“My aim is to put down on paper what I see and what I
feel in the best and simplest way.”
As part of the Inbound Marketing department here at Mainstreethost, my main responsibility is to write blog posts for our company blog.
While I didn’t (and sometimes still don’t) always see myself writing for a living, I adore it and I hate it. If you’re a fellow writer, I know you can commiserate with me. You know – the days when you can’t seem to form a sentence, let alone string two words together without erasing them immediately. It’s the days when you second-guess yourself endlessly about your writing abilities because that’s easier than challenging and pushing yourself beyond what you ever imagined was possible.
As Mark Twain once said, “write what you know”; here’s what I know:
What I love about blogging
I love that on any given day I’m able to write and express my opinions about various marketing topics. I get to take industry news, events and opinions, and put my own twist on them, infusing my subjective views on a number of topics.
And when I’m feeling brave, I’ll consciously stir the pot; challenge people to think differently. Because where’s the fun if everyone agrees with you? Like my co-worker, Pat recently said, debating is good for you, it makes you think (or something to that effect).
To me that’s what writing is. It’s a different way of thinking and communicating with people. As a marketing blogger, my audience seems to be quite vast. Whether it’s a potential client, co-worker, industry blogger or even my mom, I want to take my readers on a journey of discovery.
I want my readers to learn something from my writing, and while I’m not always sure exactly what my readers will learn, with each letter I string together, I’m the one who’s constantly learning. I’m learning about interesting marketing “stuff” and more importantly, I’m learning about myself. In the words of Henry Miller, “Writing, like life itself, is a voyage of discovery.”
And he was right. Writing leads you to unknown territories. Even with a thought-out outline in front of you, you never truly know where your writing can take you. To me, that’s the most beautiful and most uninviting aspect of writing.
“There is no rule on how to write. Sometimes it comes easily and perfectly;
sometimes it’s like drilling rock and then blasting it out with charges.”
I love writing and blogging, but I hate it too.
What I hate about blogging
I hate that on any given day I can get stuck. I will stare at the blank, white page in front of me, with the blinking cursor teasing and taunting me. These days I feel like my writing well has run dry, and fortunately, I’m not alone. As Joseph Heller said, “every writer I know has trouble writing.” It’s an unfortunate aspect of writing and blogging, but I’m not alone, and that, my friends, is truly comforting.
I read a lot, and when I can’t write, I read. I read for inspiration, solutions, and to get out of my own head. I once read a quote from Norman Mailer; it stated, “writer’s block is only a failure of the ego.” For me, Mailer is calling writer’s block bullshit, and if I’m being honest, he was spot-on.
As writers and bloggers, we’re inherently egotistical. While some are less egotistical than others, we all possess a certain level of self-centeredness and selfish tendencies that allow us to thrust our opinions, ideologies and beliefs upon the world. With the endlessly growing Internet, our worlds are just getting bigger and bigger. At the same time, our worlds are getting closer, and subsequently, smaller. This begs me to ask, does my ego stand out from the rest? After all, that’s what makes any writer or blogger successful.
Writer’s block is bullshit and I hate that too. Writer’s block is an excuse for fear. Fear of failing; fear of not conveying the story we set out to tell; fear of writing garbage; the list is endless. But guess what? You have to start somewhere, even if it’s shit. In the eloquent words of Ernest Hemingway, “the first draft of anything is shit.”
The fine line between love and hate
Surprisingly, or maybe not so surprisingly, there’s a fine line between love and hate. Two emotions that have been studied for years, it’s amazing how connected such extreme feelings really are. Isn’t there someone you love, but at times truly hate them? Whether it’s a lover, friend, or family member, when someone disappoints us or hurts us, we often hate them. Be it for a minute, hour or lifetime, I think of hate as extreme frustration, disappointment and hurt.
We tend to hate things because we have strong opinions, so maybe hate is just the absence of understanding. I don’t think we can hate anything we haven’t loved, but we can certainly be indifferent, and for me, indifference is worse than hate. For a writer, indifference is soul crushing; it’s the enemy of good writing. Hate or love my writing, but don’t be indifferent to it. Have an opinion or don’t bother reading.
My hate for writing is not that I don’t actually like writing, it’s the struggle I have finding the right words, and sometimes any at all. Because occasionally, “when I write, I feel like an armless, legless man with a crayon in his mouth,” like Kurt Vonnegut once articulated.
If I ever become indifferent to writing, then I know I’m done, but for the time being, I will continue to write and blog. And when I’m struggling, I will continue to look to other writers for inspiration and encouragement…
15 Writing Quotes to Inspire Slideshare
What was supposed to be a post about the seven things I love most about being a blogger turned into my love letter to writing and blogging. I guess it makes sense, me being an egotistical writer and all.
Quotes via goodreads
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