I’ve been waiting for the right post to use this gif
It’s been 2 years since I signed up on this here WordPress and became a writer for real. I go back to read some of those old posts and it doesn’t even sound like the same person. I’ve gradually became more comfortable with transparency. I’ve tried to become more personable with my readers without giving so much of myself away. I’ve also written some posts that had me nervous to press “Publish”.
For example, when Junior Seau passed away, I remember taking it very personal. Reading peoples’ comments about suicide angered me; particularly because their criticisms came from never experiencing a loss so profound. That post, to this day, is still 1 of the toughest posts I’ve had to write.
I’ve given readers a glimpse into my personal life by talking about an incident in which I nearly lost my life. I also have talked about my high moments, like detailing what it’s like to be a sports agent. There are many posts on here that I’m proud of but not out of narcissism. I think what makes me the most proud about running this site for 2 years is I have a newfound respect for how much work being a writer really is. My milestone probably seems modest to those who have been writing since 2007 lol But these are some things I’ve learned about being a writer:
1) Write for you and the page views will come: Blogging is a business. People shout that from the rooftops now. Aspiring writers save up money to attend conferences that’ll teach them to turn a hobby into a revenue stream. I will be perfectly honest and say I’ve had days where I’ve only 4 or 5 visitors. That’s not even a fully developed drop in the bucket. However, those visitors came and would spend time going through my archives, alerting me to articles that I forgot I wrote. For me, it’s never been a goal to make money from this. Every single post, even when it is initiated by a current event or more popular post found somewhere else, is uniquely me. The other thing is I don’t write to incite notoriety. On social networking, I’ve seen people specifically write posts to cause a kneejerk reaction. That 1 post may break a record for their site stats. But the rest of their writing is mediocre and those people never go back to that site afterward.
2) Just because people don’t comment doesn’t mean they’re not reading: This is tied into my previous lesson. For the longest time, I never commented on sites. By the time I’d get around to reading a post, the article might’ve had 100+ comments saying what I would’ve said. On this side of things, whether you’ve been writing for 6 months or 6 years, it feels good to have readers interact on your work. But you have to understand some posts don’t warrant dialogue or disagreement. I think that’s why everybody writes in the relationship/sex/dating niche. You can debate all day about the same topics, year after after. Yet the posts that are about something more substantive, all crickets. Don’t let the lack of commentary dictate the quality of your writing.
3) Read and support other blogs: There’s enough writers out here for everybody to “eat”. The great thing about having solid critical thinking skills is your perspective isn’t going to be the same as the next writer’s. If you can’t attend writing workshops or conferences, the next best way to network with other writers is to simply support them. It takes nothing away from you to RT, share or comment on a post that struck a chord with you.
4) Know the identity of your writing: This is a bit harder to explain so I’ll try it out in a sports analogy. Every team has a guy that’s a solid role player. The coach doesn’t expect him to put up 20 shots per night. He’s not good enough to consistently start. But when he’s needed, he shows up in a big way. The best example I can think of is Robert Horry. He has 7 rings by knowing his lane and staying in it. When it comes to writing, you have to know your strengths and constantly showcase them up in your work. Don’t be out here trying to be that guy writing “hype”-based posts, if that’s not really you. People will respect your writing and enjoy your site a lot more when they can get a grasp of who you are through your writing. The other thing is people aren’t stupid. Horry has more rings than Kobe and MJ, but do you ever hear his name come up in basketball debates? Exactly.
5) Treat writing like the gym: No excuses. When you’re committed to losing weight or building muscle, you drag yourself to the gym as often as you need to. You know that taking 1 day off can easily lead to your sneakers collecting dust by the door. Writing is no different. Some writers say that they feel bad when they take hiatuses. I actually follow some writers on WP that I’m saying in my head “post something new already!!!” Life gets in the way. Sometimes you’re just not motivated to sit at the screen and write greatness. If blogging is a hustle for you, you can’t afford to not put out content. And if it isn’t, you have to remember that your return has to be a dope post for your readers who waited it out with you.
I thank every single 1 of you who’s ever commented, shared, and liked 1 of my posts! Now, I’ll turn the table – what are some things you’ve learned about being a writer?