So much for a 7-day tips series, huh? *halfheartedly facepalms* I was cruel and left this series in the dust for three days as I busied myself with other endeavors. It wasn’t that this isn’t important to me, it was more that…
Beloved Camp NaNoWriMo is wrapping up! Guess which girl loftily promised to have her 75,000-word manuscript typed up and completed in all its first-draft glory by tomorrow…and guess which girl’s Scrivener file still only boasts 53,000 words…
Urrgh. I struggle with daily discipline. I do think I got a lot of concrete, quality writing done over the course of the month, which is I guess the point of NaNo, but of course it was hard for me to hit that quantity mark. It did help me to realize that I need to discipline myself more, another plus–I just wish I didn’t have to discover this the hard way. For the last few days I abandoned blog in favor of typing up a storm, figuring it might be possible to hit a big inspiration spurt and get propelled across the finish line last minute–but no. That high of a word deficit was only stressing me out, and my writing definitely suffers when I’m stressed instead of having fun. So. Blog got compromised a little, and writing got compromised a little. But I’m back now after the 3-day break, and it turns out that that break was actually okay because I came up with a way to build a post around it :), fraught with metaphor and resonance and instruction!! 😀 Hoorah!
DFTBA, for those of you unenlightened folk out there, is an increasingly-popular acronym standing for “Don’t Forget to Be Awesome”. (Look it up, and watch the rest of your life’s productivity crumble before your eyes.) I’ve been mulling over it the past few days (not that there’s terribly much about it to mull on) and have come to the conclusion that ultimately, this is the best blogging (and life) tip I can give you. Maybe it’s just the blogs I read, but to me it seems that this medium is notorious for attracting Type-A personalities in all their glory–complete with obsessive perfectionism, occasionally low self-esteem, and a ruthless, cut-throat competitivity. Since blogging is at once intensely personal and extremely public, the natural urge is to want everyone who comes across your blog to absolutely adore it, for them to share it on all their social networks and tell all their friends about it and just watch your blog grow to superstar status within a couple of months. Sometimes, the urge is even there to bypass what you want to post about in favor of what you think will bring the most hits to your blog/make you seem more fantabulous in the eye of the public. I know I’ve fallen victim to this many a time…
“I’ll try for cute points!”
or “I’ve had this idea knocking around in my skull for a while and it has the potential to be really well-written and thought-provoking but I scheduled myself to post it today so it’s going up, regardless of quality” (I’m still embarrassed by this post. Literally, the only reason I posted it was because I felt really obligated to…you probably shouldn’t click that link. [I know it’s soon going to become one of my most-clicked links this week.])
Whereas when I get what feels like a really good, creative idea for a post really suddenly, and just decide to go for it even though it’s not “scheduled”, it ends up being a favorite, and much more entertaining than the strained-through fare.
I guess what I’m trying to stress here is quality over quantity. (Oh look, this is relating to NaNoWriMo in even more ways than I originally anticipated…) In the first few months you manage your blog, as with anything, identify your strengths, weaknesses, and proclivities so you can recognize what needs to be changed, what can’t be changed, and what’s working really well for you! For instance, over this year I’ve learned that I can’t be a post-a-day blogger, not to mention those incredible morning-noon-night posters. I get burnt out quickly and need time away from the computer to refill my creative stores if I’ve been blogging too heavily. Yeah, sometimes–especially when I’m doing a segment like this Blogoversary segment or Poemography–I’ll bang out multiple posts a day for the sake of commitment, but, as I’ve said, my creative writing suffers from this as well. (Haven’t penned a single novel word today…) I also can’t be a happy-happy-shine-shine blogger all the time, although I try to keep TGITO overall positive and enthusiastic! It’s just who I am, as a person and as a writer–I see myself as a glass-half-full type, but I’m also pretty cynical at times, always introspective, introverted, and majorly socially awkward, and often sarcastic. This has its benefits, because I see myself as pretty galdang witty sometimes, but I’m sorry that I can’t be that beacon of glowing inspiration and happiness in your life. (Or maybe I can? Maybe you love me so galdang much that you can look past my human introspective tendencies and see my inner awesome The Girl in the Orange..?) Anyway, I comfort myself knowing that there are a lot of insanely positive blogs out there, so hopefully they can round out your blog-reading experience and you can still keep coming back for more TGITO! 😀 😉
These realizations, I think, are incredibly important in determining your blogging style and keeping your blog going in your own authentic voice–identifying your nuances, flaws and strengths, and coming to terms with them. Ultimately, I think your readers appreciate when your true voice shines through your blog, and it’s obvious you aren’t just attempting “groundbreaking” and “impressive” posts because other people will like them. Create a blog you would want to read, one you’re happy with. Don’t Forget To Be your Awesome self. If you like the content you’re producing, no matter how many followers or “likes” or shares or comments you get, you’re doin’ it right. 🙂