[Listen to an audio version of this blog here.]
Everyone who blogs about blogs insists that the only real way to write a blog, or make money from blogging, is to be an expert in your field. You have to become an expert in your niche, they say. You should write catchy titles and numbered lists with bold headings. You must use bullet points. You don’t have to be too enigmatic or too clever. You need to optimize the click ability. You must be trying to sell something, either a product or a service. Some good things to sell are digital products like courses or e-books. You can also try affiliate marketing Where drop shipping or a pyramid scheme, if all else fails.
I read so many blogs about blogging that I started to completely hate the idea of blogs. I scoured food blogs trying to find the recipe I came for and got hopelessly lost in a pitiful field of personal anecdotes, misspellings and bad jokes. This blog has never sought to make money. I’ve never had a solid niche, and I don’t particularly want one. I’m not an expert in anything, and the older I get, the more I distrust people who claim to be experts in anything.
The origin of this blog was my eating disorder, and my eating disorder remained the focal point for over two years, if only because my eating disorder swallowed me whole whole for a good part of the time. But the girl who slowly and deliberately starved herself and then slowly and deliberately improved is a thing of the distant past. When I look at pictures of me back then, I barely recognize myself. When I re-read some of my early blogs, I’m either amazed at my depth of awareness, confused by my messy diction, or a combination of both.
Not only has this blog never tried to make money, but it has never tried to be a niche either. I’ve blogged two times a week for over four years, and the thought of writing about a topic from about 400 angles is mind-numbing at best. The idea that writing a blog is only worth doing for the end goal of making money or becoming an expert on it in order to get noticed and therefore earn money, is stupid. I have no end goal in writing this, at this time. I have no desire to make money selling myself, and no desire to become a hyper-niche subject matter expert.
I write this blog, and some people read it. Most people don’t. I write many other things that no one will ever read; short stories and half-meat poems and ideas for both. The very idea that writing, or creating art, only has value if it makes money devalues the art itself. A lot of writers and artists make very little money and still create, because money was never the goal. And many art consumers don’t have a clue what it means to create.
My blogs fall into broad categories: running, writing, work, relationships, mental health, life. But “life” is the broadest category, and even then it sometimes doesn’t fit.
I wrote this poem the other day. I hope you like. 💛
when i die
I come from a town nowhere
with three churches, four bars and a train station
population of just over a thousand and slowly declining
word death looks a lot like Rest
coffins are an extravagance
take me out when i die
scatter me under the last maple on the fence line
and dare not cry
keep those eyes wide open and proud
and pray to God that you find a way out of this town
like i did
Pray to God that you find a way to yourself
remember who answers when you call for help
remember blood is thick and water is free
remember the days when honesty
when art was more than an expression
the long winter days filled with depression
and the porch light that shone
like a welcoming ember
remember the days
when life was simple and free
when no one told us to do anything
the nights we cried out in the dark
and no one could hear us
I’m gonna miss this town nowhere
full of crickets and snowflakes
where the milky way was our nocturnal entertainment
Where everyone knows everyone’s name
where there is enough room to make mistakes
be proud, but calm
remember the sound of my voice
when i die
take me outside
Scatter me under the last maple on the fence line
and dare not cry