Why should I blog?

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Photo courtesy of University of North Georgia Press

Take a good look around you, there is something interesting happing in or around your life:

I was sitting in a creative writing class with Quinten Falk, a very well know writer and film critic in the U.K., and I was listening to a young student lament about her writing. I often study young people like some new-fangled phenomenon. I watched her and listened, as I frequently do with the younger people that I’m in college alongside, looking to cut to the chase of her problem and offer a solution, if possible.

I love to watch young people ponder their situations. I always hope to see them emerge from the fog with a clear path in mind. I like to offer suggestions if the circumstances are right. In this case it was easy, she needed to write and to chance exposing herself.

She is a brawny redhead with pale skin, freckles, and the look of pure Scottish or Welsh decent. Her frame is not feminine, in fact, it’s boyish. Her smile is infectious and so is her positive attitude, but, she has never actually exposed herself as a writer. When I asked her about blogging, she shook her head no—she’d never tried it.

I find this odd, but most college students that I ask, in the English department, don’t blog. Here they are on their way to becoming experts—or, at least, professionals—about literature, grammar, or creative writing and editing and they don’t blog (!?).

I have to laugh because these same young people are always up-on the latest iPhone or Android App, but they don’t know about the advances in Print On Demand (POD). I had one guy, an English Education Major, and who’s a good friend of mine telling me about an app called “Yik-Yak.” He showed me how you could use it to find out quick information about the area your GPS tells the app that you are in at that moment. I said, “What do you use if for?” He responded, “It lets me know that class has been cancelled quicker than the university email” (Eye roll). Very anticlimactic to say the least.

So, on this particular day—getting back to my young friends in Quinten Falk’s class—I decided to inspire my young redheaded colleague with the idea that she should blog about health topics since that was her major. She is minoring in English, bur her major is in healthy living. I told her that it was a huge topic on the internet, and she should blog about it. Another gal in the group loved cooking. I told her that she should blog about cooking and that it was also a hot genre.

These are young people in college, but you don’t have to be in college to blog or to have expertise that people want to hear about. You might make a real living blogging if you have a successful topic to discuss. Quentin Falk is a self-taught, successful journalist. I feel blessed to have a class with him and to know him personally through an author in England whose book I’ve published. That said, most of the class seems oblivious to the opportunity they have in learning from Mr. Falk.

I know some who read this will say, “I have a blog, and it gets five hits a day or twenty hits a week.” I know, I’ve been there, you have to keep digging for that gold that may be three more feet from where you now stand. You’ve dug and dug, and you’re tired. You decide to quit and sell the mine shaft to some sucker. He or she digs five more feet and hits the mother-load vein. There is always success at the other side of hard work. I know that it makes us all sick to see that person in our lives or circles that seems to have a rabbit’s foot up their tail end—everything they do turns to money or success. But, to never try is a sure gateway to failure.

Now, get out there and blog. Or, send us a submission and try your hand at getting some exposure.

Check out our other writers and their stories, both the contributors and the staff writers. We all have a story. We all started at the bottom and worked hard.

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5 comments

  1. I love your story Scott. Why don’t young people blog? That is a very good question. I know many who have a blog and say “I have a blog, and it gets five hits a day”, I think we all go through that stage, it is a part of the learning process. On my first blog article I would have been happy to get five hits per month, but the point is putting your words out there takes great courage, but without that first post you have nothing to work on. I put a new article on a new site and in the first 3 days got 176 hits, that was pleasing, but then I have become established and know how to leverage social medial to build hits. You fellow student probably only use social media for idle chit chat. Great piece!

    • Thank you Peter, and you are correct that young people surprisingly don’t use the technology available to them outside of social media apps. This is a rather broad statement, and I’m sure there are exceptions, but in my own little survey within my college I’ve found this to be true.

      • I would think that their professors and tutors would be advising them to have a blog as a way to showcase their work if they are looking to get into journalism

        • Well, in the creative writing classes you sometimes hear conversations about blogs, but in the grammar or literature classes you really don’t. However, you’re correct to say that they should learn about and use this opportunity. I have certainly, as the post articulates, promote this to my classmates.

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