paul, you are my “always count on a laugh” blogger too! My ride or die blog mister. That’s a thing, I swear!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      It absolutely is a thing 🙂

      Like

      • I just read this blog post again because I read it last night whilst at the pub (St. Paddy’s Day) and though I’m impressed with my comprehension during celebratory alcohol consumption, I did miss a few things. I would list off all of the parts that hit home but at that point I would just be typing your blog post in this comment, so I won’t.

        I really do feel the same way about the stereotype that is put on us “bloggers”. I used to get embarassed to say “I have a blog” and then to top it off “It’s called Inspector Gorgeous”. We are certainly not your average internet folk. The work and effort we put in is for the love of blogging, writing, and connecting with people!

        In short, agreed. 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

      • Paul says:

        I saw your Instagram story after you commented and was quite impressed and flattered that you took time away from (what looked like) important celebrations to coherently comment on my blog haha. You’re right, there is nothing average about us at all. I wish I could see people’s reactions when you tell them your blog name. I’d feel tempted to sing it in the Inspector Gadget tune if I were you.

        Liked by 2 people

  10. Testify!

    (Great post, by the way.)

    Liked by 2 people

  11. joseyphina says:

    Great one there, Paul👏

    Liked by 1 person

  12. micqu says:

    I nodded so many times while reading this that I may have come across as headbanging to the music in my head. So many emotions I understand and feel/felt too. Thank you for sharing this. xx

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Val says:

    Something in my husband dies everytime I mention my blog, by the look on his face. Ditto the rest of my family. They.have.no.idea. Blogging’s not just a blog, it’s about community. Good post, Paul, thanks.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Barb Knowles says:

    This is perfectly priceless. Side note;; “American Paul” like “Canadian Football.” I loved that.
    Like a fellow blogger above said, If I wrote everything I liked about this post, I’d be re-writing your blog here, and I’ve already come close to doing that a time or two. The most important thing that you talk about here is our community. I’m surprised when someone just writes a post or two. Then I think they were just dipping their toes in the blogging water.
    My personal example of people poo-pooing blogging is the Discover feature, which I emailed to co-workers. One guy asked me what’s WordPress and I explained what it is. He said oh this is about a blog, then forget it. I didn’t mean anyone has to read my blog. But his comment, not made intentionally insulting (I hope) showed me that he, as many are, is clueless about writing in general, and blogging specifically.

    So Kudos to you for expressing what all of us feel. We will keep on writing and sharing our thoughts. And connecting with wonderful people. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Angela says:

    Paul I LOVE this!!! I’ve been blogging on WordPress just over 2 years and I’ve never shared my blog with friends because I’m too scared too for that exact reason, people assume all these untrue things about bloggers! I feel the same, if not for my blog friends I would have gave up running and blogging a while ago! I love the community and reading The Captains Speech makes me laugh, smile and always makes my mood better! Paul you rock!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      Thank you, you’re far too kind. I never anticipated bloggers being this welcoming or friendly. I completely understand you keeping your blog to yourself. There are some times I wish I had done the same, though I don’t regret telling people about it. You rock too, Angela!

      Liked by 1 person

  16. I have been so busy connecting with my genealogy peeps, I’ve missed my writing friends. I woke up this morning because I felt like a part of my life I enjoyed was missing.
    It was you, Paul.
    (And my other blogger friends too, but that doesn’t sound as dramatic.) I’ve realized when I spend too much time away from my writing friends, my voice isn’t as focused. I tend to chase what I think my readers want versus what I want to say.
    Never apologize for your writing or your blog.
    I’ve realized that sometimes there’s a disconnect between people I meet IRL, and those I know only through the words they publish on blogs. I feel like I know you and other writers on a much more intimate level.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      Really good to hear from you, Jen! I appreciated the dramatic portion of this comment lol. I agree with you, I feel like I know some bloggers more than people I know in real life, too. I think bloggers are more up front and forthcoming about what they’re thinking, whereas in real life, people don’t just immediately delve into different aspects of their life. I also think it’s easier to write things than it is to say them.
      I’m sorry I didn’t include your name in the post, but I think you’re aware of my admiration of you.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Awwwww Paul! I may have started at Day 73 but I will be there until Day 5,000 and counting! I smiled many times as I read this, all true!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I’m typing this from the basement. I don’t have a lot of time. my mom has just fixed breakfast. Ha ha. You are always fun to read. You’re multitalented. I could see you writing for a sitcomor or a drama. You would also make a great sports commentator and a spokesperson for Canada. Of course, we all know you’re busy with your air supply cover band, so we’re just thankful you take time to show some love for your loyal readers. 😜

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Em says:

    love this. so so true

    Liked by 1 person

  20. This is my world and this post sums it up beautifully. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. G says:

    I’ve had my blog since 2015 and I still haven’t told anyone I know about it. Probably because anonymity is so empowering. I can be more honest and don’t have to worry about people judging me. I wish I can share my poetry on my Facebook page, but now is not the time. You’re right, it’s terrifying. You’re so lucky you’re over that stage.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      Sometimes I do wish my blog were anonymous, but once I start writing and then hit “publish”, I realize I don’t really care. I hope some day you do share your blog with someone you know, I promise it’s not as terrifying as we make it seem in our head.

      Liked by 1 person

  22. Tenacity T says:

    O M G!!! I enjoyed the hell out of this one, LMFAO Paul 🙂 This was GREAT!!!! Even if my name wasn’t mentioned, I love you anyways! I have to be honest, it is extremely hard to get through every blog and I have a heck of a time trying to keep up with all of the blogs I follow. I seem to do this ring around the rosy. (I am writing about it here and there) How as a blogger we give each other support and try to read everyone but can’t so we go in circles. Hitting so many for a period of time and then catching up on the next group. Not that I am complaining about having what I think are a good amount of followers but the more I get the harder it is. Now, if I could quit my job and just read and write all day long, I’d fucken do it in a hot flash second 🙂 Paul, you are incredibly inspiring! Thank you for this man~

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      I do the exact same thing! I feel like there are some blogs I haven’t read in weeks but in my head I know I’ll swing over there eventually when I have time. It’s hard, but it’s better than having nothing good to read lol. I’m glad you enjoyed this post; you’re just as important as everyone I mentioned! You know that. 🙂

      Like

  23. Thunder Poet says:

    Hey, Cap. 🙂
    Well, I gathered up some courage and had the audacity to tag you in one of my posts. So, I thought you’d like to read it yourself (if you have the time).
    https://thunderpoet.wordpress.com/2017/03/26/yaaaayyyyy/
    Now, I realize you’re a busy man. But I still hope you’d read it (again, if you have the time).
    Now, this is the part where I write something nice about the recent post of the person, but you already know every post of yours is awesome. (And also, I’ve already read it, so it would be brutally unfaithful of me to comment something, now)
    But still, here it is:

    *something nice*

    Ummmm… sorry, Thank you ….. kthnxbyeeee.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Khayl Adam says:

    That was a fantastic read, thanks Paul! I’m new to this whole WordPress thing myself, and I think you just saved me some potential embarrassment. Looking forward to reading more of your work.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Little Rants says:

    Your catchphrases are revolutionary. Remember “single as a Taylor Swift jingle?!”

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Kae Bucher says:

    Loved what you said about idealistic community.. Was surprised about blogging becuz everyone else is… Blogging is my break from other types of writing…. Ur pretty witty… Thanks for that

    Liked by 1 person

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