I’m pretty certain I’m not the only person who, upon thinking about starting up a blog, suffered a mild identity crisis. The internet is filled with blogs and bloggers, publishing millions (billions? Trillions? Yards?) of words daily. In a world where Facebook and Twitter encourage people to shout the most menial details of their everyday lives (had a sandwich, then another sandwich, YOLO), what need was there for me to add my voice to the masses?
Incidentally, I had noodles for lunch, in case you were wondering.
It caused a considerable period of introspection, which doesn’t seem to show signs of ending any time soon. I couldn’t simply start writing. Before I began posting, before I even set up the blog, I had to know one key thing.
What is my worth?
This might be why I’m not the best when it comes to Twitter. I have to think about things for way too long before I can say them. Other people casually fire off a Tweet about what they’re doing, what they’re thinking, that crazy duck they just saw. Me, well that empty box seems awfully challenging.
There’s an episode of Red Dwarf in which all the characters must justify their existence to the universal Inquisitor or forever be erased from history and replaced with one of their alternatives who never got the chance to be (lost out in the initial swim, so to speak).
That’s how I feel when I log onto Twitter. Every word I write is followed by the nagging question, ‘Will anyone want to read that?’
I still haven’t cracked it with Twitter, but as you may have noticed, I have been blogging for over a year now. How did I get over that hurdle?
It’s all about context. My problem was I was assuming my voice would be like a Kit Kat in a bucket full of Kit Kats. Why would anyone single me out, when all I could possibly hope to say would be things that have been said before? What I failed to realise off the bat was that, just because it had been said before, doesn’t mean it has been heard.
And even more importantly, just because it has been said before, doesn’t mean it’s been said in a way that is even slightly reminiscent of the way I could, would, or will say it.
My blog isn’t a Kit Kat in a bucket full of Kit Kats. It’s a Kit Kat on a football pitch. Sure, every other football pitch may have a Kit Kat or two on it, but who amongst us wouldn’t be impressed and overjoyed to find a Kit Kat on a football pitch?
But of course, you can’t tell everyone what you’re worth (unless you’re in business, in which case, you should). Whatever the universal measurement of worth is, whatever ethereal fabric in the ether that absorbs the worth we try to inject into the universe, it’s the people who follow your blog that justify your existence as a blogger.
A blog that no one reads is useless, unless you simply wanted it to be that way. If no one is listening, it doesn’t matter if you whisper or shout. Getting followers shows that whatever you are trying to say has found its mark.
I may not be the most regular of bloggers, I may have periods where other things distract me, or I don’t have the energy or conviction to write. I may find my cursor hovering over the ‘publish’ button as I contemplate whether my latest post is really worth posting at all. But I like to think that, like every writer, there is something in my language, and my perspective, that makes me unique.
Clearly there are some who value my combination of (at least attempted) deep thought and surrealist whimsy.
So whether you were follower number 1 or 100, or any of the 98 in between:
Thank you for following, it is appreciated.
Ping me – email@example.com
Tweet me – @RewanTremethick
The content of this post (including any images) and the word Hyperteller are copyright © Rewan Tremethick 2013