“Why Do You Write?”

April 3, 2012 § 13 Comments

I get this question a lot.  My answer is probably too brief or too cliche to really do it justice.  I’ll do my best to answer it right now.

I don’t remember the first time I blogged and I probably never will.  My memory has never been very good, which is probably why I started documenting things in the first place.  I need to have some sort of record, something to help me recall what happened with an explanation, otherwise I worry that I won’t be able to find it when I need it someday.  I guess you could say that I’m an information hoarder.

Where it all started, I don’t know.  I didn’t write a lot as a kid but you could probably say that I have always had an itch to be “creative.”  Teachers in grade school would give us assignments like writing short stories or drawings (some of which I still have and will share) and I was always happy when they did.  Creating stories was nothing new to me, even as a young boy.

You tend to get creative when you don’t have anyone to play with.  (That sounds like I had no friends but it just means that I usually only had one best friend at a time until high school.)  In my room, I would design entire new worlds in my imagination and act out fantasies of fighting and diabolical intrigue with nothing more than action figures or just finger guns.  (You never get too old for finger guns. Pew Pew!)

So putting that creative energy into short stories was easy, but I never really incorporated writing into my non-school life until I was in college.  That’s when I began to write blogs on sports and movies simply because I wanted to.  It was how I would prefer to spend two to three hours of free time, but researching history and finding the answers to questions that other writers might not have ever asked.

It just grew from there.

1997 was the first time I saw the movie Scream and the first time that I wanted to write a screenplay.  Movies like Scream from Kevin Williamson and The Usual Suspects from Chris McQuarrie were the first time I can really recall thinking how amazing it was that you could write a set of circumstances in a story that would blow the viewers mind in the end.  I wanted to find out how that was possible and what I could do to become a screenwriter as well.  I wanted to make just one thing that would help me leave a mark on the world so that I wouldn’t be forgotten when I died.

Maybe that sounds silly or trite, to think that a movie like Scream would have an affect like that on a person or that it would really matter, but to me Williamson has already left his mark on the world because he left his mark on me, a total stranger.  That’s amazing.  Not only that, but he inspired somebody else and what’s more amazing than inspiring someone that you’ve never met?

So it was a combination of my desire to be a screenwriter and my insatiable need to learn and research that led me to writing blogs.  The blogs I created were non-fiction but all that mattered was that I was learning how to put words together in a way that made sense and was visibly appealing to the reader.  By having a dual background in screenwriting and non-fiction reporting, it’s helped me to become a better writer that hopefully can entertain and also inform.  That’s my only goal really.

When a person tells me on FieldGulls, a Seahawks blog, that they showed one of my articles to a non-sports fan and that they loved it, that is when I know that I’ve done my job.  Just hearing that maybe I did something good makes me feel great already, but to know that I entertained someone that didn’t think it would be possible to give two shits about an article on the Seahawks makes it all worth it.

I have never put as much work into anything as I do into writing.  I have never given much of a shit about anything as I do about writing.  Which still doesn’t answer the question as to “Why writing?”

There’s the old saying that your dream job chooses you, not the other way around… or something like that.  That’s a cop-out and it still doesn’t really explain why I would choose to be a writer.  Especially because of this one important fact:

I am kind of sensitive and if I think I do something that sucks and then put it on the world wide web, it tears me up inside.

And yet, I write all the time.  Over the last year, I’ve grown to writing on five different websites and totaling over 20 articles per week, so what am I?  Some kind of sado-masochist? yes

Seriously though, by doing that it helps me overcome my fears.  My fear of failure, my fear of rejection, my fear of being stupid.  All of the repetition, practice, and testing what works against what doesn’t, has helped me to become a better writer and also someone that has a thicker skin towards acceptance of constructive criticism.  I mean shit, I started a YouTube channel starring ME and I would never imagined that I could handle putting my face out there when it seemed hard enough to simply put words out there.

I don’t think that writing chose me, as if writing was a tangible being like a sports team that took me with the 18th pick in the Writers Draft, I just think that every little step along the way during my childhood and even up until this very moment has simply led me to that: This very moment.

The moment when I’m sitting here writing about why I am a writer on my blog where I write stuff.  One can’t really explain how the steps form or why the dew drop falls to the left and not to the right, but all we know is that the steps did happen.  My steps led me to here and I’m very happy about that.  All I really know is that writing is what I love to do and it’s what I want to do.  I hope to have a greater stage one day, and that I can inspire somebody like past writers have inspired me so that I can leave a mark on this world.

There seems to be some sort of aura around choosing a life of creativity and being great at it.  Whether you’re a painter, an actor, a writer, a filmmaker, anything where you can create something simply by imagining it, it seems like people hold that as a higher esteem.  But that’s not it either.

I work at a shipping company and I was recently speaking to the one of the managers.  He was telling me about how he got hired and how he got to his position as manager.  He told me that he never dreamed as a kid that he would one day be a manager at a shipping company (as obviously no kids dream of one day being a manager at a shipping company) but certain steps in his life, ones that he could have never predicted, led him to his current position.

When he was a kid he wanted to be a football player.  Wanted to play in the NFL and live a dream out of being on his favorite team.  That’s obviously a low percentage dream.  It doesn’t happen for many people, even ones that play at the highest level of college.  Millions of kids play football and only a few new ones are accepted into the professional ranks each year.  It’s a dream that’s mostly just a dream.  Most of us will go on to be professionals at “regular jobs” so does that mean it’s less important that being a football player or a writer or the President of the United States?

Well, yeah, it’s less important that being the POTUS, but it doesn’t mean it’s not important.

The manager I spoke with told me that over time, being the manager at a shipping company became his passion.  He’s been here for 15 years and he’ll probably be here for another 20 or so until he retires.  It doesn’t really matter what you do but life will be a lot more fulfilling if you’re doing what you love to do. It also doesn’t mean that you can’t leave this world without having inspired people along the way.

Writers inspire people.  Doctors inspire people.  Managers at shipping companies inspire people.  Mothers inspire people.  We all have the ability to do so, but it’s only those that pursue with everything that they have that will ultimately be successful.

So why do I write?

I write because every little moment in my life led me to this moment.  I write because I want to leave my mark on the world and if writing is the only thing that I love to do, if it’s the only thing that makes me excited for tomorrow, then writing will be the avenue that gives me the greatest chance to inspire somebody else to do the same.

I guess you could say that’s why I write.  Also, because it gave me a chance to tell the world how stupid the song Billionaire is.

Thanks so much for reading!

 

 

The Wild, Weird, and Wonderful Experience of Being “Freshly Pressed”

March 9, 2012 § 5 Comments

What a trippy-ass experience these past two days have been.

If any other WordPress bloggers out there are waiting for their moment on the WP FreshlyPressed page, I just wanted to share some of the experience because it’s been somethin’ else.  I can’t be grateful enough to WordPress, my new blog followers, all of you that have hit the like button, all of you that gave the article a read and maybe perused some of my older posts, and all of you that cared to share and comment.  All I have to say is…

THANK YOU!

It means a lot to me to have you all stop by and maybe stick around for a bit.  I have been working hard at writing for awhile, but this blog was new and for the first time it was a blog that was mine.  It was something that I had created, so recognition feels good.  Yeah, I’ll say it, it feels good and it’s a nice boost of affirmation that hard word pays off and I’ll promise you that: Hard Work Does Pay Off.

I write for five different websites, including this one, and I just started a YouTube channel as well.  That’s about 20 to 25 articles per week plus writing and editing videos that are starring me.  And if you’ve ever looked at me, you’d see why I’m apprehensive about standing in front of a camera!  But all of that hard work slowly turns into a payoff, so if you’re an aspiring blogger, keep at it.  Don’t ever stop.  Write more and when you’re done writing, write again.

I started Kenneth Author back in December and when I navigated around WordPress I saw the FreshlyPressed section and thought, “Damn, I need to get on that!”  Why?  Because in my efforts to become a full-time professional writer, you need to have people read you.  I figured that would be a good start.  So I wrote an email to WordPress asking them how I could make that happen.  This was the email I got back:

This was my reply

I was going to schmooze Karen into putting me to the top of the list so that when I finally wrote something that tickled her fancy, BOOM, I’d be pressed as freshly as my work shirts.  (I don’t iron, and my work shirts are wrinkly, which makes it a terrible analogy.)  I never heard back from Karen.  :(

However, maybe yesterday was the day that finally got Karen’s attention.  Maybe she too has struggled with Online Dating and this was helpful to her so she Pressed it.  Or maybe I just got lucky!  I am a person that writes a lot of words and I am absolutely OBSESSED with research, so when I started to write the post on Online Dating Statistics, I had no idea it would turn into something so long but what can I say… Us online daters have a lot of interesting info.

Suck it offline daters!  You’re not as interesting in 2012!

(With that being said, I fell in love with a number of Gravatars yesterday.  I want to tell some of you “I Love You, Already!” and I also want to tell all of you that I Love You, as well, in a different way.  I am still going through many of your blogs because I’m grateful for a chance to get to know a lot more people on this series of tubes known as “the innanet!”)

Just as an example of the spike in hits that a FP posts gives to a blog like mine, take a look:

All I have to say is “Gadzooks!”  I went from six-to-midnight when I saw my blogs hits go from six-to-midnight, too.  As the freshness of press begins to wear off and as the hundreds of email notifications stop coming in (I feel like a tool when I even speak of this, because I’m a very humble person) it’s giving me a chance to reflect and think “Hey, that was pretty awesome” because everyone likes to know that they’re being seen.  That we’ve done something neat in our corner of the web.

I’ve had prior successes on the Seahawks and TalkNerdyToMeLover websites, things that made me feel googly-moogly inside, but this was especially neat because KennethAuthor is just me.  I made it.  I talk about a lot of random shit, but as days go by, it’s becoming more clear what’s been good and what hasn’t.  I just hope that no matter what the content is, it’s entertaining.

As for Kenneth Author, it’s time to get back to business as usual which usually includes reflections on childhood television, the crushes I had when I was ten, my dating life (but more often that that, Netflix reviews because they happen at a staggeringly higher rate), weight loss and fitness and other things that make me go hmmm. (Arsenio Hall’s entire life is currently in the public domain.  If you ask him to appear at your birthday party he HAS to be there.)  If you’re new to KA, you’ll find that I’m pretty much too honest and shit because I don’t get embarrassed.  I had to let go of shame when I was very young because of my weight problem!  But it’s cool cause now I’m an adult and I can hang and I can stay up as late as I want and spend $400 on candy if I wanted to.

If there’s anything you want to say to me directly, I’ve added a Contact form because I’m super lonely :(.  No, because I’m super nice! That’s what I meant!!!  I’m not lonely, duh.  In regards to the OkCupid post, I’ve learned a LOT from your comments and it’s given me even more perspective and is sort of like bonus research, so that’s awesome, but I want to hear stories FROM YOU!  I want to get deeper into your online dating experiences and maybe you have a question about the horrors of mine, but didn’t want to say it in the comments.  I’ve seen on other sites where people get to interact with their readers and talk about questions and sometimes when I get questions or hear stories, it means half of my article is already written.  I like that.  \Thanks again!

Blogging Tips: What I’ve Learned About My Blog So Far

February 9, 2012 § 2 Comments

Ive been blogging for at least 10 years.  What causes a person to write in their own free time for nothing more than self-gratification?  I don’t know.  What caused Michelangelo to paint?  What caused Albert Einstein to study physics?  What caused Hitler?

I starting blogging about sports because I had questions to which nobody had ever answered or researched.  So I researched and I wrote it myself and shared with the world, though not very many people were listening.  There are just so many blogs out there about so many topics.  So many fallen soldiers as well.  How many blogs were created and left to die like some unloved child?  Most people treat their blogs like they’re papa bears and the blog is the baby bear just looking so tasty to eat and destroy.

I myself have eaten countless baby bear blogs.  When you don’t get readers, it’s hard to keep up because you’re not disappointing anybody if you leave.  I had this blog based on the movie The Room.  I had this tumblr where I made up sequels to movies.  Then I got a writing gig at a site that did have a decent number of returning viewers and it forced me to show up at least three times a week and write.  Then I got another writing gig at a site with even more readers and then I DEFINITELY couldn’t write less than three times a week there.  People had expectations.

I now write on four websites (including this one) and I just picked up a fifth plus a weekly video project.  On average, I’ll write over 20 articles per week and this isn’t even my paying full-time job.  I do it because I want to and because it would be nice to be able to make a living.

I started Kenneth Author for a number of reasons but mostly because A) I needed to market myself more and B) I could do whatever the fuck I wanted here.  My editors are all really cool and give me free reign, but the topic still had to be on-topic.  When I’m here, I can (and definitely do) talk about many different topics and it’s a pretty scatter-brained place to be so… thanks for reading!

It’s been probably about six weeks since I started Kenneth Author.  Because I write for sites with thousands of viewers, I was able to “debut” the blog on all of them at the same time and I got a decent hit count on the first day.  Then it dropped dramatically.  Then last week it spiked to a record number when I told the people at Field Gulls that I was blogging about my 150 pound weight loss.  (Thanks guys!)

I thought I knew a lot about blogging before I started Kenneth Author, but I feel like after six weeks I’ve learned a whole lot more.  Here are a few things I’ve learned that I want to share.

No Matter How Good YOU Think An Article Is, You Can Never Predict What Will Be Popular

I’ll admit it: Sometimes I write an article and pat myself on the back because I think it’s “SOOOOO GOOD AND FUNNY!!!” and then I’ll post it and wait for fan reaction.  Then silence.  Then after a long enough silence, you know that there isn’t anything coming.  Not unlike a girl’s reaction after she has sex with me.

Other times, I’ll just throw some shit up there because I’m bored or didn’t have time to really elaborate or didn’t really work THAT hard on and it’s a hit.  For instance, yesterday’s post on “How All My Dates End” wasn’t something that I put much thought into.  I just wrote it based on how I was feeling at the time, and it instantly was one of my most popular blog posts.

WHAT ARE YOU TRYING TO TELL ME? THAT YOU WANT ME TO TALK HONESTLY ABOUT MY FEELINGS?!  L.O.L.!

I actually do talk pretty candidly about myself when I do talk about myself.  How can a person be more honest than when they talk about how fat they are and were and the embarrassing shit that is known as my dating life?  Sometimes I’m just trying to be funny, but I guess sometimes people want to hear an honest turn of phrase.  If I can do both at the same time, then I guess that’s the best?  Sorry, sometimes it’s just going to be about which girls on Hey Dude I want to have sex with.

SEO!  How People Find You On a Search Engine Is Fucked Up!

Undoubtedly someone will eventually read this article and either laugh or hang their head in shame based on what I’m about to say.  But you might be one of the people that got here by making a really fucking weird or sexual Google search.

When I first started this blog, I did a “Top 5 Kind of Prostitutes” series.  I almost immediately regretted it because I don’t want people to think I’m some sex freak, but I said “Fuck it” and moved on because again, THIS IS MY WORLD!  No rules.  What happened?

DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA HOW MANY PEOPLE HAVE FOUND ME BY GOOGLING FOR PROSTITUTES?!  My sixth most viewed blog post is “#3: 1980s Street Prostitutes”  Un-fucking-real.  I don’t know what it is about the 80s street girls that is so popular, but I guess I should have made them #1.  Ironically, my #1 prostitute (Old-Timey) has hardly ever been viewed.

“Prostitutes” is the most popular search term that brings you to my website.

Here is the top of my list:

Thank you David Choe!  I wrote the review on Thumbs Up! a little while ago, and then he hit the news when it turned out he’d make $200 million from Facebook and my review on Thumbs Up! shot up the viewing charts.  Also, it appears people really love Katrina Bowden (why wouldn’t they?) and still adore the Rugrats.

Here are my favorite search terms that brought you to me:

  • m&ms weed
  • hot boobs black woman (I dont recall when I ever talked about this?)
  • magic shell and sex
  • whens the nudity in titanic (how do you have the internet and care about this? there’s porn here you know.)
  • how do i please two girls sexually at the same time (you came to the wrong place to find that out)
  • how come i didn’t enjoy sex in the threesome (sorry about that Frank)
  • bruce willis 99 problems (why?)
  • i fucked my mom (WHAT?!?!?!!?)
  • was chef boyardee on Titanic? (Yes, obviously)
  • nudist beach girl boner
  • fakedick
  • give fuck rugrats
  • rugrats Angelica has a heart (No she doesn’t)
  • create sex machine
  • magic shell on penis
  • nude gay nipple gyp
  • where are the rub and tugs on craigslist
  • one man fuck one woman in his vagina by his penis only
  • tommy yeah i fucked yo bitch
  • my upskirt (was your upskirt on my site? If so, please direct me to it)
  • (rome prostitution)))))))))
  • rugrats butt (The Rugrats searches are insane)
  • rugrats baby fuck
  • Dick Clark is a robot
Overall, I want to say thank you to “New Years Myths”, Portlandia, David Choe,  Rugrats, Katrina Bowden, Sex with Chocolate, Battleshots and Netflix.  You brought a lot of people to my site, along with prostitutes and a whole shitload of sex terms.
I’d also like to say Justin Bieber, Britney Spears, Kim Kardashian, sex, porn, Google, YouTube, Amazon, Barack Obama, Mitt Romney, 2012 presidential election, Harry Potter, Twilight, powerball, Jeremy Lin, Will Ferrell, Gisele Bundchen, Valentines Day, American Idol, prop 8, proposition 8, Christina Aguilara, and Twitter Facebook boobs boobs boobs
Still, I Got To Say “Fuck Off” To Caring About Site Views
Now that I’ve just SEO’d the shit out my sight, I also have to remind myself that I’m not in this for the views necessarily.  Besides, do you have any idea how hard it is to get regular views at a certain number?
I came into this with already built in access to tens of thousands of viewers on weekly basis.  I debuted the site.  I am keeping it up.  Just between you and I, I have not hit 1000 page views in a day.  My record isn’t close to 1000.  Maybe one day I will hit 1000 (Ricky Martin The Beatles George Clooney big asses!) but for now, I just have to focus on trying to be the best I can be and not about getting a certain number of viewers.
Here is my trend over the past two weeks:
Left of center is the big spike in hits I was talking about.  You can see how many of those same people returned the next day.  Not many.  That’s okay though, that’s a basic rule about blogging/websites, whatever.  Even if you make “Freshly Pressed” on WordPress, you’re going to see that ONE article with like 300 likes, and then every other article on the blog is just another normal amount of likes or comments.
Some of you are really, really good at this and have a shitload of viewers.  So far (and I know its early, I’m not complaining) I don’t.  But if I use what I’ve learned already (titties and butts) then it will grow.  Or maybe it won’t.  That’s not exactly why I am doing this anyway.  But for those of you that do show up on a regular basis:
THANK YOU!!!
In all seriousness, it kind of blows my mind that anyone would check out my little corner of the internet.  The fact that you are here and that 95% of my friends and family aren’t (“Oh yeah, cool! I will check it out Kenny!”  NOT REALLY!) is amazing.  So, thanks again.  I’ll do my best to continue to make it a worthy site.

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