The Blog Is Personal Again

So you want to blog? You want to write and create and contribute? Great! Welcome aboard. Now, follow these rules…

That’s how blogging goes. You enter the craft with high hopes, dreams of writing and making art, but then you quickly discover a long list of blogging tips that kills the fun.

  • Write short posts.
  • Write lists posts.
  • Focus on one subject.
  • Use keywords.
  • Have a catchy URL.
  • Don’t be too personal or introspective.

And pop! Your blogging dreams bust under the weight of obligation and propriety. What was once fun and unfettered becomes burdensome and bound. Institutionalized.

But thankfully, a new breeze is blowing through the blogging world.

Some writers have started to defy the institutionalization of blogging. They’re breaking the rules and redefining a successful blog.

Two big names in blogging, Brian Gardner and John Saddington, have begun this transition. They are moving away from the rules. They are blogging more personal tidbits, insights, and rabbit trails. The result? Well, honestly, it’s pretty brutal. They’re getting flack and unsubscribers. But I think it’s worth it. What they are doing is so important. They are reasserting the essential core and joy of blogging: Blogging is personal.

Writing has always tapped into the deeply personal parts of a writer. Hemingway compared writing to bleeding, and blogging is no different. Blogging works best when it lives in the heart. That’s where it soars. If you want the generic, focused, definitive treatment of a subject, go to the library. But blogging is by people for people, not search engines and catalogs.

So I say let’s make a change…

Let’s reclaim blogging for what it is, a personal log on the web. Nothing more, nothing less. Sure, we have themes and strategies, but always with a personal flavor, always with a commitment to be ruthlessly real and authentic, to be human.

Let’s see more personal tech bloggers and journalists and nature bloggers. Yes, we want to hear about your topic but through your lens. We don’t need more dry lists. We need more stories. We need more you. So forget the rules. Worry about being someone worth reading.

Comments

  1. says

    Derek, great way to write reactively to things you’ve come across. You know I’m onboard 100% what you are talking about here, and I’m thankful that you’ve reference me and the refocus I’ve had on my blog. Being alongside John in this quest is an honor. He’s a great guy, with great motives and a great app/service he’s building with Pressgram.

    • says

      Brian, You and John are up to great things! Thanks for blogging with heart and for investing in other bloggers. I look forward to seeing how your blog continues to evolve and help others.

  2. says

    I’ve been blogging since 1998 and have understandably gone through periods of silence. The rules you mention are a big culprit. I think, to continue to enjoy blogging, the blogger has to remember his/her first reader — themselves. I’ve always said I write for myself, not really anyone else, so in a way, that’s why I’ve lasted so long.

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