Once upon a time, a long long time ago, back when MySpace mattered, I conducted a bit of an experiment. A friend had forwarded me a link to the MySpace profile of a woman who blogged every day without fail and who had quite a large following. After a couple weeks of reading her material, I realized that while she did attract a lot of attention, she wasn’t a very talented writer, nor was she overly interesting or funny. She was a pretty ordinary woman who happened to have a great number of admirers, as well as a group of haters, which resulted in hundred of comments on each of her blogs. I figured if this woman could make people interested in her, so could I. I spent a few minutes each day inviting people to my blog which I posted every day during the work week. The more people I invited to view what I wrote, the larger my following grew. It was a pretty easy process.
As quickly as I built it up, I let it fall apart. Rather than be something I enjoyed, it became a chore. I felt obligated to get on there daily and post something, whether I felt like writing or not. I felt obligated to act as though I liked the people who read and commented, even though a great deal of them meant nothing to me and some were downright obnoxious. I succeeded in gaining a following but losing the fun in blogging.
The whole reason I started the blog, and the reason I began doing it in the first place was because I desired an outlet, somewhere to pour out my thoughts and ease the pressure on my mind. I write for me and no one else. I don’t care if this is read by 1 person or 100 people and I don’t care if anyone likes or dislikes it. I’m not an author and I’m not selling my words. I have a project I’m currently working on that I do plan on publishing and (hopefully) getting a bit of cash for, but this blog isn’t it. It’s dreadfully easy to gain popularity for a blog, as I found out, but it’s just not for me.
During my time on WordPress, I’ve received offers in various forms from people to read and comment on my blog if I will also please read and comment on theirs, the goal being to gain enough popularity to be featured on the homepage. The furthest I’ve ever gotten with those offers is reading a single post from the person. So far, no one has caught my interest or seemed worthwhile, and I’d rather have my words go unread than have to waste my time reading drivel in order to earn a comment and a blog hit. The moment a person stops writing for themselves is the moment they fail as a writer. I’ve seen it happen to numerous authors; they begin writing shit just to push books out faster and appease their fans, making more money but losing the care that previously went into their work, the care that made it worth reading. The same thing happens with some musicians. Perhaps I’m a bit crazy, but I’d rather write what I want to write and be the only one that sees it than write garbage that I don’t care about and have it read by millions. But that’s just me.