A blog looks like a nice thing, but it’s actually very rough when you experience it. If I said that, I’d be echoing Benvolio in Romeo and Juliet in the very first scene of the play. Except that he said love instead of blog.
My blog is so mixed up. No central theme so far, no single tone, not a sign of my brand. My feelings towards my own posts are increasingly resembling Romeo’s oxymoronic feelings towards love, I’m afraid (why am I waxing Shakespearean today?).
Why then, O brawling love! O loving hate!
O any thing, of nothing first create!
O heavy lightness, serious vanity,
Misshapen chaos of well-seeming forms,
Feather of lead, bright smoke, cold fire, sick health,
Still-waking sleep, that is not what it is!
This love feel I, that feel no love in this.
I have such an imperfect understanding of what might succeed.
I’ve put in a lot of effort on a blog post and it’s received a lukewarm response. And I’ve written on a whim while I’ve had just a few minutes to spare and it’s become popular. In fact, my most “liked” post was written while waiting a short while to go out somewhere.
Yet I know hard work matters.
In two ways. If I keep writing, I know a certain number will turn out good. But I never know whether the one I’m currently writing will or not.
But I know that the quality of the average post will improve with time the more I write.
More people will read if I keep at it long enough.
But there aren’t any real indicators of what people like.
More “liked” posts aren’t necessarily always better by the tenets of good writing I know. Better posts don’t always necessarily generate the most comments. Sometimes a great post leaves nothing more for people to say while a less perfect post provides openings for people to comment on. These indicators are not always the best to go by.
Yet, I know readers sense good writing from bad. They somehow always do.
Readers, collectively, have a strong nose for good writing. It does not matter who wrote it, what the point of view was, what tone or genre. If it’s good and it has a way of getting reasonable exposure, readers will show they’ve liked it and enjoyed it.
Then, there’s the process itself.
I never know when or where a good idea might strike me. In the grocery store, in the elevator, on the bus, when I’m sleeping.
Yet, I need to sit down somewhere to catch those ideas in front of a computer. But sitting down quietly is no guarantee that those ideas will come.