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Monday, 15 June 2015

Blog like no one is reading...

I've already written a post on Why I Write which outlined that when I looked at what I needed to do to make the blog fiscally successful, I decided I wasn't interested in those changes (it would bore me to write AND read). So Where the Wild Things Were is in essence, an outlet for me, and interestingly, growing in readership. Basically I already blog like no one is reading, most of the time. I see it more as emptying my head, in order to clarify my world view, for me. (I do have a mildly popular though poorly named travel blog that is more correctly 'niche' focused but for this post, I'll stick with my out of the box effort)

I also use my blog to promote things I think are deserving, and to make a difference (in a tiny way) for issues and causes I believe in. It's my soapbox, if you will.

Part of the challenge for Blog Exchange included:"It’s more a case of removing the unspoken blogging lines you’ve created." I use the link ups for that. I try to follow their prompts, as it makes me write on a topic where I may not have gone, so all you hosts, I'm eternally grateful for your efforts.

I was a regular for the now defunct #SunshineSundays. I loved this link up because it made me write in a more poetic style, less of a point to communicate in the post, more of an exploration of words or images. I use Conversations over Coffee for this now, but that is only on the last Thursday of every month.

I write for link ups whether I get a lot of readers in return for the effort. I figure I can always promote the post myself but it's the exercise in writing that appeals to me (and the time frame - I need end dates).

The other thing I love about link ups, is I get to read abroad range of blogs. Instead of reading my faves, over and over, I will read randomly. I will read blogs I've never heard of and I will comment to show you I've been there. I like to see what other people are doing, because there is a lot of broad world view out there. For me, the blogs that vary each week are far more enticing that the ones that are 'niche'. But that's me, and not an indication of what will make your blog successful. (What? 'How did I not make the finalists of #Voicesof2015?' I hear you ask. I know, it's astounding...)

I write short stories, and have been published in an anthology, long listed in the Hunter Writers Centre Grieve competition, so they aren't complete rubbish. I love writing stories, but really need to work on the more imaginative side, being less pedestrian, and playing a little more with the construction of sentences. That's why I like the more poetic prompts. They required me to do that each week, and they push me creatively and out of my comfort zone. (Does anyone else think comfort zone is less about fear and more about laziness?)

For me, blogging is not just blogging. It's dedicated writing practice, every week. It can be whatever you want it to be. Going against all that they tell you (and I make such a minuscule amount of money, you can ignore any advice I give), don't sell your audience short. They may be more interested in what you have to say than you think. While you are a niche blogger, it doesn't mean you can't once a month, or once a week, stretch out of your niche. Support the link ups, not to gain readers, but for the exercise in writing.

Lastly, I want to thank again the hosts of all the link ups I visit. I love that you put aside a post one day a week where I can park something you've asked me to write. I like that at times I start with one idea on a prompt but go somewhere completely different. I love to see where everyone else went on the topic. Please don't be disappointed if the linkers are limited. If I'm there, it means you are doing something right!! (I am the centre of the universe, in case you were unaware).

For me blogging is very much as E. L. Doctorow said:

Writing is an exploration. You start from nothing and learn as you go.

Linking up for #IMustConfess

23 comments:

  1. I love how you said your blogging is about dedicated writing practise.
    That's why I started my blog too.

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  2. I agree with Leanne. Actually this week I've been thinking hard about my blog which has been kind of niche and to just start writing about what I enjoy and what makes me, me. And Voices, what does it mean to get on the top 100 anyway? I think it's overrated.

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  3. It's good to read that you're more drawn to non-niched blogs and I agree that blogging is dedicated writing practice!

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  4. For me blogging is very much about writing so I can relate to what you're saying. I only started to join linkups last year as my blog wasn't growing at all after 6yrs of blogging. It still isn't but the linkups send visitors my way who may not normally drop by. I join a book related one (for example) and I've noticed a couple of people from there are now visiting other types of blog posts I do as well.

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  5. I just like having a voice. I'm always so chuffed that people comment or share and blogging is about honing my skills too- I know I can get better. Part of that is reading along as others do the same :)

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  6. I love that quote about writing being an exploration. That is exactly how it goes for me. I rarely expect the finish that I end up with.

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  7. I just really like writing. I use Tuesdays as my deadline, and my blog topic is so broad I can essentially write about anything.

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  8. I think I feel the same Lydia. For me blogging has been great for my writing - it's an exercise in writing certainly. I am glad you liked to Sunshine Sundays linky and it gave you a new outlet. One day when I have a bit more time, I will do another prompt-based linky. :)

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  9. I love writing to prompts as well; I think it's one of the reasons I actually enjoy doing sponsored posts - seeing what I can do with it to make it non-boring!

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  10. Forgot to say, visiting from Team IBOT x

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  11. I began blogging for practice as I always found an excuse not to write... I follow linkups to cause it makes me feel like part of a family

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  12. Oh man, I so agree. If it wasn't for Essentially Jess I don't think I'd get much written at all! I always visualise Jess with a whip, trying to kick my ass into gear for a post once a week. I know that's uber-weird, because I can't imagine the real Jess ever being anywhere near that mean...

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  13. I love your first of the month fiction. I have to join in that every time you post it because it stretches me. So thank you for pushing me to be a better writer, and think outside of the box.

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  14. I loved sunshine sundays and love conversations over coffee too. Like you, I like the opportunity to write to a prompt on a subject I may not have thought to write about. I find these posts an absolute pleasure to write and a real creative outlet. I love your words as always!

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  15. I do need the discipline of a link-up, but usually only manage two each week (sometimes one). I'm doing a fortnightly column for DoYouYoga, so that gets my arse into gear and I write for work a fair bit. I do need to challenge myself a bit more with different styles though.

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  16. I'm not much of a joiner, but have recently started with a few linkups to get me back into the discipline of regular blogging, to discover new ones, & to push my subject boundaries.

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  17. Such good advice. I am big fan of your writing. Thanks for linking up with my little blog each week. It really does mean a lot x

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  18. Love this post. Thanks for taking up our Blog Exchange challenge, even though you are already blogging like there's nobody reading. I think it's why I love your blog so much.

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  19. I admire your dedication to writing so regularly and to stretching yourself with writing prompts. I tend to write whenever the mood strikes me and like you, it's a way to empty my head. I haven't joined a link up in months, if not years, because I just could not write on the given prompt, or because they are so full that I fear getting lost.

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  20. 'Does anyone else think that getting out of your comfort zone is more about laziness than fear?' Not sure why this resonated with me. Can't be because I'm lazy. Nope. No way. Ahem.

    I keep forgetting to check out your short stories. You clever thing. xo

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  21. I love this so much Lydia! You always make me think - you are one of the most intelligent and thought provoking bloggers that I follow. I love that you write about anything and that you can change your style from commentary to creative writing with seeming ease. I love hosting my linkup because of bloggers like you who truly interact, comment and make people think a little deeper. Thanks for writing all you write Lydia!

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    Replies
    1. This made me teary!! (but I am a little hormonal as I cried over the pineapple cutting market lady video too). Thanks so much for such kind words!!!

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  22. I think sometimes I blog like thousands of people are reading (or going to read), when in reality barely anyone is!! Haha

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