I search for the perfect topic to write about, like a dehydrated man lost in the desert searching for water. In the horizon I see mirages of the perfect topic. I run to them. I jump in, splashing wildly, absorbing the refreshing feeling…. Only to find myself swimming in the sand.
My “big” hit, if you want to be so inclined as to call it that, was about a topic I do not want to stick to. I believe I know what lead my viewers to click on that blog link. It was all the aspects of watching a train wreck. Readers got to hear the story. Feel the song and dance of emotion that was an effect of the story. Then, they got to close their windows and walk away, never being affected within their own lives.
I don’t want to stick to this topic.
For starters, I didn’t even want to write about the topic to begin with. It was out of pure flattery in following Mom’s wishes. I say flattery for the simple fact that I do realize I am an adult. I also understand that I do not have to do anything and everything Mom asks of me. Not that I did before I was an adult, but that’s beside the point. What I am saying is, I did it out of respect for her, not obedience. If that makes any sense. She didn’t tell me to run out and blog about it. I am quite sure what she meant was, to grab a piece of notebook paper and jot down my feelings. But, the blogger in me skipped right past the notebook and slapped it out on the World Wide Web for all of you to see. Mom’s intent, I am also sure, was to have me feel, exactly, what I ended up feeling. To have me admit to all the feelings I had harbored so long, that I began to deny. It worked… her goal was achieved.
To be honest, I have had a trying life. Yes, I’m only 30, I have plenty more life to go, but, my childhood had its difficult moments. My early adulthood, also had very trying times. I don’t want to make a blog theme of those times. I don’t want my blog to be a giant “cry me a river” theme song of woe is me.
But that is what brought the readers….
Within the split second we as bloggers have to capture a potential readers decision to click on our links, my readers saw tragedy and it sucked them right in, just as I had hoped. Sounds a little Cruela DeVille of me, now that I say it out loud. It comes across kind of evil. But really, think about it…. We all complain because there is never any good news being aired on our local news networks. But… would you really watch if it was only good news. Would it captivate you? Would it draw your attention? Would it keep you coming back for more? News stations have ratings to hit too, just as we bloggers do. As demented as it is, bad news draws us in.
I also had the wonderful aftermath effect of my blog being linked to personal Facebook pages of people that were involved in the “story”. One; it largely increased the amount of potential readers the link reached. Two; it reached people that knew us personally. Friends that have known us for years were now able to rip open the brick wall and peer into a story that had never been revealed to them before. It was like finding a personal journal hidden beneath the mattress. (No, this is not where I keep mine. Well, not now anyway!) Finding a diary is nearly irresistible, the only true way to peer inside another’s unedited mind.
That was all it was. The split second reason people chose to click on the link that led them to my blog post. Fortunately, my writing style was sufficient enough to keep them reading…. But, the superficial stuff… that is what got them there. So how do you mimic, without endlessly crying about the past? Apparently, if you are me, you cry about finding other topics to write about! Seriously though, how do you reel them in, when much of what caught them is not the bait you want to use. It is not the direction you want to take your blog.
This blog began with the intention of being informative. To give readers a chance to think for themselves and not mindlessly follow what society tells them to believe. To give them something to walk away with. A small sample to chew over throughout their day. I wanted to add in a spark of humor, a twist of wit, discuss topics that were important to me. Informative, but also fully opinionated. Topics that truly had no 100% correct answer, just strong opinions backed up by controversial research. You know, the kind of research that completely backs up one stand, but only if you ignore any other research on the same given topic. I would love to give you an example right now. But… if I had an example to give, I’d probably be writing about that, rather than this!
It’s not that I don’t have opinions. Oh believe me, I HAVE opinions! But, they often end up contradicting themselves. For instance, one day I could easily write in entirety how I think public schools absolutely ruin your children. Then, within a few weeks… shoot, even a few days, I could turn around and write about the specific benefits of public schools, how they have helped our country ensure a proper education for every child. And the worst part, the worst part is that I would fully believe in both posts. It’s not that I’m two faced. It’s not that I’m indecisive. Well, okay, sometimes I’m indecisive, especially at McDonalds drive through! Really, it is just that I see the value in certain aspects of both situations and the destruction in both as well. I like to believe this keeps me more open minded, more willing to see the big picture… I fear it simply makes me sound like a flake, someone who doesn’t know where they stand on an issue, simply publishing out unreliable opinions.
Maybe I am…. Regardless, I do not want to cry about my personal stories forever. In fact, I don’t want to cry about them at all. Truthfully, I don’t really want to let you in that far. My mind is one thing. Come on in, I’ll put on the tea! My history, my emotions, my soul… that’s entirely different. That is a brick wall that even the separation of a computer screen does not tear down. But maybe… just maybe… that is the key….
So what do I do? Where do I go from here? What direction do I take my blog in? What journey do I allow my readers to walk with me?
For now… apparently, it is just rambling about the unknown. The uncertainty. The lack of direction.
I truly wonder if there is anyone that creates a blog with focus. With it all mapped out so carefully, designed so well. I imagine this person’s blog would soar through the ladder of online success. It would be paved perfectly for readers to follow…. I’ve never been good at such things. I was an amazing creative writer back in my school days. But oh, when those teachers would make you draft an outline, and a rough draft, and an edited draft, and another edited draft, and finally, after months of work, you were allowed to “write” a perfectly polished piece. It would drive me absolutely insane! I just wanted to write! Which is precisely why I skipped right over wanting to be a novelist and chose blogging.
I jump in head first with no true destination in mind. Maybe this is a tremendously horrible idea… but maybe it isn’t. Maybe it will lead to something wonderful. Something so wonderful it couldn’t be planned. It couldn’t be imagined. It couldn’t be mapped…because no one has been there before. Yes, if I had a destination in mind… that would be it, to go where no man has gone before… and bring you all along on the journey!
Or maybe, just maybe… I need to realize that it wasn’t the tragedy that sucked my readers in… maybe it was because, for just a moment… a small, almost unnoticeable moment… I let you in. Past my history. Past my emotions. Past my mind…. Into my soul. Maybe, just maybe… that was the key ingredient all along…..
It could never be that simple… could it?