Today, more than ever, it seems that everyone is writing; everyone has an opinion on everything, and apparently everyone’s mission is to let the world know about it. The amount of noise, online, is disorienting. That makes building an audience difficult. And even when the occasional article is mentioned or linked by prominent writers or websites, people will come — perhaps even a lot of them — but few will stay.
In The post-traffic-spike chill, I wrote:
In other words, people don’t seem to stay or at least willing to explore more when they arrive on a blog they probably never saw before. I’m surprised, and not because I’m so vain to think I’m that charismatic as to retain 90% of new visitors, but by the general lack of curiosity. I can understand that not all the people who followed MacStories’ link to my site had to like it or agree with me. What I don’t understand is the behaviour of who liked what they saw. Why not return, why not decide to keep an eye on my site?
The other day I was thinking about this subject again and I figured I could address it from another perspective.
As I was saying, there’s a lot to read online these days, lots of interesting voices, but we can’t read them all. When we find someone new, there’s a question going through our minds while we’re deciding whether to add this someone to our feeds or not. The question is, essentially: Why should I add this person? What makes him/her special or otherwise worthy of my attention?
So I’m going to try to offer you an answer here. I might sound immodest here and there, but I’m simply being honest with you.
The short answer
I know how to write, I’m good at what I do, I do my homework, I publish an article only when I have something to say, I respect my audience and welcome constructive feedback, and I also write fiction if that’s more your thing.
If you want a more articulate answer, keep reading.
A few reasons why you should read me
- I know how to write — As immodest as this sounds, it’s something you can readily judge for yourself. Feel free to explore my site and read my articles. While you do that, think about this: English is not my first language. (I’ve studied it since I was 4, and I’ve been writing fiction in English since the 1990s.)
- I know my stuff — I’ve been passionate about technology since my teens. I was involved in Desktop Publishing when I was 18. I know computers. I’ve researched the subjects of design, user interfaces and usability for years. I’ve read a lot about the most diverse subjects because I was born curious and eager to learn. If I write about something, it’s because I’ve had experience of it; before writing about something, I do my homework.
- I write only when I have something to say — Growing up I was taught to give an opinion only when I really had something to say — something useful to bring to the table — and to shut up otherwise. And it’s what I do here, that’s why you won’t necessarily find ‘new stuff’ every day. I’m usually up-to-date when it comes to the latest tech debate, but if I feel I don’t have much to contribute to the discussion, I won’t write about it.
- I respect my readers — If I keep my site updated and my projects running, it’s not because I’m hungry for pageviews. It’s not because I somehow make money out of it: there are no ads here, and no annoying social media widgets either. I want this to be a pleasant place to visit, I want to contribute something useful and to provide articles that can retain some value over time, not just spur-of-the-moment pieces that are bound to lose their relevance as soon as a certain discussion is over. And although comments are disabled, I’m always, always interested in constructive feedback and criticism. As I said above, I know my stuff, but if you know more or have more experience on the topic I’m discussing, I’m always ready to stand corrected if I make some mistakes or provide incorrect information.
- I don’t rehash, reblog, or do one-line commentary — The vast majority of what I offer here is made of original articles. I don’t like ‘linked-list’ or ‘parasite’ blogs maintained by people who evidently have little to say and to offer apart from a quip or a few words of commentary; people who basically have something to say always in response/reaction to someone else, but rarely — if ever — contribute to the debate with something personal, original, genuine. I never wanted my website and blog to be like that. I don’t like the idea of using a link and a one-line comment just to create filler content for when I have little to say — you know, just to keep the place updated. I respect my readers too much to do that.
I also write fiction
Here on Morrick.me I mostly write about technology, software, design, user experience, usability, and then I have a section — Et Cetera — that I use to publish articles and writings about other subjects I may occasionally cover, like creative writing, translation, or even thoughts and musings of a more personal nature.
But before being a tech writer, I’m a writer — period. I’ve been writing poetry and fiction since the late 1980s/early 1990s. It’s been hard work. I started in Italian, of course, then for a while I wrote stories both in English and Italian, and in recent years I switched to English-only.
I have published the first volume of short stories of a series called Minigrooves, and you can purchase it on the iBookstore. If you want to know more about the book and the project, read this article. As I wrote there, The 42 stories are quite varied and should appeal to a wide audience. Each of them has its particular ‘groove’, each of them has its mood, and since each story is self-contained, you don’t even have to read them sequentially. Some stories are longer and more complex than others (they were published in parts when they first ‘aired’ online), and therefore you’ll likely enjoy them more when you have more time to read.
If novels are more your thing — especially sci-fi novels set in a dystopian near future — then you may be interested in Low Fidelity, the novel I’m currently publishing in serialised form inside Vantage Point Magazine (a compact digital magazine I’ve launched on Apple’s Newsstand platform).
If you want to know more about Low Fidelity — to have an idea of the project, the world of the novel, etc., you can also check out the Crosslines//Low Fidelity website.
You can support my writing by purchasing Minigrooves and/or subscribing to Vantage Point Magazine. I strive to offer quality content and good fiction, and I think I’m not asking that much in return.