Write Something Smart

I try not to go back and read my old blog posts. When I do, I find myself struggling to find the posts that make me feel smart.

I see a bunch of posts where I’m cracking jokes and saying clever things that I don’t even know how I came up with in the first place. Don’t get me wrong, I love doing that. I love sitting down and just letting humour flow through me like water in a toilet.

But when someone asks me what my blog is about, or what I write about, I still have no clue how to answer them. When they ask me what I’ve written about lately, I draw a blank.

That’s bothered me for a while.

How am I supposed to explain that I once wrote a blog post about Wrapping Presents and said, “Another conundrum is the whole, “Oopsy No Cutsy-Nufsy”, which is pig latin for, “Oh no, I didn’t cut enough.”?

In what world does that make sense? Well, my world, I guess.

That “Recent Posts” widget on my blog is a lifesaver, otherwise I’d have no idea what my most recent posts were about. Unless I think hard, I’m not going to remember.

Insert my Grade 12 yearbook quote: “If you can’t remember something, it’s not important.”

Where is the blog post where I discuss the state of the world today? There isn’t one. Why? Because I could scroll through Twitter all day, watch the news every night, and read Wikipedia pages until 4AM, and I still won’t feel like I know enough to write a “smart” blog post about it. So I don’t.

Even when I write about sports, I refuse to discuss statistics, trends, or anything I have to research. I go by “feel” because that’s how I think sports should be portrayed.

At the same time, I feel a bit empty because I’m not providing any research; I’m just sitting down and giving my thoughts. Is that enough? I always thought it was, but I don’t know.

My wheelhouse is sports. That is where I feel smart. Yet I’ve turned away from writing about sports regularly because I find it extremely frustrating to write about. I have too much to say, not enough motivation to say it, and not enough patience to explain things I know people won’t understand. So I don’t.

I turn to humour because it’s easy. I can turn every single sentence into a joke of an egg yoke, if I really wanted to. See?

Does that make me feel smart? I don’t know. It makes me feel creative. It makes me feel clever. It makes me feel happy that other people get enjoyment out of it.

But at the end of the day, what did I really do? Was it really that important?

Sometimes I wish I could sit down and write a professional article about something, anything. One where I use big words, don’t use I, and aren’t inclined to start sentences with “but”, “and”, or “because”.

I wish I could do that, even if it’s just once, so I can turn around and tell someone, “Hey, I wrote this really professional article. You should read it.” That would make me feel smart.

At the same time, I’ve turned my back on writing like that because I think it’s boring. Not to sound cocky, but I think I present words in a more entertaining manner than if I sounded like a robot who used big words and adhered to every single writing rule.

This is my dilemma at the moment.

Perhaps there are different versions of “smart” and I have to accept that mine is a combination of creativity, wit, and feel.

I’m incredibly proud of this blog, but sometimes I wonder if it could be better. I wonder if I’ve spent too much time making words sound funny. I just want to be able to look back on the things I’ve written and be able to pinpoint the posts that were more meaningful than the rest.

You’d think after four years, a few features, and thousands of followers, that I’d be completely satisfied with this blog. I’m not. I think that’s a good thing, but it eats at me sometimes.

There are things I’ve wanted to write about lately, but I haven’t because I think, “What’s the point?”

There are also topics I want to write about that just feel overwhelming. I told a friend a few weeks ago that I might do an NHL or NBA preview for every team in the league. In my head, I can write that out in three minutes.

But to sit down and go through every team, and sprinkle some research in there too, it’s hard finding the motivation. Who will care? What’s the point? I can count on one hand the number of people who will genuinely like those posts.

I also want to write more about wrestling, but there is too much to say. And again, who will care? I have no one to talk to about wrestling in real life, so this blog acts as that other person. One who only listens.

That’s the lonely part about blogging that people don’t mention. The part where the things that interest you, don’t interest anyone else.

I’ve never forgotten that this started as a sports blog and pretty much failed. I like to spin that story and say, “One night I had this urge to write about something else, so I did”.

That is 100% true.

But what is also true is, no one cared about my posts about sports. Four years down the line, a handful of people care about them. Great, right? Lonely? Absolutely.

Those posts were written “professionally” and with research and by following the rules. Very vanilla, no toppings.

So in the back of my mind, I feel like I’ve gone so far into the “writing freely” and “crack a joke every now and then” realm, that I can’t go back, even though it feels like I have unfinished business.

Maybe I just want to prove to myself that I can write something that looks smart and have people care about it, too.

That being said, maybe I’ve been doing it all along.

My way. My version of smart.

Hopefully, it’s enough.

About Paul

I think of my blog as an all-you-can-read buffet. There's something for everyone and complimentary mints at the door as you leave.
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61 Responses to Write Something Smart

  1. Dutch Lion says:

    Hey Paul, I really enjoyed this post. You and I are similar people and writers. I, however, am much older than you. My advice is, don’t worry so much, which is ironic because you could say the same thing about me and my sports writing for example. You’re evolving. You’re growing and moving forward. Your blog is an amazing accomplishment over the last 4 or whatever years.

    I know what you mean about the “sports” comments such as “who cares about my sports blog?” and “why do all the research because who cares?”. Well, I care for one. I often feel the same way as you but it always comes back to, do I care enough to do this whether anyone was reading it or not? For me, I enjoy it. I feel better after I write about the Chicago Bears. I feel accomplishment. I feel like I know the team and the NFL better after spending the time to write both a weekly preview and review each and every week, as I did last season. For me it was a challenge. I’m glad I did it and finished the season, despite the Bears being such a bore to write about at times. I’m probably going to do it again for this website called FootballNation.net.

    You may want to consider doing something like this for yourself. I also find WordPress to be light on sports lovers. The real sports lovers reside on other sites, mostly your typical “jock” sites that I often find annoying. However, maybe you should pick one and see what happens. In your case, maybe it’s not the NFL but the NBA or the CFL or the NHL or whatever you like.

    On top of all that, maybe you just had a day, maybe even what we’d call a “bad day”. You’ll probably feel better tomorrow or next week. Don’t despair or give up on your writing. I can tell you are very talented. You’re simply evolving and growing as a writer, and as a person. You have a bright future. Trust me. I’ve read a lot of stuff and your stuff is good. You’ll find your “meaningful” voice someday, and who is to say your stuff isn’t “meaningful” now anyway? Why am I writing so much on your comments when I should be writing on my own site? Now THAT is a question for me and my experienced (old) self. Current status: I need to find the time to finish the 20+ drafts I have saved up. Problem is I need to do all that “research” you wrote about. I know what you mean. I kind of dread it in a way too. However, I find that when I finish a good sports blog I feel an amazing sense of accomplishment, whether I get anyone’s likes or comments. I just like doing it and putting it in my portfolio, so to speak. It comes in handy years later when somebody asks me what baseball parks I like and then I can point to that one article I wrote about my list of favorite ballparks. To me, that makes it worthwhile.

    Oh well, enough about me. Let’s summarize: 1. You’re good and talented. 2. You’re young and evolving. 3. You might consider writing for a sports blog/site that “forces” you to put together a portfolio of work for a team or league. It might be the challenge you’re seeking.

    Thanks! Reid (the Dutch Lion)

    Liked by 2 people

    • Paul says:

      Well aren’t you just a beacon of light! Or is it a beacon of hope? Regardless, I really appreciate this blog-length comment! I think you’re right, it just might be a bad day or a bad week.

      The lack of sports bloggers here is disappointing because it feels like a big part of me is being left out of my blog, but I’m fortunate that you and a few others are here and do appreciate my sports thoughts. I’ve grown to appreciate the White Sox and have a foul taste in my mouth when I think of the Cubs, thanks to you.

      I like your idea of going to a different website and writing sports for them. I’ll see what’s out there.

      Again, thanks for the comment! It means more than you think.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. The fat lady says:

    Refreshingly honest.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ely says:

    I told you that I’d get distracted mid way through this cake. You know- for the record, it takes a SMART person to be a witty, creative, and genuinely funny person. Dumb people usually tell dumb jokes and have ZERO abilities to create new words, or puns for literally anything. Don’t underestimate yourself. CLEVER=SMART. In every way possible. I have this same issue you know…. here I am a failure of a chemistry major who bakes cakes for the fuck of the art and (junk extra money) and writes in a blog that has absolutely zero purpose other than to impress myself with my abilities to sarcastically rant and bitch about any and everything. I’m not here teaching people how to make stuff because DIY posts are SO SO SO time consuming and boring to me and how many people will ACTUALLY make the thing?! None. That’s how many. So much wasted time all for the sake of meeting some nonexistent writing standards.
    So we have built this bridge to funnyville and I’m over it! You’re over it! We are all over it! Anyone who can google information is “smart” these days. What you can’t google however- are elephant dung rivers, how many poinks wins in pig football, why Samsterdam was fired, and well I could do this all night lol. So stop doubting yourself for good. And never ever stop being FREE and yourself. And no- I won’t read sports posts if that’s all you post (minus one reader confirmed should that happen).

    Liked by 2 people

    • Paul says:

      Sorry to keep Moana waiting!
      Thanks for the kind words, I think my blog and I were going through a blogdentity crisis this last week or so. I think you should do a parody of a DIY post. That would be great!
      And you’re right, being smart these days means being able to use Google. I guess that’s why I kinda wish I could just write something that feels a bit more prepared even though that’s not my style. It’s just the whole proving to myself that I can thing, ya know?
      And oh God, I don’t think I could go back to just writing about sports so you don’t have to worry about that. Maybe once or twice here and there, but don’t worry, you’ll still get the humour side of me on here.

      P.S. Samsterdam was not fired. I heard through the grape vine (because it’s a cooking show) that he might be returning SOON. Lookout for him.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Ely says:

        😂 I can’t wait! Lol. And we all go through this type of “writer” drama. Until we post something witty and great and self-validate our intentions all over again. And a parody on DIY posts. Ha. Hmmm….

        Liked by 1 person

  4. infinitelytwisted says:

    “That’s the lonely part about blogging that people don’t mention. The part where the things that interest you, don’t interest anyone else.” You have no idea how much I understand that. I don’t think “smart” and “creative” are the same thing when it comes to blogging, though; rather, I think that “smart” is another one of those states of being that is entirely subjective – like “normal” is subjective. My opinion is to just write what you want and how you want and try not to worry about whether or not people like it. Write for *you*. The people who resonate with your thoughts, ideas, feelings, and such will find you. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    • Paul says:

      That’s an interesting take on “smart” being subjective. I hadn’t thought about it like that. Thanks for the advice! It’s funny, I’ve given that same advice over and over again to a bunch of bloggers. I guess I’m better at giving advice than I am at keeping it for myself.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Honest and perfect ! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Scattered Scripturient says:

    I really relate to this post. If it helps, I read your blog whenever I can, and I thoroughly enjoy it. I can think of a couple blog posts specifically that inspired me and I considered extremely helpful at the time, and some that were just down right hilarious, and I needed those too. I say keep doing what you’re doing because you’re a great blogger in my opinion!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Tony Burgess says:

    I find some mistakes in my previous posts. The way I blog is very stream of the moment and that means writing whatever I am thinking and I have been known to type/speak before I think. Punctuation is often optional when I write.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      I’m the same way, I think it’s the best way to do it. I wrote this post late Friday afternoon and held off posting it until Saturday morning. In that time, I found myself going back and fixing things/taking stuff out/adding things…I hate doing that. That’s why I normally post as soon as I’m done writing.

      Like

  8. Squid says:

    Pffffft a well-written article doesn’t make you smart. I can tell you about a gazillion well-researched blogs that I’ve read but eventually unfollowed because they’re *gasp* boring!
    You have never been that way, except in the Bachelorette play-by-plays that I sometimes would get bored at…
    Your posts are accurate depictions of your attitude on life. I think that’s really cool. Sometimes you had some poems/prose that just blew me away with it’s depth. I want to start quoting Speed Racer’s mom’s encouraging speech, but idk if it fits. 😬
    Anyway, don’t stop. God’s got a plan for this blog and for you. 🙂
    Squid

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      This comment was a great pick me up, thanks Squid! I guess I just want to write something that looks well-done while adding my own vocabulary to it and have people appreciate it too…does that make sense?

      Like

  9. Catherine says:

    Paul,
    I agree that it can be disappointing when no one sees or likes a post you felt was really good, but ultimately, you are writing about things you enjoy and not everyone will be interested in everything you like. Write whatever you want because it is your blog and you are smart in your own way. You don’t have to have a strict niche. You don’t have to write research type posts to make yourself appeal to others. I found you based off Discover, and your post was simply about celebrating your 4 year WordPress anniversary. You did not use citations or research what blogging was or anything like that, you wrote how you felt and that is what I am interested in. Bloggers talking about how they feel. If I wanted to follow a sports blog, I’d follow one. You are a good writer Paul and you don’t have to second guess yourself because you feel you don’t write to a niche.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      Thanks for the reassurance and kind words, Catherine! I’ve always taken pride in not having a niche and just writing how I feel without being too robotic in my writing. I guess a small part of me just wonders if I’m able to write something that would be on a news website and if people would be interested in it. I know I don’t enjoy writing like that, I’m just curious if I could be good at it.

      Like

  10. micqu says:

    I believe that being smart comes in different formes and guises… Wit and being able to make people laugh with creative words – that is smart.
    But I also understand the need to write something you are satisfied with and that is acknowledged by a a broad audience. Being passionate about the topic makes is that much more of a success.
    Back in the day, my blog was dedicated to music. I wrote critics and shared music daily. But I had no readers and one day, I was just so frustrated that I deleted most of the music and only left the poetry and occasional ramble. Sometimes, I feel as if I gave up but on the other hand, I am still writing about things that are important to me and which I am passionate about.
    The feeling of “who cares” is one I often have too. Today, I wrote a post about post I think are good and have no response Vs the posts I believe to be average and have a lot (for my standards).
    I for one would be genuinely interested to read your posts about sports, but at the same time I need to admit that I don’t have any knowledge. You could pretend that balls are square in Canada and I would be inclined to believe you 😉 (maybe)

    I know you aren’t looking to have your ego stroked (but if you do – here is an extra cuddle) but you are a brilliant writer. And that doesn’t need big words. Maybe your posts are this engaging because they are readable effortlessly. They are funny yet thought provoking. I like that and I can often relate.

    Et gëtt zur Gewunnecht laang Äntwerten ze schreiwen. (I starting to become a habit to write long replies to your posts)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      You’re the best. I’m gonna go back to this comment and read it whenever I need a confidence boost.

      For me, I’m at the point where I don’t really care if people read my stuff or not – everyone has their own interest – it’s just when I write about sports, I already know that most of my regular readers won’t be able to have a conversation with me about what I wrote. That’s what I’m missing. That’s why I sometimes think “What’s the point?”

      Regardless, I think I’ll still write those posts. Maybe I can turn some people into fans.
      Thanks again!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. MagLyM says:

    Anyone can be book smart. Your creativity and wit is what we need more of in the world. And you’ve made me laugh multiple times, so you get extra points for that. Keep writing what you feel like writing because it’s authentic and draws people in. It takes talent to be able to do that.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      Thank you for saying that! I think I just had a few bad days where I was doubting my writing and questioning what exactly what I was doing here. Thanks for the reassurance.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Ashley says:

    I know what you mean. I don’t have a niche either. Most of my posts are rambling or feel stilted when I try to write a certain way or about anything at all. I feel like other people are smarter about X topic that I’m also trying to write as if I am an equal in their field.
    On a side note, why does your blog say Psalm 56:3 way at the bottom after the “Leave a Reply” Box? Lol.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      I try to stay away from writing about things I don’t know a lot about, even if I have an opinion on them. I don’t want to come across as naive or opinionated based on little knowledge; I just let other people talk about those things instead.

      And it says Psalm 56:3 because I put it there lol

      Like

      • Ashley says:

        I have the same thoughts too. People like to tell others their wrong even as they viciously defend their own opinions wrong or right.

        I figured you put it there, it just seemed random. I looked it up and thought it seemed related to what you were writing atm LOL. I was just wondering why, but it’s a cool verse. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Paul says:

        Lol it’s been there for about three years. Just figured I’d put something down there that was meaningful to me. Not many people have pointed it out though!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ashley says:

        Well someone’s gotta be the first! And good for you, that’s awesome. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  13. I think we all have this struggle. I also sense a prompt to write about a particular thing. I often doubt myself and wonder if anyone will be encouraged or get a thing from it. God always uses these posts beyond my expectation. I received positive feedback from what I often feel is trivial. God knows what others need when they need it. Thank you for being honest about this!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      Thanks for the comment! I agree with you. I definitely think that sometimes we write things for ourselves, but in the grand scheme of things, they were meant for someone else to read. It’s a great feeling receiving a comment from someone who tells me that my little post had a huge impact on their life.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I love this post, Paul! And besides, I’m pretty sure big words and rule-abiding grammar are for teenagers writing college application essays, not actual smart people. Being able to convey intelligent thoughts in understandable language is a much more valuable form of smarts anyway.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. thewisegreek says:

    Wanting to improve -I’ve learned recently- is what I think makes people smart. It shows that they don’t think they are the best and how can you do better if you already think your at the top?

    I’ve recently watched a video on ASAP science titled: Are You Above or Below Average? It explained a study that showed that smarter doubted themselves more than the average person.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      I agree with that. I think I’m always trying to improve or try something different to see if I can find success that way as well.

      Hmm I might have to look up that video. I think I’d fall under the smart person who doubts themselves category.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. I really like how you write. But yeah, it can be hard when nobody cares about what you post, especially because as a blogger you write about the things that interest you. In my case, I’ve only been writing for about a month or so and my posts don’t get more than 10 views, which tbh is really discouraging. I’m even considering the possibility of changing topics or sometimes I think this might not be for me, but I try to continue writing and hoping someday my blog will be known by more than 10 people. There is always doubt, but you have done something really good here, just continue following what your feelings tell you to write about 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      Thank you! I went through what you’re going through now – 10 views per post. It’s not fun. But it won’t last forever, trust me. The more you write and the more you branch out and meet more bloggers, those views will go up. Stay with it 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Laura says:

    Creativity and wit bring a lot to the table and work in your favor when you’re convincing readers to engage. Engaging is the hardest part, so what you decide to do with your blog after that is your own. (Did that even make sense?) I think all of us go through periods of “what’s the point?” but writing is cyclical, or I think it is.

    Your response to the last comment really helped me…I’m happy with what I’m doing on my blog, and I’m growing my followers but my posts have been stuck at 18-20 views for what seems like forever. I’m just trying to keep my head down so I don’t lose track of the real goal.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      That did make sense! Yeah, I think I’d rather be engaging and have readers excited to read the next sentence, rather than putting them to sleep after the opening paragraph.

      Views are a tricky thing, sometimes it can come down to the time of day you post something or how many/which tags you use. What I know for sure is that you put out great content on a regular basis and I’m so glad I’ve come across your blog 🙂

      Like

  18. janeybgood says:

    I really relate to this! I feel like most female bloggers write about being mothers, or wives, or beauty and fashion, or cooking and I’m there writing about my cat doing the mamba.
    But you know what, I love that. I tell my students all the time that a funny writer is so rare, but so special. I love reading something that makes me laugh. Laughing is one of the best things we do. And you’ve made me laugh, so there’s that. You don’t need a niche, you just need to be you. And you’re doing a pretty good job of that!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      Alright, you win for nicest comment of the day. Thank you. I like your blog for the same reasons – it’s different. The majority of the blogging community seems to be female and I have a hard time digging through all the beauty blogs trying to find something I enjoy. Your blog fills that void. I’m all for the posts about cats doing the mamba! Perhaps the Macarena is next?

      Like

  19. peckapalooza says:

    Honestly, I look at other people’s blogs (like yours, for example) and there’s a part of me that’s envious at the number of followers, likes, and especially comments that you receive. But, then I remind myself that I started blogging years ago so I could just have a place to vent. Keeping a blog wasn’t supposed to be about caring how many people read what I wrote. It was just supposed to be about writing. So I don’t have a thousand followers. Maybe that means I’ve just never written anything that a bunch of people are able to connect to all at once. Maybe it’s luck, or a lack thereof.

    Anyway, I think I was writing all that to lead up to the encouragement to just write whatever you want to write! If you want to preview every team in the NHL or NBA, go for it. I may not particularly “like” those posts, but that’s just because sports aren’t really my jam. But they are yours. But only do it if you’re gonna enjoy it. When it becomes work, is it really worth keeping a blog anymore? Over time, that’s why I’ve taken the breaks I’ve taken from my own blog. If I’m not enjoying it… if trying to come up with something to post becomes a chore, then I’m just not gonna do it.

    That said, I continue to thoroughly enjoy your blog overall. I find your insights and observations to be witty, clever, and humorous. Or was it humourous?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      Thanks for the comment and words of encouragement. I like to think that I’ll write anything, as long as I want to, regardless if anyone will read it. But there are times when I lack the motivation and it becomes a chore, which you mentioned.

      I definitely lucked into my followers and likes. I probably would’ve given up blogging had I not been featured that first time in 2013. Just because you may not have as many followers as me doesn’t mean your words are any less important. Numbers lie, anyway. We probably have the same number of blog friends.

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Zimm says:

    All of the posts I have read and commented on your blog today have been refreshing. I’m a new blpgger, just started writing last month and I could learn a thing or two from you.

    My blog posts cover things from my life as well as controversial bullshit (excuse my languange) that gets under my skin. I tell it like it is and tend to avoid sugar coating. But, all of my posts are “serious.” I suppose I ought to mix it up a bit eh?

    Smart is only what you make it to bed. That isn’t very smart is it. Definitely following you now 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      I think you should continue to write about whatever you want, whether it’s serious for not. I know for me that I get bored if I have too many of the same kind of posts in a row. I like to switch it up and keep people guessing.

      Like

  21. Barb Knowles says:

    You know I love your blog more than any other. You are witty, wonderful and full of good ideas, stories, memories and poetry. And you “switch it up.” But I will say it again. You are at your best, and I love it the most, when you write about sports.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      Well, thank you. i’ve been trying to get my sports post over (that’s wrestling lingo) since the beginning, so I’m glad you like them!

      Also, I think you missed a couple of my previous posts which are no longer on my recent posts lists, but one of them is under my Fan Favourites, it’s called Blogging 307. There was also a poem before that post you might’ve been. Sorry for bringing it up, I just want you to read everything lol

      Liked by 1 person

  22. Before I ended reading that post I wanted to tell you that you have your own way of smart. But then you closed it off with exactly these words. I am glad to have followed you, because I always know I am in for a few chuckles along the line. I am not one to easy brought to laughter by written words, so i do think you are smart enough to do exactly that. But maybe don’t think too much, just do what you want. Even if it is about wrestling!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      Wow, thank you! Glad to know I could make you laugh! I think when I wrote this post I was just doubting everything I was writing about at the time. I’m definitely going to write about anything I want going forward.

      Like

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