When Your Writing Resonates With Readers And When It Doesn’t
I don’t know that I would necessarily call myself a “writer” but “blogger” seems, oh I don’t know, so 2000 or something. What I do know, after blogging/writing for close to five years now is that it never ceases to amaze me what riles people up about my writing and what sometimes leaves seemingly no impression at all on them as there are few to no comments on it. And so I began to think when you’re writing resonates with readers and when it doesn’t – Don’t Get Me Started!
The original concept for my blog was that I used to get so riled up in my life when people would do this or that and I would just go off, always starting with, “Don’t get me started…” A producer I was working with at the time suggested I get a radio show where people could call in and “rile me up” and I could go off on rants similar to that of the incomparable Dixie Carter as Julia Sugarbaker on Designing Women. Radio seemed too difficult for an amateur like me to break into and so I decided to begin writing. And write I did. I posted five days a week (for the most part) for over four years. I found myself not only writing about things that riled me up but also about movies I had seen or television shows or anything else under the sun. I often write that when I began writing about eye crust I knew it was time to sort of “hang up” my computer and stop worrying about being so “prolific” (as my brother so nicely put it) and focus more on getting back to the joy of why I started writing in the first place. You see when you put the burden on yourself to write five times a week, whether three people or three thousand people are reading it, you have all the pressure of figuring out what you’re going to write, when to write it and then getting it posted. I admit that it was a self-imposed work schedule that I put myself on and it just exhausted me. But when I look at the over 900 posts I have done, the good news is that I’m really proud of almost all of it.
The thing about posting online is that although you may gain a loyal following of readers that read everything you post when you post it, there are people out there who discover you via Google or some other search engine when they type in everything from “Scott is gay” to “Gay Baby Names” so they read a post you did years ago and comment on it as if you just wrote it. Because they’re reading it now, they think it was posted now. I like that about the whole Internet writing experience but I’ll admit that sometimes I have to go back and re-read the original post because I’ll have no idea what the comment is referring to in my post until I read it again.
Last week I had that experience when someone commented on a blog I had written years ago about Hall and Oates. In my post I had said that I thought it would be cool if they were a gay couple. (Read that post here http://hubpages.com/hub/I-Hope-Daryl-Hall-And-John-Oates-Are-Gay) and apparently that really upset one reader. They wrote and told me that I was “really out of line and borders on slander and defamation of Hall and Oates’ character.” I guess they really told me! To say they didn’t get what the post was about is an understatement but once again, I was more interested in the intensity with which the comment was made and that I had moved them to lick off their Cheetoh stained fingers to post a comment. Also last week I wrote a post that I thought would really get people going about the Obama administration’s decision to no longer defend marriage in the courts according to DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act – read that post here http://hubpages.com/hub/Sarcastic-Shocker-Obama-Administration-Says-Marriage-Doesnt-Need-Defending) I thought this post was a major home run, filled with my acerbic wit and wisdom at its best. And while I greatly appreciate the comments from some of my loyal readers I can’t help but be surprised that there weren’t more views, comments, etc. about this post.
So the question remains, what “moves” your readers and what doesn’t? For those that post on a regular basis, I’m sure you’ve had a similar experience and while those who write on more technical things, it may be easier for you to determine what you should write based on new products or advances in your industry. But for those of us who are just out here yelling into the wind, we don’t have it so easy. I definitely subscribe to the theory that you need to “write what you know” and I will continue to do so. I guess I just need to come to terms with the fact that as I wrote on my website, “though I’ve tried my damndest to appeal to the masses, I realize I’m an acquired taste, you know, like say Tab cola.” Still, you can’t help hoping to be the next “it” blog to read, can you? So this is a post especially for my hubpages family and I have to wonder if any of you have ever wondered when you’re writing resonates with readers and when it doesn’t – Don’t Get Me Started!
Read More Scott @ www.somelikeitscott.com