This is the fifteenth post in our “How I Blog” series. To read the rest, visit the archives. Interested in participating? Drop us a note about ‘How I Blog’ along with a photo or yourself or your blogging space at tips [at] blogmedia [dot] biz.
Edrei Zahari, Student, Blogger.
I like blogging, I really do. Though after just a little after 3 years putting down your thoughts day after day, you tend to wonder how much more of life you can keep writing. Keeping a personal blog isn’t really one of the most attractive genres a blog can have. After all, with the current explosion of blogs in the blogosphere, there happens to be a lot of what I call “me too noodle posts” out there (this is the link in which I have written what I defined as noodle posts) . Given that the general population would rather blog than to read blogs out there, how I blog rests with the sole ability to try and capture the readers in the first 30 seconds of them coming to my blog.
Being in a country with a packed and very active blogosphere (Malaysia), I tend to interact with a lot of bloggers and while the majority of them are personal bloggers, the few that do stand out happen to have their own writing styles. Writing styles I believe are what makes a personal blogger or any blogger for that matter unique to their own genre of blogging. I spend as much time as I can looking for blogs that have their unique writing style, not as much as to emulate, but to learn and develop a writing style that I can call my own.
Despite my constantly evolving writing style, the reasons in which I blog still remain the same, as a personal outlet to my own opinions and feelings. While this does bring up some privacy issues, anonymity was never one of them. True, there are parts of my life I am willing to share and some parts I am willing to keep to myself, there are other people in my personal life I have to consider when I do blog about situations surrounding them. In many cases, I would choose to refer to them casually. But for other more intimate details, I tend to develop a sense of vague writing which does state how I feel but never clearly of the situation involved and more importantly who the person is. It’s important that I realized that while it is easy to make blogging part of your life, it’s harder to make your life part of blogging.
Personal blogging does tend to attract your fair share of trolls or derogatory comments that attack the blogger rather than being constructive criticism. There are times in which I have been forced to delete comments based on content in which they have been written. As such, my blog has a no-troll policy (which details to date I have yet to write). While this itself has generated it’s own criticism, sometimes its better to ensure that some form of civility are met rather than degrading itself into a cat fight which defeats the purpose of my own blog.
Lastly, even as a personal blog, I still touch the aspects of technology in the form of WordPress. Probably because as a person who’d fiddled around with it a lot and also because it is my hobby to begin with, I can at least give my personal opinion on what is and what isn’t and maybe give back to the community a little bit of what they have given me. Being that it’s a personal opinion, it still doesn’t deviate too far from the mantra of a personal blog or at least that’s how I feel about it.
To anyone who does keep a personal blog, I guess I have one advice for them. Grow. It doesn’t just mean you should constantly change the way you write to suit your readers in order to attract them, no. It means as you move along in life, the way you see things and perceive life changes and your blog should reflect a large part of that, even if it comes from the way your blog looks. Given that it’s a personal blog, try and remember that your life is part of the blog, not that your blog is your life. Draw inspiration from thoughts and feelings you might have from the life around you because even though we might think we lead mundane lives, some details when looked upon in the mirror can have very different reflections indeed.
Above all, love what you write. Love what you do that makes you write it. Even if it may be something completely irrelevant to the your general genre like WordPress is to mine. I write about it because I love it, it’s personal for me and to that it makes no difference. Personal blogs are about passion for your own life whether it may be good or bad, whether it may disinterest some and entice others. It is a snapshot in time of who you are. How I write in the end is a part of who I am and nothing else should be further from that.
Maybe one day, I’ll look back upon my life and discover who exactly is that person in the mirror of my own words. Maybe one day, you would too.
Edrei Zahari is a medical biotechnology student and blogs at Footsteps in the Mirror
Matt Craven is the former editor & publisher of The Blog Herald. Currently, Matt is the co-founder of Bryghtpath LLC, a consulting practice located in Woodbury, Minnesota. Matt's presently looking for new blogging gigs. Ping him at matt (at) bryghtpath dot com. You can follow him on Twitter.