It’s 2018, and we spend more time than ever on our smartphones, computers, and basically any kind of gadget that connects us to the web.
We’re always posting, reading, commenting, sending Tweets, taking pictures and videos, checking e-mails, messages, and notifications on half a dozen social networks.
We go on Tumblr for a few minutes before bed and stop only when the sun’s up. We find something interesting or funny, and we want to share it with the world.
This is how stuff goes viral. This is how certain YouTube channels reach millions of subscribers.
This is how we keep in touch with friends and family, with folks from around the world we’ve never even met in person. Verbal and non-verbal communication has been forgotten and replaced by…
Actually, it’s not like that. At all.
The Trick is to Keep Human
Think about the bloggers that you like most. Ever wondered why? What makes them so special?
Do you like them because they constantly share with you information that is weird or funny or useful? Or do you like them because you enjoy how they write? Because you like the style of the author, their particular sense of humor, the way they turn a phrase?
A blogger becomes popular because they have a unique style and way of thinking. Here’s the plot twist: they were like that before they ever started blogging.
We like to think that this age of technology allows people to be anti-social, asocial, socially anxious, and still get along with others. Still connect with others.
If by others you mean some 7 people who are probably weirder than you, then yeah…
If you want to become a better blogger, you need to have a style and a voice of your own — and you can’t find that on Tumblr or Instagram.
Throwback to When I Used to Have No Social Skills at All
When high-school started for me some 14 years ago, I was pretty much socially inept. Big time. It’d be hard to even breathe or swallow whenever I met people. Couldn’t look them in the eye, couldn’t control my heartbeats. It was crazy.
I had no idea how to become friends with someone.
Like, I had no idea.
I used to spend an awful lot of time on forums, I was working for a gaming magazine at the time, reading a book a week, writing short stories… yet I had no idea how to talk to people.
So, I just did what I thought was a good idea. I’d tell jokes. That was what I was kind of good at. I always liked a good joke, and I could always remember one after reading it once.
How did that go for me?
Four years later I was the rockstar at my high-school. One of the most popular kids there.
I had developed a style, so to speak. I knew who I was, what I wanted to say, and how I wanted to say it. I also had the guts to do that.
Blogging is Simple…
We just tend to make it seem like this incredibly complicated and terrifying process.
Blogging is all about knowing who you are.
But there’s a catch. It’s really that simple, but it’s not easy. In life, people will always tell you who to be, and how to behave. And there’s an awful lot of poison being passed around as honey.
Like being told to “be nice.” It’s not the same as being kind, or good, or brave, or anything actually. It’s just pretending to be something you’re not, and you’re encouraged to do that for something called social harmony, which is one of the building blocks of what we call civilization.
Want to know the big paradox?
If you behave in the way that others tell you to behave, and you follow all the rules, and you act nice, and polite, and never disrupt the status quo, and you never raise your voice, and you never talk without being talked to, and you….
You’re not going to be much, really.
If you do the exact opposite, guess what?
Other people will pay your price. Will love you. Will laugh at your jokes. Will admire your swagger, your style, will listen to you.
Personality is what develops when you decide to break the rules, when you decide to be who you want to be, no matter who approves or not.
The stuff you should blog about is the kind of things that set your soul on fire.
What interests you?
What would you like to be if you could be anything at all?
What would you do if you could not fail?
Close your eyes and imagine the best version of yourself. Stand up, eyes still closed, and imagine that you are wearing a cape on your shoulders. An actual cape. Like all other superheroes. Imagine walking around with that cape, imagine people’s reactions, imagine your smile, imagine how you’d hold your head high, how you’d talk to others, how you’d act… how you’d treat others.
How would you act if you were the hero of your own story? The main character in the novel of your life?
That’s how you can be a better blogger.
Walk away from that smartphone/computer (after you comment on this post, of course). Go out. Have some fun. Make some friends. Sit on a bench and just watch life happening to other people. Do something you’ve always wanted to do, but fear kept you from doing it.
Then write a blog post like only you can.