3 Hard Truths No One Tells You About Blogging
Try writing, they said. It will be fun, they said. Don’t get me wrong – I love writing. It fascinates me. It can take me on an emotional rollercoaster from believing I am the next Jane Austen to deleting pages of text and swearing I would never take up the nasty habit again. Me and writing, we have our ups and downs, but it is always me who loves in this relationship, and writing is the one who lets me love it so generously.
How it all started
Back a few years ago, when I started a little blog of mine, officially because I was looking for ways to work from home and thought the blog might turn into a source of income at some point, but mostly because of the need to cherish my graphomaniac habit, I never thought how difficult it would be. It didn’t occur to me that there is more to it than putting words into sentences and arranging them nicely. I am not talking about monetizing – it’s a completely different kind of difficult that has more to do with feelings. To me, overcoming these difficulties is still a major challenge that I take on every time I sit down with my laptop.
Truth #1. I was tempted to create a different personality
If the blog is supposed to be fake, it’s not a problem at all. Mine, however, is genuine. And yet every time I sit down to write, I am inclined to slightly alter the facts and make it appear as if I were a much more intriguing person than I actually am. It starts small – exaggerating facts, adding humor, changing the plot line – and gradually grows into a net of lies you can’t get out of.
How was I supposed to know?
How do I know? I’ve fallen into this trap myself and I’ve seen those who are so deep in there they forgot what it means to be genuine. The image that your mind is painting while you are reading someone else’s blog can be fake by 50% or maybe more. Alas, when there is nothing to blog about, the temptation to make it up is too strong.
Truth #2. There are people who will hate you, no matter what
On an average post, I get around 40 comments that say I am a talent-deprived, privileged, pathetic, disappointing piece of nothing. Another 10 say my ideas are worthless. In fact, they use a much more descriptive language that I don’t dare quoting here.
Building buzz around your blog – Are there any pros?
After your blog is noticed (and you usually invest efforts to make it happen), haters will gather around it like a moth. Even if, let’s say, you have the full right to complain, like Everywhereist (a.k.a. Geraldine DeRuiter) was in this situation, there still will be people who’ll pour dirt all over you for the enjoyment of it. She elaborates on it in her subsequent post. If you have never exposed yourself to the entire World Wide Web on a blog or social media, you might still believe in people and the good they have in their souls.
Chances are, every blog post you see has been thoroughly edited in the comments section – for the benefit of the writer as well as yours.
Truth #3. If you are anything like me, you will be hating your writing from the first letter to the last
Every piece of content you write is a mixture of self-hatred, disappointment, blood and tears. I rewrote one of my posts, I kid you not, 13 times. I still hate it. It lacks humor and has poor word choice. Phrases go badly together, and I am always unsure whether the message I tried to convey has been made clear. Come to think of it, maybe writing is a masochistic hobby after all.
What to do when you don’t feel like writing
There are other difficulties, too, but these sometimes have me on the verge of tears. It is easy to start writing, but it is a completely different thing to keep going. One thing that helps me in my low moments is to think that each and every great writer, dead or alive, probably went through the same circles of hell. And if they learned to deal with them, then maybe I could do, too, even if our contributions into the common cause of advancing literature cannot be compared.