Writing Passionately yields Community Writing
I was working with a group the other day around topics for their blog and ways to tell passionate stories for the audiences. We were listing topic areas, stories, and putting a rough schedule together to build consistency in their writing. They were extremely focused on the schedule so much so that they were worried about breaking outside of that schedule of writing. I have a few points to make here that will yield to my thesis that writing passionately yields community writing.
I told them that this schedule was just merely a barometer, and when you find a compelling story to tell…sit and write. Share your story and share it often. I think about writing for my blog almost like the way I began dating my wife. When, I first met my wife in graduate school…I fell in love. I knew I was going to marry her. It just took me two years for her to agree. As we began dating, we would go out, talk on the phone, meet for coffee, and learn to get to know each other. I had the three day rule.
The three day rule meant that after we would go out, I would not bother her for three days. I did not want to encroach on her space. I valued her friendship and I wanted to get to know her. But, I did not want to push her away…I wanted her to want to enjoy our time together. I was passionate about our relationship. Overtime we grew closer and the three day rule slowly disappeared.
Writing passionately is sort of the same concept. I try to build a relationship with the people that read my blog. I may not be the best, but I try. I try not to write too much to overload the “Internet” space and the people that receive my blog via email and Google reader. My wife is my barometer with this rule. She has been writing for close to five years on her blog. She writes about the following topics: life after her mother (who died of breast cancer), fighting infertility, against cause marketing, and her family. She writes about these topics and she writes passionately. She writes when she is inspired. Sometimes she writes everyday, and sometimes she writes after a month off.
She has built a pretty good community of readers. She has attracted successful authors and other bloggers like herself to share in her mission. But here is the thing, she is now writing with them. What do I mean by that? She will write about a topic, people will comment, she will respond, she will read their blog posts and respond, then she will write another post sometimes based on how her community is writing or responding to her. She has built a conversation around her blog, a community of people that have common interests and passions. She gets regular emails from her readers.
How does she do this? Well, she has a focus for her blog and she shares with her community. She writes straight from the heart…when she feels led to write. There is no set schedule, there is no checklist…just a passion for her topics and for the people that respond in her community. She regularly is reading her friends blog and genuinely responding to their posts. She is building a community and this community’s writing is influencing each other in a way that they are writing for each other.
So here is my point. Writing for a blog has three elements: Focused Content, Passionate Writing, Engaging with Your Community. This is a barometer that I think will lead to a community of people that share your same interests.