Recently, there were two incidents that had me asking myself, “Are you blogging what you should be blogging on your blog?”
The first one came from an emailed request to blog about something. I get requests all the time, but for this one, my instinct was to say no. It wasn’t a topic I was interested in, and I really didn’t think my readers would be interested in. Still, the request came from someone I respect and really want to please. I’ve sent “business” their way and they’ve sent plenty to me, so in a way, this would be a favor to blog about their topic requests.
I thought about it, checked out the links they sent me, and finally said yes. From that moment on, I had an upset stomach and “nerves”, as my mother called them. I couldn’t think. My brain locked up. I couldn’t concentrate.
When I finally stopped to consider the reason behind the queasy and distracted feeling, I emailed them back and said no. I apologized, and told them I would still consider it for the future (easy way out), but that I was just too busy right now to take on the request.
Then I ran across a fascinating and well-written blog post that dealt with a subject I thought might be interesting to my readers. Others were reporting on it, so it must be of interest. I copied all the information for linking and blockquoting into my text editor’s draft file for my blog, then poked at it. For six weeks.
I kept running across my draft. I’d think, “I need to finish this and publish it,” and move onto another blog post idea. It nagged at me. It haunted me. I woke up in the night thinking about the post. I knew I had to do something about it and get it out of my drafts and onto my blog.
I took a fresh look at it and cringed. While I knew my readers might be interested in the subject, this wasn’t something I was interested in. It just wasn’t important to me. Others had said much wiser and saner things than I could add to the conversation. I had a hard time finding the value I could give to the post to make it work publishing. It just wasn’t “me” nor my blog, no matter how interesting it was. It wasn’t right.
I selected the whole thing and deleted it.
Serving Your Muse, Not Your Assumptions
I realized that I blogged best when I served my muse, my instincts for good blog content. Not the wishes of someone else telling me what I should blog about. Not my wishes to please my readers, blogging about something that I’m forcing myself to blog about. I blog best when I blog to support my spirit, not undermine it.
What about you? Does this sound familiar? Do you struggle with your blog post content, before or even after you publish it? Are you blogging about what you should be blogging about, or serving the wishes of the others or the supposed tos?
The author of Lorelle on WordPress and the fast-selling book, Blogging Tips: What Bloggers Won't Tell You About Blogging, as well as several other blogs, Lorelle VanFossen has been blogging for over 15 years, covering blogging, WordPress, travel, nature and travel photography, web design, web theory and development extensively as web technologies developed.