Posted in Of Bloggingly

Of Blogging Ambition

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I wish I could happily report on what progress I’ve made with Of Opinions – the book. But, I haven’t touched it in weeks. Some of you may have expected it, given by my frequent lack of motivation that I write about just as frequently here. I am not embarrassed, not in this case. Because, I am sure that it was not material, or a doubt in myself for conveying that material, that I have lacked in the past few weeks. I have been preoccupied with other things, though anybody who’s ever read a how-to-write essay on the internet knows that’s not a good enough excuse. And so, I will give you what I believe is a good enough excuse – I am not sure of my ambitions with this blog.

I am sure of my ambitions as a writer, make no mistake about that. But, even this blog, with a seemingly large scope for subject, has its limitations. These limitations are of my own make, and also what my readers have come to expect from me. No one has imposed these on me, except me and the course this blog has taken. Like any event in your life, big or small, it’s not only the immediate parties who are wholly responsible for it. This blog has grown, maybe not as much as what I or any other regular blogger expects it to grow. Some may think me too ambitious, to crave more attention for my blog than it deserves to get, while some may have, very kindly, opinions at the opposite end. Either way, this blog is something, and continues to change and evolve ever so slightly, in ways that are unforeseeable to me who is making it, and you, who help me in making it.

But, turning it into something in long-form, more self-important, very much part and representative of it, and yet coveting affection outside it, seems to be violating the basic principles this blog was built on. Think of my posts – those awkward, rambling, 800-word essays. Pitch them to someone who is in the trade of words – social media publicist, book publisher etc – and it doesn’t exactly scream like the next The Fault in Our Stars. Which I am absolutely fine with. I can’t imagine having the ambition to write something like that. But, these posts are representative of what’s to come, except, comparatively, they feel like highly entertaining 30-second commercials to the 20-minute one-off episodes I hope to turn them into. I know I can manage a lively little conversation that lasts for 3 minutes (as WordPress has been telling me lately), but can I give you something more with the same tools I have?

“Something more” would have made a more appropriate title for this post. Of Opinions has, unexpectedly, occupied so much of my time and my life in the past year. It doesn’t look as professional as other blogs which have thrived for so long with, similarly, regular posts. There are two comments I often get from readers. One, that they find it remarkable how regularly I post and two, that despite my constant searching for making this blog better, I should only stick to making it whatever I want to.

But, I want to make it good. I am highly ambitious for it. I don’t ever see it as turning into a job, or even a part-time source of income, as many dedicated bloggers have managed to make theirs. Nothing I can make for it can generate any revenue in that sense. One ambition of mine is to make it a platform to promote writers, artists, sources for mental health awareness etc. But, all that requires the kind of professionalism I don’t find myself possessive of at this moment. To be completely naked about my feelings, I am afraid of acting on some of the aspirations I have for this blog, mere ideas, but which may, in the event of a failure, even put me off doing what I have done right so far.

And I don’t want to stop doing that. I like having these conversations a few times a week. I am this kind of an essayist. This works for me, whereas the social media promotion and being a traditional writer (i.e., the kind that writes books) will take some work. There are no end to ambitions once you start dreaming them up, but it’s also good to be sure of what you have.

Do you have ambitions for your blog? It would be lovely if you could share them.

Author:

Writer, Blogger, Kate Bush Fanatic

19 thoughts on “Of Blogging Ambition

    1. It is. It definitely makes you more compassionate. It gives you the time and opportunity to understand your own life and self, as well as the lives of others. It isn’t as fickle as other social media – frequently hanging by a few words or a picture – but allows people to express themselves however they want to, with other people taking in all of it and forming a conversation. It is definitely a rare form of human interaction.
      Thank you for reading!

  1. Be careful not to sell yourself short! You would be surprised how many people would read (and buy) your essays. People love the honest, thoughtful kind of writing you do. I think your blog readership alone shows the truth of that.

    As for me and my blog, it’s no secret that it’s part of my author platform for when I begin publishing my books. However, I also like to blog a lot about writing and my own journey, and I really hope my blog can be a resource and source of inspiration for fellow writers. 🙂

    1. It is, Kate! I definitely look forward to your posts on writing, just because of how succinct, well-balanced and readable they are. Once you become a happy and satisfied novelist, you should definitely write a how-to on writing. It would actually be useful, unlike so many others that get written!
      Thank you so much for believing this kind of writing has potential to crossover to a book form. I find it a little hard to flit about from the academic, fiction and blogging writing that I read and write. All the hang-ups from one bleed into the other. Sometimes I feel the “show” element isn’t right, sometimes it isn’t well-researched enough etc. I thought turning these random ramblings to a book would be easy, but the other two – academics and fiction – are holding it back just a little. Especially because I have read some blog-inspired books lately, and I am not that impressed by them. It is important to maintain the immediacy and informal attitude of blogs, but a book should also be well put together, because readers are more likely to be irked by mistakes. Let’s see. I will have to change my plan of action, but I do hope I can come up with something more workable soon.
      Thanks for reading!

      1. As always, you are far too generous, Amrita, but I appreciate your kind words. 🙂 I actually have thought about writing for authors/writers/self-publishers, and I think I might once I’m farther along in my journey and have a bit more “authority.”

        And I absolutely believe in you and absolutely understand your concerns. Writing anything (but especially non-traditional works) is very challenging and there is a lot to figure out. If you ever need someone to bounce ideas around with, I’d be happy to lend my ears and imagination.

      2. Yesterday I had a brainwave thinking, why don’t I write my book essays exactly the way I write my blog ones? Do you think it will be a good idea? You see, the whole reason I wanted to write a book was because I wanted to discuss some of my favourite topics with the ease of length and structure I can get in a book, that I don’t in a blog. But, my book essays don’t have the ease and spontaneity my blog essays do. They are almost pseudo-academic – especially because I am not a sociologist or a philosopher. I constantly feel the need to verify things against established works on the topic, but I check myself because this is supposed to be light, casual, for-all kind of writing.
        On the other hand, as I mentioned, I don’t want it to be a typical book-based-on-blog. I have come across books that are just collated blog posts, that do not obey, for lack of a better word, the “standard” that a potential reader might expect from a book. I want my essays to be light and personality-driven, but I also want them to be solid, without looking like they are meant to appease only well-educated people.
        Gosh, that’s a long question! But, I hope you get what I am trying to say.

      3. Honestly, I think it’s your book and you can and should write it however you want. If you want your book essays to be the same style as your blog essays, go for it! The great thing about essays is that they can each be their own chapter, and there is no need for transitions between them. As far as fact-checking and source-citing goes, if what you’re saying is your opinion or common knowledge, you don’t need to cite anything. If you do use some more technical or lesser known facts, just slap in a footnote with the source and move on. Overall, just stick to your unique voice, trust it, and you’ll figure out what you need to do.

  2. Very interesting post. So as not to say the same thing as other posters have (as you mentioned) I will say that you are probably right that the promotion and traditional writing will take some development separate from your blogs. It does not have to of course, but I can see how it might be a useful exercise. Early on when I began my blog I wrote some ideas for other ambitions I could achieve via the blog, or as the blog. Via the blog would be to put elements of it (along with the photos) into a book. Even a self-published book if need be. Writing a book has been probably my secret desire since I was younger, and this seems like the best chance I have right now for me to do it. But some of those other ideas I had for the blog I jotted down were to do a podcast, or a photo/music art installation. Excerpts from the blog with selected photos, with the song for that particular blog playing (or headphones) so all three elements (the writing, the photos and the music) all came together. Though I still may explore all of these ideas, to be honest, since I published my most recent one which was the milestone of 50th blog, I have had some misgivings. Not about what I have done, but whether I should continue with the blog as is, or launch into the scary territory that is a new blog completely. Could just be the summer blahs, but my readership has fallen off slightly, and though I am not bound by it, I would be lying if I didn’t admit that when your friends and family don’t comment like they used to, it may be time to think of something else. This isn’t meant as a downer to you. Just that I had/have aspirations for the blog, but now that I started it, I feel like I have the tools to go forward into a new venture. That may be blogging, or it may be a book, or it may be just pressing on with this blog as it is. In any case, thanks for a very thoughtful read. It really has prompted me to think about what to do next.

    1. I have gone through some of the same things you have through writing nearly 300 posts in over a year, so I think I can help you with some of these things. First of all, don’t start a new blog if you have a readership that you’re happy with in your present one. It is a good “brand” as WordPress would tell you, and you can just work on expanding it into whatever you want to post. I started posting poems and movie reviews even if my blog had been of this “Of” variety for a long time. However, it only meant that the new stuff I wanted to try out actually had an audience, instead of starting from scratch.
      Second, yes, the summer lag is real, but don’t give up. I do get a little sad when I don’t see my regular readers drop by for a while. I don’t feel as hurt as you might do, because no one in my life reads my blog, which is good for it as I frequently write about my struggles with anxiety and depression. But, it is a big community, and as long as you keep putting things out there, there will be people who check it out.
      The biggest “high” I got was when this blog got featured on Freshly Pressed. I thought it meant that attention would be constant and growing from then on. And it was, for a month, before things went back to normal and sometimes even less than normal. But, I keep at it, because I genuinely love doing it. It has its ups and downs, but the most important thing is, it allows me to make something of my own that gets seen, by few or by many. That is something everyday life has rarely got to offer.
      Thank you for reading! I hope you come up with wonderful ideas for what you want to do next with your blog.

      1. Thank you for such a thorough response. It is genuinely appreciated. Based on what you say I think you are right. I have been very protective, and proud of the concept and name of my blog to this point, so I think holding on to that would be worthwhile. I can see perhaps going to the menu option more, be it for an album review, or something that doesn’t quite fit the main body of the blog. That is a great idea. In some ways I wish my blog were thriving without the friends and family and was independent of them, but early on I made a Facebook page for the blog, linking all the posts as well as additional comments. When I started I got a lot of comments and shares of my blogs. Now I practically have to beg them to share something. Rather than get angry about that though I decided to re-evaluate because I would rather get one meaningful reply, even if it is a year later from writing, than lots of half hearted ones. I especially am thrilled when the artists I write about share or comment on what I wrote. That to me is what has made this entire thing worthwhile. I have heard of the perils of Freshly Pressed. If it ever happens I will try to keep it in perspective. Your point about it being something of your own is so true. That thought that I made this, I do this. Not with any other help, but everything I get out of this I have earned for myself 100% Thank you for writing! And the advice!

        And all the best, Robert

    1. Read your post. You make some very good points. It can get boring after a while, especially if the feedback isn’t great. The best feeling in blogging is the excitement you feel when you put up a post and wait for how people respond to it. If there are no comments or even likes, you do get discouraged, especially if it occurs often enough. I’ve considered giving up several times, but I keep coming back because I care a lot about what I do here. That makes me expect too much, but also makes me able to keep on when things aren’t going well. Wouldn’t it be lovely if our jobs felt the same too!

      1. I’m really glad you didn’t give up and found your own motivation to get back. And I agree about job. Maybe that’s why so many bloggers dream of turning their blog into their daily job 🙂

      2. It can be done, but it takes more work than you would imagine, especially if the blog isn’t something that can be easily monetized, like a review or lifestyle blog. I want to be a full-time writer, dabbling in various kinds of writing, but I keep looking for teaching and research positions because I know that without a substantial breakthrough, it would be foolish to take up writing full-time. There are very few people who can do what they love full-time, but the rest of us can hope to work in things we don’t care about, to be able to do the things we love. I am sure that is why most people blog, because it is a work of love for them.

  3. I started my blog because some literary agents told me I needed to start one. But it’s been really helpful for my writing, And for being exposed to a variety of thoughts, Which helps my own thoughts and my writing.

  4. I wanted to follow up from our conversation above. Based on what you suggested I am doing the following-I was long overdue for a new theme, so last night I chose one and applied it to all my existing ones. I really like the visual pop it gave to my header and title, which is what I was after, not to mention some new color and font schemes. Secondly, I decided that since my blog is called Soundtrack Of A Photograph I should maybe…write about only one photograph per blog! I may still stretch them out on occasion, but I decided I want to now make them shorter, with more focus, which will should help me to write more blogs. I am writing a little update post describing these changes, which once I have the next content blog I will post them together. But the reason I am telling you this in particular is that in the update post I explained my doubts of continuing, but it was in reading and talking to other bloggers that I really decided that I wanted to continue. I just needed to get back in and read some other great blogs.

    Of which (pun semi-intended) yours is most certainly one. Thank you very much for your words and encouragement. You have no idea 🙂

    1. You’re welcome! I am so happy for you!
      You should definitely ask the blogging community an ytime you are in doubt about something. The numbers may sometimes seem little, but even one thoughtful comment can make such a difference. I am going to go see your blog now!

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