The longer I blog, the more I realize I’m participating in a world where I am the minority. I’m a male writing a personal/creative fiction blog on the internet. Personal blogs are a realm largely dominated by female bloggers, and while the statistics appear to be slightly more balanced (anecdotally speaking) in terms of creative fiction blogs, I realize I’m still not the most common blogger. While I will write satire/comedy category from time to time, unlike many of my counterpart in the blogging world who are also 20-something males, I don’t feel the need to base all of my humor off of sex, drugs, and alcohol — the genre of fratire as I recently heard it referred to as.
Likewise, I rarely write about sports despite being a huge fan of American football, hockey, and professional wrestling. Unlike frat humor, which I find generally annoying and unprofessional to write about, I choose not to write about sports for different reasons. In my time writing, I’ve developed a bit of a consistent audience to read my work, and while each of the individual readers have their own individual tastes, one sweeping generalization I’ve been able to make (safely) is that the majority of those who come across this blog don’t care about sports enough to warrant writing about them over and over again. That said, my desire to talk about sports, be it here or otherwise is somewhat limited in the blogging world. Unless you’re going to a blog that is solely sports focused, most bloggers won’t even discuss sports.
I’m sure there’s something psychological/sociological that makes females more apt to be writers/bloggers than males. That said, I do believe a (very) large part of this divide is content based. Even a casual spin around WordPress’ random blog feature will produce a hit on either a fashion or photography blog (both terms which I use extremely loosely) within just a few clicks. If neither of those topics come up, there’s a good chance that you’ll hit a pop culture blog, particularly for television or movies. While both men and women consume this media, the way that media is discussed differs greatly among the two genders. If you don’t believe me, walk into an office building first thing in the morning — men will likely be discussing sports, while women will have a greater focus on the previous night’s TV shows.
None of these things are bad or good — they just are. If it weren’t for watching TV with the girlfriend, I likely wouldn’t watch it at all. Excluding sports events, I have a handful of television shows I watch, only one of which (Monday Night RAW) is anything close to appointment viewing. Instead of appointment viewing, I have appointment reading. While there isn’t an incredibly large number of blogs I follow, if there’s a post that goes up on a blog that I do read, I’ll go out of my way to make time to read it. As someone who’s been seriously blogging for nearly six years now, I can count on one hand how many bloggers that I started out reading who are still active and writing now.
That’s right. Even counting in blog changes and platform shifts (my own included), there’s not a single blogger that I’ve followed from my starting blogging on my own site in 2009 that is still actively writing. There’s a couple of blogs that are close (most notably Thoughts Appear and Clantily Scad), though I didn’t start following either of them until the latter part of 2011 if my memory is correct. It takes a lot of dedication to continue blogging for such a long time. Sadly, I could likely go back even further and count the fact that I wrote for a radio station blog as early as 2006 into this count, but that doesn’t make it much better.
The last factor that makes me feel like I’m in the blogging minority comes courtesy of the fact that many of the bloggers I do read are slowly beginning to have families of their own. Even the blogs that focused on “artsy” photography (read: slapping multiple filters over an out-of-focus shot) have slowly drifted the way of OH MY GOD LOOK AT ALL THESE BABY CLOTHES I’M BUYING BECAUSE THAT’S WHAT’S GOING TO MAKE ME THE MOST RESPONSIBLE PARENT OF ALL TIMES!
Look…I get it. You’re excited you’re going to be having a child. Good for you. I too hope you manufacture a smaller, less-cynical version of myself one day (except the child will be female, as that would be my luck…more on that in another post though). However, just because you have a child doesn’t mean you have to stop having other interests. For example, perhaps you’re a couple. One of you loves video games, while the other is a television fanatic. Just because you have a child, that doesn’t mean you have to stop enjoying those things. Likewise, if you’re a blogger, that doesn’t mean you have to stop writing about the things you enjoy.
As I look around the blogging world, I realize that there are many other talented writers, thinkers, and dreamers out there that I can draw support from at any given time. This fact, in and of itself, is a huge reason why I keep blogging. At the same time, the larger the blogging world is, the more I feel like a tiny island amongst a sea of repetition. Ultimately, it’s within this uniqueness that lies the seeds to my success or my downfall as a writer, as a blogger, and as a storyteller.
Front page image cap: David Stanley on Flickr