Do What You Do And What You Know No Matter What

Last week I was listening to an online review of Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows. There were 4 people talking about the movie. Three of the people absolutely loved it; one guy hated it. The guy who hated it owned up to the fact that he’d never read any of the books, nor had he seen the other movies. So, he was lost, looking for action, and hoping the movie would entertain him even if he didn’t know anything about the series.

I remember when the first X-Files movie came out there were a lot of people who were saying the same exact thing. No matter that the movie did have excitement (heck, it had explosions within the first 5 minutes) and even aliens (man, a movie with aliens that also makes sense is my kind of movie), but people were upset because they didn’t know the history behind the show or the characters, felt left out, and thus rated the movie lower than it deserved.

Sometimes I think people just don’t get it. Everything in the world isn’t for everyone; that’s just life. I remember a review of a John Denver concert years ago where the woman who did the review stated up front that she hated John Denver and left the concert feeling the same way. In my opinion, how could she even think of writing a fair review if she went in already knowing she didn’t like it? Was she expecting him to do something special so she’d say “wow, I was wrong all these years” if she hated it?

I’m bringing this up because of the subject of influence and being “liked”. In yesterday’s post on Twitter Chats, I talked about how some people didn’t like others using Twitter in that fashion and the resulting dustups that end up with some people losing followers and others gaining some. Just as the concept of Twitter chats isn’t for everyone, neither is every blog for every person.

Well, maybe that’s a bit much. I like to think this blog is for everyone, but I know that every post isn’t for everyone. If I write about sports and you don’t like sports, I don’t expect you to stick around long. I know I can write about cleavage (especially if I add an image) and Sire‘s going to be there, but if I write about string theory, chaos theory and the calculations of quantum physics that says they’re possible (ugly stuff to be sure, but kind of fun in a way) it might not grab his attention as much, but there might be someone out there intrigued enough to read it all.

I know there are times when I talk tech and some folks stay away in droves because they don’t get it. i also know I go to blogs that talk about cars or other things that my mind can’t always figure out either. I certainly don’t always understand “mom” blogs, being neither a mom or a parent.

When there are things that don’t appeal to my sensibilities, I don’t sit down and gripe about them at that moment; I leave. Whether or not I come back is irrelevant. It’s obvious at that moment that a particular thing wasn’t written for me or to me, and thus I don’t have to try to force it into what I want it to be. There are plenty of other outlets, plenty of other people who’d appreciate my time, and those people who are doing something I’m not interested in are going to appreciate that I didn’t stop by and rake them through the coals because they weren’t my cup of tea at that moment either.

Don’t beat yourself up if you’re in a niche that not everyone can get behind. Those that do get behind it will be loyal to a fault, especially if you return that loyalty. And don’t beat yourself up if someone comes to your blog and leaves comments, yet you visit their blog and find yourself kind of lost. I think anyone who’s expecting me to stop by a punk rock blog just because they stopped by here and posted a comment is kidding themselves, just as I know I’d be kidding myself if I thought everyone should be watching and listening to every opera video I posted.

If you’re creating something, whether it’s a blog or website or book or music, create what you want, then find your particular audience, or they’ll find you. Don’t cater to someone who hasn’t invested time to learn what it is you have to offer. Sure, there are times when you might have to take a step back and give some background before moving forward. But like Harry Potter, X-Files and John Denver, if your stuff has been out there for awhile and a newcomer stops by and slams you for their ignorance, don’t bite; just go on with your bad selves. And if you’re wondering where that comes from, check out a clip from one of my favorites, the Muppets:


A Charlie Brown Christmas

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21 thoughts on “Do What You Do And What You Know No Matter What”

  1. All good points, Mitch. And then there are those self-appointed critics who are simply out to trash the work of other people. No reason, no justification, except spite. Unfortunately, a few negative words can be enough to hurt a business or undermine a person’s confidence. Sometimes it’s deserved — scammers, con artists, and other crooks come to mind — but more often than not, it isn’t.

    Thanks for the Muppets video!

    1. I agree with you Charles, sometimes it’s just not prudent for some people to do certain things. Last week I was with some people who started naming all these indie bands that I’d never heard of. Knowing the style of music, it wouldn’t make any sense to send someone like me to review it because I’m probably not going to have a good time. Then how fair would it be for me to give a review on it when I knew going in that wasn’t my thing? Some people do get off on that sort of things, putting others down for no reason except they can. I’m not into that; if I can’t be encouraging then I’m going to leave people alone. That’s not a bad thing to do in my opinion.

  2. I think this is exactly the point do it your way, no matter what – for sure there will be more people that will like it too and for sure it will not gonna fail. Regarding Harry Potter, OMG! No comment!

    1. I’m with you Carl, unless someone is a total jerk, they’ll find an audience for whatever they do if they’re sincere about it.

    1. Trust me; I know what draws Sire, and in a few days, there will be something else I know he’ll be first in line for. lol

  3. I find myself liking a blogger’s tone and if I like the way they present themselves, I typically enjoy all of their posts even if the subject matter of a post now and then may not be all that interesting to me.

    I think most people who run blogs that involve some personal posts are normally pretty interesting people, in general. I may not be that interested in the subject matter of a post, but I am interested in their opinion.

    1. Great stuff, Jessica. Actually I find your blog pretty funny and that’s why I like visiting it. It’s definitely a perspective I’ll never be able to talk about, with no kids.

  4. From my experience, if you try to please too many people, you end up in a huge mess.
    It’s better to just “go with the flow” and stick to your style and type of content, in the end you’ll end up “pleasing” people naturally inclined to listen to you.

  5. Jessica makes a great point – the personality and tone of the blogger contributes a lot to the quality of the posts.

  6. Beautifully written Mitch, and it’s not like I can smell cleavage or anything, it’s just that I can’t help noticing them when they’re shoved in front of my face. So to all the lovely women who love to show their cleavage, don’t get mad at me if I forget to gaze into your lovely blue, or whatever color they are, eyes. 😉

    As to your post Mitch, I found it very inspiring and I think lot of bloggers who are getting depressed about their blogging life at the moment would do well in reading it. I’m giving it a Tweet so that maybe some of my followers will drop by.

    1. Thanks Sire. It can be lonely, but it also takes working one’s network, which I do try to do. It’s amazing how many different styles of blogs there are, and when I can I will comment, but there’s also many that I just can’t figure out how to comment, as in give a comment that’s worth giving. But everyone needs to stay true to themselves, as we do.

      1. Yeah, I’ve come across a few where I couldn’t leave a comment. I usually give those a tweet if I think they’re worthy, otherwise I just shrug the old shoulders and move on.

      2. I wouldn’t expect you to leave a comment or retweet something that didn’t interest you; I certainly don’t. I don’t ever want to feel obligated to do anything I didn’t fully support.

  7. Mitch,

    I absolutely agree with you, love the point of do what we like, this is amazing.

    I speak from my own experience, at the first months i started my blog, everyone told me to change my blog’s niche, which is still video wordpress tutorial until now.

    They said, i won’t get traffic for that, i almost believe them, sooner i found out i did not have traffic because i had only 20 posts.

    Now i am happy what i am getting and do believe, do whatever we like, and do it properly.



    1. That’s the way to do it, Kimi. It’s kind of the thing about the post just before this one about paying the price. Content is definitely one of those prices one has to be willing to pay for their blogs. I’m glad you’ve figured yours out.

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