Before I started amanda’s wrinkled pages a few weeks ago, I had never intentionally read or sought out another blog. Borrowing from that timeless classic of artistic expression, Pretty Woman, I’ll say, “Close your mouth, dear.” It’s true, and I had no idea what I had been missing.
After awhile, I started surfing around more sure-footedly, and was amazed by how much talent (and crapola) had been floating around the blogosphere all of this time. I left a few comments here and there, followed links to other blogs of interest, and found a few favorites. And, then, something really freaky started happening — everyone seemed to be blogging about…me!
Each comment I submitted appeared to be directly linked to what that author would blog about next: I was excited about a particular post, so (uncharacteristically) left a couple of exclamation points and a smiley face to illustrate this. (In fact, I’m doing this more and more often now — someone stop me, please :)! ). The next day this same writer did a post on something like “Too Many Exclamation Points are Making You Sound a Little Crazy.” Coincidence? Here’s another example: After a rough night’s sleep, I found I was leaving comments with careless spelling and grammatical errors. Wouldn’t you know, “Watching Grammar and Spelling in your Writing no Matter How Informal the Venue, Idiot” soon appeared.
Not just with comments, the cloning phenomenon was linked to my own posts, as well. There was one where I thought I may have gotten too wordy, and I think a reader agreed. Her post on how annoying she finds it when “Writers Over-Explain” themselves sounded somewhat familiar. Hmmm…
I even witnessed a moment of “psychic blogging.” Hours before publishing what surely would have been the post of my life (“I Have Business Cards, Therefore I am”), a blog that I have a particular fondness for posted about her new business cards (which are much, much cooler than mine, by the way).
Paranoia was setting in — all of the posts on writing, books, the Freshly Pressed story on “Politicians and Prostitution” (wait…never mind about that one) seemed to be linked to me in some way. Or, were they?
The truth is, we all know that good ideas are a dime a dozen, so a blogger (and a writer/blogger in particular) just has to roll with it. You are most likely not a genius with a ground-breaking blog post. No, you’re not. No. You’re. Not.
It’ s hard to accept, I know. When you see other blogs with topics, themes and entire posts that are similar (if not identical) to your own, it can affect the way you view your own creativity, and hey, can’t be much help to the old self-esteem. But, don’t let it get to you. Aside from praying you have different readers, celebrate the fact that you have an idea that is interesting to someone other than yourself. It’s all about presentation, baby. Readers never tire of a good story-line, whether it’s the first or fortieth version they’ve heard.
And, if you’re being openly chastised? Adjust the blinders, and feel good about being someone else’s muse for the day.