Thursday, 29 October 2009

Blogging Out Loud

Blog like you mean it. Blog when you want to ... but especially when you don't. Never think your stories aren't interesting ... if something is told well, with truth and meaning, it will make people smile. Or relate. Or cry. And come back to read more.

Don't box yourself in ... you are the boss of your own blog. You do not need to belong to any genre, or niche, or style. Be nice .. but do not be afraid to show your dark side; your faults; your defects of character. These are the things that will make people love you more. (We all have them, anyway.)

Don't try to be Dooce .. that gig is taken. Don't worry about stats, or readership numbers. Just write. Even if you just have that one person from Tennesee, or Rome, or Budgewoi commenting ... keep writing. If you stay put and stay true, people will listen. Build it, and they will come.

Spread yourself around ... be generous with your comments on other people's blogs. Think about who the person is. Make them smile if they need it. If all of the comments to one of their posts is about the same thing, choose one other thing to comment about ... the knick knack behind them in their kitchen. What you think the horse in their dream means. Be thoughtful, and mean what you say.

Never blog for comments. Never blog for comments. It doesn't work. People smell falseness a mile off. And don't think too much about what you want to write about. The best blog posts I've written are ones that I've just let flow out. Then think to yourself, well, I can't publish that. Publish it anyway.

It will keep you up at night, then the next morning you will go to take your post down and find that fairies have come in the night, disguised as people, and sprinkled a shitload of fairy dust over your depression-laden, pain-fuelled tirade. And you will crumple and cry at the sheer gratitude and relief you feel. At having been heard.

"I was here," says every comment. "I was here and I saw you struggle and here are some kind words, to help you through. Sounds like you need them."

Sometimes you will be the fairy, and somebody else will need your words, to help them through.

Be generous.

There are blogs for every conceivable thing. They are everywhere. Hang a welcome mat out on yours. Brew some tea. Shoot the shit. What's your darkest fear? What did you think when you were five? What's your take on the Russian Revolution? Do you think Jessica is totally jealous of Ashley now? What's your story?

Start your own damn meme. Make it the "This Blog Kicks Serious Motherfucking Arse" meme, and award it to seventy people. Have some fun. Show your mole! Dance! Tell us what makes you cry. I promise, you are not as boring as you think you are.

I wish my blog was more polished, with less swearing and more intellectual shit that I know I'm capable of. Alas. I started this blog as a way of showing prospective employers my writing style .... yeah right. This blog is now the last thing I would want prospective employers to see. As Jim Carrey profoundly says in Liar Liar ... "I can't ..... lie!"

I can't. My blog became way too personal, way too quickly. Occasionally I get a twinge, that too many people now know my stuff ... but so what. I'm actually not that important anyway. What a relief!

Don't embarrass others. Write often. Write for yourself. Don't think about it too much. Compose your next post as you stand in line at the grocery store, walking the dog, doing a wee. Laugh at yourself. Bring your petty jealousies out for all to see. "Check out what I think about this! Aren't I King Wanker!" People will nod and laugh at, and with you.

Don't mind the trolls. They are here to stay, but try not to let them get under your skin. Imagine yourself inviting them over for a freshly brewed coffee at your house, sharing a joke. That's probably what they yearn for anyway.

Be daring.

Be generous. You are amazing. You are terrible. Discuss.

All of it.

Lastly, but most importantly ... you do not need a reason to blog. None whatsoever!

As Kenickie says in Grease, "Rules are ... there aint no rules!"

I still don't know what I'm blogging for. And I kind of hope I never find out.

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