Imitation is the highest form of flattery

 

Ten years ago I wrote a novella for a competition. At the time, I was a big fan of Magical Realism as a genre, especially Gabriel Garcia Marquez. So I wrote that novella in the style of the great South American author.

I mean, I tried my best. But the thing is, as I wrote, I started to change things. I found my own way of saying what I wanted to say. Words seemed to just come to me. I finished it in 33 hours. And, when the last sentence was written, it was something different than what I wanted to do at first.

What I’m trying to say is, do try to figure out what works and what doesn’t from other bloggers. What is it that makes their posts entertaining or educating? What is it that makes you want to read more and more of their stuff?

Don’t think just about it in terms of style, but also in terms of schedule, posting hours, and the way they manage comments. Analyze the menus of their blogs, the sidebar, the theme, everything.

Try to get a picture of what it is they are doing.

And then do that.

I’m not telling you to become copy-cats. Far from it. Because if you put in a little bit of effort, you’ll figure out that there is room for improvement. There’s room for change.

But figuring out what others do is a starting point. It’s a foundation on which to build your own blog.

Learning from others is a sure way to ensure that you don’t make the same mistakes. I mean, why would you? We’ve already done them before you.

But also, you’re going to figure out what style suits you best. What kind of blog.

I started out by writing reviews. Books, movies… it was something popular at the time (still is.) but it just wasn’t me. I do not like to rate or comment on art. It feels weird to dissect beauty.

So I started writing about art the way I liked to. I started writing about life, about inspiration, or motivation. I wrote about my own struggles as a way of better understanding them. Also, as a good way to add a certain value to my writing.

What I am really trying to say is that you should give yourself permission to fail (kind of what I said in the first post as well.) Don’t beat yourself up too much, don’t spend an awful lot of time thinking about what people like to read or not.

Just write the kind of blog that you’d like to read.

Write what you’d like to read.

***

Do you have a WordPress blog? Do you want to know more about blogging? How to reach and engage an audience, what to write about? What to know about inspiration(or the lack of it), about what keeps you motivated in the long run? Want to know how to stay consistent, and what makes a blog post great?

Well, you can read all about it in my new book, The Journey: A No-Bullshit Guide to Blogging.

For only $4.99 you’ll get valuable insights about blogging.

Get your copy here.

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6 comments on “Imitation is the highest form of flattery

  1. AndyAce83 says:

    I always heard it was “Talent borrows, genius steals” and that it was Oscar Wilde.

  2. I need to know how you wrote a novella in 33 hours!

  3. sreejanac says:

    Agree.

  4. “It feels weird to dissect beauty.” So true!

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