Blogging, or being a blogger is a part of being a modern-day writer. There is nothing wrong with what a writer has to say, but there is something wrong when you publish a post and people misunderstand what you are trying to convey.
As writers, we love to think we’re great communicators, unfortunately this isn’t the case- at least until we rethink things through. Most of my close friends can certainly say it is very difficult to guess my motives – which are almost always deepening a valued friendship or building someone up – because I am an ‘open bubbly person.’ In fact, I’m not a bubbly person, I’m an introvert who prefers one-to-one conversations as opposed to a group.
If I’m put in a group setting I get extremely nervous, to the point of hyperventilating and having to be ‘walked through’ the breathing process again. I tend to get very nervous in a group and will shut down, crying in a corner.
This is not so good when you work with the public, as a writer and in a day job.
I’ve also had issues with communication. A good example was a conversation in November with a long time writing-friend of mine. He’s pretty much the type of person who will tell it like it is. We were- as it always seems we end up doing- talking about how to improve our relationships with our readers. Our conversation went something along the lines of this:
Him: “So you are open about everything, right?”
Him: “So people know you’re ‘out’, right?”
Him “Anything else I should know?”
I wasn’t exactly open with him, and he was able to point out that he finds things on my personal Facebook page after the fact- in this case a day after we had this conversation. I’m not that great at communication, when my friends think I should be. It’s the illusion I have in thinking I’m open.
Blogging in this regard is like working with a group, and writing things you might want to publish. A benefit for someone like me whose idea of a good day is reading a history book, is not having to talk aloud to people. Blogging also gives the readers the illusion you are very much open about your life. I’m very open about my challenges, or who I am as a person, but most will be hard-pressed to know exactly what I am thinking.
Blogging lets me edit my own thoughts before public consumption, and protects me in a way I don’t feel when I’m working with a group. I can control my actions- you can’t see my face or second-guess my body language, I have to type it out for you- reinvent the view. (By the way, I’m sitting in front of a computer, the window behind me, squinting at the screen with a bit of a frown because of it.)
I’m not writing about being dishonest, I am writing about the idea that some writers seem more open about themselves than others. It’s an illusion. What people know about me online, is a generalized version of what my close friends and family know of me.
I am open as person on the Internet to the extent that I am willing to talk about the challenges I have as a writer, but also the challenges I have as a maturing writer who happens to be a person.
I am a writer.
I am a blogger, and one who knows the value of writing and publishing a blog.
I’ve still got some way to go to be as successful as I want to be, but it doesn’t mean I am a finished book.
What blogging is about is a bit of magic, the illusion you’re conveying to your readers all the senses of life when you are using only one. You have to find a rhythm and tone that sets you apart as a writer, and blogging to people and developing these with them is the only way you can go about it.
Good writing means good publishing. The same holds true with a blog- the better the illusion you give to peoples’ other senses the more likely they will feel you as a writer.
Does this mean you shouldn’t be open? No, it means you share only as much as is necessary, to improve your writing and your blog, and being yourself.