Are Personal Blogs too Personal?

Writing my blog, I think I’ve always been treading a line. I moved from reviewing books and talking about my reading habits to writing about my life and experiences. I was always cautious about putting too much of myself out there both with regards to internet safety and personal boundaries, and somewhere down the road, the fine line I was treading definitely got blurred.

Being a writer, you become hyper aware that everything you write, even the fiction, contains a massive part of yourself. Letting someone read that means giving them an insight into your inner most thoughts, whether they know it or not. Imagine then the extent of this when you’re actually writing about yourself to start with.

I’ve always tried to write about my personal experiences with just a little bit of distance. I’ve tried to phrase my old blog posts as questions or advice, or even tried to present my own experiences as the experiences of the masses. I’ve never known quite how to find a good balance between personal writing and being aware that what I’m sharing is going to be out there on the internet for people to find but then at the same time, writing in the first person, as I am now, and creating content that people relate to based upon my own ideas and experiences, has always been what’s felt the most natural to me and I believe in many ways it is an area of writing that my talents seem to lay in.

The problem arises when I ask myself what it means to have a personal blog? I read a lot of fashion and beauty blogs, a collection of personal blogs that don’t seem to actually get all that personal and then a small handful written by people who really get into the nitty gritty of their own experiences. The bulk of the nitty gritty personal blogs I read come from YouTuber’s (Lucy Moon for example). They’re people who, at least to a certain extent, have become very used to sharing a large part of their lives with people on the internet.  I personally love reading these types of blogs. They help me. And not only by allowing me to see great examples of the kind of writing that I enjoy doing, but also with many of my life experiences.

Over the past year for example, I have been struggling with some mental health issues (once again something I’m still not even sure if is appropriate to share on the internet for me). Reading blogs about people with depression and anxiety and other such difficulties has played a massive role in my feeling better about it all. In this way, I really think super personal blogs are a wonderful thing. But this is the thing, as I reader I’m wholeheartedly for a writer sharing as much of themselves as they can whilst still being comfortable in their work. I believe some of the best writing comes from this. That having been said, as a writer, I’m still not 100% what’s professionally appropriate for someone who wants to make a career as a writer to share.

A lot of my decision-making process comes down to asking myself the question “what is it I want to get out of blogging?” and the answer to that is mainly for people to feel something when they read what I write. I think even further, that’s a goal in my writing as a whole. Aside from improving my writing, getting my name out there and almost documenting my growth as a writer and person, that’s always been the subconscious focus. The best way I know how to do that is use my own experiences to relate to people, and hopefully evoke some sort of emotion in them.

And even as I’m writing this I’m realising how personal my style is. It’s all “I” focused, my thoughts and feelings and dubious voice. And I don’t know if that’s a problem or if in that lays my strength as a writer.

So, are personal blogs too personal? I think the opinion varies from person to person, reader to writer. Is my blog too personal? I’m still trying to figure that out. I want to find a balance, one that doesn’t involve compromising the emotional integrity of the content that I create or my personal privacy and professional persona.

There are lots of ways to be genuine on a personal blog.

 

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Thank God for Coffee Shop Wifi

Deciding that you want to revamp your blog, ney, your whole life, a day before you find yourself wifi-less for a whole damn week and a half is surprisingly jerking. As you might have guessed, this is indeed the situation that I’ve found myself in and let me tell you it aint half frustrating.

So the deal goes something like this, my housemates and I have recently moved into a new home. Thing is, we forgot to sort the wifi out until we got there and as it turns out it’s much more of a hassle than we thought. A number of issues have cropped up and ultimately we have a while to wait before we can be connected again. The worst part about this is how much it’s driving us all insane. We’re all smart, creative and sensible people who have somehow been rendered useless without wifi. It’s pathetic!

For some reason I can’t seem to feel accomplished in my day. I can’t send out emails or write blog posts or catch an episode of my favourite show. I can’t mindlessly scroll twitter in my free time and I can’t internet shop. I can’t look up new recipes or workouts or places to go.  These are all things that I should really be able to live without and yet without my news updates, social media posts and google guides I feel so disconnected from the world.

I’m bored, to say the least. This is especially odd considering my two favourite things to do in the world need no wifi at all. Reading and writing are massive hobbies of mine and yet somehow the fact that they’re the only things there seems to be to do at the moment makes me feel forced to do them, and well that just takes the fun out. I miss skyping my family and friends back home and honestly I’ve been left feeling ever so slightly lonely despite being surrounded by the wonderful women I live with.

Surely you’re reading this and thinking the same things I am; for goodness sakes Leigh-Ann get a grip! Go outside and get some fresh air, enjoy the detox and reflect a little. I’m trying, I promise. It’s just much harder than I thought. I suppose that says a lot about me really, maybe about my generation. And hey I’m not saying that’s all bad. Maybe it also says a lot about our need to be connected with each other.

I suppose if anything this whole not having wifi thing has definitely made me think. That’s a good thing and a bad thing but I moved to this new place so excited to be a better me, make the little changes I’ve wanted to for so long and start to organise things and for some reason I’m having trouble doing those things without an internet connection. How odd.

I’m trying to work around the blockage stealing wifi where I can. I’m trying to get the blog back up and running again and as far as the rest of the life change stuff, maybe I can try harder not to rely so much on the internet.

All I can say for now is thank god for coffee shop wifi.