If I blog it, the readers will come?
I’ve just noticed that my little blog has over 4000 followers. Over 60,000 visitors came from over 135 different countries this year. And I’m so grateful for each and every one. Thank you for inspiring and correcting and laughing with me. I love each of you (even the drunk ones who came here looking for the sex tube site…). In your honor—well, maybe not so much the drunks—I’m again sharing these thoughts from last December on why I blog.
When fabulous blogger/writer/sharer DL Hammons announced this year’s Déjà vu Blogfest, he said, “One of my pet peeves about the way our blogosphere operates is that you can miss some really awesome posts if you’re away for a while.” You can catch up with the amazing bloggers on the Déjà vu Blogfest here. (Still time to add your blog and join the fun!) So even though the Blogfest is all about the day of the do-over, I’m asking:
How about you? Why do you blog? Why do you read other blogs?
And even though it was a great post about what makes great posts, and even though it made great points, and even though it asked great questions… at the end, I found myself thinking maybe not.
Before cashing in all my karma vouchers to reach this enlightened plane of existence where I’m a writer and all my days are Saturdays, I headed up human resources for a series of technology companies. (Translation: I fired people.) Okay, before I could fire them, I had to hire them. And that part was so much fun! I didn’t even have to buy them dinner or drugs or sleep with them to make interesting people want to be there with me and answer any question I might ask. Because it was high tech, almost all of them had worked for companies that didn’t make it. Because they were smart, when I asked why their companies had failed, they always knew the reason. Because it was an interview, they were always willing to tell me. Because you can’t make this stuff up, their answers always fit into one of two things.
Thing One: their company failed because its leaders forgot who they were. In trying to make sure they took advantage of every opportunity that came their way, they lost track of why they had built that company in the first place, spreading themselves so thin trying to do everything that they ended up not being able to do what they started.
Thing Two: their company failed because its leaders couldn’t forget who they were. In clinging so tightly to their single-minded vision of what they started as, they weren’t able to naturally grow and expand to respond to changes and opportunities. So they ended up choking the product they were trying to protect.
And that’s how I think of my little blog. I started it because I needed to be a writer. I wrote a book and plenty of clever people said that novelists need blogs to provide shiny PR for their books. It should, they said, be full of content about the books and writing as a process, and… and… And you know what? Writing books is fun, but even I wouldn’t want to read the minutiae of what goes into them. Talking about the process of writing is not only boring (total pantser here!) but the people who’d read it are other writers, not always potential readers. But talking about whatever comes into my head—silly stuff, books I’m reading, books I’m writing, what other people are writing—that’s both true to what I am and capable of evolving and growing.
So…will you read my blog today? I hope so. I’ve made so many good friends online, and I’d love you to be one of them. But whether or not you do, I’ll still be writing, still trying to tap-dance that thin wire between Thing One and Thing Two—remembering why I came here without forgetting who I am.