Yesterday, Freddie Wilde (@fwildecricket) over at The Corridor of Certainty posted a piece he wrote about Sachin Tendulkar. It’s beautiful and short and perfect and you should read it. Everyone should read it.
A few hours after posting it, my friend Devanshu of DeepBackwardPoint and TheTeesra retweeted his story, as did several other people. And it simply made me happy to know that I blogged within a community that promoted its own members. If you write a decent story, your fellow bloggers will promote it, guaranteed.
The non-competitive and helpful nature of cricket bloggers is probably due to the fact that none of us make any money doing this, nor do we really expect to. At least I don’t. Ever. At all. And honestly the above is probably true for other blogging communities – be it fashion or music or technology, but I like to think that our community is a bit different somehow, I don’t know exactly how, but I still believe it.
There are so many cricket bloggers out there doing amazing work: for no money. And it’s not kid stuff either – writing every day for free on the Internet is fucking HARD. But people keep at it – day in, day out – and I like to think that is because of our chosen topic, our unique little community, and because we all promote each other’s content. Then again, there are millions of non-cricket bloggers doing the same thing – and sharing content is what makes the Internet go ‘round, so maybe I am putting too much emphasis on our chosen blog subject, maybe we are no different than any other group. But, again, I like to think we are – and here’s why:
I have been writing in this space for well over 18 months now. This is the longest I have kept up with any such endeavor. The closest I came was a blog I started in response the Minnesota Twins trading for outfielder Craig Monroe back in 2008. I was, and still am, rather proud of it – especially this post – but it petered out after six months. But for whatever reason, I have kept at this. And I honestly think it is because people like Devanshu came, read, commented, and promoted. It’s amazing what a little feedback can do for one’s motivation.
Would that have happened if I had continued writing about Craig Monroe…or started writing about politics, or Arsenal, or history? Maybe, but probably not, I don’t think.
Something about cricket writing touches nerves with people, and for some reason it attracts phenomenally talented writers, and for some reason those writers want to promote other, less talented, writers, instead of simply ignoring them or even worse actively dissuading people from reading them.
I don’t know, maybe I am making too much out of all of this. Maybe we are a just a bunch of people with enough free time to commit to a rather time-consuming hobby. Maybe we all do still fantasize about actually somehow eeking out a living through writing about something we love. Maybe we all look at Jarrod Kimber and Arseblog and BikeSnobNYC and the Oatmeal and think: that could be me!
Arseblog’s first post ever was just like all of our first posts:
“Feb 27th 2002 – The A R S E B L O G is born amidst a fanfare of pure silence and a rippling of no applause. Not sure what way this thing is going to go, it has no plan, no direction, no aim, no purpose – simply a tool for me to ramble on about all things Arsenal and maybe some other stuff instead. Anyway, I shall crack on.”
Sound familiar? Of course it does. And now Arseblogger has over 8,000 followers…on Instagram…Instagram!
So why not us, we surely must think?
I mean, Jesse Thorne laid it all out for us plain as day. As did Conan O’Brien. The Internet is chock full of success stories. So maybe we are all blogging and promoting and tweeting intellectually understanding that this is going nowhere but still believing like fools that if we just keep at it long enough, good things will happen. Like, maybe Cricinfo will pay you freelance scale for 500 words on how Andrew Strauss is in discussions with CSA about possibly joining their selection committee.
And maybe that’s why we cricket bloggers help each other out, because we are selfish and know that if we promote someone, they will promote us possibly down the road and maybe Andrew Miller will see it and then PAYDIRT.
Or not. Actually, I don’t think that it is true at all. I think maybe cricket just attracts funny and interesting and smart and kind people who like to read about and write about and follow a silly old anachronism of a bat and ball sport. That’s all. And when someone like Freddie Wilde posts something we like about Sachin Tendulkar, we simply want others to see it so they can like it too.
I am sure I am over-thinking this. But in the back of my head, the nagging thought remains: something made me stay, and keep writing, through one of the most difficult periods of my life. And I like to think it is not at all because of my writing – which is subpar and sporadic – but because I enjoy being part of this community of cricket bloggers. And, so, in that spirit: thanks for having me.
Now: back to work.