Blogworthy.

14 Jan

Do you remember back in the days of 7th Heaven and Full House when it seemed like every TV character in a family would work through the same issue or dilemma in a week, and at the end they would all gather and talk about the lesson they had learned? Making fun of those plotlines is one of my absolute favorite things to do, but I definitely had one of those weeks where the same subject kept popping back up over and over, and by Thursday I really felt the need to sit down and think about it.

Lesson learned? It’s tough to be a good blogger. At least, a good blogger true to yourself.

When you think about it, blogging is fickle in and of itself. Are you writing for yourself or your readers? My guess is your readers, if you’re bothering to publish the post. But how much are you willing to blog for them, and will that really benefit you? We blog, for the most part, about everyday things. Little outings that make good stories, inspiration, daily happenings, vents, frustrations, and celebrations. We create this picture-perfect image of what our lives are like, and only what we want to be read makes the cut.

For me, this means sometimes editing little things out of posts. At other times, it means scrapping posts entirely. It’s tough, as a blogger, to risk alienating your readers. If some leave, will new ones take their place? Will people still like me? It’s like high school all over again! And, of course, there’s the permanence of it all. The magic of Google cache means it’s never really gone, even if you delete it.

I don’t have a clear resolution to this. I’m not sure how much I am ready to share, and what I’d rather keep to myself. But I looked at the blogs I consistently get lost in, the ones I really look forward to, and they’re the ones that are written relatively uncensored. They tend to receive the most criticism, but they also invoke the most emotion. What do you prefer to read? As a blogger, do you struggle with this?

 

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10 Responses to “Blogworthy.”

  1. Steph January 14, 2011 at 10:32 am #

    I like reading blogs that put it all out there, too.. personally, I try to write what I can (some stuff I just can’t since I’m not all that anonymous.. that’s what my journal is for, and it’s my business). I tend to follow blogs that are similar to my own/my personality, but that’s not always the case.

    In my mind, I blog for myself and my readers. I want them to be entertained, but not in such a way that I’m not being “true” to myself.

    Nice post πŸ™‚

  2. mllelibrary January 14, 2011 at 2:30 pm #

    I believe in posting the truth that you would say to someone’s face. As an educator, I am always aware of what people “think” no one will find out only to realize that their evil words are everywhere. Sure, it can be worth the shock value, but what about being a person/writer of poise? If I’m not willing to tell someone straight out, I’m not willing to write it.

  3. Jessica January 14, 2011 at 2:52 pm #

    At first, I was really writing for me — because I had no readers. Then, I would try to think “would someone like/agree with what I’m writing?” but now, I think I’ve hit my groove. I blog when a topic hits me and I really try to not edit down my post much. There’s something refreshing just hitting PUBLISH POST without questioning yourself. πŸ˜€

  4. Married in Chicago January 15, 2011 at 12:48 pm #

    Yes! This is something that has been on my mind a lot lately. When I started, I really only blogged for myself and I probably shared way too much (just look at some of my early posts!). Lately, I’ve been much more on the edited side of things. I only blog about a small percentage of my life and I try to edit my posts to keep the original source of the content, but remove unnecessary personal information. This is partly because I found out some of my in-laws read my blog πŸ™‚ But, also because I started to feel uncomfortable with how much information about me I was putting on the internet.

  5. Gogo January 15, 2011 at 4:33 pm #

    For me, the key thing about personal blogs that I like the best is more about the honesty and sincerity in what’s posted. I don’t necessarily need to hear about every detail or story (though also cool sometimes) but make what is there count, you know what I mean?

    I tend to really dislike when things are just hinted at. Sometimes people mention that they are having a hard time with a personal thing that they don’t want to discuss in detail, but here is how they’re feeling … That works for me because they are honest about the feelings part and sometimes you just can’t get into something but you want to frankly address some aspect of it. But, for example, in one blog I read she mentioned little things over a long period of time about feeling down, having a hard time with something, taking medication, etc. Little things that would just come up in the posts regularly over time that made me frustrated. I mean, it’s her blog and she can do what she wants, but if you don’t want to go there stop dropping hints.

    Also, blogs about fashion and design and cool projects and stuff I probably won’t ever be able to buy but want take up a lot of space in my reader.

  6. Kristin January 16, 2011 at 11:10 am #

    Great post. I’ve been thinking a lot about what I’ll do after the wedding recaps are done. I’m generally not a private person; I am not afraid to put it all out there. I think I write for readers, but also for the satisfaction I get in writing something great and knowing that other people like it too. It’s a hobby, I guess, so I think the key is to blog a lot to practice so that you get in the right groove and find your place πŸ™‚

  7. Shannon January 16, 2011 at 4:37 pm #

    Firm believer in staying true to yourself. I personally love your blog and no one lives in Far Far Away and life is not a fairytale. Love the blogs that make ppl seem more like real ppl.

  8. Anni January 17, 2011 at 9:27 am #

    You all are awesome. πŸ™‚ I love these thoughtful comments.

  9. Layla January 17, 2011 at 10:05 am #

    I struggle with this constantly. I’m an open book – I don’t hold back in person, and I don’t want to hold back on my blog. And although I’m not blogging to gain readers, I also don’t feel like being the target of criticism (I’m hard enough on myself, thank you) or negativity, but I don’t want to be fake, either. Also, some things…I just don’t want them out there. I don’t blog nearly as often as I used to, but I’m still pretty honest. I’ve found that I only blog now when I have something to say, instead of trying to keep readers engaged by blogging every day. I’ll never be a big blogger and I’m okay with that (though I think it would rock, at times). It’s weird for a filterless person in real life to worry about having a filter online, I guess. But I think tone and interpretation makes the difference….you can’t control how people interpret what you say and you can’t, although you may try, always convey the tone you’re intending in type.

  10. Cortney January 23, 2011 at 1:02 am #

    I totally agree with Gogo- it’s ok to self edit, and have things you don’t care to talk about on your blog, but do it before it hits the post. She nailed it with this sentence “But, for example, in one blog I read she mentioned little things over a long period of time about feeling down, having a hard time with something, taking medication, etc. Little things that would just come up in the posts regularly over time that made me frustrated. I mean, it’s her blog and she can do what she wants, but if you don’t want to go there stop dropping hints.”

    I’ve read blogs like that, and it is so annoying. Because then there are tons of “oh, girl, so sorry! feel better *hugs*” kind of gushy comments from people who have no idea what is wrong, but who are now all emotionally invested in the cryptic angst of a blogger. And honestly sometimes I feel like bloggers who do that- give a smidge of honesty but not really- are kind of jerking their readers around, hoping to pique interest or something…maybe that’s unfair of me to assume. I don’t like it for the same reason I don’t like cryptic angsty facebook statuses- it seems contrived, and it seems like you are begging someone to ask you “oh no, what’s wrong?!”. Like dangling a little blog carrot to keep people coming back, to see if you finally “spill it”.

    I think as long as you have clear personal boundaries you’ll be fine. Some bloggers are super honest and open, others have clear boundaries and you get a feel for what they aren’t willing to talk about. But it’s the wishy washy bs of Girltown, Blogger U.S.A Teen Angst Edition that I drive straight on through without a look in the rearview mirror πŸ™‚

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