Sweet Nothings

10 Reasons I’ll Never Be a Famous Blogger

Me toiling away (in black and white just to up the drama factor)

I’ve spent the past two weekends doing some heavy-duty housekeeping on this site – a very tedious process that has involved a lot of trial and error and quite a few 12-hour stints in coffee shops. On my last WiFi-enabled, caffeine-laden bout of tagging and reformatting 230+ posts, I made the mistake of sitting across from someone who wanted to talk about it. (Don’t you just hate those someones in coffee shops?) Not only did this someone gloss over my don’t-ask-me-about-more-than-the-weather nods and half smiles, but once he’d pestered me into describing the kind of stuff I blog about, he told me, “That sounds nice, but you’ll have to find a more specific niche if you ever want to be a famous blogger.” I agreed wholeheartedly and laughed, saying, “I don’t want to be famous, I just want to be read.”

This interaction with Mr. Coffee Shop stuck with me in that way only random encounters can, and it ended up inspiring me to compile a silly list of all the reasons why I will never be a famous blogger. Since the process of writing it gave me a few giggles after a long day, I figured I’d share this list with you to help start the week off with a little levity. Here goes…

Why I will never be a famous blogger (a how-to in reverse):

  1. I prefer words to pictures.
  2. I do not capture my daily fashion choices on camera (and if I did, this would damage my blogging rep even more).
  3. I wear sneakers instead of cowgirl boots, and I don’t even wear defiantly hip Converse – I wear the heavy-duty kind of running shoes I’ll need when escaping an evil pack of vampire ninjas in a dark alley.
  4. I legitimately think I will one day have to escape an evil pack of vampire ninjas in a dark alley.
  5. I will never wear skinny jeans or drink skinny lattes. Unless, of course, I come across a Styrofoam cup labeled “Skinny Cow,” in which case I will gulp that sucker down based on the assumption that it is full of melted ice cream and cookie crumbles.
  6. I live off frozen yogurt and takeout, and do not cook for a large brood of chubby yet endearing children whose silly sayings I quote back to you alongside yummy recipes.
  7. I do not have an Etsy shop from which I give away crafts each Wednesday.
  8. I started blogging in 2010 instead of the golden year of 2007. (If you’re serious about becoming a famous blogger, a time machine is a must-have accessory this fall.)
  9. I only leave comments on other blogs I honestly read and admire, instead of blindly posting things on popular sites in hopes of gaining web traffic. (Yup, if you’re a blogger whose site I leave comments on, this means I really do read and admire your site.)
  10. I write about horror movies one day and dating tips the next. (What can I say? I trust that there are readers out there who don’t want me to niche-ify myself and are sophisticated enough to know genuineness when they see it…Yeah, that’s right my darling readers, I adore you and am calling you sophisticated.)

All self-deprecation and list making aside, I realize Mr. Coffee Shop’s unsolicited advice was actually very accurate and I’m sure he had nothing but the kindest intentions of helping me. In a really roundabout way, I guess this interaction did help, because those simple words I uttered back to him (“I don’t want to be famous, I just want to be read”) so clearly express the way I feel about the hours of passionate work I pour into my craft, and it felt good to say them out loud. It also felt good to accomplish so many little improvements on this site, because I really do care about making this blog as visually pleasing and readable as possible. I care about these things because I love writing and being read, and I want this labor of love (otherwise known as my corner of the internet) to foster real, meaningful connections with anyone out there reading. I’ve got a few more aesthetic upgrades coming soon to this site, but please let me know if there are any changes you’d like to see in the meantime…Thank you, my lovelies, for making my day a thousand times better every time you read my words!

Psst: Have you ever received unsolicited advice from a stranger? Did you find the experience helpful or unsettling? How did you react? I would love to hear from you! Leave a comment.

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22 Comments

  • Reply L. Harter August 29, 2011 at 2:26 pm

    I loved this post. I feel like I am being constantly bombarded with advice from mostly kind hearted folks about an industry they know nothing about but really like movies. My favorite is “You live in Austin, you should meet Sandra Bullock and everything will work out perfectly!” Or “My cousin who lives in New York works on a show about people….do you know him?” I know they all mean well, but given that right now I am scouring best lists of film festivals and trying to organize them into tiers and trying to tackle this with organization and practicality, I just want to close my eyes and tell them to shut up. But instead, I smile and nod…because who knows? Maybe their cousin is Alan Ball and I need to kiss their ass.

  • Reply Paul August 29, 2011 at 2:27 pm

    This is probably the turning point. I absolutely loved this blog posting . I love the absolute randomness of your blog in general and just wait until one of your scripts gets made..then Mr. Coffee shop will drink his caffeinated words. I have considered writing one myself but am afraid I could get banned from society for the ridiculousness of my thoughts.

  • Reply Tony August 29, 2011 at 3:26 pm

    good stuff. Paul, don’t worry about banned from society. The internet has agreed to allow anyone to do whatever they want, good or bad.

    ‘just want to be read’ is great. My goal is make 2 or 3 people chuckle, that’s it.

    As for unsolicited advice, that’s part of the job.

  • Reply Pat Oey August 29, 2011 at 5:53 pm

    Unsolicited advice? Moi? I feel like I must wear a sign on my forehead that invites people to share unsolicited advice. The fortunate thing is, the older I’ve gotten, the more I’ve adapted some survival instinct that also adds a look that puts off these same advisors.
    Your reply to that guy was simply brilliant. (By the way, your description reminded me of that scene in “Hitched” where Eva Mendes is trying to fend off the guy in the bar who is absolutely oblivious to her obvious rejection of his advances. Smart women, obnoxious busybodies…)

  • Reply Jennifer R. Coté August 29, 2011 at 8:19 pm

    Thanks for the comment love, you guys! Y’all plastered a big ol’ smile on my face when I opened my WordPress account…

    L: You are so right about the perils of never knowing whether someone is Alan Ball’s cousin. It is so hard to grin and bear it sometimes, but I have an eerie feeling that the one time I crack it will be when I’m actually talking to the cousin of Mr. Ball.

    Paul: Thank you for the assurance that Mr. Coffee Shop will drink his caffeinated words one day. I really like that idea for oh-so-many reasons…And, for the record, I am a big fan of the ridiculousness of your thoughts.

    Tony: You make me chuckle, and I have a feeling you will make me chuckle (and perhaps laughingly snort) at many unexpected things in the future.

    Pat: Smart, polite women really are magnets for obnoxious busybodies, and that scene from Hitch is a classic example of this. I mean, really? A book, reading glasses and no makeup at a bar…How can a guy not read those visual signs of “Do not approach me” on their own?

    You guys are awesome! Thank you for the smiles and food for thought. 🙂

  • Reply Aprilia Love August 30, 2011 at 4:08 am

    Haha – great post.
    I can’t believe how nosey that coffee shop person was!!
    I only started blogging 6 months ago and have enjoyed it ever since. I have met some lovely people in the blogging community and have even met up with a couple in person! 🙂
    It’s something that I enjoy and will keep doing – even if nobody reads my posts!

    xx

    http://aprilialove.com

  • Reply GourmetOnADiet August 30, 2011 at 5:00 am

    Unsolicited advice from a stranger makes me want to throw up. Seriously. I can’t take it. I wonder what that says about me? You handled it rather well…you think on your feet, I just freeze!

  • Reply Jennifer R. Coté August 30, 2011 at 1:47 pm

    ApriliaLove: I know, right? My coffee-shop pal was so unbelievably nosy…There are so many people like him out there, though, and I think your attitude about blogging because you love it is the way to go. When we do what we love, life usually has an uncanny way of working itself out. 🙂

    GourmetOnADiet: I think I froze on the inside, too, but the right words somehow popped out of my mouth. When dealing with rude strangers it really is so hard to balance politeness with our own feelings of downright shock. Sometimes freezing is the only option we have. 😉

  • Reply Anna August 31, 2011 at 1:30 am

    Brilliant – sometimes we can find that even when we don’t want advice it helps us in weird ways. It would have been annoying and it was slightly rude but look what occured – an inspired post that us readers have related to and loved 🙂 The time I have had it was at the gym, someone corrected my form! Which I didnt like at all at the time but it helped me to not hurt my back in the end haha. I read in one of the readers comments about your scripts? Thats very cool I must say 🙂 alas – we can continue on writing about things we love not aiming to be a famous blogger and leave the others to fufill those roles.

    Anna xo

  • Reply Sara C. August 31, 2011 at 6:51 am

    I read you. You are worth it. As far as I’m concerned you have accomplished your goal.
    Sara C.
    my psst: i do not talk to strangers. ever. i’m kind of sociopathic. especially if i’m writing. or sipping coffee.

  • Reply Jennifer R. Coté August 31, 2011 at 3:53 pm

    Anna: I think your story about being corrected on your form at the gym is such a great example of finding something good in (and actually learning something new from) even the most unwanted situations. In your case, that encounter must have been doubly awkward just because of the setting; whenever someone approaches me at the gym, I assume they’re hitting on me and my sleaze-o-meter goes off. Here’s to forgetting about fame, letting our guards down a little and learning something new every day! 🙂

    Sara C: Thank you for reading, my dear! And, thank you for validating my goal. 😉 I can totally relate to your note about your sociopath factor being amplified whenever you’re writing or sipping coffee. Perhaps those two activities bring out the hermits in us all…

  • Reply Blue September 14, 2011 at 1:42 pm

    Linking this post on my blog tomorrow, it’s great!

    • Reply Jennifer R. Coté September 14, 2011 at 2:14 pm

      Thank you for the re-post love, Blue! I kind of adore the irony of getting so much positive feedback on this particular topic. 😉 I just love that what I said struck a chord, though.

  • Reply Cowboy Detective Novels | coté writes September 15, 2011 at 3:52 pm

    […] One of the sweet spots of my week has been learning that my post about why I’ll never be a famous blogger is featured on Metaphors in Blue today. Perhaps you could categorize this as a feel-good dose of […]

  • Reply Bow tied beauty September 15, 2011 at 5:48 pm

    Hi, I’m so happy I stumbled across your blog! (Actually got the link from Blue’s blog :p) I absolutely love your style of writing, I’ll definitely be checking back regularly for new posts 🙂

    http://bowtiedbeauty.blogspot.com/

    x

  • Reply Alana Winder September 19, 2011 at 7:55 am

    What a fantastic post! I came over from Blue’s, and I’m glad I did. It’s easy to feel pressure to post certain things or be a certain person to appeal to the masses. Blog peer pressure is everywhere! But good for you for resisting; I think quality is always better than quality when it comes to readers.

    • Reply Jennifer R. Coté September 19, 2011 at 11:48 am

      I could not agree with you more about quality being better than quantity as far as readers go, Alana. (By the way, I knew what you meant by ‘quality.’ 😉 ) I think genuineness is what makes any story/novel/blog lasting anyway. When something/someone is genuine, I think they always find an audience, no matter how big or small. Thanks for stopping by and sharing, my dear! -Jennifer

  • Reply Alana Winder September 19, 2011 at 7:56 am

    That was supposed to say quality is better than quantity. Ugh. 🙂

  • Reply Ethan Diehl May 25, 2012 at 9:23 am

    Jennifer,

    There is one simple reason that you will never be famous. You ARE NOT CRUEL ENOUGH. Sorry, it’s not in you. I know this is a curse, but deal with it.

    Your bud,

    Ethan

    • Reply Coté May 29, 2012 at 10:24 am

      Aw, thank you for your sweet words, Ethan – although I must admit I rue this curse of insufficient cruelty. 😉 You are so right about the fact that one trait that seems to be common amongst all famous people is their willingness to step on people in order to get to the top; I think this is usually even true of people who make a living off their wholesome images (I mean, just look at Martha Stewart). I can’t imagine thriving off other people’s misfortunes or putting others down in order to get ahead, never mind living with the guilt of doing this… I guess this is why I’ll live in anonymity sans my own line of baby apparel. 😉 Wishing a happy week to you, sir!

  • Reply clarissa June 7, 2012 at 10:34 am

    Jennifer I love this post. I love the randomness of your thoughts and your blog and am always happy reading your words.

    On a side note I am a bit alarmed at “Paul” being encouraged to blog. Based on the statement posted I am pretty sure he’s my husband and believe me his ridiculousness has no end. You’ve seen my FB album entitled “Paul is ridiculous in NY”? This is just the tip of the iceberg.

    Anyway, I miss you and hope we can be in the same city again one day soon but I love that your blog is always here for me.

    • Reply Coté June 7, 2012 at 2:21 pm

      Oh my goodness, your comment about people encouraging Paul to blog just made me burst out laughing, Clarissa. 😉 And, yes, I’m very familiar with your documentation of your hubby’s escapades. I think “Paul is Ridiculous in NY” has to be the best (or at least my favorite) photo-album title ever…I’m keeping my fingers crossed that CONSUMED will get into a film fest in NYC, so it can give me a happy excuse to come visit you soon. 🙂 Until then, I will love every moment of staying in touch online, my dear!

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