I consider myself a writer. Why do I feel I can call myself a writer, do you ask? Simply put, because I can. And because in my opinion, I am one. I don’t feel the need to point to any qualification or accomplishment I have achieved to call myself one, I just do. Stephen King once stated, “if you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.” As a “self-proclaimed writer,” these are two things I do a lot of, read and write. I read any and everything. Magazine articles, blogs, books, too much news, reviews, Reddit threads, everything, and usually about anything. And about 90% of it, is full of opinions. I could even go as far as to say, biases. More specifically the blogs and the reviews I read. Focusing more so on the former, than the latter, that’s what a blog is. An opinion. In most cases, it’s the author’s thoughts and feelings on a particular topic. While I have indeed been writing my whole life, I have never “published” anything anywhere, and beyond my family members and friends, being ever so gracious to read my works, I’ve never had any other type of audience. So, I consider myself a virgin blogger. So as of late, I’ve been reading a lot of blogs, articles, reviews, whatever comes to mind, about how to become a successful blogger. I have a medium account, and this is where a lot of my information has come from. I’ve read things such as “How to Start a Blogging Business with No Money.” Or, “An Easy-to-Follow Beginner’s Guide to Writing on Medium.” “How I made $10,000 a month writing on Medium.” And so on. And yes, while I value all of the thoughts, feelings, and ideas expressed by these authors, I found myself wondering, “what makes them so qualified to tell me how to do something?”
Yes, in most cases, when you are writing an article entitled “How I made $10,000 a month blogging” you have some experience and should have the data to back it up. Why wouldn’t you want to listen to someone with so much “success?” You should follow their advice, take the template they have laid out for you, and viola, soon you’ll be making 10k a month yourself. It’s that easy right? Sadly, it doesn’t work that way. What works for the next blogger, doesn’t necessarily mean it will work for you. And that’s what I have come to reckon with. Or come to terms with. I can’t be like that blogger that makes 10k a month. That beginners’ guide to writing on Medium, while it can certainly provide me with some ideas, cannot be MY blueprint. I need to create and follow my path. That’s what that 10k blogger did. He had to start somewhere, right? No one can give me a formula for success, because there isn’t one. No one, no matter how skilled and gifted they are, will be able to please everyone or appeal to everyone. It’s just not possible.
“If you have an over-preoccupation with perception and trying to please people’s expectations, then you can go mad.” -Benedict Cumberbatch (Go Dr. Strange!)
Almost all of the blogs I have read that try and tell you how to be successful on medium, or with your blog, suggest that you appeal to other people. You should write about what people care about, and teach them something about what they care about. You won’t have traffic, or any kind of audience if you don’t. Once you do that, perhaps then you can start writing about what you love. I dig it. Give the people what they want, build up a following, and then slowly introduce them to the real you. Except, I don’t want to go mad. I have no time to be overly preoccupied with what is “popular” or what people want. I have an interest in writing about what I love and sharing that with anyone that is willing and wants to listen; like-minded individuals, possibly changing perceptions and introducing new ideas. Do I want to force my opinion on people? No. Do I ask that you value my opinion? You can if you want, but I don’t need that validation.
“Care about people’s approval, and you will always be their prisoner.” Lao Tzu
No, that doesn’t mean that I don’t care what you or anyone else may think of me. I’m a human being. Of course, I do. What it does mean, however, is that I will refuse to let it make me be anyone’s prisoner. I will now, and always write how I feel, regardless of what’s “popular.” Do I want people to read what I write and share it with the world? Yes, why else would I post it, or start a website? Please, read, enjoy. However, I’m going to stop reading all about how I should do this or that to build up an audience. Yes, that’s your opinion, and I admire your success, I applaud you, but to me, it’s just that, your opinion. I’m fine doing my own thing. Here’s hoping that works for me.