Earlier this evening, I had dinner with a lovely friend of mine (yay). Eventually—like 3 minutes in—we got around to discussing our blogs, and my friend starting talking about feeling the pressure to post. Not that any of her followers had specifically requested she post, but rather that she felt like she was letting down the side by not posting.
I understand this feeling at quite a personal level, as I spent most of my life feeling like I had to act lest I let down the side. Eventually, though, I realized this was something I was doing to myself and not something that was being imposed on me by outside forces (or at least not most of the time). Those in my life who were going to be dissatisfied if I didn’t act were probably going to be dissatisfied if I did act.
As my friend discussed her blog, she felt there were nights when she would sit in front of her computer with nothing to say and yet the page was blank and she hadn’t posted in a few days. Should she force herself to post something or should she just remain mute until she had something to say?
From my perspective, we blog for ourselves not others—this was a conversation many moons ago with my friend—and so the decision to post should be based on whether we feel the desire or personal need to post, an internal urge to channel whatever thoughts or emotions or essence bubbles within us awaiting expression.
I think it’s that honesty with ourselves, serving our own deeper need to share, that attracts and sustains followers. People are smart. They can see when you’re pressing out blog content like so much blood from a stone…if not on your first post, then on subsequent ones.
I talk a lot about our Art and how my personal art channels through me like something from the ether, whether I’m talking about writing or photography. I am a lightning rod through which the spirits anchor themselves—make that mean whatever you would like it to mean. That’s why I think the metaphor of the Force is so strong (okay, now I’m starting to channel George Lucas).
You cannot force your Art. It will happen when it is ready to happen…when you are ready for it to happen.
You must practice it, of course, while waiting for inspiration to take you to new levels, much as a hockey player practices skating and shooting drills in anticipation of the game when he or she won’t have time to think about those mechanical actions.
Perhaps you can practice on your blog, but I have yet to read a blog that suggests people are practicing. To this point in my reading, our blogs are our Art…or at least, part of our Art.
I know this is true for me, and I am confident this is the case for my friend. Thus, any attempt on her part to force a post will be a lie—to followers, more importantly to her Art, and most importantly to herself. She deserves better than that.