I think I’m finally getting this blogging thing.
How to make blogging suck:
- Think you need to sound like you know “what you are talking about” and then don’t write because you can’t think of anything really profound to say.
- Hide out in your posts. Don’t write what is really going on for you or what you are struggling with, because someone might figure out that you don’t know “what you are talking about”.
- When you think you know “what you are talking about”, write advice-sounding stuff, and then feel bad later because you can’t even follow it yourself.
- Write really dry and philosophical posts because you’ve taken all the juicy gory bits about your own life out because they might make you sound bad.
- Feel weird about blogging and don’t really commit to it because you don’t really want to be any more of a freak than you already feel like you are.
- Worry about the things you need to re-do on your blog and tell yourself you’ll write after you fix them, because you don’t want anybody to see your blog in it’s not-quite-perfect state. Then don’t fix them either.
- Feel very annoyed and righteous when commenters don’t “get it” and miss the whole point of your post while praising it as if they got it.
- Ignore other bloggers because you are afraid they might like you and then you’d feel obligated to read their blog every day and you’d also feel obligated to write every day or at least every other day or maybe at the VERY least more than once a week.
- Blog more often than you really feel inspired to because you think you “should”, and then realize that those posts suck because they were manufactured, not inspired.
- Decide that means you are actually a bad writer.
- Compare yourself to other bloggers who have lots of comments.
- Feel like you are writing into a void and what is the point.
- Develop a whole love/hate relationship with blogging, ignore all your blogs for months, all the while feeling guilty about your lack of posting.
- Decide that maybe you have nothing important to say anyway.
How to make blogging awesome:
- Read other people’s blogs who you really enjoy (when you feel inspired to) and comment. Write posts in response to their posts. Find a little community of bloggers who also Twitter and follow each other and write and comment and tweet happily along. Bonus: find local folks you can actually meet in person and breathe the same air with.
- If you don’t get to your RSS reader in say, a week or two, feel happy that you have Twitter so that you’ll get reminded ever so often when the people you care about blog because they’ll Twitter about it.
- Tweet your posts so people who know you will see them and read them.
- Seriously, Twitter rocks as a complement to blogging.
- Give yourself a break about the massive information overload and realize nobody keeps up with all the Twittering and blogging and etc that you could possibly keep up with so dip into it the stream when you want to and unplug and go for a walk when you don’t. The stream will still be there and you’re only going to feel like swimming so much of the time.
- Be grateful to commenters, even when they completely missed the point of your post, because that sometimes happens and it’s OK, someone somewhere will someday get it and even if they didn’t get “it”, they got something and that’s good too.
- If you can’t find time to write, write down your ideas for posts anyway, because even if you never do develop them into posts, getting them out of your head keeps the stream of ideas coming through you, so when you do have time/energy, something will come through for you to write about.
- Accept that there will always be things you want to fix about your blog.
- Write about things that you did or are doing that actually worked, not things you think you should do or sound good but you haven’t actually done because they could be one of those things that sounds good but doesn’t actually work and therefore helps nobody, not even you and you’re the one who wrote it.
- Put out to the Universe that you want to receive affirmation of what you are doing and that it matters.
- Show up with all your dirty laundry AND your philosophy, humorously and with drawings. Work the lessons in with the stories.
- Write because you love people, not because you want people to love you.
- Get awesome comments from people who really do get it.
- Feel completely awesome about the whole blogging thing.
- Decide you are completely legitimate and have awesome things to say that totally matter and people do get and appreciate.
- Be super happy that the Universe is good, art lives, things matter, love happens, and you get to be part of this glorious expanding everything God-Universe thing we call life.
James | Dancing Geek says
Oh wow! Yeah! I love how you’ve written a post that ironically reflects the post-modern feel of pre-World War II southern france, specifically around Paris. Uh-huh, uh-huh!
Sorry, couldn’t resist. 😛
More to the point, I have printed this out and am sticking it on my wall so that whenever I have any of the thoughts in the first section I can remind myself about the second section. Thank you!
I so needed to hear this today! I’ve had a website for ten years but I’m still trying to grasp the thinking and difference between blogging and writing articles.
Boy, do I know how to make blogging suck. Now it’s time to make it AWESOME. Thanks for spelling out how to do that. Great post! 🙂
Shannon Wilkinson says
Wow, what a wake-up call. Here I was thinking that blogging sucked, (or when it’s really bad, I suck) but really it is how I think about blogging that sucks. Thanks for going the extra step and reminding me very clearly how to make blogging awesome. This will also help me get Twitter and have fun with it, rather than take it so seriously. Like there’s a way to “get it right.” Thanks Emma!
I just came across your blog, and this post sucked me in. I’ve only been blogging for a few months, but I’ve found it’s really easy to start doubting yourself. I only recently realized that blogging is much more satisfying (for readers and myself) when I get more personal…like you said, not obsessing about always sounding like you “know what you’re talking about.”
I look forward to reading more of your blog!
@James Pre-war france? What? You are going to have to explain that one.
James | Dancing Geek says
@Emma – sorry, it was funny in my head. I was pretending to ‘get it’.
@James OOOOHHHH I get it now! That is funny in my head too. Now that I “get it”. Uh-huh, uh-huh! =)
Yes, the difference between blogging and article writing is a big one. It’s a different paradigm I think – blogging is much more about being a peer rather than an expert. Even in your expertness, you are transparent about your own stuff and how you are working through it, or your own learning process, and that makes what you are writing way more accessible. I think it’s part of a general trend toward a more egalitarian culture. Internally egalitarian – people feeling empowered and equal to each other, not just externally egalitarian. I like it.
Angela Harms says
Thanks for all the joy (again!). And do you *really* not worry about keeping a blogging schedule?! I can only dream…
Still noticing that I’m glad you exist!
I am not a real scheduled person in general. I do have some structure to my week, but that is for the mundane things like accounting. I do it on Fridays. There, that’s my schedule. =)
I don’t believe in forced creativity. Or force at all really. I want to write from inspiration. So I do whatever I need to do to support my inspiration. And then I trust it to come. =)
I do write regularly, but it’s not always on the blog, and it’s also not on a schedule. I write in my journal, but at my inner prompting. But I did do it every day for quite awhile to establish the habit in my brain so it knows that if it feels crufty, it’s time to pick up the laptop and journal.
I don’t get the purpose of a blog schedule really. Here are the reasons I’ve seen:
a) To make sure the readers don’t feel abandoned.
Well, that seems like an invitation to be codependent with my readers. They are grown-ups. I’m sure they’ll be OK. I don’t think they actually want me to force myself to write so they will have something every day or whatever.
b) Because consistency improves things like rankings, etc
Well, I know I produce more crap when I force myself to write. Which would not improve my readership, so it’s a wash.
c) Because writing regularly is good for many reasons.
True. But that doesn’t mean writing for publication. I write in my journal regularly to keep the stream flowing. That doesn’t mean I need to produce finished writing every day.
The only reason I can see to do it is if:
d) It works for you and you like it.
And it doesn’t work for me, I don’t like it, so I don’t do it.
What do you think? Do you have a different reason for doing it that I haven’t mentioned?
I also have two other blogs, a few other websites I manage, and a business. I think my brain would explode if I tried to schedule it all. Ka-boom!
I’ve developed a really trusting relationship with my intrinsic motivation. I trust it will want to do what I really need to do, and if I don’t want to do it, it’s not what I need to be doing anyway (on the life purpose level, which is the level I really care about).
Angela Harms says
You know what, Emma? The universe just keeps bringing me more permission to be who I am. Or I’m noticing it more, anyway.
How does it feel to be used like that, by, you know, the universe? Oh, that’s right. You planned it that way! 😛
I think of people – well, everything – as cells in the body of the Universe/God.
Does a body use a cell – to survive and meet its needs? Or does the cell use the body – to survive and meet its needs?
Or does the question make no sense, because neither would be able to exist without the other.
Then there is the magical thing where the body is more than the sum of its constituents – patterns emerge, life emerges, consciousness emerges, they just arise out of the complexity, and it’s a mystery how.
Perhaps there is a global consciousness that is an emergent property of all the consciousness on the planet. Or the Universe. Now *that’s* the final frontier.
James | Dancing Geek says
@Emma – Oooh, complexity theory, chaos theory and emergent properties! My geek sense is tingling!
Since a body is made up of cells, it cannot use the cell, it is an emergent property of the interaction of all the different cells (themselves emergent properties of the interactions between the different parts…atoms…quarks…!) So neither uses the other. In fact, there is no intention merely being. It amazes me that the wonder of consciousness is it’s own worst enemy (much as humans are to themselves) since it is ego and intent that cloud our judgement, yet inform it.
Ok, this just got tangential and wierd! I was just aiming for the it doesn’t make sense as a question. But then sometimes those questions come up with the most interesting answers…
Ooops, there I go again!
A collective consciousness that is an emergent property of all the consciousnesses – I’d absolutely see that happening. At it’s worst it’s mob mentality or crowd-think. At it’s best it’s artistic collaboration. Social media certainly seems poised to be able to provide the tools for conscious emergent properties as people interact thoughtfully rather than passively (e.g. tv).
Right, I’m stopping before I *really* start philosophising! 🙂
As ever Emma, you make my brain spark!
i really enjoyed this post. thank-you.
Thanks Emma. I’ve been afraid to blog– mostly because some of my ideas sound really wacky…even to me 🙂
Things like, are we really any better off than we were as tribal or early civilization societies? What would happen if we intentionally went back to that kind of model? What would my life be like without any computers? How would I still be artistic and creative?
What would it look like to live a life that is 100% integrated and in alignment with who I am in every moment…
Who is going to read that? But maybe no one has to. Maybe it would help me get more clarity in my life…