What a difference a year makes. It’s almost 12 months since I sat down to compose my first blog post. Back then, I wasn’t entirely convinced by the project but despite my misgivings (most of which sprang from my time working in traditional media, funnily enough) I stuck with it and I’m so glad I did. Over the past while, I’ve crossed the Rubicon from writing in the dark, thankless gutters of the Internet to getting paid for my online scribblings and as any writer will tell you, that is not easy. Unfortunately, a terrible snobbery still persists when it comes to blogging and as my first anniversary on WordPress fast approaches, I’d like to dispel a few persistant anti-blogging assumptions, starting with this one:
- Why bother to blog when you don’t get paid for it…: oh yes, that old snipe. Well, let’s apply the same logic to the great many wonderful things in life that pay nothing and yet we do them because we love to. Simply put, if you only ever undertook something because it paid, you’d miss out on so much. Your soul would shrivel up like an old prune so ignore the naysayers. Just blog and be happy.
- Blogs are generally of a very low standard: perhaps, but there are plenty of great ones too, some of which I have been fortunate enough to stumble across and return to frequently. Every genre of every type has its duds. With so many people blogging, it’s not surprising that there are many less-than-stellar examples to point to but don’t let that put you off. Take bad blogs as a lesson in what not to do and just keep on writing.
- People who blog are misguided – why should anyone care what some random person they never met thinks about anything, anyway? Whenever I hear this one, it makes me laugh because it spectacularly underestimates some of the fundamental aspects of being human, namely that we love to communicate and we are fascinated by each other. You mightn’t care what everyone thinks but within the blogging community you are sure to find a post or a writer or an entire site with something of interest to you, no matter how niche or off the wall your tastes are. I don’t care what anyone says, that is a very sweet deal.
- You’re wasting your time! Ever since people could draw images on the walls of caves, we have been trying to record our lives. Not everyone sees the purpose in this but a great many people do. Wanting to make your mark, to say ‘I was here’, to fashion something unique out of the things that matter to you in the one short life we get: how can that ever be a waste? Blogs are a kaleidoscope of passions, memories, ideas, photographs, stories, dreams and information. All of human life is here, so don’t be so quick to put your judgement pants on.
- Well, I still don’t see what the big deal is. Smart people use their blogs to showcase what they are good at or what they feel passionately about whether it is writing, cooking or Victorian fashion trends. A blog can complement your day job, showcase your unique skills, help you connect with like-minded people or just feed your soul and sometimes, if you draw particularly good pictures on the walls of your cave, it can lead you somewhere really special. So if you still can’t see the big deal after all of that, then you’re probably the modern day equivalent of the tut-tut folk who thought books signaled the end of the world or vinyl was an affront to decency and we all know how much fun those types of people are: not much fun, not at all.
So happy blogging birthday to me and to all of you I say the following with spirit and resolve: blog on my dear friends, blog on.
Picture Credit: cambodia4kidsorg on Flickr