Someone said if you’re not careful
you’ll have nothing left and nothing to care for…
and I would never find myself feeling bored
’cause we were never being boring
We had too much time to find for ourselves – “Being Boring”, Pet Shop Boys
I will complete a year of writing Of Opinions tomorrow. In this time, I have written nearly 200 essays for this blog, which seems incredible when put in numbers. It’s been an uncertain evolution and a year ago, on this day, I would not have thought I would make a spur-of-the-moment decision the next day that would significantly influence the rest of the year. Writing is life. It isn’t the mere 800 words that get written and edited on some days of the week. An important aspect of this blogging experience for me is, of course, reading and following other blogs. Some of you follow me back and we’ve become writing and blogging friends. Some I read, who have no idea of what my blogging is about. Both ways, there are people I’ve gotten to know, whose lives I’ve seen evolve in the past year, who’ve shared thoughts and experiences that I associate with them. I may even know some of them better than some real people in my life. These people were never “being boring” because they were never being “bored”. They are interesting people who write interestingly and in life, you couldn’t really ask for more. I repeat, you really couldn’t ask for more.
Being interesting and writing interestingly doesn’t necessarily go hand in hand. I wouldn’t have thought mothers with slightly older kids would make such interesting bloggers. I am even more amazed that most of my readers over the past year have comprised of such bloggers. I don’t know what they get from mine and I don’t know what I get from them either. I am not a parent, my friends who are mothers all have babies and not children above the age of 3, who make more interesting blogging material due to their evolving personalities. It is personalities that makes a blog interesting both in terms of style and content. You don’t find these specific stories in other media. Maybe a comedy film where everybody is annoyed at the woman with the bratty five year old who has let herself “go”. Really, Hollywood should read these blogs to get the real picture. Things that you would feel bored by if you are outside it and that you expect to be boring in case you have to do it, really isn’t so.
But, for those of us who aren’t moms with slightly older children, how do we become interesting? Continuity is very important. I don’t really do this because I am moody and erratic by nature myself. But, I find familiarity comforting in many of the blogs I follow. My personal method is to make every blog post stand on its own, as I always write keeping new readers in mind. Readers who don’t need to know anything about me before and after they read it. But, I like to get to know the bloggers I read. It may seem repetitious to you to talk about the same things over and over again. If you avoid familiarization in your blog because of that, may I suggest reading some really good fan blogs on your favourite actors, TV shows etc. For example, I can never exit a Doctor Who blog soon enough, even if I’ve read those opinions and seen those memes a billion times. The key is to share your passion for that familiar thing so that the reader too, may end up finding it as endearing as you the writer, if not more.
I know I would have had an easier readership, even more numerous, had I been more familiar. Don’t get me wrong, I do believe I have done quite well so far. Katherine Mansfield described writing as a “bits and pieces feeling” and I feel as though my blogging has been the same. It hasn’t really been a life blog, or a psychology or philosophy or culture blog or whatever I tag every post with. It’s either existed in between or all over the place. I sometimes wish there were Amazon reviews for this kind of thing (only if they are good though!), telling me what readers thought about it as an overall experience. However, I hope it has been interesting enough, as well as written interestingly, for it to have gone on this long.
What kind of blogs do you like to read? What sort of readers do you think are attracted to your blog?