There is a question I’ve heard a handful of times over the last three years:
Why do you write your blog?
Obviously, it’s not for the money. To date, I’ve made around zero dollars from feitcanwrite.com and my writing for nocoastbias.com. I do get a little bit from HuskerMax.com, but it’s best if I think about how I’ve spent my earnings (a nice meal for my wife and a new DSLR camera for me) as opposed to what I make per hour.
So no, I don’t write for the money. It’s not that I’m opposed to being paid (and if you need any freelance writing done, drop me a line), but with three kids, a mortgage, and car payments, it will probably be a while before I quit my day job.
It’s not about the fame/notoriety/attention either. Don’t get me wrong: I am an avid checker of my site statistics to see the number of pages views and followers I have. I like it when you guys “Like” a post (either here or on Facebook). I love it when you comment or share something I’ve written. Those interactions mean a lot to me. Although they are not a primary motivation, I love knowing that people connect with, enjoy, or even disagree/hate what I’ve written.
But I’m realistic enough to know that there is a ceiling. I’m not going to be stopped in the middle of Target by somebody saying “are you the guy who writes that blog?”. While I’m currently adding about five new followers a week, I suspect that many of them are spam accounts*.
*Unless, like David Hasselhoff, I am wildly popular in countries that do not speak English. That is certainly possible as the song “Feit” is obviously a huge hit overseas.
I think it would be really cool to have something go viral and be shared thousands of times across the country, generating tens of thousands of hits. But that is something that just happens – not something you set out to do.
So why do I write?
I write because:
I enjoy it. This is the closest thing to a hobby I have. Besides, other pursuits (golf, hunting, woodworking, building ships in glass bottles, etc.) don’t interest me.
I sometimes need it to clear out my head. I’ve talked before about the little guy in my head who feeds me all of my good lines. There are days when that dude has a lot to say. Left unchecked, he fills up my brain with thoughts and ideas and snarky bullet point lists. Eventually, these things take up so much of my internal processing that I struggle to focus on other tasks. If I don’t get them jotted down in a post or in my virtual notebook, they go spilling out of my ears and are lost forever.
I like to share my opinion, and possibly shape how something/someone is viewed. I don’t go political very often, because I believe political opinions are too ingrained. (I could do 5,000 words telling you Party X is wrong and Party Y is right, but it won’t have any impact on how you view the situation). But on other topics – specifically, Nebraska Football – I love having a platform to help shape how something is viewed. I enjoy the opportunity to call out fans for overreacting, praise players for small things that might go unnoticed, or provide a voice of reason among the talk radio and message board extremists. I like that a lot. I’ve also been an advocate for adoption on this site, and I cherish being able to share our experiences and my opinions.
It is a good outlet for my creativity. I don’t paint, sketch, or doing anything related to arts and crafts. Writing allows me to stretch my brain, look at the world from (hopefully) a unique perspective, and have some fun. I enjoy the creative challenge of writing a post with exactly 1,000 words or starting each sentence with a different letter of the alphabet, or coming up with silly things like rejected tributes to Tom Osborne. Those things are great for my brain and they get the creative juices flowing.
I’m good at it. There, I said it. I try to be pretty humble about my writing, but let’s be honest here: there are some horrible blogs cluttering up the internet. I like to think that I am one worth following and reading. I wrote my first Husker piece because I was unsatisfied by the other offerings on the web (a polite way of saying that I thought they all sucked). I knew I could do something better, so I did. I realize that I’m not going to win very many awards (aside from the virtual blogging awards that remind me of chain letters), but I’m okay with having an ego about the things I write. I make a conscientious effort to only publish things that I’m happy with – and willing to put my name/reputation on. The rest lives in my Drafts folder awaiting revisions or a trip to the trash can.
And there you have it. I doubt there are too many surprises in there. There may other reasons why I write tucked way down in my subconscious thoughts, but unless my loyal readers are going to chip in for a psychiatrist, that is where they will stay.
As always, I thank you for reading, commenting, and sharing.
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(Author’s note: Wondering why there is a random letter in parentheses in the title of this post? Not sure how this post corresponds to the daily letter in the April A to Z Challenge? Like clicking on links? These questions are all answered here.)