Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Blogging - Is it nothing more than a White Whale?

Well it's me again.  Talking (writing) to myself, with no expectation of anyone actually listening or reading this. 

Strange when you think that if I was to start talking to myself about my day out loud, randomly, in the middle of a busy street, the chances are most people would avoid me like the plague.  Scratch that, what they would probably do these days is get out their 'Smart' phones and film me talking out loud to myself, post it on YouTube and then the next thing you know I'm getting invited onto talk shows after becoming an internet hit, more commonly known as 'Nutter Nattering to Himself' or 'Mad Man Mumbling Out Loud'.  Yet it's okay to do it on the web...

To be honest, that's not my gripe with blogging.  I'm all for freedom of speech and expression, as long as the US government says it's okay, that is if Edward Snowden is to be believed anyway.  No what bothers me about the 'Blogosphere' is the idea that it's the new and exciting way to get yourself known, a way to become famous without actually doing much of anything except writing down whatever it is you want to say.  Slightly presumptuous of me you might say, probably is, however I was made redundant two months ago and decided to take myself out of the game for a couple of months.  So I avoided my laptop and spent time with my little girls over the summer holidays, something I have never had the chance to do before and when my two girls had knackered me out I then amused myself redecorating my home.  It felt good to unplug for a while.  So when I eventually got round to logging on for the first time today in two months, what emails and tweets did I have?  Almost every single one was telling me how as a wannabe writer I have to have an online presence, that I have to blog regularly, tweet incessantly and generally bother people about how to get my name out there.  The thing I have to ask myself is this, when am I supposed to write?  After being told the 'Top Ten things to get your writing noticed by blogging.' or 'Tweet your way to a best seller by following these simple 35 steps', and 'Facebook your way to a best seller', etc. I barely have time to breath, let alone write.

Are there good, even great blogs out there?  Of course there is, hundreds of thousands I assume, on every topic you could want, I subscribe to several myself, all of them regarding the art of writing, but I have noticed that over the last few months that even my usual weekly reads are becoming less about the subject matter in question and more about how to get what you're writing noticed by agents and possible publishers and all of them keep banging on about having an active online presence.  WTF?? 

Mine is not a blog, it's a diary or journal, the word is in the title.  If you don't believe me, read my posts, most of them are nothing more than dribble, which may explain why I have no subscribers and very few posts commented on, but at least I'm not banging on about how to avoid trolls or get your name higher up in the Google charts.  I am not here to help or advise anyone on how to write, I genuinely wish I could, but I am far from qualified to give even the smallest bits of help and advice, hence why I subscribe to other peoples blogs.  For me, the idea of writing on the web is more a way of seeing if anyone else feels the same way I do when I write.  The highs as well as the lows, but generally I write about writing my book.  Every now and again I might strop out and moan about something else, but generally I write on here for me, with the hope that maybe someone else who is going through the same experience (And from what I have read there are a lot of us) might take solace that they are not the only ones that feel that way.

Writing for me is infuriating, frustrating and hard, but I also find it comforting, exciting and above all an enjoyable challenge.  It's something I do when I have some time to myself.  Would I like to be a writer where I can make a decent living from it?  Hell yeah!  More than anything.  But as I have learnt, so does everyone else and what fascinates me is how most, not all, but most seem to spend all their time, blogging, tweeting and facebooking everyone on their mailing list how to get ahead in writing and become a big success and only a few actually have the bragging rights to be able to advise. 

I don't write this to insult anybody.  I'm guessing that for a few it works, but shouldn't the point of a writer be that their writing speaks for them and not how many people follow them on Twitter or Facebook?  The world is changing everyday, getting quicker, more advanced, everything is need and want and people want it NOW God-damn-it, but with that comes ones more sinister side.  Ruthlessness, jealousy, greed start to raise their ugly heads.  I still believe that if the story is good, then in time good things will happen.  I have to, simply because I don't have time to use the internet to raise my online profile in the hope that when I send out my work an agent might think that because I have a million Twitter followers (I don't, I have two.  If you would like to be my third look for me at @pipconnor) it must mean that I have something good to say, maybe the reason why my online profile isn't the best is because I am spending all my available time writing the best book I can.

So I am going to revise my 'Journal', I will not be forced to become a slave to the web and push and harass people about what I do and how I think they should be doing it too.  I'm going to continue to write here, but it's for me, a reminder of the journey I am taking whilst I try and ascertain whether I have enough talent to write a book and actually have someone else like it too.  After all, isn't that the point?

I know I don't have all the facts about the writing world and how it works, so maybe I have written this for nothing and in my ignorance feel I am clever and wise by spurning what seems to be almost every email I get at the moment telling me how to get to the Holy Grail of writing and get signed, but do you know what, I'm okay with that, after all, maybe the reason why I will get rejected for my efforts is simply because I am crap at writing, my stories are as thin as the paper I print them out on and I couldn't tell a good tale if my life depended on it, but at least I'm trying and that has to mean something shouldn't it?

Anyway, that's it for me for today, I'll be back soon when I feel I have something I need to remember or express.

Take care, but above all, Stay cool.

Pip  x