Here today, gone tomorrow

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“Writing is the only profession where no one considers you ridiculous if you earn no money.”

 ― Jules Renard 

I will preface this post by saying that there is certainly, in my view, nothing wrong with wanting to make money from writing.  That would be a hypocritical thing to say, since I write for a living.

However, I write about things that interest me, that I’m passionate about –  thoughts, ideas, issues and concerns that I want to share with others, raise awareness  about… and, ultimately, engage in discourse.

I do not write a book just to satisfy a market trend or to capitalize on a subject that I would not normally even consider, just to make a quick buck.

Trends are here today, and gone tomorrow.

It’s really, really important to remember that.  Writers, please heed this advice.  Trendy books eventually fizzle out. They do not live in perpetuity. Their final resting place lies in a dusty old box, stored in some obscure warehouse. 

Make every post, every article, every book you write… a labor of love. Whether you write as a hobby, part-time on the side, or 24/7 (like me) – write something that fuels your adrenaline.

If you find yourself writing for hours on end – oblivious to all the sights and sounds around you, with a cup of coffee that has been cold for at least three hours – you’re probably writing for the right reasons.

Recently, I read an article (can’t remember where, though) that said:

“Write the story that gives you insomnia.”

That’s when you know that your book will have staying power. And, once you’ve written it, perhaps you will catch up on your sleep!

 

Image: Sandra Gligorijevic/Stock

The Psychology of Blogging

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Like many of you, I enjoy reading blogs that pique my interest.  I also read them to gain insight, whether expected or unexpected, and to gather information on a specific topic. It is always a delight to discover a really good blog site and an articulate writer with a unique perspective.

So, we know why we read blogs. The question is, why do we write blogs?

Why do we blog?

Do we do it…

… as a form of cathartic self-expression (cyber-catharsis)?

… because we are narcissists (varying from mild to extreme)?

… just simply to write down our musings, because we believe we have something interesting to say, to share, or to teach?

… as an outlet for self-promotion?

… as a writing exercise, to tone and hone our writing skills?

Perhaps it is a combination of some or all of the above.  To understand the reasons, we’ll need to delve into the psyche of a blogger.  

Cathartic Self-expression (Cyber-catharsis)

Psychologists and psychiatrists often recommend journal writing as a tool to help release stress, work through issues, and as a means of self discovery.  Blogging takes journal writing to a completely new dimension. Not only does it provide cathartic therapy for those who need it, it also opens the door to a worldwide web of  support – a cyber support group whereby people can connect, share and commiserate with others who are experiencing (or who have experienced) similar challenges. Advice is given and received.  Stories are shared. And, in many cases, friendships are made. 

Narcissism

If we’re being truly honest with ourselves, we are all narcissistic to some degree. For most of us…. just a wee bit.  It only really becomes a problem, however, when we get so self-absorbed that our sense of what is real and rational becomes clouded. That is when it’s time to seek help. It’s one thing to write about “me, myself, and I” if there’s a valid purpose, an opinion to express, or a valuable lesson to impart.  But it is quite another to blog for no other reason than to feed the ego.

Musings

We all have something to learn and something to teach. Writing about our thoughts and experiences – on such a vast platform – gives us a forum to exchange ideas, to offer and receive a different perspective. 

An Outlet for Self-promotion

There is absolutely nothing wrong with self-promotion. We all need to keep a roof over our heads and food on the table. But, again, it’s all a matter of degree.  If it’s done properly and gracefully, it will not repel people. If it’s crass, full of redundant sales pitches and slogans (like an “As Seen on TV” commercial)… people will find it offensive and be turned off.  

A Writing Exercise, to Tone and Hone Writing Skills

Blogging is an excellent way to finetune that writing muscle. The more often we write, the better we get.  When we blog, we get an opportunity to connect instantaneously  with our readership which, in turn, helps us to understand what engages the reader. And, finally, blogging regularly helps us to avoid and/or battle that soul-destroying disorder that we all dread:  writer’s block.

What I personally find most gratifying about blogging (and this one was not the list) is the access I now have to people from across the globe. The thrill of being able to interact with men and women from all walks of  life, from different cultures, young and old and everyone in-between ― in real time. What an amazing opportunity!  To travel seamlessly through cyberspace, via the written word, has effectively bridged all physical distance. And, with just the click of a button, this gargantuan world we live in… has suddenly become a whole lot smaller.

 

Image via contestmob.com.