Writing for you is easy. Writing for me is hard.

Writing is hard. Well, writing for clients is easy. Writing for myself is hard. Why? Isn’t it all the same? Maybe I like the idea of hiding behind a client’s name and persona. When my words are actually my own, there’s no hiding. I better have something good to say.

Countless times, I’ve told clients that they need to get on Facebook, Twitter, and start a blog. I don’t usually consider how that must make them feel. I’m really telling them to put themselves out there for scrutiny and public consumption. Yikes.

Here’s what helps me

The audience makes all the difference. Ya know that old public speaking trick of imagining the audience naked? My trick is kinda like that, only I don’t picture anyone naked. But it’s still like that. Totally. Here’s what I mean.

All I have to do is pick an audience. If I imagine that I’m speaking to a certain set of my friends, this writing thing gets A LOT easier. If I don’t, and I just imagine an anonymous horde of internet trolls preparing to pounce on—or worse, totally ignore—me and my writing, I’ll never get anywhere. The audience makes all the difference.

My friends don’t care

Trouble is, the audience that I like and want to write for doesn’t care about my industry. So it creates this cognitive non-sequitur. I want to write for you. You don’t care. I’ll pretent that you do and pretend to write for you anyway. Sounds cool, right?

Chances are good that I’m deluding myself, thinking that anyone cares about posts like this. When I write helpful tutorials, sure those get scooped up by the googles and a few inquisitive searchers come my way. But most often, the things I write don’t win awards or change lives. I guess I’m returning to the bygone era of the personal journal blog, at least with posts like this.

Writing is hard. It’s all about goals.

What’s my goal here? What do I hope to accomplish? Why have a blog in the first place? Well, I have a hard time answering that. I think it boils down to two reasons: vanity and greed (yay!).

On the one hand, there’s vanity. I like to think I’m important and that the words I write here impact someone else’s life. That’s not likely, but I enjoy feeling that way so I keep it up.

On the other, there’s greed. That one’s a bit less direct; it’s one of those “follow the money” trails Glen fucking Beck was always so fond of. Blogging is good for SEO > SEO is good for business > business is good for money > money is good for greed. Bam.

So there you have it. An insight into my amateur writer’s thought process. It’s easy for me to find ideas and topics and narratives for you. But it’s damn hard to do it for myself.