Its Fun to Be a Fan
When I started blogging, I had a lot of people read my posts, say they really liked them and then thank me, because it helped them get the courage to start their own blog. Oh. I mean, that’s ok. I certainly am not the first person to start a blog. I am not the best writer, or the most interesting woman in the world. I have a long way to go, and lot more work to do to even be considered a real live ‘blogger’…but, I can’t lie and say that it doesn’t make me a little annoyed when people thank me for the inspiration to blog. I didn’t blog because people inspired me. I certainly read blogs. There are a lot of blogs I read and say to myself…this writer has all these fans and really sucks as a person/writer. I probably could do this and be successful, because I think I am a better person/writer. But THAT’S not what inspired me to blog. On twitter, I had some of my followers suggesting I blog for almost 2 YEARS. “Cara, if you blogged, I would read it!” they’d say over and over again. I appreciated that, and I can honestly say most of the people who said that, DO read my blog now. But once again, that’s not what inspired me to blog.
I have always liked writing. I used to do it all the time. I had both a Blogspot and Xanga blog when I was a college student. I kept a journal that my sister gave me after the twins were born, and wrote in it regularly. I still sometimes pull it out in the middle of the night, or when the twins are napping and write in it because it’s where I keep my most intimate, special thoughts. My inspiration for sharing my experiences publicly was my love for writing things down. I thought, maybe I have a voice and I can share it with people. Currently, even after being thrust into a crazy world of bloggers, and learning about how to market myself for monetary gain, my number one reason for blogging is to have an audience. I just want people to read me and relate to me. I didn’t get this inspiration from anyone else but myself. And even with prodding, and knowing I would be good at it, I didn’t start doing this (again) until I was absolutely READY to do so. Ask my webmaster, he had to hassle me for months to even create a domain name.
It bugs me that we live in a world where people are driven by “I can do that too” instead of “I love this, want to work at it, am good at it, and am passionate about it”. I read a lot of typical blogs written by black women. I read a lot of typical blogs written by mothers. I read a lot of typical blogs written by black women who are mothers. Everyone is experimenting with photography, or a foodie, or experimenting with photography by taking pictures of the great food they make because they are a foodie. They review the same products, the push the same content. A lot of these blogs lack originality, a voice and an appeal. I can only believe they do it as a means to an end and not because they love what they are doing. The internet feels like a highway in L.A. at any given time of the day. Its crowded with people, in the same lanes, doing the same thing. Where is the originality? I really enjoy the bloggers who do it first, and do it because they love it. You can tell from their writing style, from their unique perspective, that instead of just seeing someone and copying their formula for success, they actually enjoy what they do and do it for THEM. Not profit, or freebies, or because someone else did it and got profit or freebies.
I know I am sounding like a bitch. Welp. Newsflash, it’s in the URL. I can be bitchy. I also have a set of twins, was a single mom for almost four years, am married now, and am not ANYWHERE NEAR the typical stay at home mom blogger. I’m not vanilla, I don’t blog about my craft table. I don’t even really like kids that aren’t my own. I am unapologetically black and bitchy. Black and bitchy doesn’t work for a lot of people on the internet. I have good traffic though, so obviously someone wants to read about a bitchy black mom. I write for them. Sometimes I get drunk. Right this moment…I am planning a 250 guest wedding. Will I ever blog about it? Likely not the way you think I would. There are already too many bitches on the internet getting married and pinning shit to an imaginary vision board that they absolutely must have but maybe can’t afford. I don’t knit. I don’t want to knit. Shit that’s knitted usually looks like crap to me. Instead of seeing all these things on the internet and emulating the formula for “success” because it’s popular, I brought something else to the table. I am snarky, abrasive, unapologetic, and unique. I want more of that. I want more vulnerability too. I want to read about a problem without a solution. I want to read about how you failed from time to time. I don’t see that, so I brought it to the table.
I am not knocking people who find inspiration in others. That’s commendable, and if it works for you fine. I am sorry for using this whole post to call you an unoriginal poser. Kind of. But just don’t find inspiration in others to copy their style. The internet is full of the same shit. Be different. Offer a perspective that isn’t already there. If you can’t offer a unique perspective, be content to be a FAN of unique perspectives. Find some other highway, with another group of lanes that you can drive down and BE ORIGINAL. There’s already so much cloning and copying, I want something new. The next time you see someone doing something well and gaining success, ask yourself if you can really do it better, or will you just be doing it the same and riding on trendy coattails. If the answer deep down inside yourself is no…then be a fan. It’s totally ok to be a fan.Tags: blog, blogging, content, fan, original, unoriginal