This blog post is more of a question, than a musing. I just want to know, from the writers out there – do you ever feel adding images takes something away from your writing? As in, does adding images to your blog post often shift the focus of your blog post from the writing itself?
I’ve written a couple of posts on this before, usually concluding what the rest of the internet agrees on – images help draw people in, as any average person browsing the internet would be more drawn towards the image, and possibly read the text that comes with it, than be intrigued by the text alone. Which should be fine, as long the written experience dominates the visual one.
I’m only talking about those of us who primarily blog to write, and not to promote a product, or some visual output of their own, such as photographs, drawings etc. Many bloggers do add pictures they’ve made themselves, without it being, intentionally, “artistic”. It is often just to prove a point, or discuss that picture in detail, but, if you’ve been reading this blog for a while, these are not the things I’ve been talking about.
You see, I’m old-fashioned in some ways, and old habits die hard. I was taught in school to start with a ‘sixer’ in my writing (This is cricket terminology. A sixer, or a six, is just a very good thing.) and more or less, depend on my opening lines to get people interested. I’m a cranky old person now, and a part of me still can’t let go of the feeling that an inviting opening paragraph should be enough.
I recently changed my blog design theme. Mainly because I was bored of my old one, and because this new one satisfied the stationery-loving geek in me. In my last blog post, Of Making Lists, I even added a number of pictures, and not my usual, singular, opening one, just to see if it makes the blog post a more pleasurable reading experience. But, as I always fear, the pictures bettered the writing, which can only mean two things: a) the writing wasn’t as good or b) the pictures were too good.
It is humbling, you know. I am not visually gifted, but I am drawn to something visually appealing as much as the next, non-artistic person. Some of you might know about my preference for cartoons, if I can find a good, royalty-free one to go with my blog posts. But, I don’t want my writing to be competing with it! It should support, enhance, not out-do.
My blog has evolved a lot in the last two years. I could be doing a number of things to make it better, and bring in a larger readership if I was more dedicated, but I’m proud of the fact that I’ve been prolific for so long. I write, on an average, two blog posts a week. And the writing is the main thing for me, you know. It is everything. It’s why I live, the purpose of my existence. I’d rather let it be my main thing, and earn my audience here because of it, than just provide some pretty pictures I had nothing to do with.
For that blog post, I did tell myself, “People should be reading it for what I’ve written! They wouldn’t ask for pictures if this was a book, or even a newspaper column.” But, I immediately had an ego check and told myself, “Then why don’t you put it in a book, Virginia Woolf?” To which, there is no answer, of course. All likes, comments, follows and whatnot are appreciated. Thank you very much.
So, writers, I ask again, what do you do if images interfere with your writing, if at all?