Friday, December 6, 2013

Arsenic Writer


You know, I like making people happy.

I am generally a people pleaser.

I want you to like me and I want you to like my blog. But if the reason you like my blog is because I am posting as some fake version of myself or trying to please you as opposed to writing the truth, well it just seems useless and counterproductive to me.

When I censor what I write, then I am not being myself. I would be posting as a filtered and watered down version of me.

Back when I started writing the Fifth Circle of Hell in 2003, I soon crumbled under the pressure of trying to please everyone and I eventually left my blog and writing all together. I couldn't take the pressure of trying to keep my readers happy all the time. By the time I left in May 2004, I was absolutely fried. I fell victim to the "Read my blog and LOVE ME" curse.

See, all blogs start out in much the same way. Someone who has something to say and who needs an outlet to say it in. 

But, something funny happens along this blogging journey that changes EVERYTHING and I've been around long enough to see it happen time and again.

It goes a little something like this.....

1. You decide to start a blog.

2. You spend forever trying to come up with a clever title and countless hours tweaking the template, pictures, sidebar, etc, etc, etc.

3. You write your first post.

4. You put a blogcounter into the template....I mean, wouldn't it be interesting to see if anyone actually reads this piece of literary genius?

5. You write some more.

6. You get your first hit on your blogcounter...wow, somebody ACTUALLY found your little slice of the blogiverse and *possibly* stayed and read what you had to say.

7. You write some more.

8. You get a few more hits.

9. You continue on in this little dance, until one day your blogcounter reaches 1000...a small milestone in blogging.

10. Soon, you get your first comment (wow, you've really arrived on the scene when somebody bothers to comment on what you've written).

And it just kind of snowballs from there...more writing, more hits, more comments..then the emails start.  Complete strangers actually care enough about what you write to email you and say so. 

Readers then start sending their pics and helpful comments...and then there are inevitably the stalkers. You know, the ones who send you poetry and say they want to "take care of you".

And all because of your blog, your writing, your thoughts and feelings.

But then comes that fateful day when you get your first unfavourable comment....and it doesn't feel so good anymore. As a matter of fact, it feels downright terrible.

"What can I do to fix this? What can I do to make them love me again?"

Well, what usually happens is that the writer censors their thoughts and writes what they think their readers would be most happy reading about. They write to keep the readers happy instead of writing to keep themselves happy.

I know, I have fallen prey to this trap before...and it wore me out. Trying to keep others happy is an arduous and thankless task. I have felt the pressure to be what "They" wanted me to be.

Soon blogging isn't fun anymore. It's stressful and a burden.

AND so,

The only solution is to be yourself. 

Always.

When you start writing for anyone other than yourself, you are already on your way down the rabbit hole and lord only knows where you'll end up.

Sure, there will be readers out there who don't like you or the things you have to say. But you could be Mother Theresa and someone out there, somewhere, would hate your blog.

I am Tarrah.

And this is my blog.