Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Blog Advice

Hey Paul,

Have I told you how much I love what you write and how you write lately? How do you do it? Sometimes I feel as though I don't have the inspiration to blog. I've been feeling a lot of mixed emotions.

It's been a while since I've had the time to read anyone's blogs and I've stopped caring about who reads my site. And then I read other peoples' blogs and wonder how they get all those comments. Sometimes I just want to be these other people, just to see how it's like to be a blogstar. Am I contradictory? I'm trying to figure this all out, like what am I blogging for? Has this happened to you? How do you deal with it?

xo,
Jase*




Hi Jase,

I am happy to hear from you and I am even happier to hear that you enjoy reading my little blog.

What it sounds like to me is that you're experiencing a Blog Burnout. It's a very normal thing to happen.

I think that people view "blogging" as writing an online journal, which may be the case for many people. But I think that for many others, like you and me, blogging is more than that: it's artistic, it's feedback through comments, it's interaction, it's a social network, it's a goddamn popularity contest.

I think this happens because we become wrapped up so much in our blogs that it takes over our lives. Then blogging starts becoming a chore and a job instead of being fun. You are constantly trying to find material such that you can't enjoy just doing the things you love, like sucking cock, without thinking about how to blog it.

And comments, whew! they can be very tyrannical. I know that feeling, the anticipation, the dread, when you open up your site to see if the number of comments increased. And then you find yourself, refreshing refreshing refreshing to see if it changes.

For awhile, I have considered turning it off because I've always felt that my posts speak for themselves. But then, I realized that people wanted, needed, to have a way to interact with me. So I left it on, but made a rule to only comment back if there is a question that is directed towards me specifically.

Don't worry about who reads your site, as author John McNally said in my interview with him, you don't choose your audience, they choose you. Therefore, you cannot make them like what you write. You can make them like your pictures of shirtless celebrities, but that's another matter.

Write what moves you. Write about your feelings and opinions. If you write about what you had for breakfast or what you and your friends did over the weekend, you've got to say why it was so important for you to do so. And don't write about what happened on a TV show unless you have a point of view.

If you write what moves you, hopefully it will move others, or at the very least, move their bowels. And speaking of that, write about poop, farting and puking--people seem to like that a lot.

As for being a BlogStar, we're only stars in our own minds. The truth is, we're a dime a dozen. If you truly want to be a star, like DailyKos or Wonkette, then you have to have a real point of view about matters outside your own daily life such as the war in Iraq, activist judges, or why Tom Cruise couldn't stop calling Katie Holmes "Kate" on Oprah. And then, I would take out a $5,000 banner ad to promote your site.

We've missed the bus on early days of blogging where just having a blog made you famous. But if you write well, you stand a better chance of being "successful," whatever that means to you.

Yes, it does happen to me. Every week, I wonder, why am I doing this? Why am I spending so much of my time writing this bullshit? Shouldn't I be spending more time doing important things like getting a pedicure? My cuticles need help really BAD. I don't know the answer to this, but if I do, I'll write a book about it and you can buy it at Amazon.

Chill out, man. Step back. Cut down on the number of posts. Quality, not quantity. If you write 3 posts, consider publishing them over 2-3 weeks to give yourself some breathing room. Get your life back. Here, I'll even give you a head start, you should post this letter on your blog, coz I am.

Good luck,

Paul a.k.a. "No Milk"


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*Jase's e-mail was edited for content and brevity. See the original version. Please show him some comment love, let him know I sent you!

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