One of my regular readers left a comment on my previous post, the one in which I (half-)jokingly lamented my failure (thus far) to reach blogging superstardom … and I was going to reply to her in the “Comments” section of that post until it occurred to me that she probably wasn’t the only reader thinking what she was thinking. And so, because I am a selfless giver who always tries to serve the Greater Good, I shall address her remarks here for all of you.
I’m a long-time reader (found you from a comment on dooce’s website) … I follow you b/c I like to see I’m not the only neurotic person in this world.
My neuroses and I are here to help, Allyssa. You’re welcome.
I love your blog and love when you have a new lengthy post.
Thank you, Allyssa. I love knowing that.
I’m not getting the fame and fortune angle though … if you want to write/blog, then blog b/c you love it and b/c it touches people.
I’ve been blogging for almost six years now, and I couldn’t even begin to count the number of hours I’ve spent doing it, the amount of sleep I’ve sacrificed for it, or the many other leisure activities I could have enjoyed if I’d abandoned it. Had I instead spent that time taking guitar lessons, I’d be Eddie fucking Van Halen by now. Financially, I have nothing to show for it. Either I’m doing this because I truly love doing it, or I am a flaming asshole who’s too stupid to realize that his time would be better spent collecting scrap metal for cash. (Many would say that the correct answer is: “C. Both of the above.”)
If you are lucky enough to make a living out of doing it, then good for you …
I couldn’t agree more. I would feel beyond lucky if I was able to make a living doing this thing that I love. And while I know that the odds of hitting that particular lottery are anorexically slim, I’d sure love to win it … so when I read Greg’s “Top 5 Reasons I’ll Never Be Famous” post, I thought it would be a fun way to talk about my inability (thus far) to turn this hobby into a dream job. (And, to be clear: While my post definitely was built upon a foundation of truth, it mostly was meant to entertain.)
… but it seems really weird (insincere? disheartening? I don’t know) to read a blog and in the back of my head be wondering, “is the writer just putting this out there b/c he wants a certain number of readers or to increase interest so he can make money off of us reading?”
One of the main points I tried to make in my previous post is that I would not, and do not, post bullshit whose sole purpose is to pump more traffic to my site; I write things I feel moved to write about, and hope that people will feel compelled to read them. Do I want huge numbers of people to flock to my site? Of course. If I didn’t, I’d write these stories in a notebook and tuck it under my mattress. Would I pounce on the opportunity to receive money from sponsors in return for writing the same things that I currently write for free? Like a starving lion on a lame water buffalo soaked in barbecue sauce.
I haven’t ever felt that from this blog, but when I think deeply enough about it … it feels like it cheapens the story you are telling. I almost feel used.
I am sorry that you almost feel used … not because being used sucks, mind you, but because, had I known you were going to feel like I had used you, I would have at least used you first. That is, if I could have figured out a way to do so. Lemme know if you think of anything.
On the flip side, I get immense joy out of reading your blog, so maybe I’m using you. Maybe that’s how you feel: that you are just putting it all out there, and we’re experiencing things with you, and what do you get in return?
What I get in return is the satisfaction of writing, and of knowing that others are reading what I’ve written … and when someone leaves a comment telling me that they get “immense joy out of reading [my] blog,” or that I’ve made them laugh and/or cry and/or connected with them in some way through my writing, it feels phenomenally rewarding … which is exactly why I’d love to reach more people, and why I’d love to have the financial means to spend more time doing so.
But mostly? Mostly, I’m just trying to make you guys laugh.