Hello dear reader(s)!
By now, most of you have been through Blogging 101 & 102 by WordPress, and have learned how to promote your brand, brand your promotions, find the voice they tell you to have, and post the thoughts that they give you as opposed to the thoughts inside your own head. Now pat yourselves on the back, because you have graduated, and can count yourselves among the millions of other bloggers on this site with absolutely nothing to say. I’m just kidding, I’m harsh on the WP Blogging Courses but they really are a good tool for new users to learn the basics of blogging a certain way. But that brings up a question. Do you really want to blog in a certain way, or do you want to blog in your way? After a few writing prompts to get the juices flowing and bring ideas, isn’t the point to blog your own ideas? Why play it safe by sticking to the prompts of the courses and keeping your wonderful thoughts to yourself?
I’m not trying to be mean to anybody who posts based on prompts. They serve a good purpose. I particularly liked posting comments to prompts on Kurt Brindley’s page when he was doing his 2 week challenge. They really got my writing chops chopping, the creative juicer juicing, the river of ideas flowing, & the simile and metaphors metaphorically simile-ing. And so I’d follow the prompts, and write some piece into the comments section. But do you know what I did after that? I posted my own thoughts on my own blog. Why? Because I blog for a reason, and it isn’t for people to tell me what to do. If I wanted to be told what to do, I’d just trade places with my basement slave. If I wanted to be told what I should or should not write about, I’d defect to a state that does those kind of things. Like Kentucky. (Just kidding Kentucky people.)
My point is this (yes, there is a point, why do you people (What do you mean by you people?!?!) always assume I have no point?), maybe it is time to come out from behind the prompts and let people know who you are, not what your take on a picture might be. Maybe it is time to ask the question as to why you started a blog in the first place. Was it to follow prompts, or do you have something to say? If you started a blog for the interaction and are content just to follow the prompts, that is fine, ignore this post. (Actually, don’t ignore it, like it, comment on it, and share it, but…) If you are stuck and just need a little inspiration, that’s great, follow the prompts to get unstuck and write on! (Right on!) But if you have been following prompts for weeks now, and have yet to write a post prompted from the thoughts in your own head, do you really want to be blogging?
Now at this point, you are probably asking who the hell I think I am, trying to tell my dear reader(s) how to blog. And that is a very fair question. It isn’t like my blog-type-thing is all that successful (well, it is critically successful, but the audiences just haven’t responded the same way because most are unsophisticated idiots with no understanding of my mastery of all things, unlike you, my dear reader(s)), so I really have no business telling anyone that following a highly successful program isn’t the right thing to be doing. However, I am a reader. I read the blogs I follow, almost every post (with the exceptions of the ones I miss while sleeping or at appointments or ones that just go against every belief I hold dear) and I am getting a little tired of seeing a slightly different spin on the same post thanks to WordPress and their desire for homogeny. It is becoming like the Stepford Bloggers up in here.
I followed your blog because something you posted seemed interesting to me. Maybe it was just a response to a prompt, but I liked your take on it. Yes, I may have found your blog through the tips given by WordPress or because you somehow found mine, but I check them out first to make sure if I see it on my reader I will not want to immediately gouge out my eyes with a spork. You have thoughts, you have a voice. A prompt or two or three? Cool. Nothing but cursory responses to the prompts? Ticky-tacky. They all look just the same. I followed you because I want to read what comes from you, not the good people at WordPress. If I wanted to read everything WordPress thought, I would spend all my time on Freshly Pressed. If I wanted to read everything WordPress thought, I’d shoot myself in the face, because I just couldn’t imagine an existence where the opinions of the people at WordPress dictate what is quality to me.
So I have a writing prompt for you. Write about something. Anything. Write about something that makes you happy, sad, pissed off, horny, bored…anything. Use your voice, your style. If you write something that someone else has written about, don’t worry, it will still be more original than if you write based on the same picture that everyone else is writing about (unless you plagiarise or something, then you just suck). Nobody has a totally original thought, except for me, because I am a special snowflake and you are all just sheeple. (Kidding again.)
So graduate yourself from Blogging 123 and write so that people can get to know you, through your writing. Don’t be afraid to jump out from behind the mask of WordPress. Have you seen some of the stuff out here on the interwebs? You are going to have to try awfully hard to make people think you are some sort of freak on here. So let go, and do some blogging. There is the prompt. Ready? Go! Or don’t follow this prompt and keep doing what you’re doing, it is your choice. (Does that qualify as another prompt too?)