Forgive Me Dear Blogging Counsellors, I Don’t Have a Niche
I once loved being called a blogger. Like “singer”, “songwriter”, and “poet”, “blogger” is a name I’d wanted etched on my personality. Blogging seemed like a forte, like some shield against the insults society hauls at unemployed graduates. The Facebook profiles of some friends are worth considering. Somehow, these job seekers get “gainfully” employed as CEOs of anything.com. While some people may consider this a sham, I do think otherwise. “Blogger” is hope- a new way of advancing an already stagnant life.
The first set of blogs I read were online diaries. I stumbled into them during my penultimate year in the university. I was intrigued by how much people could open up themselves and allow the world share from their joys and sorrows. By my final year, I’d read enough blogs of different genres, that I felt compelled to share my thoughts as well. Being the CEO of an online space wasn’t the driving force. Passion was. I just wanted to nourish souls with creative writing. That was four years ago.
Three years later when I started my blog, my priority had increased. I had graduated, done my National Service, and survived a horrible job. I was officially a notable member of The Association of Unemployed Nigerian Graduates. My focus subtly advanced from nurturing lives, to improving my skills and having a link I could refer future employers during interviews for writing positions. My intention was still noble, except that I was confused.
My first six months as a blogger brought internal wars. I came to the blogging scene armed with my passion for people and a writing skill (which I hoped would improve overtime). Those were enough tools to nourish lives and advance mine, I’d thought, until a bunch of professional bloggers told me otherwise.
“In the multitude of counsel there’s safety,” scriptures says. But safety was too expensive a thing to purchase from my counsellors. Fear was cheap. I purchased lots from their store of questions hinged on a blogging that yields financial reward. Is your blog paying you? Do you have a niche? How do you hope to make money if you don’t have a niche? How will your blog be categorised for future awards? Will your blogging style attract traffic…? And on, the interrogations rained like hailstorm, freezing my enthusiasm and skill. In the end, passion looked stupid. “Blogger” felt altogether silly. Confusion became dear.
Few weeks back a friend of mine, out of frustration, called passion a fluke. Okay, he didn’t exactly say that but then he lamented about how passionate people end up poor. He said he wasn’t going to live for passion anymore. His words took me to that place my counsellors’ left me months ago. I remembered feeling like a joker, like that frigging unemployed graduate who’s not even considering escaping the poverty trap through blogging. The more I dwelt on their words, the more I felt like I was wrong to have ever considered having a blog. Maybe blogging isn’t for people like me, I thought. Maybe, passion is truly a fluke.
But I know passion. She’s not some random chick who heats up your chills on a cold night. She’s like sticks, drumming your heart into loving your being. With each beat, she sets your soul in rhythmic symphony with your call. One drum-line, and your life gravitates towards the creator’s design for your existence. Passion is like a metronome, syncing you with purpose, helping you internalise the specific timing for your unravelling. Should you sway to the rhythm of another’s beat, passion will instruct your unruly pulse to align with the tempo of your call.
For a while, the counsel from them professional bloggers held me sway to the rhythm of too many beats. It was a pathetic show- my offbeat dance to the songs I didn’t know. But passion didn’t throw those sticks away. It kept beating, subtly at first, then with increased tempo. After a while, I couldn’t but turn my heart to the sound I once knew. The confusion paved way for clarity, and a stronger bond with purpose.
Now, I wear headphones when those counsellors come calling. I may never worth the “true” blogger title or get such traffic that’ll get me a castle in some fruity island. The world may never taste my name, or dance to the rhythm my uniqueness beats. But nothing will change. Not my aim, or vision. I live for humanity. To make lives worthwhile. And with every ounce of my being, I will sing, write, and speak till souls get nourished. So forgive me dear counsellors, I don’t have a niche. But if you insist, then my niche, is a buffet for your soul…