Over time I’ve come to the realization that there are many outdoor bloggers who follow the usual, well beaten, sometimes paved, often boring, path.
Allow me to present a few mile markers of the journey:
- love for the outdoors
- willingness to share
- burning passion to become a “great” writer
- the idea, “hey maybe I can make money doing this”
- delusions of grandeur
If you don’t read a lot of blogs perhaps you miss the tell tale signs of a blogger that’s following “tried and true advice”.
What the big boys do:
- write reviews
- publish the press releases of others
- allow guest posts on the site
- write guest posts for other sites
- allow advertising of others for profit
- filming short videos
- writing e-books
- maintaining a list of email addresses
- publishing an electronic newsletter
Sound familiar? While few bloggers follow all of the tried and true steps above, we all try. Even this blog has subscribed to a fair share of these ideas.
Which brings me back to the reason I’m writing this post… Why the hell does this blog exist?
What started as a brag board for a few friends fishing in South Eastern PA slowly became a destination forPennsylvaniafishing fanatics. Fishing shows, gear reviews, even interviews of and by some fishing legends.
All this is well and good. It’s been a good two year run but it is time to make a change.
Personally I’m asking this blog, “step up or step out?”
A few months back I told a regular contributor to the site that I was discontinuing all guest posts until I could either step things up or decide to shut the blog down.
I and the rest of the Functioning Fishaholics love fishing (and quite frankly love having a site devoted to our antics). But the question remains what the hell is the point of this site?
When we started it seemed like a group affair. I (Matt) would manage the site and publish posts, we’d go out as a gang fishing, take some photos, maybe video, and I’d come back and tell our story.
Over time the site became its own entity celebrating fishing inPennsylvania. However as the site grew professionally and fishing reports declined I started to realize that the site has lost its soul.
Can a website actually have a soul? You ask. While I don’t yet know the answer I do know that playing the blogging game, following advice of other pro bloggers, and walking the well beaten path is boring. (sorry about dissing your sacred cows, o world of blogging)
Perhaps it’s all of the Star Trek I’ve been watching lately but I believe the purpose of writing should be, “To boldly go where no one has gone before.” …
Ok so that sounded a lot less cheesy in my head but either way my point is still valid. Who the hell wants to read the same boring stuff? The same structure, different sites, different pictures, BUT ALL DOING THE SAME THINGS.
One of my Twitter buddies had a list called “People who’s writing makes you feel like you’re there” or something like that. I remember a year or so ago when I first saw that I was on that list. I felt special. It was as if someone had pinned a medal of honor to my chest.
I must say, over time my right to wear that metal has diminished.
Writing should be:
When you write for someone be it a book or blog post you are inviting them into your head. For better or worse you need to make in impression.
Personality is a trait that is largely lacking in the online world. Sure, we all stand on our soapboxes and pretend to be special but it is that tiring “celebrity of now mentality” that has turned the internet into a graveyard of one hit wonder celebrity writers, photographers, videographers, and bloggers.
Who cares what’s hot at the current moment? In the outdoor world we still worship legends who were in there prime decades ago. Why doesn’t this reverence follow bloggers? Why you ask? Because we as a community have lost our soul. Sensations fade… Souls are eternal.
As I close this piece I ask myself, “Will I post this?”, “If I post this should I even edit or re-read it?”, “Will anyone agree, care, or be offended?”.
In that order I respond, “Yes”, “barely”, and “who cares.”
If you come back to this site (after reading this long rant without pictures) my promise to you is this. I’m going to get personal. Yep that’s right. I’m going to attempt to pour myself, my feelings, opinions, judgments, and random thoughts into each post. From now on this will be a quest to find this writer’s soul.
My hope is that my renewed sense of purpose as a blogger will be nothing less than the delivery of a personal, unorthodox, and unique perspective.
And yes, this will still be a site about the love of fishing.
If you’ve made it this far, thanks for allowing me to share my thoughts. If you’d like to share yours below I’d be honored. If you’d like to stay quiet that’s cool too.