What Should You Write?
There’s a tiny point that I don’t want to have get lost inside why I read your blog, and that is a piece of advice that someone gave me while dating that applies to writing too.
There were plenty of ways to meet people while I was single. Some of them involved attending events where all the people there would be people who were also looking for someone to date; singles events in bars, for instance. On the surface, attending events like that were ideal because I knew for certain that the people I would meet were looking to date too. There was actually only one problem with those singles events.
I dislike bars.
Sometimes I would suck it up and go, and sometimes I even met a nice guy and got a date out of it. But most of the time, I went home frustrated because I had spent two hours doing something I disliked and had nothing to show for it.
On the other hand, I really enjoy sitting in coffeehouses, reading. It’s what I did most evenings when I was single.
Most of the other people in the coffeehouse I frequented weren’t looking to hook up. They were meeting friends or going out on dates already or getting work done. But every so often, I’d fall into a conversation with a guy at the neighbouring table. And every so often, I would end up with a date from it. And really, those dates usually led to more dates since the guy and I had something in common: we both liked to read in coffeehouses.
What is the point of all of this? And how does it apply to writing?
If you do the activities you like to do, you may meet someone great or you may not, but at least it will be time well-spent. You’ll walk away from the activity feeling fulfilled, and if you meet someone great along the way, that’s the icing on the cake. You can’t really force meeting someone anyway. All you can do is put yourself out there so your paths can intersect.
If you write the posts you want to write, you may get readers or you may not, but at least it will be time well-spent. You’ll walk away from your blog feeling fulfilled. If nothing else, you’ll have a record of thoughts and some weight off your chest. And if your words resonate with someone else, that is the icing on the cake. You can’t force readership. There is no magical formula where if you write X then you will get Y. There are no shortcuts. All you can do is put content out there that resonates with you, and hopefully you will find that it resonates with other people.
Like this post. I wrote it for me. To remember this advice lest it gets forgotten someday. Because I’ve always found it an interesting frame in which to make choices. Because it’s what I want to say. Hopefully, it’s also something other people want to read. But I can’t control for that.
On the other hand, there are plenty of topics I could write about that I think would bring readers. They don’t really interest me; writing about them would be like attending those bar events. If the readers didn’t come, I’d be cranky that I had spent my time on those topics.
So I don’t. I stick to what I want to say, and I stick to reading in coffeehouses.
Both have served me well thus far.