The Manhattan Project--2016 A to Z Theme

Always a work in progress--welcome to my blog...

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

You (Elements of Blogging) #AtoZChallenge



        Blogging about yourself can be a risky endeavor if you are looking for a far-reaching long-lasting audience.  All-about-me blogging can be a bore to many readers if not handled in an interesting manner and sometimes self-revelation is not the best thing for you to be doing in relation to your professional life and personal privacy.

         What I'm talking about is not memoir blogging or professional profile blogging, but more of a public peek into your private diary or your state of mind.  Some of the blogs of this nature that I've read can be intriguing if not a bit discomfiting.  There can be a titillating soap opera nature of such a blog, but after a while such a blog can seem to be going nowhere slowly.

          Still, blogging about yourself can have potential if done correctly.  My advice would be to devise some sort of purpose to what you are trying to achieve with your personal blog.  Also I think in order to keep others interested you must find a way to connect with readers to make your own experience relatable to theirs.   If the reader doesn't get what you are saying then you are likely to lose them fairly quickly.

         A blog about you can work, but my suggestion is to proceed with caution, keep track of your audience, and be ready to change if you see the blog isn't working.

         How much about yourself are you willing to disclose on your blog?   Do you feel uncomfortable or intrigued when a blogger starts discussing very personal issues?    Do you think egocentric blogs are overly indulgent?


Blogging about self:

Laughing at Life, 2 (about self during A to Z)

Kay Gets Crafty (also an A to Z me theme)

Klahanie Blog




74 comments:

  1. I used to tell more than I do now but I would find that people would get very dramatic about any obstacle or tragedy I might share so I stopped. Even on fb if I'm writing a poem my friends and family would write me with furrowed brow. I'd answer -it's a metaphor people! I like folks who are real but no sign of victimhood thanks.

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    1. My friends and family usually don't pay attention to anything I write, but I never say anything that I think would be too extreme about any of them.

      Lee

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  2. I don't disclose much other than what I like. People do like the personal stuff though and ask for snippets into others' lives.

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    1. You are a man of mystery--with clones of mystery.

      Lee

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  3. I write what I know most about. That would be me and my life’s experiences. During this challenge, however, I wrote fictional pieces and it was fun.
    Now, especially having almost finished the challenge, (yay!) I am thinking about new directions my blog may be taking.

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    1. A to Z is a great opportunity to test out new directions for a blog.

      Lee

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  4. I am an open book. On my main blog I talk about things that interest me, what my gaming group is doing, what projects I am working on.
    Over on my atheism blog I share more about what I think of politics, religion, lots of subjects.

    My general content is not that different than 100s of other blogs, but what makes it "special" is that it is my point of view.

    --
    Tim Brannan, The Other Side Blog
    2015 A to Z of Vampires
    http://theotherside.timsbrannan.com/

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    1. I'd argue that all blogs display the writer's point of view to some extent. I like a blog that is a mixed bag of content. Sometimes bloggers start opening up with things that get a little too personal--it can be compelling, but also sometimes cringe worthy.

      Lee

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  5. I have two blogs. One is personal, and the other is less personal. I'm reluctant to write too much about myself even in my 'personal blog' for fear that I might hurt someone else by doing so.
    Moreover, I don't reveal my real name online, and I haven't posted any photos of myself.

    Since English is a foreign language to me, I write my blogs so that I can practice writing in it in a meaningful way.

    Letters from the Land of Cherry Blossoms



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    1. You do a great job with your English! I've given up on trying to learn Japanese--at least for now. But your posts about explaining the characters of written Japanese have been fascinating.

      Lee

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  6. Ha ha, that is exactly why I didn't sign up officially for the project this year! I wanted the writing challenge and the chance to document the lessons I'd learned through a current injury, but honestly, who wants to read about my elbow surgery for thirty days straight?! While it was beneficial for me, I knew it would be less so for others, and so did it on the side. I enjoyed connecting again with others who were A-to-Zing on their blogs; the Challenge is always a pleasure, however you choose to participate! Thanks!

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    1. Some of the blogs that deal with rehab and travails of affliction can be helpful to those who deal with these things in their own lives so I do think that a blog that covers such things can be very useful and occasionally even entertaining at times.

      Lee

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  7. Wise words on a most interesting topic.....one's self.
    Written very well Lee.
    Yvonne.

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  8. I write a lot about my life especially this #atozchallenge has been about a personal loss.
    I have found a lot of readers who empathise without interfering too much. read my today's post http://poojasharmarao.blogspot.in/2015/04/yell-silently-in-memory-of-my-late.html

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    1. Pooja, you have had a touching theme for your A to Z posts. Something like loss is experienced by all of us and we can related to what you've gone through.

      Lee

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  9. As for posting about myself ... we do not care who knows what about us... and it gives little glimpses into the miserable life in a small Southern town... Sometimes an "issue" is more than we can deal with.. so we post and hope someone could offer a bit of "advice"...
    my "Crypt" is a very "eclectic" collection of posts , mostly horror Monsters (and of course the Joker)... do not really have any "secrets" or sense of "privacy"... the "Truth" while often "unpleasant" is much better than the "rumors" about me......
    we supposedly even grow "demon-possessed" Pumpkins....
    And many of my area think of me as the Boogeyman himself...
    so posts on my personal life get thrown into the mix as well....
    but some people value their "privacy" and we respect that...

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    1. I can understand revealing the types of things you're talking about here. They are interesting and often helpful. Some bloggers talk about things that maybe belong in a private diary or on the therapist's couch. Maybe it helps the blogger and undoubtedly some readers enjoy this content. And if it's well presented then it can be compelling reading. But when poorly written and overly egocentric there can be times when the posts seem to accomplish little--at least not for the reader.

      Lee

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    2. And we do always remind viewers that "things could be worse"... and to remember to "Smile"....
      .... Look on the "Bright side" ... even if there is none...

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    3. Dr. Theda,, that positive message is the important part of any blog that discusses personal topics. We should have some hope and not just ongoing hopeless complaint.

      Lee

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    4. We are dying and have lost our "hope"... but we still try to bring a "smile" to others...
      Thank you for your kind words , good Sir Lee...

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    5. Another reason to post of your own "troubles" is to show others "how bad" things can be ... as well as letting them know to be thankful for the "little things" in Life... like being able to breath... that's one we have "problems" with as well...
      Like we said ...look on the "bright-side" even if there is not one....
      Have a great day good Sir Arlee...

      Delete
  10. I will push "the me" if it's something I want to or need to share.

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  11. I used to disclose waaaaaaaaaay more about my personal life when I lived in WA. I didn't care who saw or read it. I wasn't planning on moving back east. Hadn't heard of Facebook. Now I am way more guarded. My husband warned me it could bite me in the ass someday and it actually did that spring I was getting ready to come back. I blogged about my new relationship, how I was leaving to be with him, that we were to be married someday. The woman he dumped to be with me, who I also went to high school with, actually found and read that post and she and her psycho friend went on an all out attack on us. She blew up his phone with texts and my FB messages, they left nasty comments on my blog post, her friend sent me crazy messages on FB. Nearly broke us up. I had to take my blog private till I got to the east coast and absolutely stopped sharing any updates and info on where I was at, moving-wise.

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    1. You bring up another important issue. The personal revelations can backfire in a very bad way if we're not careful. Excellent point, JoJo.

      Lee

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  12. Hi, Lee! When I entered my fifties around the turn of the century, I was compelled to begin writing about my experiences as a child and as a teenager. I wanted to get my memories jotted down on paper before my mind turned to mush and they faded away forever. I soon discovered that most of my memories were set to music and realized that I was assembling the soundtrack of my youth. In the first decade of the new millennium I filled several scrapbooks with stories, old pictures and newspaper clippings harking back to those halcyon days. Gradually it dawned on me that I had enough material and enough passion to turn my music and memories into a blog. In the summer of 2008 I began publishing Shady Dell Music & Memories, a niche blog that focuses, not on the present, not on my daily life, but almost exclusively on the past. I didn't want SDMM to be one of those "look at me" blogs. That's why I created the Shady Del Knight character to serve as the congenial and often comical host. I wanted the blog to revolve around a place that I went called the Shady Dell, the people who owned it, the kids that I met and befriended there and the music that was popular there. I believe there was a "Shady Dell" in everyone's life, a place where everybody knew your name, a hideaway where you could go to escape the pressures of school or work, forget your cares, shoot the breeze, blow off steam, dance, sing, play and have fun. The time period, location and music might have been different but the feeling was the same. My goal, my challenge, is to trigger memories that enable my friends to tap into those old feelings from a time in their lives when they were filled with wonder and curiosity and felt powerful, invincible, free and happy, and allow them to experience and benefit from those feelings again and again in the present.

    I usually don't shy away when another blogger occasionally chooses to discuss personal issues, but I cringe if they make a habit of sharing family gossip or complaining about their medical, financial or relationship woes. We all have our share of problems. My intention is to maintain my blog as a model of the original Shady Dell, to make it a place where we can all forget our problems for a while, not dwell on them.

    Thanks, Lee, and have a wonderful Wednesday, my friend!

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    1. Tom, your blog is a wonderful example of a worthy memoir blog. Though this type of blog is personal by nature, it is also history and something to which others can relate in one way or another. I enjoy a blog such as yours because it's like reading a story--it's a series of essays about things that make us remember or see things of a time we weren't around for. Your blog is not as much of a "me" blog as it is and "us" blog--we read and become a part of something you experienced.

      There are some bloggers revealing things that maybe the whole world doesn't need to know about. But in these it depends on the writing itself and how the writers relates and brings the reader into the story.

      Lee

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  13. I appreciate new information from bloggers, when it comes to diseases or symptoms that they or someone close to them have or had - I've never heard of some of these maladies and the descriptions of what they've had to go through really brings it home - that takes guts and I certainly emphasized but learn at the same time. http://www.door2lore.com/power-of-story-blog/y-is-for-yeeee-haaaw

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  14. I enjoy blogs with personal elements but I don't see deep thoughts. I have tried to include some more of my personal thoughts in a few posts. I tend to think my writing does display my general views.

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  15. Yikes - forgot to add: @Door2LoreSue
    PowerofStoryBlog - Every Hero Has a Story

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  16. Of course, blogging sort of came out of keeping online journals or diaries. That's about as personal as it gets.

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    1. Sure, Andrew, I can understand that, but I think for public consumption the worthiness of the blog comes down to a combination of content and presentation. An average to poor writer with a daily parade of stupid pet tricks or an never-ending litany of how crappy their life is might be novel at first, but they are likely to lose readers quickly.

      I don't mind mundane content if the writing is extraordinary--that's something unto itself that I don't see that often. The life-is-crap content should be going somewhere in my opinion--either up or down--otherwise I'm not hearing a story but a negative state of mind that doesn't ever seem to be resolved.

      Nothing wrong with personal if that writer is somehow trying to connect with the reader. If this is not the case then maybe they need to make their blog private.

      Lee

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  17. Good advice, Lee. This isn't usually my choice of blog reading either, I get tired of the 'me, me, and more me' aspect. Teach me something, tell me about your travels or funny and interesting stories - that's what I look for.

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    1. Me too, D.G.. I'd rather hear about what someone's been doing or even what they've been thinking rather than how hopelessly miserable they've been and how much life sucks for them. I'd rather be encouraged by those who are doing something to make life better rather than be negatively influenced by egocentricism that revolves around what the world owes them and they're maybe not getting yet. I read the latter and it leaves me with the feeling of what do you want me to do about it cause I've got my own issues to deal with.

      Lee

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  18. The worst part about giving away too much is that you can't take it back. "Sure, that's what I said, but it's not what I meant." just doesn't cut it.

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  19. I mention some personal information like when I was worried about my daughter overseas but usually only in general terms.

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  20. Oh well... I think I'm guilty here. My intention when I do these All About Me sorts of posts is for people to find the commonality. If this happened to you... it happened to me... and, look, it's happened to all these other folks, too (you who commented). And this is how it affected me, and this is what I learned, and no one needs to stay stuck. Experience shapes us, but we can learn from that experience reshape everything.

    Quite possibly I reveal more than I should on my blog, but I try to be very careful about who IRL even is aware of my blog (not many people). My goal isn't to hurt other people with what I write. The goal is to heal myself and anyone else who reads and can see their own lives in there somewhere.

    Maybe I don't do that very well... I really don't know.

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    1. Robin, I actually think you handle the topics very well. You are looking for answers and opening up your topics for interactions. Your posts are not only about you but about us and that's the kind that I think are good for creating discussion and a direction of looking for answers. If you were just bitching and passing the blame to others then that would be another thing, but I don't get that when I read your posts. You handle the topics very well.

      Lee

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  21. I don't think I'd blog about myself and be very successful at it. I find it much more interesting to find other things to explore and share.

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    1. Yeah, I guess you really need to be into doing it or have some issue about which you felt strongly compelled to speak.

      Lee

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  22. Keeping YOUniqueness in whatever one writes work. Agree with you on blabbering all about yourself in every post and piece is nothing but e-vomit

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    1. Speaking Soul, well that's one way of saying it.

      Lee

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  23. As you know, I don't put a lot out there on myself. I like to think of myself as the girl next door, but in honesty I'm don't like to be an open book on the internet. Instead, I share of myself in creative ways ~ photography, music, and simple musings. I wonder about those who are comfortable sharing deep, intimate things about him/herself with so many outsiders. I don't know, if that's a good thing or not, but it does intrigue me a bit. Part of me wishes I could be like that and then the other side of me is perfectly content with not sharing everything. Personal blogging does need to be a mix of things to keep the interest of many, if one hopes to reel a new people. Good points to ponder, Lee!

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    1. It's a matter of how you say what you say I think. And then where you go with it. I don't mind hearing about a person, but I'd prefer to go away from the blog with a somewhat positive outlook toward that person.

      Lee

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  24. Revealing some personal stuff, within reason, can be very good for readers to get to know a blogger, but some things just feel too personal and private to publicly air. That's what a journal is for, even if many people nowadays no longer keep journals. It can also start to feel a little self-centered and shallow, never looking beyond oneself to write about anything deeper or anyone else.

    Some of these personal-only blogs can be awkward and embarrassing to read if they get into the territory of TMI, like blogs which detail things that would've been considered far too private to tell anyone not all that long ago. I really don't want to know all about someone's miscarriage, for example, in blow-by-blow detail!

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    1. I don't shock too easily, but when the content shocks me or disgusts me then I'm not very impressed by the person who wrote it.

      Lee

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  25. About the only thing I blog about is myself. Each week I give readers a peak into what makes me tick. Generally it's illustrating what is annoying me. True, there isn't much traffic, but then I write for my own fun and enjoyment. Still, I get readers and comments frequently, so I'm not that worried about it. I'm not trying to make money with my blog.

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    1. I guess how you feel about your posts is of the most importance to you and if you're content with how the blog is working then that's okay too. I'd say if you entertain or enlighten readers then that's fine.

      Lee

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  26. You are so wise blogman. Its hard to believe we've only one more letter to go! I've been writing about science fiction for years. I've often thought about putting my name out there. Now after reading this, I'm happy people know me as spacerguy.

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    1. Oh, so I'm a wise guy, eh? You mean Spaceguy is not your real name? Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk.

      Lee

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  27. I can share anything. But my life's not all that exciting. So I try not to bore people.

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    1. And the other day you were talking about all those cruises you go on? That doesn't seem boring to me, Stephen.

      Lee

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  28. You're right. There is a delicate balance to it. One thing I can't stand is a blogger who *is* egocentric and condescending to their commenters. That happened to me with one of the A to Zers. Took me by surprise.

    Elizabeth Mueller
    AtoZ 2015
    My Little Pony

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    1. I can understand your surprise, Elizabeth. Egocentricity and condescending attitude in the post is one thing but to the commenters is wrong. That's like being rude to customers. No call for that unless that's part of their blog persona schtick. I have seen that on occasion.

      Lee

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  29. Lee-

    The one good thing that comes from personal posts is the epiphany that some readers may get when they realize that you are describing the scenario they thought no one else could possibly understand.

    While it is our differences as people that often make us interesting, most of us feel our experiences are unique, and all too often they really are not so different from what others have gone through.

    Sorry I have not commented as much this year-April has been quite a hectic month for me. I've read most of your posts, but often was at work and got interrupted (those darn clients) before leaving a note.

    Larry

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    1. Larry, why in the world would you let clients stand in the way of your blogging. You should tell them to leave you alone!!

      The example you point out is when the personal blog posts work well. It's an opportunity to connect and bond with readers and let then understand the blog author better.

      Lee

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  30. I guess mine is a blog about me along with recipes etc. I just write what I feel like talking about on any given day.

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  31. Personal blogs give readers a view into someone's life, usually much more intimately than would otherwise be possible. By nature humans are curious and bordering on voyeuristic --not necessarily in the strictest meaning of the word of course, but in the way that we are often intrigued by others personal lives that remain mostly hidden IRL. That's one reason why so many reality shows soar in the ratings. I agree with you that if I start reading a blog and it starts to sound cocky and narcissitic, I quickly move on.
    Michele at Angels Bark

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    1. Michele, I'm in complete agreement. When the blogging relationship feels almost like a sort of friendship then something useful has been accomplished on the blog.

      Lee

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  32. I've blogged about personal things from time to time. Usually, it's something that I need to get off my chest and I want advice from others.

    ~Patricia Lynne aka Patricia Josephine~
    Member of C. Lee's Muffin Commando Squad
    Story Dam
    Patricia Lynne, Indie Author

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  33. I have shared bits and pieces of old journal entries from time to time, but they haven't been super personal or cringe worthy....at least I hope not! lol! I've come across the kind of blog you're talking about and I might read it for a little while but I'm not likely to be a loyal reader. I can't handle anything to do with professional victims, whether they're on a blog or standing right in front of me.

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  34. Hi Lee,

    I notice you have put a link back to my blog along with those two other sites.

    What I hope you realise is that my blog is and always has been, a blog about mental health. Through what my transparent blogs, I have been told that I write stuff that others can relate to. It has given them comfort that I can express what they may not feel comfortable with.

    I have always kept a low-key and after over eight years of having a blog, I stay in the background. I like the balance I believe I've achieved. It's all about showing that my mental health issues are only a small part of who I am. Never been from an egocentric angle and never will be.

    Besides, I have a certain superstar dog to keep me in line.

    Thanks and take care, good sir.

    Gary

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    1. Gary, I might also call your blog a growth and understanding blog in a sense. You are honest and open about your situation, but you also maintain a warmth and sense of humor along the way so that readers don't get totally bummed out. The addition of the photos is another big plus. And on top of it all you actually respond to the comments you receive. I find that a lot of the personal blogs don't acknowledge any comments. Sometimes I wonder if they even realize that they receive comments.

      Lee

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  35. I wrote mostly about Nature and Relationships..
    Loved the Challenge

    http://serendipityofdreams.blogspot.in/

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  36. I guess you could say my blog is fairly egocentric, as I share memoirs, travels, music etc. Even more so with the "Favourite Words" A-Z Challenge theme. That's been totally self-centred. ☺ Looking forward to getting back to normal!

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  37. Great advice, especially about connecting with readers to make your own experience relatable to theirs. I began my blog afraid to mention my name and other personal details. Over the years, encouraged by lovely readers, I have "come out" with no regrets.

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  38. Though I often write about my family, I also try to mix it up with silly poems, or unusual events. I agree that It is important to know your audience, yet I'm often surprised about how they perceive things.

    Julie

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    1. Julie, there are many ways that we can express ourselves and many ways people come to know us. Perceptions are funny sometimes, but that's also something we encounter with people we meet everyday.

      Lee

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  39. great post, Arlee. I wonder about that sometimes because I think I do post a bit too much about "me" but I do try to temper that with sharing tips and tricks for travel and that sort of thing. I have taken a tip from "Tossing it out" by trying to ask questions at the end of my posts to find out what other people think about my topics. I love that about your writing. It's always thought-provoking. I aspire to that :-)

    As for "diary-type" blogs, no I don't read a lot of them, not even if it's sort of my own family. My sister-in-law's sister has a "family" blog where she just dotes on her kids all the time. In fact, she's a talented writer, being an advertising exec, but I don't read her blog because it bores me to read about how perfect her kids are.

    I guess we all blog because on some level we want to be "known" but at the same time we desire "privacy" so that line where TMI begins is blurry and hard to define. There was a time when I didn't want to post pictures of myself, and indeed I won't post pics of people without permission. Except the husband. He doesn't get a choice ;-) I have linked my blog to FB for the benefit of a specific couple of friends who said they were interested, but I don't really use FB. It feels intrusive. Don't know why I don't feel that way about WP?

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    1. Forty--Glad you're trying some of my suggestions. I know the questions helped increase comments for me and they help me comment when others ask questions in their blog posts.

      The personal blogs can be precarious territory balancing between highly interesting and tritely boring. I think if one is interested in blogging in this manner they must take care in gauging the responses from readers. That's especially true if there is not response and the blogger wants to hear from readers. Silence is one of the most important indicators of the effectiveness--or lack of--that our posts have for others.

      We have to draw our own lines and know what lines are appropriate for those we know.

      Lee

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  40. My blog tends to be personal, but (hopefully) in ways people can relate to. There's a LOT in my life that will never ever see its way into the blog. I also try to write about other things as well, because I'm just not that interesting, not all the time at least. :)

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    1. It's probably not a good idea for a blog to tell all--those are the blogs that sometimes deter me from returning. Then again sometimes it's the info that compels me to come back. It depends on what it revealed.

      Lee

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  41. I have a personal blog, Lee. And you're right. It doesn't work that well. It is good if you want to sort through your feelings during times of personal crisis. You get a lot of silent empathy from your readers, and occasionally, their comments give you a different perspective about your situation. But if you plan to make an online personal diary--a public one--then it's not such a good idea.

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    1. If you continue with that blog you might want to let the comments guide the direction you take it. Focus on the areas to which they respond and when their is no response try to approach those topics in a different way or avoid them entirely.

      Lee

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  42. Thanks for hosting the challenge and for visiting and commenting at
    Practically at Home .

    Gonna go work on my REFLECTIONS posts ... for all FIVE participating blogs. Then looking forward to the 2016 Challenge.

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Lee