What if I was to write my most personal feelings in this very post… What if this blog became my journal, my private space, my very own little tree house for the mind, who would read it? I’m guessing not many more than now. It wouldn’t make a difference, only it would be accessible to a grand public. I don’t think that I would humiliate myself or share too much for my own good, because it just wouldn’t go viral, it’s that simple.
On the other hand, maybe sharing too much would make a difference. Maybe, if I shared my struggle with ADD and how it’s winning the battle lately would promote readership. Or what if I shared the occasional fight my wife and I have, or the house chores I wish the kids did without asking, or the baggage I never asked for from previous relationships, maybe then someone would read my blog. I suppose I could write about the handful of times I suck in the tears and disgustingly wish I could drop everything to move in a 1 bedroom apartment, in a small town somewhere far, far away… maybe then, just then, the great world of voyeurism would salute me and propel my blog in the stratosphere. Until then, this blog is my playhouse, my beers are my dolls and I’m just a drunken little girl, playing house with words.
Thing is, life is short and many of us, bloggers, take on the world of writing through a blog hoping that writing a post or 2, maybe 3 a week will launch our writing career but until it happens, we “play” writer. We write as if we understand all the literary rules and in hope that our creative and beautiful mind will somehow overpower our grammatical and punctuation shortcomings, convinced that these very same shortcomings are part of our style, our eclectic signature as writers. Better yet, we write pretending that an eager audience awaits our next post and walk around the city wearing the costume of a celebrity writer but deep down inside, we know that knows us or cares yet.
I was no different when I took on this blog. I came up with a clever name for a beer aficionado blog, came up with cool branding and a cool array of subjects I wanted to eventually touch on but never found the time. In the end, I write to strangers in the night and the occasional passer-by cowboy strolls in my ghost town and leaves a comment in a dusty guest book at the bottom of my posts. A handful of friends follow my writings, perhaps they think it’s cute and support my efforts and my family loves my shit but let’s face it, they’re bias. Last, it’s the couple of posts I never expected much from that get the most hits, like Polish and gluten free beers.
I sound bitter, I know, but let’s face it people, unless I spend 40 hours a week perfecting my writing, tripling up on posts, figuring out all the SEO and email blast bullshit that is needed to reach the planet… the chances of anything I write going viral or at the very least getting more than 20 hits are pretty fucking slim. I’ll get plenty of spam comments though, that I can bet on.
One might say, “look man, your writing is shit and no one cares about your clever Beergonaut alter-ego”. I agree, somewhat. I am not a devoted, committed writer who studied English literature and knows every single rule of the English language, nor do I religiously stay in tune with what beer to drink this summer. Shit, I don’t even know how to brew beer without the help of a pro. In fact, It’s only recently that I am finally getting a grasp on beer tasting, up to about a year ago, I was just a beer guy writing about “cold ones”. So, in the end, I am limited to the amount of shit I give to my blog and basically see it being nothing more than an online censored journal I choose to maintain so to fulfill my self-importance. I write a post and moments later check how many hits I got from people and from breweries. Predictably, I get disappointed.
What do we bloggers expect anyways? There are 10 000 magazines published in the USA every year, to which 2000 are worth mentioning. There are (drum roll please…) 125 Million blogs on the planet as I write this. A new blog is created every 0.5 second somewhere in the world. I am seriously delusional if I think my beer blog will get anywhere in this ocean of media. I don’t expect much but it’s frustrating just the same.
So why this post? It’s the result of an observation I made a few weeks ago when my sad self-absorbed self was cleaning out my inbox. I found myself deleting every blog update from other blogs I follow while never even bothering to click on the links to see what they were about, and some of these blogs are good blogs -well worth reading. “How many of my dozen followers get my emails and simply delete them without ever opening the link”, I wondered.
My guess is, 95%. Twitter is the same thing, Instagram worst! We post little comments and pictures in hope that somebody somewhere makes a comment or clicks “like”. We social mediaists collect “likes”, shares, friends and followers like teenage boys collecting hockey cards only no one’s a Hockey star. On Facebook, when someone likes your post, you know who they are and what they’re worth, you can walk away feeling validated or dismiss their opinion of your post but in blogs, writers are in the jungle, trying to find validation from perfect strangers. If one isn’t careful, as a writer, one can get sucked in to the need for approval and a need for approval from perfect strangers is… sad.
So in the end, we bloggers, along with politicians and movie stars are single handedly to blame for crafting this very narcissistic nation. We persist in contributing to the ADD that is screwing up our children’s fragile minds and impairing their learning abilities with all the noise we create. I’m no different, I’m an active member of the look-at-me club and until one day, when I finally realize that my writing may not be worth pursuing or that my beer blog is no longer fulfilling, I’ll keep feeding the machine because I like writing, it’s therapeutic and good for the brain, and I appreciate the handful of followers I have only, Im not going to lie to, I’ll still keep my fingers crossed and hope that this very post, gets a good amount of hits 😉
I’m alone in a virtual world where all I drink about is you…