When I began blogging almost three years ago I would often read blogs about “how to blog”. Sometimes it seemed like there were more blogs about blogging than there were blogs about anything else.
It didn’t take long to discover that the prevailing wisdom was that one should blog about the things that interest your readers.
This notion confused me as common sense notions often tend to do. Because I wanted to blog, first of all, in order to express things that interested me. And I wanted to take photos of things that interested me. Was I supposed to ask my reader(s) what kind of photos they would find interesting?
For awhile I considered doing this. But then something happened that made it seem impossible to do this along the road to blogging success.
I suddenly had several readers and they were not similar kinds of human beings in terms of their interests or ideas. They were very different and even if I spent one day per week trying to satisfy each of them I still had a problem. Because there are only seven days in a week. What would happen if I somehow should find myself with more than seven readers?
Basically you have to cater to a certain “type” of reader if you want to pursue this notion in your blogging routine. Maybe I have a reader who likes flowers and is a liberal but still has strong Christian beliefs. So I can take a lot of photos of flowers. I can avoid statements that do not hold to the liberal party line and also forget about discussing my belief in reincarnation or meditation as a way to salvation. If I do all this well other readers who have similar ideas will arrive and we will grow a nice, mutually supportive group!
There are lots of folks out there who might feel more comfortable reading my blog if I did this and I would be happy to do it much of the time. Because I enjoy making people happy. And if I become attached to a particular reader the “pull” to do this is very strong.
I’m having this problem now as a matter of fact but the example used here does not reflect the person or areas of interest.
The point is that blogging fulfills different needs for both readers AND bloggers. I’m sure that there are bloggers out there who need and want to cultivate a certain audience. And there are readers who appreciate their efforts. But I’m afraid that in my humble opinion they will all run over a cliff together perhaps someday. They need to discover the value of being alone.
But then there are folks like your blogging buddy who are interested in something else. It’s not really my job to pursue readers or make them happy. And when I try to do it the well starts to run dry. Because I’m not interested in cultivating a certain type of audience. We are all different after all. That’s one of the things that makes us interesting. Why should blogging be about downplaying those differences?
That seems tedious to me. I’m interested in things like the sun coming up in the morning or the death of a mother. It seems like we all have some things in common. Those are the things I hope to write about as long as I blog. I have to “shake off” the urge to please someone.
I hope to ride the stream of consciousness and report back on things seen along the river. I need to leave social blogging behind. When you leave this world who do you plan to take with you? Perhaps it would be good to spend some time packing a bag and looking within for a road map.