Today, WordPress said I have written 100 posts.
I have often been challenged to find a larger audience for my art. Since I blog, I find myself measuring my influence by the stats WordPress provides. Sometimes these stats doesn’t count, other times they do. I personally believe everyone involved in the creative life desire an audience, whose size might depend on the lie we tell ourselves.
Thanks to Social media, we pay attention to stats and most times we validate our works with feedback. We measure the value of our arts with the number of clicks, likes and comments garnered. The question is are they genuine? Because some people prefer to ghost through stuffs without leaving their footprints behind.
Though feedback is important, validating ones work positively before an external voice does equally is. Rebecca Solnit wrote in her Lithub article How to be a Writer 10 Tips by Rebecca Solnit on the importance of Listening and not listening.
She said; Listen. Don’t listen. Feedback is great, from your editor, your agent, your readers, your friends, your classmates, but there are times when you know exactly what you’re doing and why and obeying them means being out of tune with yourself. Listen to your own feedback and remember that you move forward through mistakes and stumbles and flawed but aspiring work, not perfect pirouettes performed in the small space in which you initially stood. Listen to what makes your hair stand on end, your heart melt, and your eyes go wide, what stops you in your tracks and makes you want to live, wherever it comes from, and hope that your writing can do all those things for other people. Write for other people, but don’t listen to them too much.
Livelytwist wrote about blogging being a lot like running. A post which inspired me to stop being a sporadic runner, and I have published every month since December 2015. That’s laudable for me because I often go AWOL and let e-spiders build cobwebs here.
I do not post with a regular blog schedule (yet), which shouldn’t be so, because in running, consistency is important. I made a promise to write deliberately this year, and I have done that. Though I haven’t published much, I have written a lot this year, and I have seen remarkable improvement in my writing.
I believe the most important stats is the one we record for ourselves. I also believe it’s not only about setting blogging goals, but also incorporating those goals into our lives and being accountable for them.
So, cheers to accountability.
Few weeks ago, I had a discussion about contemporary gospel rappers with some friends. Lecrea, Beautiful Eulogy, Mali Music, Trip lee, and secular rappers including the amazing duo of Kendrick Lamar and J Cole were mentioned. We unanimously admitted these artists are incredible yet they do not get the attention their craft deserve. These guys decided to step out of the main stream, dish out high quality content which found the right crowd.
Another discussion with my cousin raised its hands to support this theory. We were listening to the radio and wondered where some incredibly gifted song writers went. He came up with the hypothesis that most of these individuals do not desire fame, they do not care about the number of recording deals they sign because they do not sing for everyone. Some do music just for themselves and wouldn’t feel unfulfilled if they do not release series of bestselling albums.
This really got me thinking as I tried to draw comparison between these musicians and myself. If singing was a life buoy and someone is drowning, he would certainly drown if I am the only one there. I adore music, but do not love what I hear when I sing. It is not pleasant. But I spill words better. This sometimes leaves me asking “who do you write for?” It is what the intelligent folks call audience, impersonators of those folks like myself just ask questions.
I believe that is a fundamental question every creative person should ask, as it often determines how he creates and what the creative thing should be — the intelligent folks I was told call this style and content. But the million dollar question is how does one find the right answer to these questions?
I found mine in an amazing quote I stumbled upon on Instagram emphasizing the grandeur of Jollof rice.
“You are not for everyone, you are Jollof rice
— party Jollof rice—
Nigerian, not the Ghanaian own.”
So I do not write for everyone. Writing for an audience of one is enough for me, even though I desire to write for an audience that will enable me hire someone else to do the counting. But my writing is not ordinary rice, it is special, it is red, nostril ripping, stomach bubbling original Nigerian party Jollof rice. These musicians have discovered it, but they also have to taste Nigerian party Jollof rice to know better.
Adele can afford to drop an album, go away for years and drop another classic. Ed Sheeran isn’t bothered about his looks nor if people like his music —according to him — because his music is not for everybody. I am not Adele or Ed Sheeran, nor have I gotten to the height in writing they’ve attained in music, which makes it even more complicated.
100 post has taught me that although, publicity is important, consciously writing quality stuff equally is. It’s writing for an audience of one and not for everybody, and if that one is everyone then how amazing it is.
100 has taught me there is a difference between, let’s eat, grandma and let’s eat grandma. Punctuation is royalty.
100 has taught me to stick my tongue at, “Oh, see what this woman found in her kitchen when she came back from the market in her living room.” Click bait is not the way to go if you want to write with purpose.
100 has taught me one gun is more valuable in a fight than 10,000 broomsticks. Quality over quantity, always.
100 has taught me not to say purchase when I can say buy, or obliterate when I can say erase. Simplicity is a cool city to live in.
100 has taught me that he was crying in a way that made many tears fall from his eyes, tears that can fill an ocean and drown a shark… just say he wept. Words are expensive, be greedy.
100 has taught me the man is an encredible human bean. He does amazing things for people efreytime. Color your work.Writing is human, editing they say is divine.
100 has taught me that palm wine gets stronger with time. Let your writing ferment.
100 has taught me why we have two eyes, two ears and one mouth. Read more than you write.
I hope to arrive at the next 100 earlier than it took me to arrive at this first 100.
But I also seek innovation. To reinvent this blog. Because I sure do not want to become a dinosaur — big, powerful, but extinct.
Here is to 100 more and thank you so much to my followers, serial likers, commenters, ghosts, vampires and werewolves. Gracias!