When I thought about whether I should start a blog (again), whether I really wanted to or not, I (also) thought about what and how. Of course, I too am impressed by the -perceived infinite- number of glossy blogs out there. The blogs that fill entire category catalogues with long and longest blogposts and have the perfect collection of pictures for each post. Just glossy blogs. My first thoughts about a possible new blog consisted of exactly such pictures: many, long, colourful posts. And then I noticed that the range of topics on most of these glossy blogs isn’t all that wide. Not in reality. But that it’s all about the same topics over and over again. Or about marketing the same topics over and over again. Writing and marketing the thousandth travel blog. Taking the perfect pictures for your blogpost. Setting up the right social media campaign and doing the SEO perfectly – so that the new blog gets lots of readers. And what is always self-evident (at least to the bloggers and marketers of these glossy blogs): of course you write what people want to read. And that’s celebrity stuff, fashion, travel, food, technology junk. What else?
And there I was out of it.
Of course, the blog landscape is infinitely larger than I just drew it. Of course it is. But it was precisely these stereotypical images that popped into my head. I found that remarkable. When I thought of a blog, or when I thought of a new start, I thought of these “successful” blogs and how colourful and big my blog would have to be and what topics it would have to revolve around. Yes, of course, if a blog wants to be “successful” in the certainly saturated blog market in terms of a large readership, it has to be glossy. And it has to be about topics that people read. No, I don’t write “want to read” because I’m, wink wink, not so sure about that myself. When I look at the market for puzzle magazines, I don’t know whether people really want to read all that or just buy it out of habit because they have nothing better to do. But that’s another topic, back to the real thing. So: glossy blogs have to be glossy, regurgitate the same topics over and over again and be accompanied by SEO and social media campaigns if they want to attract enough readers. And that’s what I kept thinking about when I thought about the new blog. Until this thought occurred to me: Why actually? Why do I actually think about glossy blogs? -Probably because I’m impressed by all the machinery behind them. And why did I let myself be seduced into wanting to write a blog to please people? To write what people want to read? I have no idea.
The moment I realised that I had already tailored the topics to appeal to the widest possible readership, the magic was gone. That’s when I realised that I was thinking about writing a blog to “attract” readers. Not that I write a blog because I … yes, why actually? That was the question that followed:
Why do I want to start a new blog? Just to share myself? Who did I want to communicate with and why would I want to do that?
These are questions that many artists probably ask or have asked themselves.
Well, some don’t seem to have done so and live quite happily with it.
But I keep asking myself the same question: why do I have the obvious urge to communicate and to turn my inner world inside out, to show it? To think with others. Not for the sake of thinking. But to share my inner world, my thoughts and emotions? Am I seriously such a poser who has to present myself as a hero in front of others and wants to be admired by others?
Here I felt self-doubt again, as I know it all too well.
Is the new blog about my ego, about portraying myself at all costs?
That, in a nutshell, is my answer to that question then and now.
The long version of why I restarted the blog, why I write, why I take pictures and sell them will surely be far too long to fit into this post. So why not just do something nice for a change: Procrastinate? 😉