Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Let's Get Personal

Where's the fine line between writing about yourself and writing informational blog topics? How much does a reader want to read about your life? Your hobbies? Your dog or grandchildren? Or that new pair of shoes you fought for on Black Friday?

Have you thought about that when you blog?

I have and truthfully I struggle with it each time I write a post.

I love learning about everyone who comes here to visit. I wish I could sit down and listen to each and everyone one of you share about your dreams, your writing and what makes you tick.

But do you honestly want to read about me on my blog?

That's what I thought. Most of you come here for writing information. To see where I'm at in the journey and maybe take away something you can use to further yours.

What I try to do when I write about me is show you how it relates to my writing or show what God is changing in my life to grow me.

Balance.

I don't want to give you just the facts but the questions and results about the facts.

Am I doing it? Do I need to make some changes?

How are you balancing your personal telling with your blog purpose?

45 comments:

Greg C said...

I may not be normal but I love hearing about people and their personal lives. I think it is very interesting and lets me know that we are all different but also the same. I just write about whatever is on my mind at the time I am blogging. So how am I doing?

Yolanda said...

I do not consider myself a writer, so I come to learn about you. ;-) But I know that you have followers that are writers and they come for insight of a different nature/fashion than I do. Love to you Miss Terri!

Lovingly,
Yolanda

Aliene said...

I know confidence in myself is my main problem. I am not a writer but have always wanted to write a devotional book. I fear that no one will want to read it. I finally am writing some things on KJV blog. I have pages of writings but fear no one would be interested. I have my own personal blog is a place where I can get relax and put down my thoughts.
I am going to follow your blog more closely.

Eileen Astels Watson said...

Oh, I'm all over the place with my blog. It's really a journal for myself that all are welcome to be privy to. I should really train it into something more helpful for others, but I know for me, I love the personal aspect of many blogs--actually getting to know the person behind the blog, so I guess that's why I mix mine up too. I think you're doing great here, Terri!

Jessica said...

I think you do a great job. :-)

If I post something personal, I try to ask a question that allows commenters to share about themselves. There are different kinds of blogs that offer different things. I hope mine is balanced enough, not sure though.

Natalie said...

I like to read personal things on blogs. It makes me feel like I know the writer. I've noticed lately that I comment more when people share about themselves (both their writer life and their personal life) and not just tips about the craft. Blogging is a great opportunity to get to know people and we aren't just writing machines :)

I do think it is possible to share too much. When things get too ranty or personal that's a turnoff too.

I think you have a great balance Terri.

Jennifer Shirk said...

Your balance is great!

I like to read a bunch of things on a blog--personal and non personal--otherwise I get bored.
I'm never bored reading your blog!

Tamika: said...

I love seeing a piece of you in each post, it makes the reading real. I want to see your journey and your challenges, highlights and insights.

Thanks for doing that Terri!

Deborah said...

I just posted about this! Finding balance is very hard for me, and someimes I think my blog comes across as very scatter brained! Because I blog about many different topics, I've decided to do it in a more organized fashion....but you'll have to come and read the post to see how I'm doing that. ;0)

Janna Qualman said...

Well I do want to know all that stuff about you, but to me you're more than a professional who has a lot to offer, you're my friend.

I'm with you; it's all about balance. And tying it all together, making it correlate. It can be a tough job.

Wendy @ All in a Day's Thought said...

Whenever I share something personal about myself I ask a question. This way I'm building on something and connecting even as an extension of my own posts.

~ Wendy

Kristen Torres-Toro said...

I think you're doing great! I really enjoy your blog!

This is something I struggle with because my way of relating to people is trying to find a connection through analogy. That's how I've been writing my blog topics, which makes them longer than I'd like for them to be. But everything else I try just doesn't feel like me, ya know? Right now I'm still trying to find the balance.

Jill Kemerer said...

I'm drawn to learning about people's personal lives. I think our society is too. That's why UsWeekly and Star magazine are so popular. However, just as TMI does not help stars' careers, it might not help writers' careers either. I don't agree with the adage that all publicity is good publicity.

I think you do a great job of balancing your posts.

Jennifer Hudson Taylor said...

Great topic, Terri! This is something I've wondered about myself, especially as I build blog readers that consist of both writers and nonwriters. How much about writing do I post? And how much of me do I post?

After someone tracked me down and had a conversation on my home phone with my daughter and managed to talk her into giving them my cell phone, I hesitate to blog about my family and try not to get too personal now.

I post on my blog 3 times a week. Mondays are writing and publishing, Wednesdays are book reviews and author interviews, and Fridays are historical tidbits, devotionals, and personal updates. I tend to give more personal updates on a daily basis on Facebook. I'm more aware of who is seeing it since I can control the friends I accept. I'm less personal on my FB Fan page and keep it more professional related.

Paul Greci said...

I think it depends on the purpose of your blog. I'm drawn to writers blogs that give practical information but also share who they are as it relates to what they are talking about. I think a blog can have voice, like a story, and I've got to be drawn to the voice to read on. Just thoughts off the top of my head.

p.s. On #kidlitchat on twitter last night this topic was discussed.

Cindy said...

I think you do a great job at balancing your posts! In the beginning, when I first started blogging, I sought out posts pretty much strictly about writing. That didn't last long, though. I started wanting to know more about the people and who they were. Definitely more like a community of friends, than teachers.

Lin Floyd said...

you're doing fine, I enjoy learning of your daily struggles and how that affects your writing. I try to have a variety, some writing, some poems, some info, some humor, some religious thoughts-whatever I feel needs to come next or as prompted by the spirit that would help someone in some way.

mamabear said...

I love hearing about you the person first, and then secondly, about your writing journey. You are doing a superb job of illustrating how God works in your heart and in your life.

We may have our own motivations and our own agenda when we blog, but the Holy Spirit trumps us. We learn about ourselves as we type, and the readers learn something new (or a reminder) about God as they read.

The Internet has some heavy negatives, but the Holy Spirit sure uses it mightily. You're blessed to be such an instrument. Your audience is at least as large as a medium-sized church. Well done, good and faithful servant! I think that's what God is musing about in regards to Terri today! LOL

Have a blessed day!

Sassy Granny ... said...

Like the others, I enjoy hearing about the lives of people residing in cyberspace. I think you hit the nail squarely with the term "balance", because some blogs are just too darn lengthy and contain too much information (TMI) for one sitting.

You strike a good tension between content and length, which is why I so enjoy returning. It's also why I feel I actually KNOW you!

Blessings,
Kathleen

Susan R. Mills said...

I agree that most people want to read about journeys as writers. I don't mind a little personal stuff either, though. It helps me get to know the people around here. You are right; it's all about balance. You do an excellent job, Terri!

Karen Lange said...

I like the balance of your blog. It's been fun to get to know you, be able to pray for you, and to know that you are a 'real' writing person that I feel I can connect with. Most any of the info that you've shared relates to you somehow because you are a writer, and it's all intertwined. I say keep doing what you're doing. I am confident that you trust the Lord for wisdom, and continue to look forward to your blog. Blessings! :)

Lily Robinson said...

Maybe when I have a legitimate career in writing, I will focus on being more informative. At this point, my blog is just a journal... my thoughts about writing, tips I want to share, my stumbling blocks, etc.

Journaling Woman said...

I read whatever you put up. It is always good. Keep up the good work.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Terri -

I enjoy hearing about you, as well as your writing journey. Who you are as a person impacts what you write.

Since I started as a devotional/non-fiction writer, it's natural for my posts to take on that flavor. Devotionals often include personal stories related to spiritual truths. My Monday posts usually involve a story, which I relate to the writing life.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Sande said...

That thought occurred to me some time back; folk come glean for their own needs, their own questions in life. But then I was blown away and found that people also enjoy who we are. Some because our lives have conquered roads they want to travel and we can be signposts but some, the precious ones to us, who just really enjoy who we are. Don't that just blow you away. They are God with skin on really.

sarah said...

My blog has been my voice - to own what I could never say outloud. It's connected me to some of the best people...many who now share their hearts privately with me and who have become friends. I've also sold quite a few books already to blog followers. I want to use what I lived to inspire, to give hope and maybe help someone else find freedom. I love your blog b/c it has a definite writing flair but with a very personal touch. Sharing the personal makes you real. Yep..you're doing it and I'm loving it. Sarah

Jody Hedlund said...

You're doing a perfect job, Terri! I consider you one of my blogging friends, and so I like to visit your blog no matter what you discuss. And that's just because you're a friend!!

Heckety said...

I dither daily about how much to say and how much to leave out, after all a blog is not a confessional.
But I like the way you use personal stories to illustrate your points, or opinions, or the reason why you are soul-searching.
There's a happy medium between reading like a tabloid, and reading like a wooden doll- its finding that balance that's difficult. Personally I like the way you write.

Katie Ganshert said...

I enjoy your blog a lot so I say you're doing a smashing job! Keep it up! And I actually do like learning more about my blogging friends' lives. So a good mix is nice. :)

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

I have enough drama in my life to keep it interesting...

I do believe in balance; honestly, I don't want to read a lot about great deals, etc. Just not my thing. But when the personal lessons of life leads me to contemplative thought? Well, I'll read about that any day.

peace~elaine

Kara said...

I love reading about you and your writing. I've struggled with this as well. Now I have several different blogs to cover it all, but I don't think most people have to do that, just my scatter brain trying to be organized:) But I love the personal stuff so keep sharing:)

KelliGirl said...

Terri,
I love the mix you have here on your blog and love to read whatever you write. I consider you a friend and love to get personal peeks into your life...even if it is a fight on Black Friday.

From where I sit, I think you're doing great. If anything I'd like to see more of your writing.

Keep at it my friend.
Love ya,
Kelli

Galen Kindley--Author said...

I always enjoy my stop here. Your topics are interesting and useful. Certainly, I think we all like to know about the person behind the pen. Your life, like most, is kinda like a novel with ups and downs and we wanna see how the protagonist handles it and how it turns out. We’re curious about this for the same reason we read books…no, not just entertainment, but to learn maybe something we can use in our lives. Something you did, or some characteristic you displayed, or some technique you used that helped solve a problem or made you a better person. Long-winded way of saying, I like what I find here.

Best Regards, Galen

Imagineering Fiction Blog

Jeanette Levellie said...

I LOVE hearing about you and your life. How else can we pray for you and support you, dear one?

You keep a great balance on your blog. Do not worry; it's perfect. I like the new look, too.

Am enjoying "Count Your Blessings" which I won from you. Thanks again!

Jen
Audience of ONE

Carmen said...

I love and respect your focus on writing...but I also love learning a bit about you. I'm really more of a people person...so I like to know a little of who you are...and I think I do. You're a sweetheart. :)

Melissa Marsh said...

I write what is pressing on my heart on my blog, whether it's personal or writing-related. It's a mixture of both. I really feel that your blog is yours to do with as you wish and those that don't like it, well...they don't have to read it!

Shelley said...

I am struggling with this very thing lately, myself. I started my blog to record stuff about me, about my life - kind of like an online journal. But along the way I wanted to make it more informational than personal. I succeeded for a little while, then after going through a dry spell of rarely posting, I am back to the personal aspect. I am attempting, like you, to show that we all struggle, and that God does work in our lives.

That being said, I am back at the "I want to post informational posts" situation again, but I find that I just don't know what to write...I don't have lots of advice for writing or photography (what the topics for 2 of my blogs are about) to post that sort of thing. I don't want to just be posting links to other sites/blogs, but I want to get readers and commentors on my blogs so I want something they can enjoy reading and relate to. Hope that all makes sense.

Shelley @ Ink Scrawls
http://inkscrawls.blogspot.com

carolynyalin said...

I think you are doing a great job.
I enjoy reading your blogs.

Nancy said...

You are doing a fantastic job with much grace. I think your blog has a different reason than mine. I set up mine just to have fun and share a few stories, thoughts, and things I have learned that might be helpful to a struggling person who needs hope.

This may be weird, but I like to hear things other people are doing. The writing aticles are good,too. I do like a good mix.

Just Be Real said...

All I ask of people is just to be 'real.' Whatever the definition to that is in ones life at the time, is what I get.

Thank you for sharing. Blessings...

Andrea said...

Yes, we do want you to write about yourself. It is through your struggles that we learn.

You have a blog award on arise 2 write.

Blessings, andrea

Analisa said...

I like the personal stuff and toss it in when it has relevance for what I am trying to get across. I also love when bloggers talk about the everyday. Or post pics of their kids at soccor games or football. Or as they do something as simple as wash their car. It is that connection to the world around me. I have lived almost all my life on the east coast, but because of bloggers I have seen what it is like to have a farm, live on a mountain, or just in another state. Even with our differences there are things common to man. It is wonderful. Blogging and following blogs has really enriched my life. As long as the personal stuff doesn't expose or injure another I say put it in.

P.S. I am loving the book and I am making a blessing list to post on my job at my desk and one for home. I have been practicing it to keep complaining away. I just write in down on a piece of paper all the good things. :) Love the book by the way.

LisaShaw said...

I would love to read anything the LORD gives you to share that includes more about you. Love and hugs.

Edie said...

I enjoy reading about the person behind the blog. I'm not a writer but I also enjoy reading your writing tips as well, probably because I'm not a writer. :) It's just nice to get to the person as well as the purpose.

((hugs))

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