When I first started blogging, I knew I wanted to focus on documenting my life as a writer.
Over time, I realized my friends, family, and classmates really didn’t care that much about writing — at least not the way I talked about it.
For those first three or four years, I had I’d say about 10 occasional readers. Almost all of them were people I didn’t know. But they were people who thought my topic — writing about writing — was interesting.
Even though my audience was small, and there were times it felt like no one cared about what I was doing, I kept doing it anyway. I liked writing about my passion. And slowly, over time, more people who also liked my passion found and started reading my blog.
It would have been very easy to give up early on in my blogging journey. I say that because many people do. They’re so worried about their small audiences and whether or not what they’re saying or talking about is “interesting” to the people around them that they just quit.
I wish they didn’t give up so easily. But there’s this mindset that if you aren’t getting thousands of readers a day on your blog, or your friends aren’t constantly praising you for your hard work, you’re doing something wrong.
You might not be writing for the audience you want or expect.
But it’s very possible that you just haven’t found your true readership yet.
I started blogging in January 2009. It took until March 2015 for my blog to start growing, and for a loyal audience to start following my posts.
If I’d worried about being “interesting,” you wouldn’t be reading this post in September 2017 (or whenever it is you’re stumbling upon this — hi, hello, how’s it going?!).
I don’t think it’s possible to write something that doesn’t appeal to any audience.
Is it sometimes difficult to break into a small, specific niche? Absolutely. Look at how long it took me.
But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible.
You don’t need someone else to tell you if your story, blog post, or whatever, is interesting. Not yet. Not if you haven’t finished writing it yet … or worse: you haven’t even started.
I understand that many people worry they’re wasting their time if they end up writing something that “isn’t marketable.”
But this is one of those things that stops many writers from ever getting anything written. And it really shouldn’t. You can’t worry about an audience you don’t have if you aren’t writing for readers you want.
If you’re so worried about spending time on a project you aren’t sure will succeed that you can’t actually get anything done, honestly, you need a bit of a reality check.
A large percentage of the things you write will never go viral, get clicks, or even get published.
If you wait until you find the “most interesting” things to write about, you’re going to spend your whole life waiting to write, instead of actually writing things that someone, somewhere, will want to read.
Part of being a writer is practicing. Giving ideas a chance, trying them out, and seeing what works, as well as what does not work.
You need to get out of the mindset that writing is all about writing only what other people want to read. Sometimes, yes, that’s how it works. But for people who don’t already have a stable following, sometimes you have to start with writing what YOU think is interesting, and finding the audience who shares your specific interest and really enjoys reading what you have to say.
Your writing may not be interesting to your friends or family or local community.
That does not mean someone out there won’t enjoy it.
For now, focus on writing, building up your backlog of content, getting more comfortable writing in your own style, and having an absolute BLAST writing about your passion.
There is no quick or easy way into writing for a large audience. Write first. Find your audience second.
You’re not wasting your time creating something you enjoy. Generally, we just call that writing.
Meg is the creator of Novelty Revisions, dedicated to helping writers put their ideas into words. She is a staff writer with The Cheat Sheet, a freelance editor and writer, and a nine-time NaNoWriMo winner. Follow Meg on Twitter for tweets about writing, food and nerdy things.