Last updated on March 21st, 2021 at 01:39 am
If you can’t keep it real, why the heck are you blogging, anyway??? Last night was the first night I’d had off in a while to do something other than work. I don’t know how we get so wrapped up in our jobs—okay, that’s a lie, I totally do: it’s all a response to worry and fear. The worry that if we fail to do a good job that we’ll wind up on the street, unable to sustain our lives. The fear that comes with the possibility of failure and the horrors that could happen due to us not living up to expectations. Though I’m still convinced of a saying that I came up with last year:
“Jobs need people more than people need jobs.”
Call me a liar if you want, but I’m convinced of this. If we didn’t try so hard to keep up with multiple Joneses, live beyond our means and keep up appearances to the world around us (who mostly don’t really care too much about us as individuals, so in effect, we do a lot of this for no reason whatsoever…)—we could settle for jobs that pay less, provide less hours, but possibly afford more happiness. With Toronto having the high cost of living that it does and the very visible homelessness problem (in its downtown core especially) that it does, there’s no way I’d wish to be unemployed, but balance is a must. Which brings me to here—trying to get in the rhythm of blogging again. You may or may not have noticed I changed the tagline of my site to:
“I’m not a blogger, I just talk a lot.”
Completely true. Ask any “popular” blogger about how they approach their craft, and they’ll likely tell you about the time and effort that goes into keeping a blog fresh, from using editorial calendars, spending hours working on and scheduling posts, and generally approaching the entire art of blogging as if it were a second job. But I hate planning. Sarah’s always taking care of the planning in our marriage because I’m so horrible at it. I’m the spontaneous one. The doer. I don’t think—I prefer to just get something out of the way and move on to the next thing. Apparently personality tests completely agree that this is the way my brain is hard-wired. (I’m an ENTP in my Myers-Briggs assessment if that means anything to you.) This is why I’m way more inclined to use Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest to get my ideas out. It’s instantaneous. It’s quick. It matches the speed at which thoughts come to me a little more closely. But there has to be some reason to blog, right? I suppose when it all comes down to it—we all want somewhere where we can share the stories of our lives, and furthermore, somewhere where people will actually care about our existence. By and large, the Internet is a vast and boring place. We’re in a day and age where if we have an Internet connection, we’ve seen much of everything. You could discover more through YouTube, Wikipedia and social media in the last half a decade than you could through any encyclopedia in the years before. So when you see these niche blogs on things like tech, fashion or whatever other material goods—they’re great and all, but you rarely get any sense of feeling from them. No personality. No connection with the reader. There’s nothing that makes most blogs more real than any other blog—they end up just being words on the screen rather than a reflection of the writer providing them. And in my opinion, if you can’t keep it real, you don’t have a story to tell. But in a world where we share our thoughts in little bite-sized chunks and at a quicker pace than ever before… is there even a place for blogging anymore? This is the conundrum I came across — I was looking at my blog the other day and I thought—”I’m bored with this. I write a bunch of stuff, but I don’t care enough about it to finish what I started.” It’s not like it’s the first time it’s happened, either. My blogs in the past—and I’m pretty sure the same could be said for most people’s blogs—have died off because I didn’t feel connected to my content. I think I said it best when I told Jelani and Bess about my predicament:
“I’m writing like a news reporter looking in on my life, rather than writing like the guy living my life.”
Yeah, well that can’t happen anymore. Writing about only the events that pass in my life is lopsided. It’s like having a newspaper that only covers current events, without any of the columns and Op-Ed pieces that keep readers coming back. So even if I’m not really a blogger; even if I like the spontaneity and freedom of keeping my thoughts in bite-sized chunks of 140 or 63,206 characters (alright, Facebook’s not so bite-sized anymore)—it looks like I’m going to keep blogging for the simple reason that I like to write. Despite the fact that I lead an active social life, hitting up dinners with friends, tweet ups and learning conferences; despite the overly-busy work schedule that often just sees me coming home to pas out and do it all over again the next day; despite the fact that I’m using up most of my time for one thing or another, I still—like most people—feel like I want people to hear my story. So here I am, world. I hope your eyes are open, because I’ve got a lot to say!
28 replies on “Why Blog if You Can’t Keep it Real?”
Great post Casey, look forward to more posts by you!
Thanks, bud! I’m feeling totally charged to really just express myself and not try to keep filling in roles that just aren’t me. Hope to have something fresh soon — but if I don’t, that’s okay, too 🙂
I love it, I read it, keep it coming 🙂
Thanks, Luisa 🙂 I’ve made a promise to myself to start writing more content that I believe in and can stand behind. If I write to express my opinions, issues, inspirations and such, I think it’ll do a way better job of trying to keep on top of the “hot topic of the moment”.
Appreciate the support!
I think the biggest issue with motivation in blogging is that it isn’t a priority. The best bloggers don’t just provide content, they live through their content. Their blog isn’t just their job, it’s their life. Folks like you and I, we work full time. That’s the priority. As you said you have the fear of being on the street so you work to provide for yourself and your family. The best bloggers use that same fear to motivate them in their only job; to blog.
Truth be told, I think what motivates the part time blogger is ego. Me personally, I like seeing hits on my blog. It’s a small thing but if I hit 100+ uniques on a post, that lights me shit up like Christmas morning. I comment on blogs because I love that rush of getting the email saying there’s a new comment. I want that for the blogs I read consistently too.
I don’t necessarily want to write/review/whatever when there’s other stuff going on in life but I do enjoy it juuuuust enough to put in my time and be ego rewarded for it. If you’re not motivated to blog, then don’t. Forcing content always comes off terribly. If you are motivated on any level whatsoever then do it at your leisure. Every day or once a week or once in six months. It doesn’t matter, it’s what you want but never force it.
That’s a lesson I’ve had to learn over time, man — there’s tons of sites and rule books out there that tell you how to go about doing your business if you want to stay relevant and popular and be one of the big names in your industry — but seriously, you need to have a life. Like you’ve said, you can’t force yourself to do shit and expect a favourable response — there’s a reason why I kept starting over and over again after a decade of blogging; trying to force myself to fit niches that weren’t me.
So yeah, I think I’ll write a little here and there and share stuff that I’m working on as it comes to me, but I’ll definitely focus on having a life more than I will trying to fit into any specific template.
Thanks for reaching out, bud.
This is a great post. I’m planning on starting blogging since I do love writing (I have pages upon pages of hastily written content all over my devices) but I don’t want want to get into the same rut you’re talking about, where you’re looking in instead of living in, you know?
I love talking, and I feel a lot more passion when I speak, so I plan on recording more of my content, and then writing it all down. It gives me that ability to spontaneously do (or speak in this case) but still have some sort of coherent plan/strategy to follow without getting engulfed in it.
Great post once again.
Thanks, Pavel 🙂 See, we’re becoming friends already — I love it!
One thing you’re going to have to do is find your voice — find what you like to write about, how you like to write it, all of that. My buddy up there, @justinbaisden:disqus — he has a talent of writing short posts that’ll make you think and click links and the like to understand more about what he’s referring to. Me, on the other hand, write lengthy stream-of-consciousness-type stuff and it takes me a bit of thinking and self-exploration to get to my point. So you need to know what works for you.
I say screw a schedule or trying to write exclusively about one thing — you write what comes to you and elicits an emotional response from yourself. If you actually care about what you’re writing, it will show when you post it. This post actually got more attention than I’m expecting, and I have a lot more to say than I thought I did — this is all a good sign 🙂
Good luck with blogging; let me know when you start! I’d love to take a look!
Thanks a lot for the great advice man! You’re right, I gotta actually put in work first to see what works for me.
I love that feeling of saying more than you thought you would. That’s why I love writing. Ultimately, you dig deeper and deeper within yourself and start uncovering ideas you never even knew you had.
Blogging can be equal parts the biggest pain in the ass of almost anything you try to do on the Internet and the most rewarding thing you can do if you love sharing your thoughts and getting other people’s impressions on what you’re saying.
You’re a curator, author, designer and more all rolled up in one.
I still don’t think I’d give it up for anything, though.
Casey, you sure talk a lot, but it’s not mindless chatter, it’s always interesting or inspiring, so keep it up, Chatty Cathy! 😉 P.S. I blog because I love to write, I love to tell stories, I love to inform, and if other HAPPEN to enjoy them too, then that’s a bonus. If you keep writing about things you are passionate about, then blogging doesn’t feel like a “chore” or a “second job”. Instead, it feels like a second “hobby” that you wake up WANTING to do. I think it’s perfectly fine to blog one in a while, when you are FEELING passionate about something. Forget about “counting posts” – but focus on making each post “count”!
Heh. Joie, thanks as always for the support! I agree with you 100% — it’s all in how you approach it and whether you’re writing things that empower you rather than things you feel obligated to write about 🙂 When it comes to events, parties and such, I can trust that I’ll have other friends who might write about them (shout-out once more to @justinbaisden:disqus on this one) — I don’t see myself keeping this as an event blog 🙂
Don’t worry — there shall be posts!!!
‘Jobs need people more than people need jobs.’ It’s true. You think you can’t live without a given coworker but they leave and you all move on somehow. It’s depressing, actually.
Oh no! I didn’t mean for it to be depressing — it was just a commentary on the fact that we often place too much of an emphasis on our places of employment, when really, we should place it on enjoying as many things that are parts of our lives as possible!
It’s true that the out-of-sight out-of-mind principle definitely applies to people who no longer work with us, hang out with us, etc., but if the people are truly important to our lives, we find a way, right?
Hope all is well!
I hear you about hating planning. Not in general — I actually plan a lot of things — but when it comes to posting promos of my blog posts, it can get overwhelming because I am NOT satisfied to pump out identical messages to all of my social media outlets. The whole reason I’m in editing and marketing communications is that I want to communicate WELL.
BTW, re what we were talking about today: You wrote a post, people liked it, and they replied and said so. When _I_ write a post, they tell me too; everywhere BUT my blog! Don’t deny it; you did it yourself! We gotta start that club!
And oh, yeah, you’re a blogger! 😉
LOL. The “I’m not a blogger, I just talk a lot” catchphrase refers more to the fact that compared to the bloggers I know who do it as their job, or take themselves really seriously, I’m not a blogger. I just have a lot of ideas and like to have somewhere to share them in full. This site happens to do the trick for me 🙂
I made a bit of a start on your blog tonight, but I’d definitely like to take a look sometime at making it a bit tighter so people know where to go to leave their two cents — I do feel a bit that that’s one of the barriers of entry for people. We should chat about it 🙂 But yes, let’s keep at #TBC! I like the idea! (@PavelNovel:disqus, don’t think you can escape the club so easily ;)!)
And yes, each audience you’re approaching demand an individual attention that differs from the others. In response to that, I don’t really plan — I tend to just get as much out of my brain as possible and work all of those thoughts into something more structured 🙂
I look forward to your future insights, Angelique, and hopefully we can continue to inspire one another!
Lol I’m not going anywhere. You guys are inspiring me to start – I don’t know why I’ve been procrastinating with it. I have a bunch of drafts but I’m not satisfied. I feel like I need a good welcome post lol.
If you look at some of my old blogs from previous years (http://www.201020k.com), and even what some of the early posts on this blog look like, you’ll see that it didn’t start out so great. You need to just generate content so you can find your rhythm, and you’ll just eventually get better at it! I say start today and work the kinks out as you go 🙂
@angeliqueandfriends:disqus , what do you think about this?
Thanks man. I guess I’m just making excuses for myself 🙁
It’s a brave new world, sir 🙂 Welcome to blogging!
This is a great post. I think this is the point that you hit when you start blogging for you and writing about what interests you. It’s something I need to start doing, too. I think if a lot of marketing professionals looked at their blogs, they’d find them boring, dry and redundant. If you just write about what parts of it all make you happy, it’ll come through the writing.
What you just said is what people experience before success. They stop trying to tell themselves they’re trying and just start being.
Thanks a lot, Chris — I appreciate the feedback 🙂 Like I said up there, I spent years upon years writing stuff because I thought it’d be what people liked, and not necessarily what made me tick. Years and years later, I keep starting over without learning that lesson. I feel this is the first time that I’m finally getting it right and pursuing things that energize me. One can write about social media and marketing all they like, but if they’re not living what they’re writing, they’ll find a disconnect.
I’m ready for my blogs to fully reflect who I am and help people understand where I’m coming from 🙂 I hope your search for what style works for you bears fruit!
I am not a fan of long posts but I like this! Very personable and awesome! Though I’m not quite sure how the star system on your blog works. I tried clicking it a couple of times and now it is at -7 star. *oh lawdy!* I better not click on it anymore! =/
LOL. It’s a new version of Disqus called Disqus 2012 that was rolled out a little bit ago — and hey; I’ll take as many stars as I can get, so thank you ;D
I’ve never been really good at being succinct and getting good points across — my ideas tend to be a mishmash of various experiences I’ve had, all coming to one final point — but I should totally experiment with different post lengths sometime, just to see what I can pull off!
Thanks for visiting 😀
Hey Casey, I didn’t know you blogged as well. Interesting post here…. keep them coming….
Thanks, Sherif 🙂 More to come as I feel inspired!
Fantastic post Casey. Loved this as I can totally relate. I don’t blog to try to reach some type of objective, I blog because I enjoy writing. Having said that I think it’s important for people not to force it. For that reason I find myself not writing posts even though I want to, because I’m simply not inspired enough to write anything worth posting. Quite frankly I’d rather be somewhat inconsistent, but write from the heart, than have useless “filler” posts.
Anyway! I loved it. Keep it up wise man.
Thanks for the feedback, Val 🙂 I feel that by taking my time and really working through my thought process, I’m delivering better-quality posts now. @justinbaisden:disqus raised a great point that a lot of the people blogging all the time have that as their full-time jobs; so the stuff I do over the course of a week or two to put a post together they can do in a day or two because they have time that I don’t.
What does this mean? That there’s no reason to beat myself up if I can’t keep up in frequency. Just gotta do what I can with the life that I live.