In a recent radio interview, Dooce talks about how a blog must have soul to attract a loyal fan base. Just like with a TV show or book, the writer of a blog must develop characters that readers care about in order to draw the audience back day after day (or week after week, depending on the frequency of the posts).
I think that’s why I realized after just a couple weeks that my blog couldn’t be merely professional. Not only was it unsatisfying for me to write only about writing or reading, but I can’t imagine that those topics would satiate any normal reader for very long. (Whatever “normal” is.)
So that makes me wonder, who are my characters, and what about them is compelling? Of course, I think my friends and family are interesting — that’s why they’re my friends and family! — but do you? Should you? Have I done enough (or anything) to make them interesting?
I think that’s what I need to be more mindful of in the future, both for this blog and for my fiction writing (which features a slightly different kind of “friends and family”). Even if every post or story doesn’t flow as part of some larger linear stream, there needs to be some sort of narrative that holds it all together. There needs to be something that readers can connect to, follow, remember.
I’m not sure that every blogger puts this kind of thought into what they type into their content management system before hitting “Publish.” I know I usually don’t. But I think that’s part of what makes Dooce so successful, and unique.