I haven’t written anything in a long time. Let alone anything real or worth reading. For the most part it’s been music I enjoy or faux gadget reviews (I’m terrible at reviews).
And I think I’ve finally figured out why. After reading post after post about what makes ‘good’ online writing, I forgot the whole reason for writing in the first place. I also got it in my head that “Online Writing” was somehow vastly different to just regular “Writing.”
For the last few years, I’ve been stuck with an assumption that anything I write online should ‘do’ something. Instead of just being, there was now an additional pressure for the words to be active and do. Like they were in the circus.
Initially I tried to convince myself that this added ‘direction’ would give me a target to write at, and make it easier to focus. In practice it did the opposite. It rendered me paralysed and inert, because I couldn’t meet all of the goals I had set (to help me write). Simile slipped away. Metaphor melted into keyword density and wit gave way to article structure. Ok, to be fair there wasn’t much wit to start with.
All of which resulted in me not writing anything at all.
Here are some of the things I convinced myself that every piece had to do.
- highlight me as an expert in the field of X
- boost my social profile
- showcase my knowledge on the topic of Y
- be targeted to search engines
- be built to get more page views
- make people want to share it
- encourage the reader to leave a comment.
Since I started reading Medium a few months back, and seeing writing for the sake of expression and merely for the sake of itself, I feel like I have some more perspective now.
This little blog is not the New York Times, nor Pitchfork nor Engadget. Yet for some reason I was trying to write as if it was. Or not write, as it were.
So here’s to the meaningless rambles, uninformed opinions and idiotic things I’m bound to say. And typos. Probably lots of typos.