Or, playing the game.
Eighteen days into this venture and it’s been remarkable how it’s turned out so far. But something my friend Dan highlighted, as he started his one a week blog thing, was that he was going to start writing for himself and not for others. It’s probably a pragmatic way to look at it, because when you’re updating a blog each day it’s understandable that even your closest friends are going to grow tired of what you’re doing pretty quickly. Indeed, there appears to be such a thing as too much content.
Another friend (also called Dan, and he does this) and I were discussing this yesterday and remarked that you have to play the game in order to get your blog noticed. I think, for anyone, it’s easier to write if you have an audience to write to and even your best friends, God love ‘em, might not necessarily relate to what you’re saying, have no real opinion on it, don’t have the time to read a mountain of updates, or just plain can’t be arsed reading it.
The creation of anything is ultimately a selfish act – I believe art is truly one of the most selfish pursuits – but it’s a good feeling to know that at least someone is paying attention to it (ahh, the curse of the page view index on WordPress: who’s reading? No one!). I won’t go on at length about my own endeavours but suffice to say, whether it’s the band I was in, the website I run or any of the writing on this blog most of the people I’d call “close friends” aren’t interested in what I have to do or say. I’d be lying if I said it didn’t bother me – it sort of does. Not particularly what I’m doing here (having been engaged in music journalism for so long, flexing my creative muscle more is certainly a new thing for me, and perhaps those of my friends who do read my work), but when some of my music loving friends start hitting me with songs, news or videos that were clearly posted on the website a while ago it does irk me every so slightly.
But I digress. This wasn’t meant to be angsty.
Being part of the One a Day Project is an inspiring thing. There’s only so much depth the creative well has before you hit the bottom, but the good thing is that if you’re facing this issue, then so are others. On second thoughts, perhaps “good” isn’t the right word. “Comforting” is probably more appropriate. Anyway… so yeah, it’s good to have the well of other people’s exploits to consider, leading me, rather nicely, to the aforementioned conversation.
Blogging is very much like a game. It’s important to get involved in commenting on other people’s work because it’s unrealistic to expect your own work to exist in a vacuum (that is, of course, if you desire an audience). The internet is fucking BIG, and the chances of someone randomly coming across your blog are remote. But it’s more than that, if you’re seen to be a sociable poster people will react more to your work. Your favourite blogs get lots of comments probably because the owner of said blog spent a lot of time commenting on other ones. That blogroll is give and take, you know, and there’s a very good reason as to why it’s so large – because through comments comes more hits and more hits generates more fans. Simple, really.
I guess I don’t need to explain which part of that is like a game.
So, in essence, being part of something like this One a Day project is good because you’re initially part of a community of people, most of which you have never met and/or spoken too, and who you can probably rob ideas from if you ever get stuck (but in a classy way, not in a straight rip off kind of way).
What I’m trying to say is your friends are fucking bored of you pimping your stuff. The reality is that a lot of them just can’t be bothered to engage with it or perhaps just don’t like your style. This is okay though. What you really have to do is play the game (which, by the way, I’ve only just started playing myself after my friend’s shared wisdom enlightened me) and the riches, as they say, will be there for the taking.
Or hey, maybe it’s just the (large) cynic me talking after many jaded years of being ignored by people. Don’t worry, I still love you guys. This is not a “look at my work, you bunch of bastards” style post. It’s just a game. Play it.