Failure to Convert a Passion to a Blog
One of the things I am always telling people who want to pick out a niche to blog in is to follow their passions. I have done this with numerous topics, and achieved varying amounts of success. One thing I have noticed over the last few years is that I have something I am unable to convert to a blog, despite loving reading, writing and talking about the subject.
Since I was around eight years old, I have been in love with science fiction. I used to “design” my own Star Trek universe ships on paper. None of them were really ever any good, but I was passionate about the source material. Thanks to a show called Babylon 5, I lost a girlfriend, a long and funny story. The point is, with all my knowledge, and passion for science fiction, you would think that I would be the perfect person to write a blog based on how I see the niche, but what I have found out, through constant struggle is that I can’t get any traction in writing about it.
I love to watch the shows, read the books, and talk about it to other science fiction fans, but when it comes to putting my fingers to the keyboard to type out a review, all that passion slips away, and I can’t seem to find a groove where I can consistently put content out into the world.
I really don’t have a reason behind this issue, and I have never come across a subject that I couldn’t make the time to post about, and yet one of my biggest passions isn’t converting well into a blog. It isn’t a problem with desire, as I would love to share my passion for science fiction with people, and connect with others that feel as I do, but for some reason I get all jammed up when it comes to writing a blog in that niche.
It is almost as though I can’t convert this hobby of mine into a blog, and that makes me wonder if there are others out there that have a passion that they have tried to blog about, and just couldn’t sustain it for some odd reason or another. Has anyone come across this problem? Have you found a solution? Am I trying too hard, or is this just one of those times where you just have to keep your hobby, a hobby, and not a blog?
A Canadian problogger for over two years, David shares his insights from working on over 5000 posts. Currently employed as the Head of Marketing for Splashpress Media. Check out his personal blog at DavidCubed.com and his blog about his experiences at eXtra for Every Publisher.
When I originally started my site, http://www.beyondbehaviors.com, my plan was to focus on Classroom Management, Traumatic Stress, and Crisis Intervention. However, after about 21 months, I started running out of classroom management topics to cover. I also started getting burnt out covering crisis and trauma on my blog. I knew that I had always been passionate about using my stories about failure and getting lost in life to inspire and help others but I didn’t know how to go about changing the focus of my blog.
After researching a bit and consulting with a fellow blogger, I came across Lorelle on WordPress’ tips about Finding Your Blog Focus. I was inspired and became aware that I could and should refocus my blog…and that’s exactly what I did.
Like you, David, I agree that there are some topics, such as blogging about science fiction for you and blogging about classroom management for me, that is simply too difficult to sustain long-term blogging.
After refocusing my blog towards Personal Development (uplifting topics like achieving your best, emotional well-being, and transforming your life), I am much happier and find that I struggle less to come up with materials to blog about.
And though classroom management and crisis intervention topics are still covered (in one of the pages/tabs), I now devote almost all of my mental time and energy to covering Personal Development topics.
I say anything you want to talk about can be turned into a blog. I always wanted to bake so I just started. Are there a million other sites out there that are better than mine? Sure there is. Do I feel threatened by their presence? Not at all. I learn from them.
I love Star Trek too and I can think of a million things you could blog about. I mean they are about to release the new movie (yeah right…) and you could always update all of us on where our favorite Star Trek stars are now.
Alos, how’s about a link to that blog…
Perhaps you have an instance where you have too much to say, and therefore the amount of information you could share could form writer’s block?
I do have a solution to your problem. I saw someone else do this before, and it may work for you.
Instead of talking about science fiction (which is boring and you might as well visit the scifi channel or rent the movie) why not write a blog about one of the characters?
I saw someone do something similar with Darth Vader (http://darthside.blogspot.com) and they even got a book out of it. You could try to do something similar, and see if that converts well.
ARGH! Science fiction boring! May the great bird of the galaxy poop on you!
I am nuts about science fiction. I can talk hours about favorite books, shows, fan fiction, and all the wonders that is science and fiction and science fiction. Could I write about it? Hell, no!
Writing is an art form, as you know, David, and you’ve made a very good point. It requires special skills, training, and a lot of practice to get it “right”. Blog writing is a different art form, different from traditional writing, though it has much in common.
As we practice our writing skills, we develop favorite topics and techniques to write about, thus turning these into skills. If you suddenly decide to switch from technical writing to fiction writing, you are bound to choke up. It’s natural. It’s completely different.
I can write about everything technical – just give me a phone book and I’ll write about how it was made and how to use it, step-by-step guides. Show me a movie, no matter how entertaining, wise, and wondrous, and I’ll hammer my head against the keyboard for hours and turn out slobber and crap.
Not every blogger’s hobby deserves a blog. Some are meant to be hobbies. Let those who have the skill to blog in the language of the hobby be the ones where you become their fans and readers instead of the other way around.
Part of finding your blogging niche is to peel off the layers. This is part of the layer peeling process. You may absolutely be passionate about something, but that’s not your blogging passion. It could be, but might not be. Live and learn.
Oops! I think I was writing too fast.
I meant to put “blogging about science fiction” instead of “talking about science fiction.”
Although I am a scifi fan myself (with my latest fetish being Serenity/Firefly) I personally feel reading about it on blogs to be rather boring.
I would rather rent the movie or read the book than hear someone talk about the movie/book.
Blogging is the same way. A forum may be perfect for fans to discuss their favorite scenes, events, etc., but blogs I feel may not pay off in the long run (unless it is a hobby of course).
My suggestion is to simply blog about your favorite science fiction character from their point of view–which may pay off in the end (like Darthside did for that author).
I wonder. Enjoying science fiction is a bit .. geeky. I say this with shelves of Mike Shepherd, Elizabeth Moon, Anne McCaffrey, Sharon Lee and Steve Miller, Susan R. Matthews, John G. Hemry, David Drake, David Weber, and Kristine Smith.
I didn’t see your blog. But my interest in science fiction is my enjoyment – not the science fiction industry. I loved the original Star Trek shows (and I remember the original broadcasts), Star Trek: Next Generation, and others. But the movies and TV never grabbed me like the books. E.E. “Doc” Smith. H. Beam Piper. Jo Clayton. Andre Norton. C.J. Cherryh (Why was “Pride of Chanur” never made into a movie? Or “Downbelow Station”?).
I could maybe see blogging about *enjoying* science fiction, and engaging others with similar tastes, but that would be a minor niche, probably, among all SF fans. Blogging about happenings, industry news, that stuff is paparazzi level ‘coverage’, and conflicts with enjoying the material. I suspect that your blog drifted off focus.
There are amateur publishers still publishing. FurVersion is gone, but I have seen at Goth community. Designing your own Star Trek ships seems more like creating situations, expressing dreams. Living the stories. For other fans the excitement is the community (see Galaxy Quest, the group of kids that help with background material to save the day). Just like any industry, the right focus for a blog is personal, and not always obvious.