My lovely readers, far and wide,
I am writing this post in the form of a letter because want to chat with you candidly, heart-to-heart. You see, I have been experiencing some self-doubts. Rest assured that I am not writing this because I need or want you to lavish me with praise to inflate my bruised ego. I would just like to be completely honest with you, openly disclosing the thought processes that colour my writing. I don't want to harbour any misconceptions about what I am offering to you.
The doubts I have been experiencing stemmed from my love of browsing other people's blogs. Within the last few months, I have come across a number of wonderful ones, like Rachel Hills' Musings of an Inappropriate Woman, Thea Easterby's Write Change Grow and Corrine's Frock and Roll. These blogs, as well as the many others I regularly peruse, provide an avalanche of tips for an inexperienced writer/blogger like me, amongst other things. Those tips include regular posting, quality content, layout guidelines, self-promotion, catering to your audience, effective headlines and search engine optimisation. There are also multitudes writing tips provided by various sites catering to aspiring writers. Don't use adverbs, prune away adjectives, show don't tell, etcetera. At first, I found myself carefully noting each of these tips, planning how I would implement each of them, in order to ensure that I was being a good blogger. Until it all just came crashing down on my shoulders and I thought, what on earth am I doing?
Don't get me wrong, I still think all those blogs are great. The girls who write them are absolutely lovely, and their beautifully worded, considered content is designed to inspire. The tips they provide, out of the kindness of their hearts, are very helpful, for somebody who wishes to launch and nurture a successful blog. The thing is, my self-imposed immersion into the "pro-blogger" world made me lose sight of what I really wanted to achieve here. I have come to realise that, as strange as it may sound, a successful blog isn't my goal. I want it to be good, yes. But my definition of a good blog is its propensity to touch the people who read it. I do not hold any pretenses that my blog is representative or has the potential to be widely received. I do think, however, that I have kindred spirits out there and, already, more than I could have ever imagined have somehow congregated here. Which is just lovely.
So with those thoughts clouding my mind, I had to take myself back to when I first started this blog. It was almost a year ago. I had no lofty ambitions, to be honest. I just wanted to share my inspirations with my friends and whomever happened to pass by. At that stage I didn't do much of my own writing (at least, not in the public sphere) or dream of having a career as a writer. I have the burgeoning of my blog to thank for that newly realised aspiration, for providing a platform upon which I could quietly nurture my voice and build my confidence. Even so, I have no misplaced hopes that this humble webpage could ever grant me a fully-fledged writing career on a silver platter or, more hilariously, launch me into stardom.
I mean, let's all be honest. Everybody blogs these days. Everybody who reads blogs, anyway. And I truly think that is a wonderful thing. I love that blogs have provided people with a means of voicing their opinions and creating a subversive universe in which everybody is welcome. It is just that, for me, blogging provides a sanctuary and the last thing I want is fame. Who wants fame? It sounds awful, to me. (Not that I think this blog is worthy of fame; just to make the point that it is not an aspiration of mine.) So when people link to my blog, I am immensely flattered, but also scared. With a larger audience comes a greater risk for those anonymous comments to surface, ridiculing my hard work, my heart bleeding onto a webpage. We've all seen them. Some of you may have experienced it yourself. It's not that I am allowing the existence of these bullies to inhibit me. I would just rather avoid them.
Which brings me to why I am writing this post. It's an apology, to my loyal readers. There are not many of you, and for that reason I feel a close affinity with all of you, even those of you I haven't heard from yet. I have a deeply rooted desire to encourage you to read my blog and for my words to inspire you, in some small way. At the same time, I know that I cannot let myself get bogged down in these blogging "rules". I don't want to post everyday because I have to do. I don't want to force ideas upon you out of fear that your interest will wane, and your readership will slip from my grasp. With that comes desperation and staleness; which I am sure will turn you off, just as surely.
So I am going to write when I feel like it. I am going to do my best to ensure that my posts are quality, but sometimes they may be inane, peppered with spelling errors and grammatical mistakes. They may be overly long and ranty. I will scatter as many adjectives and adverbs amongst my prose I please. I will shroud the title of my posts in mystery, making it as hard as possible for people to find my blog. My hope is that once you have found it, a needle in the elaborate, convoluted haystack that is the internet, you won't leave.
With that said, I would like to thank each and every one of you, from the bottom of my heart. Thank you for reading my blog. Thank you for appreciating my writing. Thank you for your lovely comments. Thank you for waiting patiently between posts. Thank you for recommending it to your friends. Thank you for coming back. Just THANK YOU, to the moon and back! And may I say (knock on wood) that I have never, ever had a nasty comment on my blog. I would like to think that is because my blog has attracted lovely, kind, thoughtful, like-minded readers, who have no understanding of why on earth people would want to make personal attacks upon guileless strangers online. My greatest hope is that it remains that way.