I’ve started to realize that I’m not good at writing just for the sake of writing. Every “expert” has told me that in order to become a truly great writer, you have to practice every day. It doesn’t matter if it’s good or bad, they say, as long as you have created something on paper or write it on your (fancy shmancy) laptop. “Create, create, create!” the jackals say!
Okay, that’s fine, but I don’t like writing crappy things. Honestly, when I look at my work and see mistakes or a poor structure, I get frustrated and walk away. And then maybe I come up with some angsty poetry later and call it a day. Although, I’ve grown tired of dramatic prose, or even searching my brain for something nice and inspirational to say so that I can slap a nice Instagram-ish photo in the featured image slot, post, and allow myself that smugness that blogging gives me.
But is it successful blogging?
I’ve been working for a great design agency (meaning, my coworkers are awesome and fun, and my boss regularly compliments me on my work for them) – I am a “Content Strategist.” Basically, I write stuff. I like writing stuff. And things. Working for them has instilled an ability for quick blog posts with catchy titles, learning to say the exact same word in hundreds of different ways, and churning out content that is both meaningful and engaging. It’s not as easy as it looks, but it’s fun.
My point? The whole purpose of blogging (and I mean personal blogging, not for a business), in my opinion, is to create a piece of work that you are proud of. It could be an image, a poem that makes you cringe about 3 years down the line (what was I thinking with that phrase?), or a post about posting, or about how you miss the good old days, or moving out and its struggles. I don’t think it means going over your work, pouring over the details and fine tuning it until you forget why you wrote it in the first place.
And if I’m being perfectly honest, the best work I’ve ever done (in my opinion) was written all at once with zero edits at all. Even now, with this post, I’m writing as the words come to me and I’m only going to go back to correct spelling and grammar…but I’m writing! I think I’m going to try doing it more often. (Might not post, though. I still have my standards. And ego.)
So back to my original point – writing for the sake of writing. Maybe that’s an emotional release as well, in a way? Kind of like sitting down with your friend and just talking, stream of consciousness style. If you like it enough, if it makes you smile a bit in an hour or two, maybe it’s post worthy! My advice, then, is to try it out. Even if you don’t consider yourself a writer…you’re a talker, aren’t you? You have opinions and emotions? Therefore, you’re a writer. If you are in any way eloquent with your words, then all it takes is transferring it all onto a paper. Touch typist? Even better.
See? Stream of consciousness.
Go have fun with it.
[Here’s where, if you were me, you’d say, “Don’t tell me what to do.”]
Also, I’m going to write a post soon about how I was stuck in an elevator with two friends and some weird strangers.