Saturday, May 31, 2014

Being Real vs. Being Fake

No "Blue Roses" here...
I read a blog post a while back, one of many, about how to be a better blogger.  No matter how long I've been at this, I always want to learn more so that I can be better at what I do.

It was a fairly straightforward post about five things you should never do on your blog.

The only problem is I'm not sure if I agree with him on all his points.  I'm not saying it was a bad post or anything like that.  It was pretty good actually.

His first point was about how bloggers aren't supposed to let you the reader know or even think that we're just a beginner.  I'm not sure what is wrong with that in certain areas.  I have no problem letting people know that although I've been writing since the fourth grade, I'm new at being a published author.  What better way to encourage others that making mistakes early in the game is okay and not a death sentence? Maybe some young/new author will read my posts and learn from my mistakes.  Who knows?

His second point was that bloggers shouldn't be negative in their blog posts.  If every blog post was negative, I'd understand that.  If there was even a pattern of negativity, I'd be worried.  But I don't see how an occasional negative blog post could hurt you in the long run.  Let's be honest, even the most positive/optimistic people have bad days.  Sometimes that will leak through to a blog post.  While I am one of the happiest depressed people I know, there are some days I struggle greatly with being positive and hopeful.  While I would never just vent here on this site, his post made me feel like I had to hide my struggles from my readers.  But - it's part of my journey!

The only thought I had about his third point, not posting negative reviews of other author's books, was that is was mostly common sense not to do that.  Well, I also thought that any review you post ought to be honest and not just positive for the sake of being positive in order to get a good review in return.  But since I don't really write reviews of books on here, I figure I'm safe.

(But on that note, here is a plug for my author friend C.P. Stringham's latest romance Rest in Peace.  It's the third in the series though, so be forewarned!)

I completely agreed with his last two points, about not ignoring comments and making sure you don't react negatively to a negative comment and to not be constantly talking about your own books.  So there's not really much to say there.  I have comment moderation turned on just so I'll never miss a comment.

And then there is this CreateSpace blog about branding yourself that I just read the other day.  It made me feel a little better about disagreeing with the previous blogger on some of his points.  Richard Ridley's short post can be summed up in one of his own sentences: "Just be yourself."  His advice tells us that if we as writers and bloggers stay true to who we are, and are comfortable with who we are, it will draw people to us and our books.

Like everything else I've ever read on being a success at writing and blogging, he does say that it takes time and consistency.  Two things I have obviously struggled with recently.  As can be seen by how long it has been since I posted.  I won't bore you will all the details, but I have had a lot going on in the real world and instead of finding solace in words on a screen I have been letting the resulting depression run its course.  I've never been able to write when I'm at the worst, it's only on the way back out that the creative muse kicks in.  Some of the best poems I've ever written were on the way back out of a depressive episode.  Two of my favorites are companion poems The Secret Me and I Can See You even though they are both almost 14 years old.
We all have rainy days...

So at the end of the day, so to speak, each of us bloggers have to find our own way.  No matter how many different articles we read giving us advice on how to attract readers, it's always going to come back to in who we are.  Each of us who blogs/writes has our own unique Voice.  Along with our different opinions and ideas.  Some of us are going to be Roses, others Lilacs, and others Violets.  Some of us are going to clash like thunder and lightning, while others are going to be like Forrest and Jenny - peas and carrots.  But even then, what is thunder without lightning?

I won't stop reading articles, but no matter what I have to be true to myself.  Who I am as a writer and as a person.

I can only be me.

2014 ~ Aren't we done with this year yet???

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