It’s Not My Blog

Recently, I took time off from blogging. Life had gotten loud, and I’d lost my way. I forgot one of the cardinal rules of blogging: it’s not about me. It’s about you–the readers.

What do I mean?

Here are three things I learned during my time away:

1) “It’s not my blog.” Sure, my name is on it, and I produce the content, but if it’s going to have any appreciable readership it can’t be all about me. You have to see yourself in the mirror I’m holding up to you.

2) “No dirty laundry” I learned the hard way that a blog is not the place to air one’s dirty laundry. Yes, it can be a place to get personal–to be real–but not at the expense of common sense and discretion. There are some things that need to be kept sacred. A blog, as tempting as it might be, is not a place for self-therapy (that is what a journal is for). A little self-deprecation goes a long way, but mockery never wins the day.

3) “Be yourself” What this means is: your writing gains resonance via “relatability.” And we can only be relatable when we’re being ourselves. In other words, don’t pander–don’t try to be someone other than you. You couldn’t if you tried–so stop. Besides your audience is quite adept at sniffing out phonies–they know when you’re “selling out.” They know the difference between trying to be viral, versus writing that’s vital.

This is what I’ve learned during my break, and indeed it’s what I plan on applying as I return to posting regularly here.

How about you? What rules do you write by?

Comments

comments

  • http://www.alise-write.com Alise Wright

    What I learned when I started actually having people read who weren’t related to me was that I need to be careful about whose story I’m telling. I don’t have rights to my kids’ stories or my husband’s story or my friends’ stories simply because they’re in my life. Which isn’t to say that I don’t get to share those stories ever, but they get the right of first refusal when it comes to putting them out there, and they are not the bulk of my writing.

    Good to have you back!

    • http://randomlychad.com Chad Jones

      Good woods! And thanks! Good to be back.

  • http://www.robshep.com Rob Shepherd

    Welcome back. One goal of mine is to be authentic. You hinted at this but it’s so easy to pretend to be something we are not. It’s so easy to write for stats and not write out of what God is doing in my life. My goal is to not fake the funk on a nasty dunk. I don’t know what that means but it’s from a commercial with Shaq, and I feel like it fit.

  • http://deuceology.wordpress.com Larry Carter

    Chad, as you know, I experienced the whole dirty laundry thing last summer. I wish I could have spared you that, but your blog will be better.

    • http://randomlychad.com Chad Jones

      I remember--wish I could’ve learned the lesson. It’s no fun when the Lord brings out His “2x4s” and whacks me upside the head. :)

  • http://jonstolpe.wordpress.com Jon Stolpe

    These seem like great lessons. The only thing I would add is this…”Would God be honored or dishonored by what I post?” Obviously, I want to bring God honor, and I certainly want to stay away from any dishonor.

    Glad to see you back!

    • http://randomlychad.com Chad Jones

      Amen, Jon! Amen! Great addition. While I was writing more generally, what you say is foundational, and what I would want to undergird everything I write (whether it specifically mentions God, or not).

      Thanks!

      It’s good to be back!

  • http://thewholedangthing.wordpress.com Ben Emerson

    These seem like excellent things to have learned. I’m looking forward to reading what you do with them.

    I think what I am learning is that it is ok to say things that mean I take a stand on something. My blog isn’t super conducive to that (which is strange) but that doesn’t mean I can’t try.

  • http://bohemianbowmans.com/ Jessica

    You have hit three nails in my head. :)

    • http://randomlychad.com Chad Jones

      Ooh! Sorry about that. Sounds painful! ;-)

      I kid. Glad it resonated with you.

  • Leanne Shirtliffe (Ironic Mom)

    My husband reads everything I write before I post it. He never censors me, but will tell me when a joke could be misinterpreted.

    Although I write a lot about my kids, I try to write in a way that embarrasses me and not them. I am very aware, however, that my mere presence will embarrass them in a few years.

    Welcome back!

    • http://randomlychad.com Chad Jones

      That is such a good idea!

      Me, too-learning the hard way that it’s far better to embarrass myself, than anyone else.

      Thanks much!

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