Why I Stopped Being an Ordinary Blogger & Embraced My Inner “Weird”

From Jeff: This is a guest post by Michael Perkins. Michael is a husband, dad, pastor, creative, and map maker. He writes daily at The Handwritten, a blog that is honest and simple. You can follow him on Twitter: @MichaelDPerkins

I recently stopped being an ordinary blogger. Because ordinary wasn’t good enough.

I have been blogging for nearly three years and had what most would consider a successful blog. I had more visitors than I ever could have imagined and each day the comments were pouring in.

But it still wasn’t enough for me. I still felt ordinary.

Ordinary Blogger: Weird Car Photo
Photo credit: Lenore Edman (Creative Commons)

So I bought a new domain name and started over.

But why?

I wasn’t doing anything special

Everyone else was doing the same thing.

Let’s face it, blogging is about parody and formulas. And the formula is fairly simple:

  • Write a catchy title.
  • Tell a weird personal story.
  • Apply the personal story to a profound lesson.
  • Ask a question at the end to encourage conversation.
  • For bonus points, bold and italicize words you want to emphasize to make your content more scannable.

Rinse and repeat four to five times a week, and you’ll end up with a successful blog.

I knew if I wanted to make an impact I had to be different. I wanted my voice to matter.

The blogosphere is a noisy, crowded place. Everyone is screaming, “Look at me!” Because of the noise, I was sure people were reading my blog, commenting on it, and minutes later forgetting what I had written. They had already moved on to the next post in their RSS reader, vying for their attention. And that’s something I just couldn’t accept.

I wanted my posts to be memorable. I wanted my posts to stick with people. But mostly, I wanted my posts to change the world.

And ordinary doesn’t change anything.

I wanted creative freedom. And I was stuck.

I felt trapped by blogging

I would come up with something creative to write, and the Resistance would say, “No one else does it that way,” and “People won’t like that, because it’s different.”

So I stayed the same.

Of course, the Resistance was lying. But I was starting to believe the lies. In fact, it had became so bad I was ready to quit.

I was ready to stop creating and only consume.

But then I realized something:

I needed to change

I needed to start writing for me and creating things that moved me personally. Then — and only then — would it move others, as well.

I needed to stop being ordinary and start being extraordinary.

And that’s the challenge, isn’t it?

Because extraordinary takes guts. Because extraordinary goes against the norm. Because extraordinary doesn’t follow a map.

But extraordinary makes an impact and changes the world. And we all need to embrace our inner weirdness a little more. Without it, we all end up looking the same.

And nobody wants that. Do they?

How are you not being an ordinary blogger? What have you done to buck the system, go against the grain, and do something different? Share in the comments.

*Photo credit: Lenore Edman (Creative Commons)