Thursday, January 19, 2012

300 Hipsters, No Porn

The number one thing that brings people to this site isn't me.

Oh sure, I randomly get Facebook shoutouts from people who are all like, "I love your blog!" which is great, because most of the time, I feel like I'm writing in a vacuum. Not an actual vacuum, mind you, because, though I am fairly small, my curves would prevent me from bending myself into a neat enough package to shimmy inside the canister of your family's Dyson Rollerball. Just, like, it can be lonely out here in the blogosphere. I'm not well-versed enough in self-promotion to have the thousands of hits that other (louder, better) bloggers have. I'm not especially well connected, and I tend, because I am dumb, to burn bridges almost as fast as I can build them - perusing the masthead of a local newspaper that I am a fan of (and would like to someday write for) revealed the name of a man with whom I had recently had some lousy email back-and-forth. (There's another place to which I'm now too self-concious to submit! Good one, Kaitlyn!) There've been girls who approach me at parties and say, "I read your blog," and I love that, because it makes me feel micro-famous, and then we coo at each other over what great tops we're all wearing. I love that too.

I've learned things from writing here. I've learned how hard it is to be consistently good, twice a week: "good" meaning "good writing", but also punctual, well-edited, factual, and respectful of my sources. I've learned not to write when I'm angry, because the cooling-off period is crucial in not sounding like an ill-informed pot-banging troll. I've learned that I need to disguise the identities of the scumbags in my life, even though they don't deserve it. I've learned that social media like Twitter and Facebook can be instrumental in expanding my readers from a few dozen to a few hundred, and that walking the tightrope between personal and public can be daunting but exhilarating: writing about surgery, for example, netted me plenty of well-wishers on Facebook, and it also let me say just how scared and lonely I felt in my situation.

But the number one thing that draws people here? Is this.

In 2010, I wrote an entry with the fateful phrase "hipster porn" embedded somewhere in the code. Since then, hundreds of perverts come each week, from all over the world, and discover that, much to their dismay, there are no photos of tattooed baristas, bike mechanics, photobloggers, and vegans doing unspeakable things to each other while smoking/drinking/attending concerts/whatever it is hipsters do. Instead: hello! Kaitlyn here!

It makes me laugh that "hipster porn" is my main draw, because I actually work damned hard at this little blog. I've parlayed it into a couple non-paying writing gigs, like my Beginner's Guides over at HuffPo and an internship at Spacing. I've also snagged a real, live, paying blogjob over at XOXO Amore, where, aptly enough, the focus is all about sex. Over the years, I've done writing for free, for experience and training, for exposure, for cash. It's all been some kind of work, but its also all been for me. I'm greedy like that.

I love writing. Folks have told me I'm good at it - my mom and girls at parties at parties, yes. Strangers too. That's gratifying, but I've never designed this site to be anything more than the place I come when I need to write - and baby, you better believe that's a need. You don't write 300 thousand-word blog entries because you're sort of interested in writing - you do it because you're a writer, and writers have to write. It's what we do.

There's that rule: 10,000 hours to get from good to great. By those standards, I'm years - and hundreds of blog posts - away from true mastery. These last 300 posts have given me great entries that may never be read again, and terrible ones that someone out there just loves. It gives me a safe place to play - to write haikus and talk about horror movies. I might not always write here, on this blog, on this internet. But writing is just a no-brainer: I need it. I always will. Hipster porn or no.