When I started blogging three months ago, I had a clearer idea of what I wanted to blog about than I do now. Time and thoughts seem to move faster as I grow on my blog, relative to everything else in life. Yesterday’s post is today’s newspaper, not in a waste bin, but in the brain’s repository of a thought taken care of. Written, formalised, published and received. Everything done to various degrees, but as well as could be expected. The next step is to write the next post. Easily said, and even done. Well, almost. Stay tuned to find out what happens in the not-almost half.
Unlike everything else I have ever wanted to do, blogging is something that I did first and learnt later. And by learning, I mean even the most basic knowledge of how the thing works. I, of course, had a vague idea of what it is. I have been trying to blog, i.e. write a blog that gets read, for years. I have surely read more blog posts than I can remember well enough to count. But, never before had I known blogging as this stream, this regrettably-cliched journey, where there is no destination. And you like it that way. Never had I imagined, and I must add it was the result of my ignorance or stupidity, that a blog must have a voice. It must have a niche. It must have a personality, a flowing character which, as it goes on a different journey in every post, must still retain its natural demeanour.
But as I grow and have various ideas to make this growth healthier, more substantial, and speedier, there are two major aspects where I find myself stuck. My niche – topics or “tags” and my page design. Yes, yes, that is the entire blog, but I am not being naive here. I am doing quite well. My blog is getting read, which would seem like a dismissible joke to me if you had told me that at any point in my life up till the 23rd of May this year. I have The Hemingway theme which I find a very clean, minimalist, structured and most of all, text-friendly layout. I am sure Hemingway would have loved blogging on it. I have also developed a blogging voice, which I did not even think about initially, but as I familiarized myself with my context, I let it show ever so slightly.
But there are some things I find a little erratic. When I had my idea for Of Opinions, it wasn’t even for a blog. I had written such observational, semi-humourous essays over the years and they had been published a few times. So, I thought about revisiting traditional “modern” essays by its inventors like Montaigne and Bacon. However, instead of writing about weightier issues like love, which my limited age and experience could not suitably qualify me for, I thought about writing more specific topics. I worked on a list, wrote notes. But, as happens with planning too much, I also thought of how to get this out there. As it would be a book, the essays should have some continuity. But, I took it a step even further and thought about publishing. There was no way that someone who has never done anything major could get this published, let alone read. I considered self-publishing, but after a little reading up on that, I understood that again, without some sort of presence or recognition, it just wouldn’t be noticed. Hence, I decided to write it as a blog.
And that’s when everything changed. I cannot even find my old list of topics anymore. So baffling and yet addictive is the blogging world that I ended up writing only about where the wind blows next. I apologise for being condescending towards self-publishing and blogging in advance, but that is exactly who I was. Anyone can blog, I thought. Anyone can rake in Kindle cash. But, Of Opinions has taught me an unfathomable amount of humility on both fronts.
I write and I write. Sometimes I get read, sometimes I don’t. My greed grows and yet it can be justified, for it is not Faust’s thirst for knowledge, but everyman’s desire to only connect. Sometime I cannot write and I am miserable. And yet, writing feels like home. A grounding I wanted in my airy, floaty existence.
You see, so many thoughts and emotions get aroused every day in my little corner on WordPress,that they can only go off in tangents, here and there, and everywhere, as said a Beatle. Which is why sometimes I write on writing, sometimes on Philosophy and Psychology, sometimes on music, sometimes on Humour, sometimes on Life, but then again, isn’t Life everything?
If I had a niche, as any business or PR person would tell you, I could develop a brand. That would make it so much easier for my readers to find me, and for me to find my readers. My “tags” and what I actually do to pertain to those tags would define my brand, a less dirtier word for which is, identity. And, it would also solve the other problem, getting a layout that supports the blog even further.
Or maybe this erratic output can be my brand. Maybe Of Opinions can be that sort of blog that makes a follower go, “Oh, that one. You never know when that bloke(oh wait, I think he is a girl. Not my fault, it does read asexual) is gonna post but when she does, you bet it can be on ANYTHING. She would need medical attention, if she didn’t sound like she couldn’t hurt a bee. I, honestly, don’t know why I read her.”
Do you think Of Opinions has a niche?