Writing my own story

  • Five Ways to Become A Better Decorator!
    *Sponsored by The Decorating Company
  • Eight Things Not To Put On Your Resume!
    *Sponsored by The HR Company
  • Four Easy Steps to Be Organized!
    *Sponsored by The Organizing Company
  • Nineteen Cute New Summer Fashions!
    *Sponsored by The Fashion Company
  • Seven Ways This Special Product Will Change Your Life!
    *Sponsored by The Product Company

I have not written any of the above-mentioned totally fake blog posts (and fake sponsorships, obvs).  But the honest truth is that in my regular interaction with the Interwebs and Blogland in general, I probably wouldn’t click on any of those links either. It seems that for the most part the “popular” blogs and blog posts around today are, if not sponsored, specifically written for optimized traffic, optimized SEO, and are hopefully published with a little wish for Viral Status. I know a couple of people who read/used to read this blog accept sponsorships and are able to supplement their family income by writing posts about products or services that interact with their regular, normal lives. Most of you weave sponsored content with your own real life content.

And–and I really want to be clear here–THAT IS JUST FINE.

And yet.

I miss the stories.

I miss the relationships that came from those stories.

I miss the back-and-forth of comments and emails and [insert social media platform of choice here] that grew from laughing and crying and empathizing with those stories.

Let me be honest and blunt: I probably won’t have a real connection with how those five ways have made you a Better Decorator, and so I will skim and move on to another post; where I won’t have a connection/conversation with How To Improve my Resume, so I will move on; and I won’t have a real response to How To Be Organized; so I will move on to no connection with the curated List of Fashionable Summer Items (trendy, expensive, consumerist); and the life changing Products will be just another list of sponsored marketing that I suspect will not actually Change My Life. I will, however, probably feel more and more that The Internet is not a place for my stories because they aren’t polished and optimized and sponsored and written with the intent to generate traffic and clicks. Ain’t nobody need to feel like Blogland is no longer welcoming.

Again, let me reiterate that if you have published a post like one mocked listed above, THAT IS TOTALLY FINE! It’s just….it’s not entirely my cup of tea. Sometimes, sure. But it can get kind of tiring and depressing to feel like my feed reader is one big long commercial. I have DVR and Netflix for a reason: I hate commercials.

And, again, I miss the stories. I miss the thought-out essays and emotive paragraphs about Real Life. The interactions and un-polished lives of people I learned to adore through their non-Pinterested, non-SEO, not-even-photographed writing. I miss you! And, I also miss me, the part of me that used to flourish in that online space. I know I can do better at contributing my own stories, and this post is definitely an attempt at such. Let us all write our stories, for ourselves, for our friends (cyber and otherwise), and yes, even for those total weirdo strangers who dabble in Internetting. (Hi, Weirdo Stranger!) After all, once upon a time, not so long ago, we were all Weirdo Internet Strangers, looking for stories and friends and connections in our computers; and look where our stories have brought us.

Harriet sig

Also, in a piece of non-sponsored, genuine link-back: this post was inspired by Abbersnail.