Writing Wednesday (9) – Blogging Personality

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Welcome to Writing Wednesday, my weekly feature where I discuss my works in progress, project ideas, editing struggles, or anything else related to the world of writing. Feel free to grab my button and post your own thoughts on writing! Leave a link to your post in the comments and I’ll stop by.

Lately I’ve felt like there wasn’t a whole lot of “me” shining through on this blog. It’s a bit of a balancing act, isn’t it? On the one hand I don’t want to blather on about myself when you came here to read about books or writing or whatever silly thing I feel like bringing up on Sundays. On the other hand, it is so boring to read dry reviews, bare-bones posts, and frivolous content, which is where I fear I’m headed.

I didn’t start a blog to exorcise my personal demons, pouring my every thought into the blogosphere. I didn’t think this would be an exercise in cold banality either. Yet still I struggle to find the happy medium. Some days I go on frenetic commenting sprees where I leave witty remarks and dazzle myself with my own brilliance. (Shh, just go with it.) Those are the times when I wonder, Why can’t I write posts like that?

It’s so much easier to engage in repartee than to just mouth off to potential silence. Blogging sure has a way of feeling like that sometimes. What if no one visits today? What if no one comments? There’s nothing worse than feeling like you are talking and nobody’s listening.

That universal writing fear can strike all of us, whether we are bloggers, authors, or scholars. That thought can paralyze us and keep us from achieving our dreams. When we do connect with readers, via comments, letters, or conversations at conferences, it validates the feeling that we have something worth saying. Not only that, but we say it in a way that someone likes. How awesome is that?

I want to share myself with all of you so that we can make that personal connection. I’m not sure I’m accomplishing that here just yet. I want my voice to shine through so you can decide whether you think I’m kind, funny, interesting, and most importantly – readable. I’m contemplating participating in fewer memes, or at least less frequently, so I can open up my schedule for less rigid posts.

What do you think? Want more of me, or should I keep on keepin’ on?

Why do you read the bloggers you do? What do you expect of them?

13 thoughts on “Writing Wednesday (9) – Blogging Personality

  1. I may be in the minority, but I LIKE reviews and thoughts about books. That's the main reason I follow, and comment. I rarely comment on most memes. I think it's difficult to find a balance, but for myself, I try to never post two memes in a row – I make sure I have lots of book talks. When I decide to follow a blog, that's what I look for.

  2. I tend to agree with what Annette has to say in the above post. I pick blogs to follow because of 1.) Reviews and 2.) Writing Style. When I think a blogger's writing style has a particular flair, I tend to follow them. I do appreciate some memes: Cover Crazy, IMM, Wow. As long as the blogger takes time to write a bit of commentary to accompany them.I find myself gravitating more towards bloggers who are reviewing good books, books in the genre I am excited about reading too. My favorite part of reading blogs though are posts about books or posts (like this one) where it promotes some sort of discussion.Hope this helps…

  3. I try to find a balance between book/writing talk and personal anecdotes. It can feel really awkward to post random personal stories (Hey strangers! Come read about ME!), but that's what my blog is for, to put myself out there. Still, sometimes I'll feel like such a dork for publishing a post that I look forward to posting again so that I can push it down further in the archives! I try to pay attention to which posts get the most traffic and comments, and to not write too many similar themes in a row. I do enjoy reading other people's personal anecdotes and passionate rants, and I like it when they post pictures. Hope this is helpful! For what it's worth, I've really enjoyed your blog so far! You're on my daily read list ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. I say, be you!! Whether you feel more comfortable doing reviews and memes or you feel better writing more personal items, just be you. Or just add an extra personal comment or two to your memes and reviews.

  5. I struggle with that, too! And I wonder if there really is an answer. I follow some blogs because I just want writing advice or book recommendations–nothing more. But then there are the blogs I follow for the writer's personality and have no problem reading about why they didn't do laundry yesterday. And, yeah, every time I hit publish I fear no one will visit and comment and I'll be talking to myself.

  6. Well, Logan, I have to admit to being dazzled by you many times before. And you have had WW going on for a while, and you've always included personal thoughts and struggles on them which are far from dry. I think you are doing a great job and as long as your having fun, that is all that matters! Gah, I'm so lame.

  7. I second Missie's comment. @Missie, that so was not a lame thing to say, trust me. It's very helpful to hear the truth.I think what bloggers lose sight of once they start up is having fun. I wouldn't worry too much about who visits your blog. I mean, for me, I look at my blog as my book journal, where I write what I feel. And as long as you write blog posts that reflect your feelings, I don't think you could ever be considered dry. And I feel like you've already accomplished that, Logan. Don't worry for a second that you're coming off as dry, as less than personable. Totally not the case. Don't stress over it! And if your concern is the readers who visit, you've got 166 'em who followed you because your blog is interesting.Seriously, be happy; you're one of the my fave bloggers out there, which says something. ;)Asher K. (Paranormal Indulgence)

  8. I've had the same thoughts about my own blog, and here are a few of the conclusions I've reached. I don't want my blog to be a chore. I want it to be fun. If I try to make my blog a certain way, a way that doesn't feel natural to me, it won't be. Plus, I want people to like my blog because they like the way I do things. I figure there are enough people on the internet (and in the world) that there's an audience out there for everyone. That said, I've also had the same thoughts about the memes. They're kind of same-y. Not WoW–that totally makes sense to me. Books I'm waiting on is a feature I'd do anyway, so it makes why not put a link to my entry somewhere? But FF and BBH–well, again, I don't want followers who are only following me because they want me to return the follow. You know? At the same time, I wouldn't have discovered some blogs I currently stalk (yours!) if it weren't for those memes. That's the reason I haven't joined any other ones. A compromise, if you will. Also, I think you do a great job of encouraging discussion, and that's huge. It's something I wish I were better at. And, I think that every time we use words to express ourselves, we're sharing our personality. It's in everything we do, big or small.

  9. I definitely worry about this as well. I feel really silly sometimes when I reveal pieces of my personal life or views on my blog. That said, I really love bloggers who let their personalities shine through. I would love to hear more from you!

  10. Logan, let me be honest here. I stalk you. ๐Ÿ™‚ Don't ever worry about your posts not being read, because I read 'em all. Even if you're reviewing a book I really don't have any interest in reading and so don't have much to say in a comment, I still read your review. Because you wrote it and you're awesome. I don't think you're style is dry at all. I can't even count all the times you've made me laugh out loud here. Your reviews are clear and helpful. When you're excited about a book, that shows. I don't think you need to write about yourself in order for your personality to still shine through. After all, even book reviews are all about how the blogger was personally affected. Before I started blogging I used to read a few book blogs and I know I always skipped passed the personal posts. I didn't care about getting to know them. I just wanted to read their reviews! I'm sure you also have a bunch of readers who value your blog for your reviews only, but it's hard to remember those readers because they're not vocal. Like others have said though, do what makes you happy ๐Ÿ™‚ At the end of the day, that's what matters.

  11. I like that you brought this up. I have been thinking about the same thing: I am a very private person, but still I know who much I like to read a blog with personality, and by that I mean that the author of the blog let's us get to know him og her. But it is a balance, too much personal stuff is not good. The best is if you are able to blend tne personal stuff with the bookstuff, I think.

  12. Thank you everyone for your thoughts. They were really helpful. I hope this entry didn't come off sounding too whiny. @Annette and @Gina – I think that's mostly what I look for as well. I think balance is the key where memes are concerned, and writing reviews that honor the book and share what we love about them. I shouldn't be overthinking this.@Rachel – I think more visuals would be fun. I tend to like blogs that aren't all text all the time. Good suggestion!@Carrie – You are so right. The minute I start trying to force this blog into something that isn't natural for me is when it will start to get boring!@Missie – Thanks for reminding me that I am doing some of this already. You're SO not lame.@Asher – Thanks for the encouragement! Having fun is the whole reason I set out to do this, so I need to keep that in mind. @Ruby – I like the long comment! I agree, I like the memes because they help me branch out, and I met some of my fave bloggers through them, but it can get really repetitive. I think if I quit being so rigid with myself and my schedule and remember to have fun, I'll feel better about the whole thing.@Aylee – Thanks! I think I'm going to aim for more of my personality coming through, especially in reviews.@Smalls – You make a good point. Personality can come through without having to say things about yourself. This is primarily a book blog, and so far I think I have plenty of reviews to keep the readers that want to read those interested, while having other stuff for people that may want a bit of something else.I'm feeling better already.@Norwegian – You're right, there has to be balance. Too much prattling on about myself and it becomes a journal and not a book blog. Glad I'm not the only one struggling with this.

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