I don’t believe in selfless acts—as in their existence. Every action is selfish. But that’s alright. If every act is selfish, then the term is redundant, right? Right. So when a writing blog promotes itself as “selfless,” red flags immediately go off for me.
I love blogging; I really do. Growing up, I had surprisingly little privacy for a household of two. One of the first files I created when I received my first computer was a digital journal, buried deep with the system. When I was first introduced to LiveJournal years later, I was blown away: Here was a system that incorporated hiding in plain sight with privacy filters.*
As time went on, we moved through LiveJournal to Myspace and now Facebook and Twitter (not to mention a few failed networks in-between). Web 2.0 became the norm. And through it all, blogging somehow survived, probably due to people’s penchant to rant, particularly rants longer than 140 characters (weirdos). A fair few even make a living out of it.
But to say any of it is selfless is bull. Google ads at the bottom of each page? Not selfless. “Subtly” linking to or slipping in mentions of your projects? Not selfless. Stop pretending. Consumerism doesn’t bother me; self-righteous denial, however, tickles me like someone’s funny uncle.
What I haven’t figured out yet is who bloggers are trying to kid. You know who makes up the majority of writing blog audiences? Other writers. And while some may transfer to supporters of your project, they probably fall within the minority. The usual suggestion is to blog about another topic. Let’s say I talk about photography too. You know who’ll read it? Photographers. Still no guarantee they’ll move on to your primary project.
So what’s the point? Spewing. You have an opinion and you need to get it out. That’s valid. That’s selfish. That’s alright.
*Cruelty tip: Create a private forum where only one other person can converse with you and s/he can return to it, cherish it. Now delete it. Hilarity ensues.