Considering TLF has now existed for eight years, we’ve decided to offer advice as veteran fangirls, bloggers, writers that have been slogging our way through the digital muck since Web 1.0. Some of our “Bad Advice from Old Ladies” are answers to questions we’ve received, but much is based on our crone-like wisdom that we insist on sharing with you. Hell, the inspiration for the title of this post is Digital Underground!
First up, writing: If you are going to publish online, it’s more important than ever to be true to your unique writing voice. This may seem obvious, but professional writing is in a precarious, conflicted era: writers are told to “follow their passion” (with the implication that money will follow) and yet pageviews are king and social virality means as much, if not more than a unique voice and a well-crafted perspective. Writers are frequently at a loss for what direction to go in. We’re totally in support getting paid, so we’re not saying that writers should turn up their nose at writing that doesn’t “make your heart sing” You may work at a content farm or retail for pay, but there’s still so much importance to what you put your name on. And there’s always room for writing that reflects a unique perspective, even if it’s not popular. Especially if it’s not popular.
During the early days of TLF, this was a quasi-anonymous blog. We did that out of fear that the writing we did might somehow be seen as competing with our day jobs. And then later on, we made a decision that we wanted our names on the work we created. Why? Because we stand behind what The Learned Fangirl is — and we think that our writing matters. Not only did that help us, but it has inspired us to bring in other voices.
Your best writing may not always be your most popular, and it may not always be viral, but that’s OK. If we cared purely about the increasing the volume of page views through “virality”, we’d focus solely on k-pop and video games. We certainly aren’t going to stop writing in those areas, but amassing a ton of pageviews isn’t our goal (not to mention, some of those pageviews come from less-than-attentive readers). The TLF staff is interested in a lot of topics, there’s a lot of pop culture that isn’t written about, believe it or not, and we think that this blog offers much more to offer as a multi-fandom website, and a platform for writers from all walks of pop culture life.
So write what you want! And be a fan of what you want. And know there’s always an audience that’s bigger and broader than what metrics will tell you about.