Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The War of the Passions: What Do You Write About?

I've been thinking a lot lately about why I blog.  Why any of us blog, really.  But more importantly why do I, Kim McIlrath, blog.  I have had a few "secret" passions in my life including writing.  For the longest time, very very few people knew my love for writing.  Mostly because it was a love/hate relationship.  I loved it but some days I wasn't sure it loved me.  I have a pretty active imagination.  I love to make up stories.  Sometimes I'll do it for the man/woman across from me on the subway. I'll make up a story about them. Who they are. What they do. The event of their day.  Sometimes I will create an alternate life for myself.  Nothing weird, just dream up alternate ways I could have lived this time in my life or done this certain thing.  In my head, I live in a cheesy romantic comedy.  Don't worry, I am very much in reality too.  My dreams are just my escape from that sometimes.  

Anyway.  When I started blogging it was kind of my entry into the world of getting out of my head and into the public eye.  I knew at the beginning I had zero followers.  Zero because I told noone.  Then after a while, I'd tell one person. Then maybe another person.  Then maybe I'd connect my blog to my facebook links.  And so on.  I definitely tested the waters.  At first my posts were about what I was learning, what God was teaching me.  Often times it was about venting processing out loud.  

Then as I started to think more seriously about writing a book, I started hearing about having an online presence so I started blogging more.  Same content, just more.  I started making more of a presence through tweeting and reading other blogs.  I did that on a very low key basis for way too long because I still wasn't confident in myself or my writing.  The problem with low followers is you don't get feedback.  No one reads it cause no one knows who you are.  I need feedback to grow as a writer.  I actually want it so that I can know what voice is more natural for me.  Its not really about conforming but really knowing your audience and knowing how they relate.  

So then as I read friends' blogs and saw their numbers going up, I thought "maybe I should do some of what they are doing."  Things like entering giveaways, commenting, link ups, etc.  Then all of a sudden my numbers were going up and up.  But the problem was my relevant posts were going down.  They were more about other people then my own writing.  Now ok thats not really a problem. I actually LOVE getting to know other people. I love connecting through things like link ups, giveaways and features.  But the writing muscle that I was trying to build was not working.  I couldn't think of anything to write about.  Then soon I realized my creative writing was non existent.  

For me its not about compromising.  I don't think I traded one thing for another.  I just lost sight of what one of my goals was and that was to grow as a creative writer.  So now I am trying to learn how to do both.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE the blogging world. I have loved getting to know some amazing people.  I've loved the interaction and the feedback and wouldn't trade that journey for anything.  I just need to learn how to do both.  I need to learn how to put twitter down for a few minutes, not feel the pressure to respond to that email right away or schedule out 7 posts for the week.  Instead, for some of that time, sit down with pen and paper my computer and just write creatively for 30-60 minutes.  Its funny to me how quickly 1 hour can go by when on twitter or blogs.  The entire day can be gone before I know it.  

I am excited about writing more for me.  I am excited about remembering some of the reasons I like to write.  I am excited about the gems I will discover as I process out loud and learn from my readers.  Now, lets just hope I put action to the desire.  I give you permission to hold me accountable!

Thanks Friends for reading my blog.  Thank you for reaching out and taking time to get to know me.  I hope that I too will get to know you a little better!

{Post Sponsored by This Lovely}


  1. I think you are so right. I love the linking up and meeting new people but it did take over blogland there for a while - most bloggers are feeling the hangover of all that I think.

    Good to see you are feeling happy about writing again - can't wait to read more :)


  2. I get this feeling too. Totally agree with you about time going quickly.

  3. I'm right there with you, Kim, but I'm still blogging to an audience of one (or maybe 2). I have come across a great site for writers: www.thewritepractice.com You should check it out. He's got great creative writing prompts. You can see my blog attempt at www.spiritual sidekick.com

  4. i def agree girl- i have writers block but honestly, this blog is for YOU. whatever YOU decide is worth it. :) stopping by from the link up! so glad i did because your blog is super cute! cant wait to read more :)

  5. This is great. I have seen so much going on in the blog world with link ups and all and, while fun, they really aren't my style because I definitely blog to write and to write with my own particular ideas and schedule. I love blogging as an outlet for creativity--keep on going!

  6. Thanks for linking up at the GFC Blog Hop today! Hope you found some amazing new blogs and even some new friends!!

    Melissa @ The Life of a Not So Ordinary Wife

  7. I can completely relate to your post. I'm so glad that I am not the only one who struggles with balancing writing for "you" and for others. Glad to have found your blog :)

    -Megan @ {All Things New}

  8. Yes yes yes! I wholeheartedly agree. Yes, it's all fun, but the writing on some blogs has gone way downhill in lieu of giveaways, linkys, etc.

  9. You spoke directly to my heart. I'm a newbie blogger and am trying to find my voice. Thank you for sharing - this will help me focus on content and quality.

  10. Loved this post. I think we are so alike in so many ways. I LOVE to write as well, I started blogging mainly because of my love for the written word. However, I do understand the need and want to grow one's online presense and to get your blog and name 'out there'. I struggled with the 'behind the scenes' of blogging, you know, like SEO, followers, backlinks, Alexa etc. It was hard findind a balance between blogging for me and the technical side of blogging. The day I stopped worrying so much about the technical side and just started doing what I love, writing and engaging with my readers, that's the day my blog started to grow.

    My advice is to just let it be. Don't stress too much about it. Do what makes you happy. Write what you love. Readers connect more with people who are real and honest and down to earth. The followers will come, your online presense will grow.

    Now after all that, I am happy to say that I am your newest GFC follower. :) If you have a moment and would like to, you can visit me here The Things We Find Inside

  11. I love how you make up stories about people. I did that as a kid all the time, ok, maybe I still do it lol

  12. I enjoy your blog. I totally get what you are saying about writing your relevant pieces versus campaigns, etc. I'm thinking about those things as well.


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