People read blogs for countless reasons, from learning a new skill to trying to win an argument on Twitter. But have you ever stopped to think about why people write blogs? Aside from the obvious benefits of blogging, such as increased customer loyalty and better SEO rankings, why would someone choose to spend hours of their time updating their blogs week after week? Or what about content writers who gladly write for several companies? How do they stay sane?
Although some people might blog solely out of obligation, I chose this profession because my passion for writing long precedes this career. And, as someone who once composed a friend’s lengthy research paper for a mere $50 and a medium iced coffee, I’m more than happy to use my skills to help others.
On a similar note, since I’ve been anonymously managing this blog for several months, I thought I could share a little more about myself and my personal experiences with writing. Whether you’re genuinely curious about the person behind the blog, or you’re just looking for a quick laugh, I hope this brief introduction will brighten your day.
A Bit About My Background
I wasn’t joking when I said that I’ve been writing long before I started doing it professionally. I received my first journal, complete with a lock and a heart-shaped key, when I was in first grade. I doubt my 6-year-old self wrote any prose worth revisiting, but scribbling in the neon diary definitely sparked my interest in writing and reading.
Throughout my childhood, I continued to write in my journal several days per week. Journaling and reading everything I could get my hands on were a few of my favorite hobbies growing up. In short, I was a nerd before being a nerd was seen as “cool” or “relatable.”
Surprisingly, I have managed to keep up a fairly regular journaling habit to this day. My long-term dedication may have been due to such an early introduction to writing, but I think it’s mostly because I was a strange, socially inept child—and being homeschooled throughout elementary school didn’t exactly help my case. Believe it or not, having a natural affinity for writing doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll also have stellar conversational skills. Even now, in my early twenties, I still frequently think about this iconic line from A Cinderella Story:
Reasons Why I Write
When I write, I can edit my words before releasing them into the social abyss. I can cite specific sources to prove my points, revise sentences, and even delete entire paragraphs if they don’t sound “right” to me. Since verbal communication lacks my beloved editing tools, I prefer to explain complex thoughts and topics through writing rather than stumbling my way through a conversation.
Of course, the reasons why I love writing extend beyond my personal preferences and my undying perfectionistic streak. I believe I’ve been a writer for most of my life because:
- I can be taken seriously. Although I’m in my early twenties, I have been permanently cursed with the average build of a 13-year-old. I look quite young, which can cause others to talk down to me and/or dismiss my perspectives. Blogging, fortunately, allows me to prove my competence without having to prove my age first.
- I’m quite introverted. If you haven’t been able to tell based on every word I have written thus far, I’m a comically stereotypical introvert. Having a job where I don’t have to psych myself up to make phone calls or routinely make small talk with strangers is a rare, and greatly appreciated, blessing.
- I love learning. If you’ve ever found yourself trying out a new hobby well past midnight after falling down a rabbit hole of increasingly bizarre YouTube tutorials, we would get along swimmingly! I’m naturally inquisitive, and I find it enjoyable to research all kinds of topics from a variety of different perspectives at work and in my personal life.
- I’d like to make the world a little better. I genuinely do whatever I can to avoid spreading “fake news” by checking multiple sources and carefully assessing when someone is expressing their opinion versus a verifiable fact. Everyday, I hope that my writing can help other internet users learn something new, or at the very least, give them something fun to read.
Tips for Aspiring Writers
Although I typically write several blog posts and articles each week, I still deal with several of the same issues that other creative people face. Writer’s block, feelings of doubt, and frustration are common for most bloggers and journalists, no matter how successful they might be. The only thing that really changes for a writer is how they manage these kinds of thoughts. For instance, I used to dramatically vow to myself that I would never write again whenever I would create something objectively terrible. Nowadays, I try to go a little easier on myself by using some more constructive writing tips, such as:
- Not worrying about the first draft. Author Anne Lamott succinctly explains that, “The only way I can get anything written at all is to write really, really shitty first drafts. The first draft is the child’s draft, where you let it all pour out and then let it romp all over the place, knowing that no one is going to see it and that you can shape it later.”
- Reading regularly. If you find yourself feeling “stuck” or uninspired, picking up a book from a writer that you admire can often do the trick. Pay attention to writing styles, sentence length, word choices, and try to pin down the specific things that draw you into the story.
- Asking for feedback. Letting someone else review and critique your work can be nerve-wracking, to say the least. However, getting honest feedback is an essential part of improving your skills as a writer. It can be uncomfortable at first, but in time, you’ll come to appreciate receiving peer reviews.
- Letting go of perfectionism. Admittedly, this continues to be one of my major vices. When I feel particularly frustrated over the minute details of an article, I try to remind myself of Margaret Atwood’s advice: “If I waited for perfection, I would never write a word.”
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