Where have all the good blogs gone?

Remember back when Writing Well Was The Best Revenge? It seems that in the wake of the millions of bloggers coming online in the past five years or so, everyone forgot what we were here for: Writing. Community. Challenge.

I look through my own archives and see when I used to write. People would spur me on, challenge me to be a better communicator, to relate a story in a more dynamic way, to share a piece of our lives in a way that touched you. Then it became about money, stats, popularity. The rise of “monetizing” seemed to crush the spirit of the well-written blog. Bloggers no longer needed to write well because the goal is traffic, which comes via selfish motives seeking deals, a quick feel-good popcorn laugh at an “LOL Cat” or train-wrecks addicted to drama. It’s not as much about writing as it is about selling your site, and yourself.

Recently, I reached out to some close blog friends* who have also maintained their stance and continued to write over the years. I asked a simple question, “Will you help me to write again?” Their reply was overwhelming. The community is there, in private, aching to spur and be spurred on. The fire is beginning to flare and we’re reaching out to each other begging to be accountable for our content.

We know that our websites are often passed over by those looking for the 10 second hit. We understand, and are simultaneously conflicted, that the community values 140 characters over well-written posts. And in some ways, I not only take notice, but am also proud of the fact, that it does not take a well-written blog to reach tens of thousands of people.

Anissa is proof of that.

Anissa has written well, standing up to the test of blog-time, writing, poring out her heart in amazing essays. Her feed said 200 readers. Her stats were not off the charts. She had, in many people’s eyes, a “small” blog. A fabulous blog, but not a high trafficked one.

She wrote. She did not post deals or LOL cats or drama. She wrote.

But when her body gave in to a stroke, we realize how many people she touched (both figuratively and literally). She is a dynamic lady both capable of writing well and touching lives. Her blog may not have reflected all the thousands of people who adored her, but it did not matter. They do. They come out to support her and her family. Her stats go up, sure, but in my eyes it’s only that people realize what they have here, and what we’re all missing. We’re missing Anissa.

The lesson here? Keep writing. Ignore the stats. Write. Challenge yourself. You are touching lives, you are making a difference and if you truly are here, as so many bloggers claim, to “write for yourself,” take the pledge. Write.

A long while ago I read “Bird by Bird” by Anne Lamott. I would sit in the coffee shop with a few friends and we would take a piece of her advice. We picked a topic and we wrote. Then we traded our essays, critiqued one-another, and wrote some more. Call it a writer’s support group. Call it batshit crazy. Either way, the accountability to be more than you were before is something you can’t explain until you have it.

Anne Lamott says to write shitty first drafts, to have people read your writing, your shitty first drafts, and give you feedback. She says you take it bird-by-bird. Take the steps, baby steps, to a better written word.

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The call to action: Join us. Join our small group of passionate writers. It takes all kinds of writers, journalist, essayist, long-winded and short-spunky authors. Humor, Drama, Literal, Figurative. People who use “AND” too much at the start of the sentences and people who forget to capitalize. Take the challenge and write with us. Take our {w}rite-of-passage.

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How it works: We’ll be posting two things a week:
1. A topic to write on.
2. A linky list.

If you’re planning on taking the challenge, take the week’s topic and write. Write your shitty first draft. Publish it. Take the linky list and place it in your post. As people join, the link list will grow on each and every blog who participates. People will find you, help you explore your written communication, and you will have the opportunity to prove that Writing Well Still Is The Best Revenge.

Write with us.

*Special thanks to the ladies that spurred me on to this project:
Amanda
Syd
Megan
Jenny
Jamie
Heather
Loralee
Lotus
Dawn and V
Aimee
Karen