I watch a lot of Food Network. One of my favorite shows is “Next Food Network Star.” Which is really the only “reality” TV I watch. Okay, that’s not true. I had to quit “16 and Pregnant” and “Teen Mom” because I got rid of MTV. But I digress.
One of the things they talk endlessly about on “Star” is the contestants’ culinary point of view, or, POV. The mentors and judges really want the contestants to define exactly what and how they want to cook. To define what they would bring to viewers if they were awarded a show of their own. It’s simple marketing, really. And while most contestants now embrace defining their POV, there are some who fight it until the bitter end – and those people are NEVER the winners.
I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, and how closely related the concepts of POV and niche are. Obviously on this blog I write about WordPress, social media, blogging, etc. On my personal blog, The Laine List, I am what we call in the blogging world, nicheless. I don’t blog about anything in particular. I have no POV.
This has bothered me only recently. When I first started blogging, I had wanted to start for months, but I had confidence issues. Who will want to actually read what I write? What makes me think anyone will care about my life? I felt like I needed a focus. A theme. (I didn’t know the concept of niche yet). I had endless lists. As a sociologist of sorts, and a big talker, I had confidence that I could not only come up with a lot of great topics, but I could also write about them at length. I floated between this confidence and my self-doubt until I had a funny story to tell, so I threw out the self-doubt and jumped right in. Nicheless and loving it.
I think this has worked pretty well for me so far. And then I went to BlogHer ’12, and had all of these really awesome ideas about writing reviews and sponsored posts, and doing giveaways. And gaining a huge following. And having lots of comments. Guess what? I hate writing reviews and doing giveaways. They just don’t seem like me. Even when I really believe in them!! It just seems so forced, and that is TOTALLY not the reason I I blog. I blog to bring something to the world. An authentic voice. Experiences. Experiences that I hope will make people laugh with or AT me, or will bring people some kind of comfort and happiness. A feeling that they are not alone.
Adding to the serious why am I blogging confusion, I’ve also had a serious case of writer’s block, and have barely blogged all summer. I have a bunch of ideas, but I just can’t seem to get them written out. I know I’m not alone here. It’s the curse of summer for a blogger. Too much to do, too little time to do it, and blogging takes a back seat. And blogging is not like riding a bike, at least for me. There is no jumping right on the computer and riding those keys to blogging nirvana. No, for me, if I don’t use it, I lose it.
My son is back in school, almost a week already, and I’ve taken some time to think about why I blog, and what makes me happy about blogging. Nothing has changed, I still want to blog to have a connection with the world. So I’m gonna go with it. Loosen my personal expectations a bit. Blog without a POV.