Fare Thee Well


The funny thing about blogging is you’re supposed to demonstrate some sort of skill or expertise about something. Otherwise, a blog is kind of a diary you share online, and if that’s what you’re into, then I guess that’s what Live Journal is for. 

Or, a blog should demonstrate insight into something, an uncommon truth or lesson gleaned from both the extraordinary and the mundane. 

I enjoy reading these things, and I enjoy (attempting) to write them. But I noticed something interesting, and even slightly annoying, lately:

Everybody is an expert. And I mean everyone. 

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve discovered a lot of fantastic, useful information and motivation on blogs, social media, and so on. It’s just that–damn!–the braggadocio levels are out of control. 

I know that if you don’t promote or believe in yourself, no one else will but my God man, over the Internet, anybody can say they’re anything! Why should you listen to anyone or swallow advice whole without thinking critically?

There are people who pass the sniff test, of course–professional athletes and trainers, business people and parents–who have a proven record of success, have clearly thought their ideas through, and show themselves, warts and all. Take them more seriously. 

There are others I’m missing, of course. But a lot of blogging seems to involve words with little action behind them. 

Which brings me to me. Sorry to say, I have no expertise in anything. It sort of makes me wonder why I’m keeping this blog, beyond liking to write. 

I mean, my most popular posts tend to be a) book, movie, and other product reviews, amd b) posts about religion. 

So my audience–whatever that is–likes to a) read about stuff before they spend money on it, and b) God. 

Does this mean I should focus on those instead of the other stuff I like to write about–culture, music, the law (booooring), fatherhood, a little politics?

Maybe. That’s A/B testing, right?

And maybe that’s the way forward. My problem with blogging is this: I don’t think I really have any great insights into anything.   

I’m not saying this to get sympathy, because that’s pathetic. I am just being honest and self-reflective

I harbor no illusions about being particularly good at anything or writing useful “self-improvement” type stuff. I have a very short track record of proven success, and it seems silly writing as though I were THE MAN. 

What I am is a guy who has made a lot of mistakes in life and has spent almost a decade trying to undo the damage. I’m a guy who doesn’t like where he is in life, but doesn’t really want to blog exclusively about that. I’m a guy who’s trying to get some writing published and thought a blog would be a good way to a) get my name out there and b) get practice (it is).

But mainly, I’m a guy who just wants to matter in the world

The weird thing is that I do. We all do. What I’m referring to is external validation. 

It’s funny, right? No wonder I’m into music: There is nothing like the affection of a crowd. There is no other feeling. From professional to amateur, we’re all a little cracked in the head like that, I guess. 

And yet, I have God, so I really don’t need this. It’s a weird push-pull, and I guess having both is what keeps me sane. 

I also have my family, and while the situation hasn’t been ideal for over a year, it’s still better than not having a family. 

So what’s next for my little on-line adventures?

I don’t know, but I am going to take a blogging hiatus and really think about what I want to do with this. 

Rebrand/redesign? Refocus? Start a new one? Keep plugging along?

I don’t know yet. That’s what a hiatus is for. 

As always, you can find me on Twitter, Gab, and Instagram. Say hi; I do write back. 

And as always, thanks for reading. God bless. 

-Alex

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11 thoughts on “Fare Thee Well

  1. thebulletbutton says:

    “Which brings me to me. Sorry to say, I have no expertise in anything.”

    Completely false. You have the same thing everyone has – a highly individual combination of experiences and a highly individual background.

    Your writing isn’t bland. Don’t push yourself out of the market, assuming that no one needs what you offer. Let the market decide what it needs.

    Your dissection and ability to see both sides gives you perspective that you can share. The pieces on God, dissecting words like a lawyer, and fatherhood have never not made me think.

    I’ve never said, “Cool post” and stopped thinking about what you wrote. That’s powerful.

    Moving work, and not just because you linked me. There’s some blood on this page, and I respect that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The Daytime Renegade says:

      Appreciate it Lloyd! What I really want to do is figure out what direction, if any, to take this blog, because it’s feeling very scattershot right now and that’s both difficult to maintain and, I think, confusing for readers.

      I’m not planning on stopping writing. I just need to recalibrate.

      Thanks again man.

      Like

      1. rawlenyanzi says:

        It’s not about getting “big,” just wondering if I have anything worthwhile to say.

        You do — don’t underestimate yourself. Each of your posts is packed with insight.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I appreciate your humility in this one. I read this a while ago and it really got me thinking.

    I believe that everyone should have a voice and everyone is an expert in one way or another. We all live life and make mistakes and learn from them. You are no less of an expert at life than anyone else. While you may not have a specific hobby that you are an expert in, there are plenty of other ways to be an expert.

    For instance, you could be a teacher, and help people to learn how to be inclusive of others, learn to deal with negative emotions better, learn to deal with challenges better, and just generally be happier.

    Further, I think that in anything we do, rewards or outcomes should not be the main focus (what you were talking about with external validation). The process should be the focus. Being good at what we do and being validated for it is just a byproduct of loving the process and giving our attention to it.

    Evaluating your worthiness based on skill level isn’t the most productive route, in my opinion.

    It ultimately doesn’t matter if you are “qualified” to do something. If you enjoy the activity of writing, then that is enough. The rewards will come as a byproduct of simply enjoying what you do.

    Imagine if babies learned to walk based on this reasoning. They’d never start. It seems to me that babies learn to walk because of excitement and the impetus to grow. Becoming competent at walking is just a byproduct of the inherent enjoyment of expanding their boundaries.

    If you’ve faced a challenge in life, and learned how to overcome it, you are an expert. And sharing that information with other people is valuable.

    Also, I believe the way we think and talk about ourselves determines who we become. Many people fall into roles of leadership simply because they have the confidence to do so. It isn’t because they possess any special qualities, it’s simply because their self-definition.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The Daytime Renegade says:

      Thanks for the comment and the kind words Mike. You make a lot of good points. I don’t think it’d be valuable to go thorough them point by point, but suffice it to say it’s a lot to think about.

      You put it well about the intrinsic satisfaction of writing. I suppose that’s why we all do this, any claims to “expertise” aside. That’s a very important thing to remember. Thank you for that.

      Like

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