A Better Blog?

There’s an article floating around on the Internet today (isn’t there always), about how the best blogs are the ones that are informative. Of course, now I can’t find the link, but if I do, I’ll come back and edit this post.

I skimmed the article (as I often do) and the crux of it was that the blogs (and Twitter feeds) with the most followers are the ones that share information (or are informative). But not about themselves (meaning the blog writer). The “best” blogs – and I use that term loosely – were the ones that shared helpful information: DIY stuff, stuff about a specific industry, niche stuff. I suppose gossip stuff would be included in that, but I don’t remember that being in there.

The ones that were less successful were the ones that were “me” centric. I did this, buy my book, see my movie (I suppose) fund my Kickstarter campaign. Things like that. Also, if I remember, things like I ate a blueberry scone for breakfast and it rocked, I rode my bike this weekend, I’m so mad at the world right now. Stuff about me, not stuff that can help you.

Looking at all five (I believe it is) of my posts, I fall into the latter category. Which, not that this is news, is what I feared most about blogging. Lack of a niche, an expertise, something I can talk intelligently about. Something that I can use to help other people. Informational stuff.

I got nothing.

It’s just me blathering on about me.

Not good, according to this study. I suppose I’ll have to start sharing more about my personal life and how it can help you. Or get really invested in something and start talking about that (without being click bait, of course).

In a few years, when I’m famous and this blog is more well-known, I’ll probably look back at the beginning of this and want to delete it out of sheer embarrassment.

I won’t. It will be fun to look back at the beginning and laugh.

What to Read

Yesterday was my weekday off from work. Today we closed early, thus allowing me to make an early blog post today. Also, it cuts my hours and thus my income, but that’s a post for another day.

Among other things, I ended up at the library and decided to grab a book. I didn’t have a particular book in mind. I looked over the new release area and grabbed one that had an interesting looking cover and interesting sounding synopsis on the jacket.

I started it yesterday and gave up after about two pages. This is often the case with me when I grab any old book from, frankly, any section of the library. I usually find myself disappointed when it’s a random book versus a book other’s have raved about. Sometimes I’m not even sure what all the raving was about. I won’t name names, but there have been a few in recent memory that everyone said was so great, that I just kind of went “eh.”

Maybe I’m picky.

That’s probably true, but I think also part of it is I don’t really like a lot of what’s out there. I don’t mind likable protagonists, but they’re usually written in such a way that they’re so darn likable that you just feel so bad for what’s happening to them. It would be such a perfect life for that character if only… Fill in the blank with a problem/conflict that creates the story. Or it’s some average person who suddenly finds themselves in an extraordinary circumstance through no fault of their own. Ick.

There aren’t a lot of anti-hero stories out there. Probably because anti-hero characters as protagonists are hard to create. Harder to make likable, because, in general, if you don’t like the main character, you’re probably not going to finish the story.

But, that’s what I’d like to read more of, likable anti-heroes. Why? All though, I’m really drawn to great stories in general, I like the idea of someone who is a jerk, asshat, whatever, being the main character. Saying all the things we can’t, doing all the things we can’t. It’s like giving a voice and legs and a body to our inner jerks and letting it run free in the world. It’s exciting.

Maybe that’s wrong of me. Wanting to give my inner jerk a voice, but I can’t help it. That’s the kind of story I want to tell.

Nothing to Say

What is this, the fourth post? And, already I’ve run out of things to say. Figures.

That’s why I didn’t want to start a blog to begin with. I have nothing to say! Anytime people ask, I have to answer, “I’m not that interesting.” I’m not. I could go on and on about nothing, or how I have nothing to say, but I’m afraid that would turn into something like a Seinfeld episode.

Wow. That totally dates me.

I’d talk about all the books I read, but I don’t really read that many. Which is probably not a good thing for a writer. Writer’s are supposed to read, otherwise you’re “writing in a vacuum.” Whatever that means. I read that on another writer’s blog somewhere.

It’s probably good advice, read more. Just in general, we should all read more. I can also see how writing has changed over time. Where to start the story, what makes a good story, what things we write about, read about. Even though there’s something like only seven plot lines and all the stories have been told, we keep telling the stories. But we change how we tell the stories.

That’s the story, I guess. How telling the story has changed.

Huh. Look at that. A whole blog post. Good for me.

Shouting Into the Void

I have a day job, like most writers. It’s not my “forever” job, just something that helps pay the bills since freelance writing isn’t nearly as lucrative as I hoped.

It’s a start-up. I’ve been there a few months, and already, my hours have been cut (everyone’s have). I thought I asked all the right questions during the interview: “How long have you been in business? How’s the financial side looking? Do you have outside investors? Things like that. I guess I either didn’t ask the right questions, or, well, I don’t want to think about that.

Since the company’s future doesn’t look so rosy, I thought about yapping about it on Facebook or starting a Twitter hashtag #savemyjob.

But, and this is sort of the point of this post, not only do I not have a Twitter account, I’m not really good at the art of self-promotion.

Like, promoting this blog. I realize that right this minute, I’m shouting in to the void. I haven’t promoted this blog anywhere. Not Facebook, not my non-existent Twitter account, not anywhere. It’s something I’m not comfortable doing.

Of course, if I were to Google “how to promote my blog,” I’m sure I’d come up with a billion or two links giving me valuable insight like, “Advertise it on your Twitter,” and “Post frequently on other blogs like yours, making sure to include a link to your blog.”

I may have Googled it once or twice.

I don’t like doing things like that, for various reasons. But, if I’m going to be a writer, apparently it’s a skill I have to learn. In the meantime, I guess I’ll keep shouting into the void. Maybe someone will yell back.

What To Do, What to Do?

I’m supposed to blog everyday to improve my search engine rankings. That’s what SEO specialists say. Some even say to blog a few times a day in the beginning. Something about how Google and the other engines search the web and such. I don’t see that happening. The blogging a few times a day thing. The every day thing? Maybe.

Even though I like to think of myself as a writer, I don’t write everyday. Not like writer’s “are supposed to.” If that’s a thing. I was never much for journaling either, so it’s not like I have a rich history of spending at least a few minutes every day writing down something.

This every day thing will take some getting used to.

And it kind of bugs me, actually. I didn’t know writers had to have a blog these days. I know it makes me more accessible, but who said I wanted to grant the access? Not to be obnoxious, but maybe there’s a reason I don’t journal or blog or tweet or whatever. Because I’m not a big oversharer. (Yes. I just made that a word.)

But, these days, to be considered a writer (or much else, I suppose), you have to have your brand and your platform and your blog and your followers and all that social media stuff. It’s a fine way to share, I guess, if you’re into it. and if you’re not? Too bad! Do it anyway. You have to. It’s all about what you bring to the table before you even know if you have a seat.

I’m not sure what I bring to the table. I don’t know how much I want to share about me. And I don’t want to go the easy route and post click bait kind of things. I don’t have a niche, a speciality or even a particular interest that might be broad reaching. Even to write this post, I’m grasping.

So, I’ll stop for today, and see what comes up tomorrow.

Partly Writing

This is it. The blog I said I would start. A year ago. I got busy. Like the name of this blog suggests, I write when I’m not doing other things.

It’s something I like to do. Write, tell stories, imagine the what if’s. I can’t stop myself.

But why start a blog if I’m so busy with other things. Because, apparently, I’m supposed to. If I’m really a writer, someone who wants to – needs to – write, I’m supposed to blog. That’s what everyone says. I’m supposed to have a brand, a following, an online presence. People would ask me why i didn’t blog, I would answer honestly: I have nothing interesting to say.

Which is true. I’m a fairly boring person, and even if I wan’t, I wouldn’t want to share all the details of my life with the world. That’s not me.

But I do like to write. And tell stories. So, I figure, if I really want to be a writer when I grow-up (if I grow-up) I should start a blog.

And this is it. The blog I’ll try to write when I have time. When I’m not busy with other things. When I have stories to tell. Or things to say.

Let’s see how that goes.