Oh man. I don’t even know where to begin.
My thoughts on going viral……
It is a sensitive subject, I know.
Sensitive in that I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings or take away anyones excitement over a great accomplishment. Because I do recognize it as an accomplishment. It is so stinking cool. Having a post shared on sites like the Huffington Post, Scary Mommy, Pop Sugar and all the other amazing platforms out there. It is an honor, and I am not here to knock that.
My question, and I suppose really my concern, is when did the writing stop being part of the equation?
Back in February at Thrive, Megan Silianoff who I LOVE was on a panel with some other fabulous ladies who like Meg and Sarah. They were talking about working with brands and monetizing your blog. All of them had awesome things to say, but so much of what Megan said really hit home for me. Her advice for all the bloggers in the room was to stop focusing on the money and the brands and to focus on writing good content. Build an audience she said and don’t try and jump ahead and put your focus on the money. (Totally summing her up here, because if you know her you know she is a total bad *ss and said it way cooler than I just did).
Listen, I will be the first to admit….I am guilty of it all too. The money. The recognition. The “what’s in it for me” mentality. Just writing for all the wrong reasons. I will beat myself up over coming up with a post that is pinterest worthy instead of writing what’s on my heart. The graphic has to be just right. It has to be equal parts funny and equal parts heart warming. I constantly question myself. And don’t even get me started once that publish button has been pressed and it is there for the world to see. Will people read it? How many likes does it have? How many comments? Is anyone sharing?
It can really get out of hand.
And it got me thinking….
Since when did we start writing things for the hopes of “going viral” instead of writing because we had a story to tell?
I was speaking with my friend Ashley about this very topic and she shared a quote with me from a book she is reading called Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott. In the book, the author says ” So many people want to be published and make money. Don’t get me wrong, it’s neat to be published but the real beauty is in the making of the book….it’s in the writing”.
I want to get back to the writing. And the writing for me.
Back in the old days of blogging, you know the ones where you hiked bare foot in the snow….oh wait different old days. Seriously though, back in the days before Pinterest you blogged about your life. Your heart. What made you tick. There weren’t 800 posts with the what 5 things you can’t say to your neighbors best friends dog walker. Sure posts like that are great for stats, we have written several, but let’s be honest none of them have our heart and passion behind them.
I can’t speak for everyone else. Only myself. And like I said I am not here to take away anyone’s accomplishments. We have submitted our stuff to those sites. We have been shared. It is cool. It really is, but in the end we have to make our writing about more than a like and a share. If we are genuine and authentic and write what’s already on our hearts then we will create the kind of content we can be proud of.
I am not here to tell anyone how to blog. I just hope to maybe make you stop and ask who am I writing this for? Hopefully your answer is for yourself.
Keep writing ladies.