In a little less than a month, my blog will be celebrating its one year birthday. I’ve had the opportunity to really have fun with my blog, to make it my own. I love this blog. I love writing it. I’m not going to lie, sometimes I bring it up on my web browser just to stare it. I am so proud of it. I love working on it.
I’ve also had the opportunities to meet some really awesome bloggers and make friends with them, and cowrite with them and we all help each other out.
I was talking to a fellow blogger today about copycats and trying to be original in your blog and all that.
And I really came to the conclusion that you can’t really be original. Its nearly impossible, especially when you’re running a nerd girl, or fandom blog.
For instance, last night, I posted about the new international City of Bones trailer. When I went to my reader (which is basically a feed where you can read the newest posts by all the blogs you follow), I saw that most of the blogs that I follow posted about it as well, and most of them posted it before me. And you know what? Didn’t really bother me.
I take some inspiration from a lot of different blogs. I didn’t know about The Broke and Bookish‘s Top Ten Tuesday when I came up with my own segment, The Tuesday Top Ten, but I wasn’t the least bit surprised that it already existed. I’ve also gotten some great ideas from them. I got the idea for my Convention Do’s and Don’t’s from Megan at The Nerdy Girlie, whose blog is primarily about the in’s and out’s of San Diego Comic Con. I’ve also been thinking of doing a blogger feature a bit similar to the one that she has done. I know that Shaina from The Urge to Write took inspiration from my weekly Book of the Week post to create her own. We all trade and inspire and so many of us enjoy the same things so we are going to be talking and writing about the same things.
I mean, did you really think when I created this blog that I thought I was creating something new? Of course I didn’t.
It all made me think of newspapers. Even though they’re becoming a dying breed, there are so many different newspaper publications, both in print and on the web. Though there are regional differences and all, the news often reports the same thing. Whether its a new law that Congress has passed, or that this team has won the Super Bowl or that bombs have gone off in this city, we report the same things. But we choose where we go to read these things for a reason. We choose the Los Angeles Times or the New York Times or The Boston Herald or Yahoo! News or whatever and we do it because there’s something about it that we prefer.
I like to think that this is the voice. The voice of that particular publication is what keeps you returning to it.
Jessica Brody, young adult author of books like The Karma Club and Unremembered, said at WonderCon that there are really only a handful of stories, there’s only ever been a handful of stories to tell. But every person is going to tell a different version of it. If you give two different writes the same story idea, you are still going to end up with two different stories…and this comes from the fact that they have two different voices. These voices come from our experiences, our likes and dislikes, our morals and beliefs. We all have different voices.
So true, my blog may not be the most innovative. It may not be a brand spanking new idea and yeah, sometimes I am going to report the same things as other blogs.
But I’m not really here to “give you the news”, you know what I mean? Sure, I post when new things come out, when new trailers for movies I want to see premiere or when someone is cast as a character in a movie, or things like that. But I don’t post these to beat other websites in breaking the news first or any of that. I post it because…I want to share this with other fans like me, and because I want to share my own personal reaction to that.
So that’s what makes my blog so special. This blog is MY voice. Its my reactions, my thoughts, my feelings. Sure you could have written about the exact same book as me, and maybe people will just throw our reviews aside, thinking they are the same but they aren’t. Because I wrote them with my opinions and reactions and you wrote them with yours.
And I like that, a lot. Because some of my favorite bloggers? They are doing the exact same thing as me, or something very nearly close to it. But I don’t find myself in competition with them. I don’t get mad if they post something before me or their post gets noticed and mine doesn’t. Because what’s the point in competing anyway? And also, our blogs can all be so similar and yet so different at the same time.
And my blog is here to write about my passions: reading and writing and just being a nerd, which usually comes from reading and writing. I don’t write to inform, I don’t write to really prove points, I don’t write to win awards. I write because I enjoy it and I feel like I have a lot to share. I write to talk about books, mostly, because I am so insanely passionate about books.
So maybe I’m not 100% original. Maybe I’ll post the same thing as other people will.
But it’ll be in my voice. And my voice is unique from everyone else’s, just like your voice is unique. If you were to copy any one of my blog posts, I’d love to read it because I would love to hear YOUR take on it, your opinion, your voice :)
So I think that’s the most important thing. My goal in life is to be a writer, to make my living from writing, hopefully through novels, maybe even through this blog. But I’m not going to compete with anyone, or step people’s toes to get there. I will do it honestly and in my own way. People will want to read my blog or my novels because they are in MY VOICE, and that is what is going to get me where I need to go.
In the end, I think we should be focused on that: on writing our blogs in the best way that we know how and enjoying it. That’s the biggest requirement: Just enjoy writing your blog. Stop worrying about whether you have more followers or not, or whether you think people are copying you. Stop worrying about being “better” or “more popular” than other blogs. Make friends with these bloggers, do a blog swap, promote their blog and they’ll help you out too.
Now don’t get me wrong. Do continue to strive to get your blog noticed, to get your writing noticed. Do strive to become a better writer, and to bring people to your website to get it noticed. Do be aware of someone crossing the line between inspiration and plagiarism. Do something about plagiarism because that is wrong.
But have fun. Write because you enjoy it. Write because its something that you love to do. When you do that, you make your writing uniquely your own and if people love the way you write, if people love your voice, they’ll come back for more.
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Some Blogs to Follow: