I’ve been rehearsing this blog post in my head for the last month, but now that I have to write it, I don’t know what to say. I still don’t know what to title it, so hopefully that reveals itself to me before the final period is typed.
I started this blog for selfish purposes. I wanted to write about sports, so I had writing samples to send to potential employers. That’s all. I had no aspirations to make friends. I had no desire to explore different topics. I didn’t want to leave my niche – bloggers need a niche.
Good things happen when you least expect it.
Little did I know, bloggers don’t need a niche. Nor do we need to stay in a bubble. Once I figured that out, this blog was no longer just about me. It was about the people who took the time to read it.
A few days ago, The Captain’s Speech reached 5000 followers.
I don’t know what that number means, really. But I do know what I think about when I see it.
I think about all the friendships that have been made.
I think about the people who told me my words had an impact on their life.
I think about the person who told me they enjoy my humour and to never stop giving my unique view of things because they read my blog as a way to forget – for a little while – about the rough situation in their life.
There’s more to that than I’ll share, but I tear up every time I think about it.
And who am I?
I’m just a person putting one word in front of the next. I don’t know what I’m doing in life. I mention pizza a lot. I start too many sentences with “And”. And I have no idea how to write a concise blog post, as evidenced by my 1466 word per post average in 2018 – find yours on the insights tab of a stats page near you.
I am truly grateful for all the nice things you have said to me over the years. The blogging community is incredible and I couldn’t have imagined such a welcoming group of people on the internet.
When I first came into this, I was just coming out of university and about to face the reality that friendships from school slowly fade away over time. I didn’t know that strangers on the internet would be there to catch me when I needed support.
Five years later, I talk to more bloggers on a regular basis than people I know in real life.
A couple of years ago, a group chat was made. It consists of Meghan, Jess, Chris, and myself. I had been blog friends with Meghan and Jess for about a year, while Chris and I have known each other for about sixteen.
That group chat quickly became, and still is, one of my favourite things.
Explaining the dynamic between the four of us is impossible. It’s like we’re roommates, but we’re not, yet we still scream through the wall knowing someone will respond.
In life, I think we all just want to find a place where we fit in. And that includes finding people we like to be around.
That’s why on the first day of every school year, we’d look through the class list, or around the room, trying to find the people with whom we fit. If there’s a group project, who are my people?
Because no one wants to be completely alone. I’m certain we’ve all felt that at least once in our lives.
We all need someone else, and in the blogging world, our words are the great unifier.
When I was in university, I had a few different friend groups as a result of living in residence each year. I don’t like separate groups, so I introduced each group to each other and made it one big happy family.
In a way, I think I’ve tried to do that with this blog.
When I go looking for new blogs to follow, I often find ones that don’t have many followers but are putting out content I really enjoy. I’ll always have a soft spot for bloggers like that. Not because I feel sorry for them or want to give them a charity follow, but because I’ve been in their shoes.
I know how tough it is to be writing for 8 people, 4 seemingly fake accounts, and 2 other skeptical ones.
You feel like you’re not being heard. You tell yourself you’re writing for yourself, but you still wish someone else read your work. As much as we can find ourselves through our writing, we hope it finds someone else, too.
When you see me nominating a bunch of bloggers in these blog award posts, I hope you’re clicking the links because that’s my small way of trying to bring everyone together.
I don’t want bloggers to give up because they don’t have hundreds or thousands of followers. I want to support them.
The most important post I’ve ever written was when I had 22 followers. The size of your audience doesn’t make your words mean less.
And I know it’s probably easy for you to think, “Oh, he’s just preaching from the hilltop known as The 5000 Club.” You’re missing the point if you think that. There is no hilltop. There never has been. We’re all on the same playing field.
If you’re looking for tips on how to get 5000 followers, I don’t have any. I only have truths. And the truth is, words bring people together. They always will.
Well, that’s it. I’m sure you’ll all get tired of me and my jokes eventually though, right?
If so, just give me two weeks notice so I can host an Unfollowing Party. It’ll be like an episode of Oprah, except everyone in the audience returns their free car.
I’m going to go now. Thanks again for all the support!
Keep writing your words because, I can assure you, they mean something to someone.
– Paul, The Captain’s Speech