Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Importance of Being Bloggish

There are 8 million blogs in the naked universe; this is one of them.

No doubt there are tons of voices out there, approximately 5 billion personal websites, or “blogs” if you will, and when put in this context your little domain may seem rather insignificant and small, but that’s not the point. You need that blog, it’s your voice. I came to that realization slowly, and painfully.

At first I was terrified about starting a blog; what do I say? How do I say it? What if I run OUT of stuff to say? What if nobody LIKES what I say? These are fair questions, but you can’t concern yourself with that. In the beginning you just have to write for the sake of writing; even if no one is reading. Even if you think you suck.

A blog is your personal voice, your vehicle, your wheelhouse; this is your domain; it’s a place for you to go and write what you feel. It’s a place for people to come and get to know you better. Without it, you’re a whispering wind instead of a full force gale. And also, it’s a great motivator. Nothing gets the juices flowing like an audience waiting to read your words.

In my pre-blog days I just didn’t write as much as I do now. You see, when there’s no place to hang my hat, or publish my writing as it were, there just doesn’t exist the urgency to write anything, at least that’s the way it was for me. Think of it as a soft deadline; you don’t really have to post anything; no one’s going to come after you and give you detention or anything, no one’s going to rap you on the knuckles with a ruler, but you know it’s there, that deadline, especially when you start gathering followers. Followers will motivate me every time. If I haven’t posted in a while I start feeling that twinge of guilt (yes, writer’s remorse!) and so I get off my ass and write something, like I’m doing now. It’s like getting a gentle kick in the rear. Without this blog of mine, the urge just doesn’t exist (Let me amend that by saying the urge to write ALWAYS exists, it's just not as strong). I write for one reason: I want people to read me. Without a blog, I am a tree falling in the forest with nobody around to hear me, and that’s no good. What the hell is the point of that?

Recently a Twitter-friend of mine named Joseph Lane started a blog called The National Affairs desk. Prior to this I knew virtually nothing about him; but his blog has since become a place to get to know him better; I can see his full-fledged personality and talents as a writer and journalist, and now I look forward to his every post. It’s like shining a light on yourself. If you ever hope to become a writer, this is vital; without a blog or an emotional connection, people will gloss over you. I’m happy to say though, that I’ve managed to convince a lot of talented people to be brave and start a blog. I know it’s tough; a blog is kind of like pulling your pants down in a crowded auditorium and giving a speech, but believe me, it gets easier, sort of.

Like I mentioned before, it can be a scary thing. When I first wrote a post for the Writers Den, I sat and stared at it for a good long hour; my finger hovered over the mouse, the publish button stared back at me. I said “Hell with it” and published. You know what? It wasn’t so bad. People were generally nice and supportive; I felt good about it. Now, I regularly post, un-post, edit, re-edit, delete entire posts; it’s my blog, my words, so why not? Just like people say, OWN your life, OWN your job.

OWN your blog. It’s yours; your voice, your words. Show us what you got.

David Hunter, Over and Out.

~The Writers Den on Twitter~

~The Writers Den on Twitter~
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