|"I ♥ My Blog": Exploring the Personal on Our Blogs|
“where i come from”
In almost every stage of my life, from elementary school to college to my career, I’ve had people tell me I “have a story for everything.” It’s true. Of all the phrases I use, there’s probably none I use more than, “That reminds me of …” I can’t help it. I come from a family rich in narratives. More than that, I come from a family rich in narrators. My family is full of storytellers, each with similar yet unique styles of telling their own, and shared, stories over generations.
The funny thing is, as much as my family loves to share stories, we are at the same time very private people. You don’t go spreading family seeds in someone else’s garden. It’s sometimes interesting to see how a story will change dependent on the audience. With a stranger present, a story might be told in a matter of minutes … the same story it took a grandfather or great uncle or aunt or parent hours to tell before. And if you try to “urge out the details” in front of the wrong people, suddenly it’s like the story has never been told before: nobody seems to remember who said what, where they were, how it happened, or why. Maybe it’s just hard to spin the yarn on a stranger’s loom.
“sharing is caring”
When it comes to blogging, there’s a fine line between what’s public and what’s private. It’s usually pretty easy for us to know the difference: it’s the same line that exists between what we want to share and what we want to keep to ourselves. When it comes to our readers … the line isn’t so easy to draw. Sometimes readers come out of a curiosity not only for what they need to know (a guide to writing a novel, insights on poetry publication, tips on taking the best photographs, etc.), but also for what they simply want to know: who we are, what we do, how we think, where we’ve been, how we live, etc. Sometimes it feels downright intrusive.
The problem is that blogs are often (though, admittedly, not always) public space. And just like a lofty celebrity on the red carpet, once we’ve graced the public with our appearance, we’ve opened the floodgates for all kinds of inquiries. We start to ask ourselves, “How much is too much?”
“who are you”
Maybe, though, that’s the wrong question. Maybe instead the question for our blogs should be: “How little is too little?”
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not telling you to spill your whole life story into your blog. But when we blog, we put ourselves out there. Even if I label my blog “for me,” unless I’ve blocked the rest of the world from seeing it, it instantly becomes “for us.” The personal elements of our lives become feed for our flocks.
That doesn’t mean, however, that we owe readers every. single. detail. Not at all. Sometimes it’s just letting the reader know, “I’m writing from experience.” Sometimes it’s just saying, “This happened, and I want to share it with you.” But when readers come to our blogs, they come expecting to learn a little bit of who we are, and where we come from.
I didn’t become a writer on my own. I come from a line of storytellers whose bloodlines keep the wells of my pens and pencils overflowing. I didn’t decide to write a poetry and writing blog out of thin air. I had experiences and ideas and thoughts I wanted to share that made it seem like a good idea. I came from somewhere. So did you. Don’t be afraid to let your readers see it … even if it’s only a little bit.
Today’s task is to write a piece in which you explore where you come from. Share a bit of the personal with your readers. For me there’s a difference between the “personal” and the “private.” The personal is the parts of you who make you who you are, the elements you can share with people to give them that better sense of you. The private is the parts of you that are nobody’s business. I’m leaving the line between the two up to you to draw; but once you’ve drawn it, begin to share!
How do you feel about sharing information about yourself, or exploring “where you come from,” on your blog? Feel free to share your thoughts, opinions, ideas, etc. in the comments below!
Want to stay connected? I invite you to connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Please also sign up for the free email updates from Our Lost Jungle!
Don't miss out on the January "I ♥ My Blog" Challenge offerings!