Don’t Go Slick
Updated at the bottom
Have you ever read a post where someone said something so perfectly that you actually spun around in your spinny office chair like Alex P. Keaton when he was high on amphetamines in the “Speed Trap” episode on Family Ties? This post is one of those posts.* (A heads up: she is currently pregnant and mentions it in the post.) Especially when she wrote,
Blogging has so evolved since when I launched this blog. When I started blogging a few years ago, there was no Pinterest rabbit hole of perfect spaces and beautiful things to covet. And it seemed like many bloggers, besides a few established ones, were more rough around the edges (in a good way) — posting inspiring, informative finds that included some posts from their own home and life adventures. The photos weren’t always perfect. The posts didn’t have Photoshop layouts and cool type layered over images. More blogs felt like online journals to me, rather than mini online magazines with staged shoots and recurring features.
I don’t spend a lot of time on Pinterest, maybe because I don’t believe that living aspirationally is the healthiest frame of mind (and believe me, if I let myself go there, I could see myself falling into a state of coveting). I don’t want to aspire to be something different or have my house look different or have my life be different, except in ways that a magazine or blog or pinboard can never direct. (Unless, perhaps, I am mistaken and embryologist Michael Tucker has a Pinterest account?) I don’t want to live in a constant state of searching for something.
I’m drawn — like the author of that post — to blogs that have rougher edges.
I guess what I’m saying is please don’t go slick.
Please don’t try to put together the perfect blog, with the perfect layout and the perfect accompanying photographs. Place on the screen whatever is in your head, whether it is pretty or boring or strange or upsetting or inspiring. I read your blog not because I need good ideas or I need to be inspired; I read your blog to connect with you, the author. To try to understand another person’s world and have my own viewpoint expanded. And yes, ideas and inspiration come from that organically. It isn’t fed to me, but rather, it’s something I find. Like stumbling into a field of wildflowers rather than a cultured garden.
It feels as if there has been a lot of blogging attrition this year, a lot of posts where people write that while they don’t want to give up writing their blogs, blogging has become too difficult. Twitter and Facebook are easier; faster. There is no stressing about the quality of the paragraphs or the lack of visual accompaniment. And that is true. Except that we don’t have to let blogging go slick. We can, as the author above states, take back the space and say that it’s great that all these trends exist, but we don’t need to participate in each one.
I’ve been blogging for almost seven years. I’ve seen a lot of trends come and go. A lot of memes pass through the blogosphere. A lot of hot sites sizzle and burn out. And still, I plod along. Word-focused post after word-focused post, just as I did back when I first started blogging and had no clue how to upload an image. As a reader, I am still drawn, after all this time, to a good story. To a smart turn of phrase. To an interesting analogy. That is what makes me read a blog.
Which is not to say that other people aren’t drawn to stylized blogs. But I did want to point out that there are at least two of us out here looking for the interesting find over perfection. Just in case you were stressed out and not writing because you don’t know how to make your blog mirror what you see on Pinterest.
Truly, read her post in full. It’s that good.
* I was not high on amphetamines like Alex P. Keaton when I wrote that.
I put this in the comment section below, but thought I’d move it into the bottom of the post since I think it keeps coming up.