Mostly, there are no universal blogging tips. A new blogger has asked me: How much should I reveal about myself on my blog?
My short answer: as much as you’re comfortable with.
I understand that a writer who thinks her writing doesn’t reveal anything about herself is like a circus elephant trying on a disguise.
No matter how subtle or make-believe you are, you reveal a lot of you when you write.
Personally, I try to keep it as professional as possible on both my blogs, with personal touches here and there. I do share important personal news, but I usually give only the bare details.
What about you? Do you share your personal life on your blogs? Do people sharing details of personal trauma turn you off or make you read more? What would you say to the blogger who sent me this question? Any other blogging tips on privacy that you’d like to share?
Time for my regular Bloggers I (strongly) Recommend Visiting feature:
Jacqui Murray: She’s a fab writer and blogger, and if you’re a writer you can be sure you’ll gain insights from her excellent blog, like this post for YA authors.
Susan Scott: A new friend, and a great supporter during the A to Z Challenge. Here’s one of her amazing posts on Pain.
Guilie Castillo Oriard: A cherished blog-friend over the years, and this year, a fab member of my awesome #TeamDamyanti . Check out some of her cool posts, like this one.
Go give them some love, and if you’re a regular supporter of this blog, I’ll try and send some love your way too, one of these days. All of these three bloggers are worth your time and effort. Promise.
Please join Daily (w)rite on its Facebook Page if you’d like to be heard by this community. If you liked this post, you can have biweekly posts delivered to your inbox: click the SUBSCRIBE button in the sidebar.
I don’t share much about my personal life on my website. Very little and infrequent, if anything. I’ve gone very professional in the past few years as I am getting my freelance film critic career off the ground.
Being new to blogging I am finding these articles of great interest and value. So a big thank you for them.
This question in particular gained my greatest interest. I would guess how much you reveal about yourself in your blog is a personal and calculated decision and one could argue pro’s and con’s on both parts.
Revealing things about oneself in their writing particularly in fiction stories is less controlled. Especially if you want your stories to be believable and leave a lasting impression I think a part of you that you cannot control and you need to be open to this allowing it to be revealed within your writing.
Please suggest me how can i share my blog here ..TIA
Personally, I love sharing about my personal life and my mindset via my blog. I think the more raw and authentic we can be, the more people can connect with us and realize we are just as flawed as they are – the only difference is, I choose to air out my flaws. I have nothing to hide, and I am not ashamed of my imperfections… at least not anymore.
I share personal stories but I try to focus on the learnings than the details. Sometimes, there is a lot revealed but I also believe that the best writing form is when one opens up life. It’s a dilemma for sure.
I write about my life right now. I’m a newbie. I am just starting to write. Yeah it nearly all personal still.
Besides my writing, my blog focuses on the adventures I take on my motorcycle. I think best on two wheels. So by nature my blog is personal. To date I have not found that to be much of a problem.
I am just finding my feet really. I have put some personal stuff out there whilst, I hope, remaining somewhat anonymous. I do not yet feel knowledgable enough to simply focus on one thing but who knows where my blog may take me. I am hoping it may open up some new avenues in whatever way it can, eventually of course (unless I’m really lucky of course).
I usually blog about writing or my books, but occasionally my personal life either crosses paths with writing (as in my recent post), or something very big happens in my life that I feel a need to spill out. In the latter case I try to maintain some distance – like never being specific about who is involved (e.g. family member, friend). I read recently that one should maintain multiple blogs – personal and professional. Frankly, I’m challenged to make frequent entries in one! And there’s that part of me that likes putting myself out there on my blog, within safe limits.
I’m undecided at the moment. I’ve recently taken my picture off and I don’t blog in my real name. Mainly because a few family members and internet friends have said I’m risking my career and creating ethical issues by blogging! Now I’m anonymous (within the limits of the internet and its savvy stalkers) I guess I can branch out and add more personal things. Time will tell I guess as I’m new to blogging.
I’m the same – I don’t blog in my real name. Not because I could be risking my career i don’t think, but to protect the friends, family and people around me that I talk about. I think if you’re going to talk about someone, you shouldn’t ever allow them to be identified through you unless they know exactly what you’ve written and as that’s not always possible, I try to keep it vague. I’d love to know if anyone thinks it works – Have I revealed something I shouldn’t have?
Just a few days ago, I have finally decided to start blogging and tell the world about my life and what I have been through. I do get a bit personal, the reason for that is because I have been through everything that was meant to break me, but it has only made me stronger. I want to share my stories with people that can relate and be able to give them positive advice.
Im actually starting my own blog, basically about my life and how i was hurt and now im doing my best to get up . i feel like people would relate to me . i also would like to get to read your blog .
I also have lived a life of enormous pain and survived. One of my healing tools has been writing, as a result I discovered I love to write and am now beginning my 5 manuscript. someday I will look into getting published. I ache to share so many heavy thoughts that fill my mind. I’m thinking of blogging and hoping it will build for me an audience for when I do publish. I’m afraid that what I want to share may be too personal. If you have any advice, please share. Thanks, Crystal
I started my blog as a way to keep my family who live all over the US up to date when I moved to rural Alaska. I am so far away, and they all gave me the same bit of advice- keep a journal, take pictures. Preserve your memories somehow, because someday when you are older, it will be wonderful to have something to hold onto and show your (future) children. So I started with that in mind. But I am so much more than just a writer about Alaska… I want to include all aspects of what this has done to my life because it is so radically different than how I lived and worked before when I lived in the lower 48. I want to preserve this slice of my life, because I’m not sure if I will ever really live like this again.
I think the most important thing though, is that I don’t write explicitly about others unless I have permission. I ask my husband what he is okay with me saying about him, and when we have children I will probably be more reserved for their own personal privacy. I’m an adult who can make decisions about what I put out on the internet, and we need to always remember that once it’s out there, it’s out there.
I started as a songwriter, so I guess it makes sense that I now write creative nonfiction. Instead of a diary, I look at my personal essays as fitting into that genre. Sometimes, my best work is when I am the most vulnerable. But I know that’s not always the case.
I blogged every day on another site for about 6 years. I shared daily challenges, thoughts that came across my mind, even recipes. Being a writer at heart, I had an urge to write. I loved the interaction from my followers and shared myself completely. During those years I was raising teenage daughters and struggling with a bad marriage. Blogging was a way for me to express myself fully and share my growth as a person. It was positive on the whole. At some point, my children became aware of my blog and they asked me to stop sharing with the world. They found it embarrassing, It was tied to my name and when you googled me it showed up…probably not the best idea considering I have a career. So now I try to remain anonymous but I am still and always will be the “real” me in writing. People who write about their real lives and real things always keeps my attention. Real is not always pretty, but the reader can always close the page. I say share – but do it wisely.
I can understand where you’re coming from. I’m usually a private person, but today I lost a dear friend, and have spilled my guts all over my blog. We share how much we can, and feel comfortable with, and today I wanted to share my grief with the whole world.
I agree. Share as much as you’re comfortable with, but don’t be afraid to give your readers a glimpse of who you are. I give glimpses of me through my blog. My personality is revealed in my writing. But, I primarily use my FB page (linked to my blog) to help followers make a connection to “me”. I post personal and professional things on my FB page… but not too personal. I don’t post what I’m eating or anything, but if I’m doing something fun, or silly whether it’s related to my blog focus or not, I post it. Readers feel more of a connection when they can get a glimpse into your life:)
I guess blogging is not just about revealing the personal information. Its about revealing the knowledge and your other side that no one really knows. You dont have to reveal your credit card and social security numbers and stuff like that. I have more than 100 posts now and still there is very less that my readers know about me. Focus on the creative aspects.
My blog is not “about” me (it’s creative writing “from me,” but it’s not me), per se, so I share personal details sparingly. I guess it all depends on the platform for your blog. Great discussion, Damyanti (that I unfortunately missed back in May)!
I came across your blog today and I must say, your writing is excellent and thought provoking. I am a newbie blogger too, and for me, it’s almost like a release, a way of expressing feelings that I would rather write about than speak; just a way of explaining them better.
I too agree that comfort level matters when blogging about your personal life. Also, even though I may may not mind reading certain things on others’ personal blogs, I may not be comfortable blogging about similar things. So, I guess it all boils down to what one is comfortable with.
Great topic! Yes, I do share my husband’s and my personal life on our blog. I blog about our writing, the books we have published and the books I’m editing. I first just edited his writing and now have evolved into collaborating on his writings as he has become disabled over the last years. A great deal of his writings lately have been memoirs, and so it is impossible to get away from the personal stuff. As my favourite reading is biography, I am drawn to the personal details. When I worked as a magazine editor, I also found it advantageous to slip in details of my personal life in my editorials as I edited a Christian women’s magazine. Time and again my readers would resonate with the personal details I wrote. They seem to draw people in and make the writing more real.
a lot of people use writing as therapy. If they write about a personal loss, it is always the readers option to tune out if it makes them uncomfortable.
You can always get around this dilemma and have more than one blog!! I have 4 – all with very different topics ;o)
I think it depends on the writer, the reader, and the context, really. Just like any convo, I suppose, you frame each bit of into the underlying Q: “why is the person telling me this?” In other words, does the “sharing,” no matter how intimate, actually enhance the post, loan some insights into the readers own experience, or make an example more compelling? If yes to any of those points I would say go personal, go deep; if the answer is nay (as the case on a lot of blogs I have stopped reading) than I would leave the “share” on the cutting room floor. In short, I think it is all about intent!
Because my writing has evolved into essayist form, I feel people need to know more about the person behind the writing when reading, in order to position themselves to put on another perspective at times, one that may be vastly different than their own. This is very distinct from say, fictional writing, or play-writing, where you want one looking at and feeling your characters rather than you. As such, I’d say it depends on what your springboard is for your content.
Good, honest question, and I’ve enjoyed your response and others. Thank you for sharing it.
I think whichever way it goes, people still want to know a bit of the guy behind the mask. It makes the blog expressive. Nice to be here.
Thank you for visiting and following my blog. As you may have read on my posts, I’m in the middle of a major move and hence my tardiness at getting here. I find your question here very interesting and will read further as to others answers. I share some personal details but am very careful not to share too much, especially if it involves others. Not sure if I’ve succeeded or not. I like to “get to know” someones heart through their writing and have found it possible without crossing barriers of TMI. I’ll be back to visit soon. Again, thank you and hope you continue to find something of interest there.
Sometimes there is no one to talk or share your personal feelings with… could be happy feelings could be nostalgic moments and it also could be personal discoveries as to how life unfolds. Stories no matter how personal how simple sometimes in a way blogging is like peeling onions someone said. It brings tears…but it also brings discoveries and sometimes a closure to some turmoil. At least i have been feeling like that. Such has been the turn of events that now we have to rely more on ourselves than on finding real companions who can give you some time. And yes there is that added bonus in blogging…friends…and some of them feel better…sound better and act better than real friends.
Thank you Damyanti for promoting my post and thus leading me to this place which can direct me to more to my liking. Hope you continue to browse through mine though and if possible leave behind a smiley or something to let me know…
Yes Its true…. When there was none to share with.. to listen to my heart ….blogging was a great solace..!!!
My blog is kinda personal, it’s about my travels. But people don’t need to know about my private (social) life. Not everything that happened to me during my travels need to be known too by people whom I never met and never will.
I like what you told the blogger–to tell as much as they feel comfortable with but to keep it professional with personal touches here and there, although usually giving only bare details. I also agree that writers reveal a lot of who they are when they write (whether or not they realize it). I basically would have responded the same as you. Thanks for sharing!
I do agree with the idea of sharing whatever you are comfortable sharing, but would like to encourage the sharing of some of those things that make the writer uncomfortable, too. I appreciate it when people share because it supports my desire to learn from others’ experiences, understand other points of view, explore, enforce, and even dispose of some of my own attitudes and beliefs, and be given the opportunity to offer encouragement. Of course, there are also some things that may be better shared with virtual strangers than family and friends — such as things that force an unwanted mental picture…
Blogging and writing are two somewhat different things. Although they’re mistaken to mean the same. But I have this to say, no matter what the writing maybe, fiction or factual, we share a part of ourselves. The only way to have a “true” writing is to have a writing that is personal, that we have felt, that we feel, that we want to feel.
I love your advice about blogging. It inspires me to continue with my own writing mission. I also think your very cute. Don’t tell my wife I said that. Lol.
why not….unless they are deep secrets which arent meant to be shared.Your blog can have everything whats on your mind 😉
I am completely with you about sharing as much or as little as you want. I have actually chosen to start a different blog to try and separate my professional work blog from my personal one. It was getting too hard to try and reconcile the two sides of me in one place and I was starting to not blog for fear of revealing personal details in the professional one. I know that means it will likely now become more of a website, detailing my work as opposed to an interactive place where I give my opinions. But hopefully people will be able to direct themselves to my personal blog if they want. Thanks for the post!
Had a similar experience and started a personal blog to have as a creative and personal outlet, so to make connections with other writers who open up in a similar fashion. Raw honesty from peers is my favorite subject matter <3
fear nothing and just write. What people think has nothing to do with it.
I’d have said the same thing as you did, “Share as much as you’re comfortable with and confident about.”
Though if someone were determined enough, one could find my identity, I try to stay anonymous. I want the work recognized, not me. It’s not all about humility. It’s also about self-preservation.
I like this approach!
Writing is probably one of the most personal things you can do, if you’re writing about what’s most important in your life. I try to put as much of my heart and soul as possible into what I write while keeping the post enjoyable and easy to read. The form and content has something to do with it too, but in general, the more genuine (and positive) the writing, the better the post will be.
I’ve struggled with this a lot. I want my blog to be general so people can relate but I can’t help but think that the best way to relate is to provide the personal, nitty-gritty details (to an extent of course)…
You have a very interesting blog here! Thank you for the follow @ bpnurse.com 🙂
I do like a bit of personal life thrown in the blog. I like to know a bit about the bloggers I follow. I don’t give out very much information, but some and like you, I think our writing says a lot about who we are.
Thanks for the recommendations of other bloggers. I already follow Jacqui Murray and find her blog truly informative. I’m off now to check the other two. 🙂
Since I like to read about people’s lives, I like the personal life/journal kind of blogs. If they don’t share anything at all about themselves, I get bored, because then I could just read a book or magazine about whatever the topic is. I read blogs because it’s a great way to connect with people.. People should share what they are comfortable with, but not reveal names or places, for their own safety. I write a blog to share what’s going on in my life and about music events I go to or other music updates, and my photography, so obviously I do share some things about myself and my life, but many times I’ve thought a post was too personal, and then deleted it. I know there are many people who aren’t interested in reading about people, but there are also tons of people who like personal blogs. We are all different and have different preferences.
I do share my personal life on my blog. I try not to share too much and save personal details for my journal. The purpose of my blog was to take my journal entries and share them but sometimes I catch myself doing the opposite. I enjoy reading other personal blogs because it allows me to get to know someone. If it isn’t so much of a personal blog, I still enjoy the connection and learning of someone else. I’m with you on your answer about sharing online: as little or as much as comfortable.
I’m politically liberal, but I keep my views out of my blogs for the most part – no use alienating some of my readers. I also keep my family out – except my husband is occasionally mentioned.
I agree it is up to comfort of blogger. Many are not real so sharing isn’t an issue. I am real PerryMartinBookReviews.wordpress.com
I’m with you–reveal as much or as little as you like.
I also agree that our fiction writing tells our own personal story, intended or not.
I am so inspired by your daily write! Ritual. As my writing concerns our interior landscape, yes what I write exposes me. Sometimes stories rise from my adventures with strangers or pals, and sometimes they are my own. Always I keep to the inner world we tug with alone; so readers don’t feel so alone. I have missed out on dates after I’ve given my wordpress address out. So it also clears a path for someone to get to know who I am. Kudos to you for embracing wordpress honestly and professionally.
“Write what you know” will always reveal something about the writer, just don’t blog about “twitter” stuff…”I had a really good hamburger today.”
I agree with your answer- as much as you feel comfortable revealing to a large group of strangers. Some people can walk naked on a stage.
I find that taking past events and fictionalizing them makes for strong writing. Anyone who knows me well may read my fiction and wonder when, where and how, but not if an event happened. Of course as god I get to change the details, mash unrelated things together and make a sad ending happy or happy sad. Sometimes I even use the names of people involved!
It has been one of those weeks. So I don’t remember the details of the occasion. But one of my colleagues distinguished between personal sharing and intimate sharing in both public speaking and writing. The implication was that personal/biographical info can illustrate a point and help others apply it to their life, whereas intimate sharing may be embarrassing.
There’s definitely a range. Because I share about my family it depends on them as well, so it fluctuates a bit. I don’t like to air all our dirty laundry or anything, but I don’t want to keep it all down to dull, inconsequential small talk, either.
wow. ton of thoughts here…i am probably over personal at times….sharing just about anything that happens in my life…and talking about anything…i have always used my real name as well so people can find me…and many have and that is ok…i have little to hide…
My first blog is essentially an assumed identity. However, I think it still tells a lot about me. Even the assumed identity, the person I feel is worthy of reading about maybe. In my attempt at authenticity it still held snippets of truth about who I am.
Thing is, when I really wanted to talk to my readers, I was unable to without telling them I wasn’t who I said I was.
So I started something new where I can tell the naked truth. It all depends on the purpose of your writing.
While my blog is nearly an open book about my recovery, there are certain aspects that remain private. Not much is kept from the blogging world, but still its nice to have a tiny bit that remains my own.
When others read my blog I am almost certain they know a lot about me as a person. They know something about how I think, my values, my interests etc. They don’t however know my wife’s name, the current age of my children, major milestones or life events and so on. In many ways I prefer the reader to know what I stand for more than my life trivia.
My rule is not to do so unless there’s a greater purpose. In other words, no sharing my personal life for pity or to passively-aggressively criticize anyone.
It’s difficult for me not to occasionally dip into my personal life because personal experiences are the inspiration for my books. I write about things that move me, and I don’t always have the ability to completely remove myself from those issues.
It’s a good question, especially starting out. I reveal a lot about my past in the form of an ever evolving story. I am honest and open when answering comments or making comments. Ultimately, the more you reveal about yourself, the more like minded people gravitate to you. I do think one should be cautious not to reveal anything that the world could use to harm one in anyway. That’s hard to do. A number of small pieces of information can paint a large picture. I agree, that professionalism, courtesy, discretion, and good online manners suffice but can’t always be counted on as a defense. In the end, one has to assess their risk factor for what they plan to reveal.
I do share personal stuffs on my personal blog. Atishranjan.com/blog. Thanks for the suggestion for other bloggers. 🙂
I agree with your last comment to Michelle. Some where in our writings, we let a part of ourselves out, no matter how unintentional. Most of my blog notes are about events that I see / go through / am involved in. However the end point is always my view. Does that put a perception of myself? Surely does, unless, one is very adept at covering it so well.
You are so right we have to be very careful when we blog.
My blog is all personal stories, up to a point. I keep my life with my wife private, but mostly, it’s out there cause I’m trying to spread awareness of some of my life, mental health problems and so on.
To share of yourself to help others is a commendable thing to do.
Good topic! I think it’s easy to sometimes slip into the mode of someone sharing a personal experience with friends…but of course, anything online is not as innocent/safe as that…yup, takes conscious effort to stop at the right time.
Agree. Deciding limits and sticking to them is always a good idea. Each person, of course, has different limits 🙂
For the most part I follow the same philosophy. On all my blogs I add just a touch to make it personal. Just the basic details.
I think it really depends on the nature of the blog. My blog Missing the Muse started out as a personal blog. I would write about my personal life all the time. Since then, I’ve tried to keep it to mostly poetry and updates about my professional writing career. But it still has a personal touch to it. The person who asked you the question should think about what he or she wants to accomplish with their blog. What are they going for?
Absolutely. Blog goals decide how much sharing is desirable.
I have shared quite a lot about me already. I have connected with Topics close to my heart & have illustrated them with my own experiences/lessons…
Our writing does give us away.
I think I haven’t really shared much, but you’re right, over time we do give quite a bit of ourselves away.
I try to be personable but not too personal, especially when I talk about other people. That’s where I think the line is fuzziest.
Personable but not personal– I guess thats what I aim for with my blog voice 🙂
Personally, I have no limit to how personal I’ll get on my blog. There does, however, have to be a reason behind it. I have nothing to hide, but my blog isn’t just a place for me to tell the world about me. It is primarlily a way for me to entertain, with me as my intended audience. It’s great if others get something out of it, but as long as I amuse myself I consider it a success. For example, my next entry will be about OCD, and my struggle with it.
I am with you. My most recent post had some personal struggles in it. Sure, I can be judged or whatever by some but the truth is that what I write is me. Just plain me. Go for it!
That’s an admirable approach. We all start our blogs for different reasons, and share of ourselves accordingly.
I don’t like the idea of sharing too much of myself out there (I suppose it can make me feel a bit vulnerable), but at the same time I can’t seem to help myself. It’s a personality trait of mine to be very open and honest about most things including slightly sensitive subjects. I don’t feel ashamed though because I think we all have issues in our lives at some point. I also like the idea that through sharing my experiences (even the darker ones) it may help other people who are also going through difficult times and need somebody to relate to. I think it’s also difficult to write a lot without accidentally sharing parts of yourself. I won’t write about personal things relating to my family/friends though if I can help it as I respect their privacy. Depending on how you write I don’t think it’ll put people off because most of us are very naturally interested in other peoples lives and it can make a blog more interesting. Writing that has no personality to it can often come off a bit dry.
Agree with dry writing without a personal touch being uninteresting. My blog is my professional face, so I guess I don’t share much of my personal stuff– only as much as is required for my audience to understand me.
But over 6 years I think my readers have begun to understand me well.
I try to keep it limited to my writing (fiction or freelancing). Unless something in my personal life is relevant, I tend to want to keep most of it to myself.
It’s different for everyone, some crave virtual anonymity and others are happy to reveal everything except their address and credit card numbers 🙂
I personally don’t share much of my personal life. My writings may reveal few things, but that’s simply out of my control, that’s how I write. I often avoid writing about real life stories, I do but that’s very few times. I am a lover of fiction. I enjoy pouring my imaginations into words. I mostly do not prefer reading of the griefs of other bloggers, unless I am on one of those days, where I myself am low.
I’m a little uncomfortable with bloggers sharing their low points, too, mainly because I feel nothing I could say would make them feel any better.
I use to share but we have been asked not to because of the job.
so not anymore
My view (expressed on my About page) is that of Georgia O’Keefe: ““Where I was born and where and how I have lived is unimportant… It is what I have done with where I have been that should be of interest.”
Anyone who follows my blog knows a good bit about me, even if they don’t know where I live. My goal always has been to be personal, without being confessional.
As a writer, I’m inclined to think that it is a reflex to share that personal element, because it often serves as the fuel that empowers us to write.
Whether it is subconsciously or blatant, it is a necessary component. Spill it!
Damyanti! I laughed out loud over this. A circus elephant trying on a disguise. . . I am one of those who’ve put my entire life on “stage” as it were, from my own parents’ dysfunctional, alcohol-ridden, angst-filled marriage, to my own psychotic break. I really, really believe that in doing so, it has helped to save what few shreds of sanity I might possibly retain, and it has also made me a braver person (or perhaps a stupider one, some might say) and a much better writer, because I have found my voice.
I believe I may have mentioned that when I was homeless, I started my blog “Homeless Chronicles in Tampa”, with an eye to saying Big and Important Things and Learning Valuable Lessons. Horse feathers. I ended up writing a hilarious grab-bag of stories that I need to get off my dead ass and edit, because it would sell like hot-cakes! But that is me. Having spent 35 years or so with a viola tucked firmly under my chin, does not necessarily qualify me for saying anything reasonable, such as “Don’t air all of your dirty linen in public.” I think public is exactly the place for me to tell all my hair-raising tales of drinking and playing and drinking and not-driving, but sleeping in some pretty wild places in some foreign countries! But again, that’s just me. I don’t really care what other people think and I’m too old to start worrying about it now! 🙂
This question is probably more geared towards bloggers who mainly have a writing blog. I have a personal blog where I plan on posting my writing so you can pretty much guess my opinion on the matter. I still love to hear personal tidbits here and there from any blogger though. For me, it makes me the blogger seem more relatable and I’ll be more interested in them and their work.
Thanks for liking my post! Happy blogging!
I think it’s a great question. We each have our own comfort zone. I don’t directly write about my life, apart from the About page explaining why I started the blog. But I do think that all my blog, whether it be fiction, non-fiction or photography, reveals something about my personality.
Some good points to consider, here. Sadly, many bloggers (and users of other social media) protect their credit card details better than they protect their children.
Reblogged this on Travails of the Wayward Writer.
This is a tough question, and we all struggle with this dilemma. But like Damayanti said, any writing reveals a lot about the writer. I have noticed that my writing that gets the most positive attention is the writing that deals with the topics close to my heart. I am reblogging this. 🙂
I had the same questions and I asked this question to my professor that recommend me to start blogging and she said you can blog about whatever you like because it’s your blog. But I am still kind of skeptical about sharing everything because I am in the process trying to find a job? So question should I keep it professional because of the situation or what? Still kind of confused but yes on my blog I write about personal experiences.
I had the same questions and I asked this question to my professor that recommend me to start blogging and she said you can blog about whatever you like because it’s your blog. But I am still kind of skeptical about sharing everything because I am in the process trying to find a job? So question should I keep it professional because of the situation or what? Still kind of confused but yes on my blog I write about personal experiences.
Some interesting views here so I’m reblogging this. It is a subject we all think about I’m sure.
Reblogged this on New Author -Carole Parkes and commented:
Some interesting replies by readers of this blog.
I don’t have a problem sharing my personal life; my concern is for my readers. I want to perpetuate a positive message, and some of the details of my life are rather depressing. their wellbeing takes priority for me.
So, then I guess there’s no point in hiding my chocolate addiction. 🙂
I broadly agree with you here, write as much as you feel comfortable with. Not least because it saves people reading between the lines, guessing wrongly and making things up….
Ooh, I’m glad you stopped by my blog. I love what you’re up to and am looking forward to reading more. As a new blogger and awareness seeker how much to share and how is a big question for me. So far, if I’m feeling the flow I’m hitting the right tone. Best to you!
Aren’t we supposed to write what we ‘know’? And so, yes, I do. Often, and with gusto.
I reveal only to the extent of my comfort level.Though, I have a few friends who are excellent writers but are shy and conscious to express themselves on a blog.I wonder how that could be dealt with?
When I’m writing about my personal life, I try to keep it as generic as possible. But I don’t usually blog about myself, just my interests (books, film, etc.) It’s to each their own.
My blog is in the germ stage. Chances are, I’ll set some standard, then violate it. Before you know it, my moratoriums on personal disclosure will be vanquished by me taking pictures of eczema and discussing getting the dog fixed.
Okay, that’s not true. But you get the idea.
This is a very interesting topic and one that I have often spent time pondering. There was a time when I would not even comment online that I am a coffee drinker, or give other personal details. But that changed a bit after I starting my blog 2013,and found myself sharing a bit about myself. I don’t want to share a lot as my primary focus is writing fiction, etc, and hope my writing doesn’t reflect too much of my private life. It is much better to add a bit just to enhance a particular post if needed.
Michelle, unfortunately, our writing, any writing no matter how fictional, reveals a lot about us. Whole tomes have been written on the subject, so I shall not elaborate here 🙂
I think I share more than I thought I would when I first started blogging, but not really any of the personal stuff. It’s a fine line. I want blogging friends to feel like they know me, but unfortunately there are scary people out there, so I don’t want to share too much with the entire world.
I agree with you that people should only reveal what they’re comfortable with. I talk about some personal things on my blog, but as a fiction blog it doesn’t generally come up. I’m not into blogs about people’s intimate personal lives because I feel better talking about those things when I’m there with the person, or if I’ve known them for a long time. To me those things are private.
We’re absolutely on the same page, you and me :).
But this discussion is enlightening on so many levels– I’m glad there are those who are different from us, and in some cases, the entire reason for their blog is their personal life.
Oh, totally! I can see where people would start a blog like that if they were reaching out for help to the entire world. The support they get must be incredibly reassuring. I love some of the writing connections I’ve made through blogging. Sometimes you get better support from your friends at a distance than you have close by. It happens.
Yep! I adore my virtual friends. I’ve been on the email with some of them, spoken to others, some are on my whatsapp, and I’ve met one of them.
Connections and support are a weird thing– you could really find you like someone and that you support each other, sight unseen.
🙂 Two of my closest friends ever were pen pals from England and France. I had only met each of them in person once, for a few minutes. We wrote letters regularly for years. I still send Christmas greetings to the pen pal in France 🙂 .
Interesting question. Because my blog is a novel in the protagonist’s voice, I’m careful not to let personal aspects filter in and muddy the waters. I do read some blogs that have very personal stories, but I appreciate retaining a professional, polite tone with regard to comments, etc.
I talk about so e surface details, bit I wanted my blog to be what Facebook isn’t–a self-absorbed Petrie dish of mini updates.
Great post! I think the biggest mistake that a writer/blogger can make is to ‘edit’ themselves based on what the think their readers will like. I share facets of my life and my philosophy on said life. For me writing is unearthing the real you so that others can relate, – laugh, or cry or feel in some manner. 🙂 ~Karen~
For me writing is unearthing the real you so that others can relate, – laugh, or cry or feel in some manner.
Karen, you’re obviously very clear about what you want your blog to do, and I’m sure it does that beautifully.
I think that every blogger feels differently about how much personal information they want to reveal on their blog. For me, I keep the details of my life personal, and I only share some details when they are relevant to my writing. I think that mystery is important. 🙂
I may be revealing too much personal information in my blog without realizing it… , though I NEVER use the real names of people and places, and I NEVER post pictures of my family, friends, and myself, in which the faces are shown.
I think the people who write about their serious personal problems in their blogs are very courageous.
I don’t share much of my personal self online anymore, though on certain occasions, I do. You are right, it depends on how comfortable (and may I add, safe?) you feel about it. Recently, a writer asked if she should keep both her fan page and her personal page or just stick to one. Let me just share the opinion I gave her:
“First, you’ll have to consider how much privacy you need. I think if you’re the type who doesn’t worry much about spilling out more personal info than necessary or the type who doesn’t spill out much of it anyway, just one account will do. Of course, you can work on the settings but sometimes, it’s just not as easy as that.
One account only — that is if you don’t expect to actually reach 5000 friends at the moment. But if you do, then a fan page, you’ll really have to keep. Then you’ll have to segregate fans from actual friends and family so you won’t have to worry about privacy and being overwhelmed. Maybe have someone take care of the fan page sometimes? For posting important announcements and stuff. Then maybe have a regular schedule for replying to questions and comments…”
Really great topic! A few years ago I had a fairly popular blog and it was featured on national tv/magazine. My blog’s theme was my family’s journey to becoming debt free, and since it revolved around my family, I did share quite a bit of personal info (including every detail about our financial situation). There was a lot of good that came out of the experience, but there was some bad as well-people found my mailing address and started sending me things, I was getting odd emails etc etc. I got a bit spooked about the whole thing and ended up shutting down my blog. Now several years later I’m back with a new blog, but I use a pen name and I don’t post pictures of my kids/use their names, or give specific details about our lives. I’ve also chose to blog about a pretty neutral subject (books), which keeps things a bit more impersonal. I just feel better doing it this way, the second time around 🙂
That must have been quite an experience. Thanks for sharing about it.
There’s a nice little balance between sharing a part of your life as it fits in the particular posting as opposed to putting it all out and finding out Too Much Information. As always, up to the individual. A little bit of personal is a good touch.
Wow, this is obviously a question that goes through the mind of most bloggers. I’m amazed at how many comments you’ve received since yesterday! I’m still struggling with whether or not to post about certain personal things. Like others have mentioned, sometimes I’ll write a post, but then just leave it in draft form. Shoot, every psychologist I’ve ever heard of recommends writing down your thoughts and feelings as a form of therapy and working through issues. The question, though, is to publish or not? I do believe it comes down to whether or not that post will be helpful to readers in any way, and if it will hurt anyone. There may come a day when I share some of the traumas of my life (the stories I could tell!), but I don’t think I’m ready for that just yet. The one good thing about everything I’ve been through is that I have, in fact, survived, and am now living a happy fulfilling life. So I guess even those personal trauma stories have a happy ending and could be inspirational for those going through similar issues. Lots to think about for sure!
The question, though, is to publish or not? I do believe it comes down to whether or not that post will be helpful to readers in any way, and if it will hurt anyone. There may come a day when I share some of the traumas of my life (the stories I could tell!), but I don’t think I’m ready for that just yet.
Absolutely agree with this. I think a little thinking should happen before the decision to share, which is a crucial missing link for most over-sharers, imho, on FB and on blogs.
I started my current serial fiction project (Lullaby 365) after doing 365 Memories on my regular facebook account. My rule for sharing memories on facebook was more or less the following: no sex, no “genre” memories (first kiss, milestones, etc.), and they had to be concrete, vivid, and not governed by chronology. The day after I wrote my 365th memory, I began writing the fictional “Lullaby” series (as a facebook Page, on my personal facebook, and on WP), and I felt instantly more naked, even though it was fiction. Go figure.
Wow, that’s impressive. Could you link us to your project?
I try to balance it. I hate talking about myself or sounding like a victim (in relation to my medical problems) and only do so with the Internet Writer’s Support Group or if a post I’m writing will be enhanced by opening up. I want my fans to think of me as a person, but I also want them to enjoy what I offer in my books and articles. It’s a tough choice for anyone to make and it is up to you on how much you decide, there are no right and wrong answers.
I want my fans to think of me as a person, but I also want them to enjoy what I offer in my books and articles. It’s a tough choice for anyone to make and it is up to you on how much you decide, there are no right and wrong answers.
That’s advice gold right there.
I always think about that when I write, but for me I feel like if I’m not sharing how I really feel then it’s not going to help anyone else who might be feeling the same way. I want to connect with people emotionally on my blog.
I don’t share a lot. Maybe a little and only if it fits with the blog theme.
I think (and pardon the analogy here), it should be like a strip tease. Reveal, but only enough, and never too much. Keeps the reader interested! 😉 My two pennies worth.
That’s an insightful approach. I use that in my fiction 🙂
My blog has evolved into a lifestyle blog so I have to say I put a lot of me into it. I don’t put specifically where I live or work and only include friends pictures and names with their approval. I agree that it’s what you are comfortable with. I personally feel most of what is considered personal info you can already find on Google me.
Personal info is what you can’t find on Google– and you’re right, these days Google knows a lot about us 🙂
Hi….since my blog is about my work, I write about tips and experiences pertaining to what I do. Because bloggers who share personal information and photos tend to have far more followers, I have wondered if I should have a ‘personal section’ so I can reach more readers. But somehow have resisted doing so.
A slightly personal touch does help with popularity.
i tend to share whatever moved me to post. if it relates to others, though, i tend to alter names unless told they don’t care.
I share more of how I feel in the pictures I post than I do with words. I’m not much of a writer.
Have unsubscribed all blogs daily account of person’s drudgery, mental problems, rotten spouse, my cat and worship my new baby. Why would one think this is of interest to anyone? Of course a “how I dealt with cancer” blog or “dealing with parent’s dementia” are such a service to people so affected.
But more important than my personal opinion and taste, I have recommended to several bloggers that so very personal and intimate things should not be posted. There are stalkers and prowlers out there looking for victims and a blogger may be setting themselves for victimhood by expanding connections email beyond blog. Your post can be put on facebook and such creating much embarrassment.There are blogs on depression for instance that are somewhat closed and selective so that a trusted finite screened audience participates with respected boundaries and guarantee of privacy within the group.
Over the years there have been bloggers with common interests, illness and other personal matters with whom I communicate only in private email which gives us privacy and comfortability. Just sayin’….
Privacy is a huge concern while going public with personal issues — sounds cliche, but it is true. We can’t always be sure that the general public would always be kind and supportive.
My husband and I have talked about this a lot. Our kids are young, and we have chosen to share the hard stories of raising children in different ways. He shares about the challenges of working from home with children. For the last year, I have been sharing excerpts from a book about family values, and when I first began it, I decided I would not be one of those authors who only shared the easy side of the story. I would share the struggle, too, because I believe there are so many parents (and so many people) struggling with so many things that if I can just be a small piece of healing for them, by sharing my stories, by proving they are not alone, by telling the truth with vulnerability, then I have served my purpose as a writer. I think, in our world today, we have become so comfortable sharing only one side of our humanity (usually the best side), that many of us walk around, in the dark moments, wondering if maybe there’s something wrong with us, because we don’t like our children this very moment, unlike that other parent who blogs about how great theirs are and how amazingly easy it is to potty train and how wonderful it is to share every waking moment with littles; and writing felt really, really hard today, even though that other writer sharing about the easy, love-what-I-do places doesn’t ever feel the same way; and this whole month has been one of doubting self and skills and purpose, and there must be something wrong with us, there must be, because that other blogger never has this problem. I read writers who only share the good, and I think, “Wow. I wish I could be like them.” And then I read writers like Anne Lamott and Glennon Doyle Melton and Austin Kleon, who tell it like it is, and I think, “Oh, thank God I’m not alone.” For me, that’s the more valuable piece. Vulnerability is how we heal the deep wounds of our world and in each other. That’s what I’m most interested in as a writer.
All that to say I think your answer was a good one: Share what you’re comfortable sharing (and what the people in your life are comfortable with you sharing). As a nonfiction writer grows in his/her journey, I believe that comfort will expand naturally.
Also, for fiction it’s a little different. We feel more comfortable sharing all we want, because it’s hidden in metaphor. And it will still resonate with people because they will hear that voice whispering, “I am not alone.” This, to me, is a hugely valuable piece of writing.
Thank you for your long and thoughtful comment. I feel guilty I do not find an equally long answer– just this, that I agree with you, and that Anne Lamott inspires me. Bird by Bird, I’m thinking.
I just find that telling it like it is a lot easier for me as a fiction writer. I don’t know if I can share my own life stories as they are– but I have no problems being vulnerable when I write fiction– I use my pain, the pain of others, I can be pretty ruthless and without conscience, because the story becomes paramount. But of course, all real-life identities are melted away, and anyone is yet to take umbrage at any of my published stories!
I started blogging because I like to write. I started blogging about my life and adventures because I have a horrible memory. 🙂
Like you, Damyanti, I work to keep my blogs professional, but I do share personal events as they impact my writing life. I also work to not rant. That can be a difficult one! For my writing blog, Anatomy of Perceval, my goal is to be helpful to other writers by sharing my own experiences, thoughts, ideas, and frustrations. For my commentary blog, Eyes on Life, my goal is to reflect the ordinary person’s response to the current world, plus my experiences and knowledge of the medical world. Keeping an even keel is an on-going challenge….. Cinda
Cinda, I appreciate your POV on this– it totally coincides with mine. I love this sort of ongoing discussion, and I think I’m learning as I go along.
I thought this was very helpful thanks for sharing:)
You wonderful woman, you 🙂 Thanks for the shout-out!
About sharing personal stuff… For me, blogging is a sort of journaling, so it wouldn’t be worth much without the personal side. Then there’s the TMI aspect: a blog, being public, falls into the same category as Facebook. Why would I post, say, a photo I’d prefer be kept private on a publicly accessible site? (And then dare complain that it’s all over the internet–ha!)
Blogging, for me, has been a fantastic tool in finding my voice as a writer. Digging deep is rule #1 for good fiction. But there’s a balance one must find. Like you said, whatever makes you comfortable 🙂
You’re welcome, Guilie, and as always I find myself in agreement with your perspective :). Been missing you on my blog and on the group!
I struggle with this question as well, you want to write truth, but be semi reserved. I just try to find a balance.
Well, as you know, my blog is about A Day in My Life, so I share everything…the good, the bad and the ugly…however I pray that I am not a downer to people and that most of my posts are upbeat….I have a pretty good life!!
yep, your posts are nothing but upbeat! 🙂
I share little bits here and there… Someone had to follow me and read each entry to figure it out…
Thanks for you blog recommendations. I have just visited Jacqui Murray and am very glad that I did!
I don’t tend to share much of my personal life on my blog, but I don’t do that on purpose, just how it turns out 😀
I think you’re right, as a blogger you should as much as you’re comfortable with. Blogging is a place for release and fun, so make it what you want!
I do that a lot. My blog serves as my emotional catharsis, an analytical tool and an avenue to connect with those who somehow think like I do, or at least experience similar funny or nostalgic or weird stuffs of life. 🙂
It makes me nervous to write about myself or my other personal things. As a matter of fact, I usually experience considerable difficulty writing the ‘About’ page online. I know what I should say about myself, but I am just loath to say it. I read many blogs and sites without bothering to find out about the authors–besides the name, that is. If the article is well-written and interesting, that’s fine with me. I will leave encouragement and praise. But I write horror, so that if I am to be understood from the nature of the themes I explore and how I explore them, conclusion would certainly be a wrong. I in no way advocate for madness. I believe in love for all mankind. I love love.
But I write horror, so that if I am to be understood from the nature of the themes I explore and how I explore them, conclusion would certainly be a wrong. I in no way advocate for madness. I believe in love for all mankind. I love love.
Anybody who has known you for any length of time will vouch for that, Peter 🙂
I ever do that, I mean…making my blog as my diary but then when I read all my posts, I feel weird…haha. So I deleted all my posts.
Ouch. All of them?
Yes, but I reblog my poems 🙂
I don’t particularly like doing it….dislike Facebook for that reason. But I have shared, on occasion, poignant memories of childhood on my blog, that seemed to write themselves! So I guess, my blog decides 🙂
I do personal posts all the time, and I love reading personal posts from my friends’ blogs and even blogs that I’m just discovering. I think it adds a lovely touch and it’s so nice to get to know the person behind the screen!
I was just discussing this, I try to put as much of my personality into my writing as possible while leaving personal location and such details private. Generally I share all of my experiences and emotions on my blog. Trauma, doesn’t effect me either way really. I would give the same answer you did.
I agree with you 100% Damyanti, ‘share as much as you’re comfortable with’. I’ve shared many personal stories on my blog about my life as they come up but there are just as many that I won’t share as I don’t feel this is the place to do so. Written as part of a memoir, yes. To be able to share our experiences with others here as they come up naturally and authentically I think is a powerful, healing and empowering thing indeed. But…only as far as one is comfortable!
You have to write whatever it is to make your message come through. A guarded writing style will often be impersonal, or, even worse, fake.
Don´t forget that we share so much that the notion of personal is a watery one.
I’m wary of sharing much on social media, and my facebook is pretty non-intimate, as well. My blog voice is not very thought out– it is off the cuff, and even given to occasional (rare, but they’re there) rants.
I get what you’re saying, though.
If my personal experience won’t hurt anyone and may actually help someone then I would share
I think as you say it’s very much a personal choice of how much we share about ourselves on our blog. For me, I tend to wear my heart on my sleeve a bit and share quite a lot about myself which I suppose isn’t necessarily a good thing. But that’s just the way I am. Ultimately it’s about how comfortable we feel in telling fellow bloggers things about ourselves.
Elaine, absolutely– do what you’re easy with.
By nature, I’m a private person and don’t feel too comfortable if I have to share personal stuff on my blog. So I shy away from it.
So we reveal a lot of ourselves through our writing…? That’s a little scary… 🙂
lol, yes we do, Michelle. My stories have nothing to do with my life at all, because I regularly write about things I don’t know, but the emotions and attitudes seep through and build over time.
If you write, and write honestly (I don’t think there’s another way), you’ll have a writer’s voice. And a writer’s voice gives away a lot about the writer.
I DO love your blogs!
Unfortunately I have been off the radar recently having a new blog made. Lots of Knicks and bangs getting it up and running. Still knocks going on but hopefully soon the kinks will be out.
Funny that you posted this. I was just thinking about this very same thing as I’ve been going through a rough patch in my personal life. There are times when i wrote it all out and right at the moment of hitting publish something comes up and it doesn’t happen. I consider that the universes way of saving me grief and sparing me embarrasment. Several times more embarrassment. It seems when we get to talking about our personal life, it truly isn’t about us as much as it is about what someone else has done to us and how hurt we feel. As you say: emotion. Raw emotion. But then I consider this. After I’ve written it all out and re read that post makes it all about the other person. Not me. They don’t deserve my time and nrg. That’s when I realize that maybe just sitting down and writing it all out was for me. To just get it out. Out of my negative space. Save the draft if need be. But publishing makes it all about them. Not yourself. And I REFUSE TO SHARE MY BLOG WITH NEGATIVE HOST. NO WAY.
I suppose I went on a rampant. Sorry. It’s just how weird WP brings like ppl together. And how this very day I had been thinking the same thoughts. Wow. Thanks for your post!
Lisa, yes, imho, writing is the best way for catharsis. But when that writing is presented to an audience, it becomes about sending out energies into the world, and perhaps, emotions are shared better in public when we have a certain distance from them. Just because we can share at the push of a button doesn’t mean we do so without any thought whatsoever.
Whatever it is you’re going through, I hope it gets sorted out soon, and that you’re surrounded by good listening ears…sometimes friendship is all about being there and listening.
All the best with you and your blog– and I’m glad if any of this discussion resonated with you. You’ll find a lot of personal bloggers on this thread, and you might want to give them a visit to figure out what and how they share.
But ultimately, it is your blog, your decision. All the best with it 🙂
Sending you hugs across the cyber-verse, and loads of good, healing energies.
I think if you have a theme then it helps you focus what you want to share, but I understand not all blogs work like this. I agree about only sharing what you are comfortable with. Some great blog shout outs too, well done.
Thanks Rosie, and your idea of themes is definitely on the money. If a blog has a personal theme, it is bound to be personal. 🙂
Hi Damyanti! If I’m responding for a second time to your question, then that’s OK. Write as an expression of yourself. It’s the way I do it, even if difficult. Just do it. Yes, I’ve shared personal stuff and extrapolated it to the wider world.
Thank you for mentioning me in this post. I enjoyed going back and reading on ‘Pain’ :). I loved going to Jacqui’s and Guilie’s posts and am now following them.
Am back home after another hike in the mountains; different place different time .. Ah, how beautiful is Mother Nature.
Garden of Eden Blog
I write about personal experiences through my poetry, but I do not mention people.
Agree with you. It’s a matter of personal space and like clothes, one should wear what one’ comfy with. As long as you wear the heart on the sleeves, I mean who cares!
I do share my opinions and experiences with my readers. I see my blog as a kind of dialog, as a conversation. I imagine my readers and their possible answers. This is the type of post Inhave decided to write in my blog. In other writings, It is meybe in disguise, but one or another thought will be me…
Hey Damayanti…this has been a pressing topic ever since I started blogging. Writing as a form of self expression should be free, free of any clutches. But when you are a writer….you are just not a writer…you are a citizen, a woman, maybe a daughter/son or a doting mother too. Maybe that’s where the role gets malleable and you be a responsible writer. Anyhow for us Indians maybe anything lurking to personal sadness is too intimate to share. You aptly said to one is his or her comfort or choice like other life choices…
Yes, when we blog, we must blog responsibly as well as honestly, and that does need to a dilemma, because sharing and honesty often have a difficult time together. Thanks for stopping by.
My pleasure Damayanti
Normally, I share little of my personal life 🙂
My whole blog is personal life/personal experience!
You have a lot of comments. I envy you. I got a little personal with my introductory post to my writing blog. Without repeating the post word for word the title of it is So what’s your excuse? And basically give the details of what could keep me from writing but it’s not from the full time job, the two year old and the fact that the most advance word processing programming I have is WordPad.
Sometimes I get a little personal when I talk about the glamorous life of writer and explain how I sit in front of the computer writing down 1s and 2s in sets of 3 over 50 times while doing some background on one of my novels. So unless it pertains to what I’m talking about I don’t get too personal.
On my Florida History blog I pretty much just mention that I have a B.A. degree History from University from South Florida. So yeah, I know what I’m talking about. My history blog remains what I like to think of as professional and doesn’t contain any of my day to day life in it. It’s basically just articles I write.
Lyra, I’ve been blogging for 6 years, so I guess I got lucky and made a load of good friends– hence the comments. I’m sure you’ll have your share, too. 🙂
I support the division between the personal and the professional. In my case, this blog is more general, life and blog-related, and the other one is more of a pure writing/ fiction blog.
I should know about this quite well then. I believe it’s alright to share the details, but masking the identities of the people in question adds a certain element on mystery. Not only does it make it an interesting read, it also makes it relatable.
I try to keep my postings on fb and my blog professional, casual, and humorous. Once in a while I may let a bit slip about my personal life, but not much. And I never put anything about religion or politics, and I stay away from controversy. Your public persona should attract fans, not give them reasons to get annoyed and go away. (And I love the “elephant trying on a disguise” analogy!!)
Lexa, I adore your blog, and quite dig your public persona– so I guess you’re on the right path 😉
A very good post, Damyanti, taking up an important topic for blogging community. Personally I don’t share too many specific details or particular personal situations/events in my life, but I do pick and choose a few instances that have helped me learn about something bigger than my personal life, some life lessons perhaps. But I can’t imagine sharing personal trauma or painful situations from life for direct public gaze like that…that will certainly make me uncomfortable, that’s just not me. It all comes down to what one is comfortable with.
God one Damyanti…. This is a question I often ask myself! 🙂 Thanks for sharing…
One of my biggest rules of thumb for sharing personal details on my blog is, “Would telling this publicly hurt anyone but me?”
I do believe when it comes to real life that there are stories that are ours and there are stories that belong to other people. I try to stay firmly within the stories that are my own when I share anything on my blog.
That’s great policy! I follow it too, and I go so far as to ask, will this hurt me ? 🙂
“I should not talk so much about myself if there were anybody else whom I knew as well. Unfortunately, I am confined to this theme by the narrowness of my experience.”
Absolutely I write about my personal life tremendously. On HSM I write less about my personal life but almost all of my articles I do research for came from something in my personal life (ex. ‘let’s get poppin’ with popcorn’ came about because I love popcorn, ‘Narcolepsy…What’s the Snooze?’ came from a friend of mine who has narcolepsy, so on and so forth). On YDHS it’s all about my personal life because it’s about teen pregnancy prevention and I’m a teen mom. I absolutely am an open book and enjoy sharing my stories because I know others’ stories are what have helped me. I love personal writings more so than non-personal writings.
I often write about topics that require me to be open about my personal life. I want to make connections with other people so my writing has to be honest. This can be hard at times but I’ve always found it is worth it. Readers are kind and they reciprocate with their own honesty and we learn from each other. I have to be careful not to invade the privacy of my family, though they are good sports. They never object to being in my blog stories. I also would never use my blog to complain about anyone, or anything in a whining kind of way. That kind of personal is not attractive at all!
I write about my health on my blog which involves personal details that I didn’t think I would share but not directly about my family or private life. To me they are separate things.
Mind you, if I did the posts would all be about arguing with hubby over wet towels & pants on the floor & I don’t want to hear about that, let alone anyone else, I bore myself just thinking about it!
As long as the line is clear, and there’s a purpose in sharing what you’re sharing– I like your attitude, Nicola :).
Me personally, I write about real situations, that are either brought to my attention through friends or my own situations. If a blog is honest and true you can relate. My advice on sharing real, deep personal stuff, be prepared for real, direct comments. People can be ignorant, social media as we know it, can be cruel. My opinion. Hope your friend finds her niche and love it.
My advice on sharing real, deep personal stuff, be prepared for real, direct comments. People can be ignorant, social media as we know it, can be cruel.
That’s absolutely it. Thank you for pointing that out.
I do write for similar reasons like Silent-Dugood and I even published a whole book on my Unconventional Loves…. I have my audience and i have blogs l zoom too. l relate to memoirs and bios and real stuff that drive to my inner self. I often visit a few other blogs like this one out love for bloggerville but that’s life right? To each his comfort, passion and mission 🙂
Indeed, thanks for the visit. We’ll see one another’s blog again
That is an good question. I think it depends on the person and the subject. There are topics that I don’t write about b/c they are too personal, but there are some topics that I will openly and constantly write about.
Yep. It depends, is often the only answer.
If it weren’t for my personal life, I’d have no blog at all!
And that’s a good reason to have a personal blog 🙂
True. Maybe some day I’ll have a professional one as well.
Depends on the topic. Because I write about our family’s experience regarding transition to independence…it is personal. Because what I write may affect them, everyone has a secret identity. Still…what I write about is real, and the reason I write is to help others as others helped us.
Wow. I have to go across and read your blog right now.
I write to support special needs children. Sometimes I have to write about personal challenges because I feel like others will not take my advice seriously if I can’t relate to these other parents.
That’s an absolutely valid reason to share your personal experiences. I applaud you for your generosity and courage both for supporting the cause, and for being willing to share of yourself in the process.
Thank you and to you to!
Thanks for the recommendations. I will check them out. As for personal information on your blog, that’s a hard one. Typically, I enjoy learning about the personal lives of others, but hesitate to expose my own, especially if it’s at the expense of others, say my kids or family. They might not be so happy about that. I think that’s where I draw the line. I can expose stuff about myself, but not talk about the personal lives of people in my life. Of course, that’s tricky!
Please do check them out– they’re all really worth your time :).
I understand where you’re coming from, because I’m in a similar position as yours. I keep personal stuff to a bare minimum, only enough that the readers understand when I’m going through problems, so that they bear with me.
While privacy is a good thing, no one can be entirely private once they start blogging.
As long as I write from my heart it’s all good. 🙂
I agree with your position. What one person feels comfortable sharing another might not. And those that don’t want to read it won’t.
I write about the things that happen at work. In a sense that’s personal, but it’s not very deep, I guess.
Finding an outlet in your blog is a good thing, and as long as your work discussions don’t lead to trouble at work, it’s all good, I guess!
Interesting post again Damyanti – and thanks for the referrals to the other bloggers. You’re an excellent curator! As to personal stuff… for me, I think it depends on the theme of the blog, the writing style, the narrative purpose of personal revelations, and the reader’s interest . I have learned from people’s personal experience and also felt unexpectedly like a voyeur in the private, dark places.that are, for me, the province of dear friends. I think all writers have a personal something leak out through words and voice and topic preferences, and it is lovely to get to know people this way. So…. personal in moderation unless the blog is clearly a tell all kind of place?
personal in moderation unless the blog is clearly a tell all kind of place– that perfectly describes me :).
I’m glad you like the recommendations– they are all worth the time you’ll put into visiting and commenting on them, I can promise you that 🙂
Like you said as we write we are already expressing a lot about ourselves without wanting to. I agree with you we should write as long as we are comfortable with the stuff we write. I personal like to write about opinion pieces that come to my head, but I don’t go in and talk about real real personal issues. To each it’s own I say!! I know when reading something very personal About someone I cringe because I can’t believe what I just read!!!!
I’ve done my own brand of cringing too, specially when I’m reading a raw, self-indulgent, whiny journal. I think sharing needs perspective in order for it to be useful/ readable. The personal blogs which are successful have a tone that understands the readers, and takes the time and effort to make them comfortable.
I agree! The personal comfort of the writer, is, as uberfabulosa says, important – the writer’s understanding the readers is too, as you said, Damyanti. To these thoughts I would add that the writer’s emotional readiness to be sharing such personal content.might be key to personal comfort and understanding of readers possible. I don’t know, just a thought!
You’ve hit the nail on the head there– sometimes emotions are just too raw to be shared, and the reader feels like an over-abused friend who didn’t ask for all those confidences/ ranting/ negativity.
I know I’ve felt that way on some blogs– especially blogs that are written post (or during) break-ups, divorces, betrayals.
I sometimes wonder whether our generation sometimes shares stuff with the world because it is so easy to do so, and it makes them feel lighter.
It can be cathartic, yes, but sometimes a public display of personal stuff might just go against the blogger– the readers would make sympathetic noises, but might drift away.
Unless the blogger doesn’t want readers, in which case, all the posts are best written in a private journal.
Very informative and interesting discussion! I was encouraged to start blogging by a fellow writer who has been quite successful. So, when I began blogging, I thought writing would be my focus. But I soon realized I didn’t feel confident enough to blog about writing. I also am not a person who enjoys debates, so I didn’t want to blog controversial subjects that get into deep discussion. So, my blog has become a bit of a split personality. I found what I really enjoyed blogging was more of a journaling effort of my “adventures” in Michigan’s northern woodlands. I ended up getting into photography – another thing I never considered when I began blogging a little more than a year ago! At one point I did have a reader comment that he felt somewhat like a “peeping Tom” reading my entries, a comment that really took me aback and made me take a second look at what I was writing. I had to ask others if I was too personal, and was reassured I was not. I have recently dealt with some physical issues and I did blog about those, mostly because it is an issue that most people aren’t comfortable with and I thought it would help to have an open discussion. But I would never blog about things that are related to conflict within my marriage, family or friendships.
I think your advice was spot on. We all have to find the line that we are comfortable with and the point we know we would not cross.
Amy, I think your journey reflects what blogging is all about sometimes– self-discovery. As I’ve said in the comments before i always appreciate bloggers who talk openly about issues they’re facing– and as Timothy said below– it all depends on the tone of the sharer.
I have no confidence in how I would share my personal troubles, and I suppose I lack the courage or conviction to talk about personal issues, so I stick to what I’m comfortable with, which, as it turns out, is asking questions that turn into discussions like this one!
One short word: could you add a link to your blog on your gravatar– that’ll make you much easier to find. I usually have to google ‘novelwriter2013’ to find your blog :).
You do a wonderful job moderating these very interesting discussions!
Oh, and see, I am still learning something every day! I will add my blog to my gravatar. I had no idea. 😀
No worries, Amy, and I hope you didn’t mind me pointing it out– my blog tends to get a lot of visitors and bloggers often find each other through comments on my posts.
You have a lovely blog, and I wished for more folks to be able to find you when you leave comments, not just on my blog, but on others’ as well. 🙂
Oh no, I didn’t mind at all – I appreciate the help!! I am very open and honest about being “techno-challenged”. I changed it, or at least I hope I did. LOL I have actually thought in the past of changing my gravatar signature to my name instead of novelwriter, which I think wordpress chose for me, if I remember correctly. Thanks again, Damyanti – the blogosphere is a better place because of you!
Thank you.. you did it absolutely right, because now your comment name goes straight to your blog, which is just wonderful!
I’m pretty tech-challenged too, so I have empathy for others in the same boat :).
Here’s to an uber-successful blogging journey for you!
I think you gave this person the right answer. I’m a first time blogger myself and I made my blog just to share a little of my life with the world. Obviously not every moment or experience, but enough that I feel comfortable with and can have fun with, or just whatever. <3
All the best with your new blog 🙂 — I hope it brings you joy and fulfillment 🙂
I think you gave the right answer, you have to be comfortable with what you write. I struggle with sharing some stuff, but I try to find a way to give my blog a personal flavor. I follow some people who share way more than I do, and I’m usually not bothered. People who share more than I do also share the techniques that work.
Dan, i think you do a wonderful job of personal but not uncomfortable. I enjoy reading all your posts, and love that you’re my blog friend.
Aw, thanks. I am very glad to have met you and the people I have met through your blog.
One of my writing partners said to treat your blog as if talking to an acquaintance, not confiding in a friend. You can be friendly and mention aspects or updates in your personal life, but more along the lines of small talk than heart to heart. Since my blog also represents me as an author, I prefer to keep it professional, in case agents or other industry professionals choose to stop by. And I love what you said about how we reveal ourselves in our writing, which is absolutely true. I try to share some of my writing on my blog, since I feel that is more personal and meaningful than updates and rants on my relationship or family life. Great post!
Victoria, that’s excellent advice from your writing partner, cos for an author blog, that’s exactly the sort of tone one looks for. If it is too personal, it will be uncomfortable for folks who want to work with you, and if it is too dry, then it won’t be interesting for anyone at all.
I believe we reveal a lot of ourselves even through our impersonal/ non-fictional blog posts– for instance, the fact that I asked this question on my blog immediately tells my readers a lot about me 😉
Yes I agree 🙂 and each blog has its own voice, which says a lot about us individually!
Ha! You do know you’re asking ME, Ms. Let-it-all-go 😉 I use my blog to practice writing, and what I choose as topics is most often a personal story. I do write some fiction, and I so enjoy poetry, but if you come to my blog, you will get to know ME. Warts and all. For the summer I’ve picked to feature stories (on Mondays) of my college adventures…Yeah, I’m reserved and shy…
I do enjoy the blogs that are personal the most. I like fiction, I’m happy to support cover reveals and book releases and support the writing community, but the blogs I visit first are the personal ones. Just my style, I guess.
Tina @ Life is Good
On the Open Road! @ Join us for the 4th Annual Post-Challenge Road Trip!
Tina, you have style, lots of it;). Your voice comes so clearly through your blog that you wouldn’t need to share personal stories to let folks know you. You’re great, and if you have warts, I haven’t seen them yet– and will continue to love you despite them, if you do have any.
I hope you’re resting well 🙂
I write about my personal life, but only on that specific blog (I have 3 now). Mostly because that’s what I enjoy reading most. I love hearing about people’s actual lives, emotions, troubles. I feel like I’m connecting with them across thousands of miles. I would agree with your answer though, as much as they’re comfortable with is a good rule. After that, it’s all about personal preference.
Geoffrey, I read all sorts of blogs, but I guess I don’t share personal stuff unless I feel comfortable. For example, I had a rough April, but only shared a line about it in May, so as to put certain things in perspective– to thank my audience for their support at what was a difficult time for me. Other than that, I prefer to listen more and talk less on my blog.
Interesting debate here! It
It’s true that we intentionally or unintentionally reveal a lot about ourselves when we write. Moreover, your writings can be the best way to know you for someone who can read between the lines.
As for my personal thoughts in my writings, I can’t escape the infiltration on my blog. But I do have an anonymous blog where I write my mind. And I fell so so good when I write there!
I feel tempted– I really feel like starting off an anonymous blog sometimes. But there aren’t enough hours in a day right now to juggle between all I do and still find time for another blog.
I think your answer of “as much as you’re comfortable with is a good one. It does come down to personal preference and what the purpose of your blog is. My blog is personal so I tend to share details. Sometimes comments from peers, those who have had experience with mental illness, can help put things into perspective. Also sharing that I have gotten through the hard tines may give others a little hope that everything will not always stay the same.
If the alternative is that someone has nowhere else to turn then blogging may provide some comfort and support and that has to be a good thing. But as in many aspects of life you may hear things that are outside your comfort zone and you need to be prepared for this when blogging and sharing personal information.
I can quite understand the need to share personal details in blogs that deal with personal trials and issues, and I concur that they are helpful for peer-to-peer support.
Thank you for taking the time for your wonderful comment– I agree with each word.
I’m a mommy-blogger, so, yeah, personal life all over the place. I have made more of a pointed effort, as my kids are entering the teen and pre-teen years, to make sure they’re okay with it. They usually are. My blog, while public, is my processing place.
As for the blogger who asked….I would give the exact suggestion. I believe it also depends upon the aim of the blog.
I often become very uncomfortable with parents posting pictures of their kids especially when I know the kind of monsters and perverts that troll the internet– crimes against children boil my blood, so I often wonder whether parents should post pictures of their kids.
At the end of the day, it is the parent’s decision I guess.
But with changing times, when potential employers and dates take to search engines to find out everything about a person, I wonder whether parents are not unwittingly sabotaging their kids’ lives by putting up childhood pictures and incidents.
But that’s completely my personal, subjective opinion, and I maybe totally wrong.
This is why I so rarely share photos and never incriminating ones (except for sleeping photos – I share those frequently because they’re just so sweet). I think by the time our kids are old enough to date and get jobs, it would be uncommon to not be able to find chunks of their lives on the internet in one form or another. We just need to be aware and cautious. As a parent of a preemie and an autistic child, I can only hope that in honestly sharing our experiences we are helping others. I know I have received so much support from putting it out there.
For the past year I’ve made a conscious effort to avoid getting too personal on my blog. I find that blogging too much about my personal issues interferes with my readership. Certainly I avoid rants as I believe that annoys people. I do like to add a personal touch to my posts when the opportunity presents itself. As a writer and a blogger, I enjoy reading bloggers who are courageous enough to open up to the world. I guess it really depends on the situation.
It depends, yes. That’s the only answer I could give, too. It depends on your bogging goals, your comfort levels sharing intimate details, whether you want to blog under a pseudonym or your real name. I’ve ranted on my blogs on occasion, and surprisingly, those posts have done well. And they were rants about bloggers and blogging, too 😉
Very interesting topic. I’m not sure I know the answer. I get personal sometimes and fret that I’m overdoing it. On the other hand, I admire those brave enough to share personal things (weaknesses, tragedies, etc) with the world. I suppose it’s a matter of maintaining professionalism and not allowing yourself to get too earnest.
It depends on whether you blog for professional reasons. I blog for semi-professional reasons– they both began with my interest in writing and I use them mostly for writing-related stuff. Some days I’m tempted to start off an anonymous, deeply personal blog, but 3 blogs would be way too many 🙂
I share a little personal stuff on my blog. Usually day trips hubby and I take, I’ll do a blog post with the pictures I took. I like sharing places and tourist traps I visit.
You sound like me. I do occasionally post travel photos, too. But only of the stuff I see, and not of myself or family.
My blog is a mix of personal (but not TOO personal) and general topics. I find that when I write as myself and simply let the words come it flows much more naturally than if I censor myself too much. That said, I still stay away from anything too personal. Essentially I’m a quiet, soft spoken person, and that goes for my writing as well. You won’t find any rants on my blog 😉 I do write about the things I enjoy though, such as gardening, cooking, pets, and crafting, and I allow my passion for those things to come out. Honestly, this blog is more for me than anyone else. I hope people enjoy reading it, but it’s not a requirement. I enjoy writing, and this blog allows me to do that. Eventually I may add a category for fiction, something I haven’t written since college.
Sounds like you’ve found a great blog voice. And I agree with you– it is your needs as a blogger that are paramount and as long as those are being met, you’re good. Look forward to visiting you!
Personally I think Facebook is for the personal aspects. These personal aspects, generally speaking, are immensely boring and shouldn’t be foistered upon the wider community in the name of “Art”.
lol Bruce, I detect a long-suffering voice there. And I keep my FB pretty impersonal too 🙂
Long suffering voice? No, I don’t think so!
Your advice is right, what you’re comfortable with, although for every blogger who shares openly I give thanks as it helps others going through similar situations to know that they’re not alone. Thanks for every part, big or small, that you share of yourself. X
Completely with you there. It isn’t easy to share of yourself– and I too applaud the courage of those who do. There’s a blogger who writes about living with her husband with Parkinsons, another about her husband’s recovery as a sex addict, and I think you need nerves and guts of steel to do that. And as you said, it might help folks who have similar problems and don’t have anyone to talk to.
Keep up the great work!! Heres to open communication! :o)
How ironic that my gravatar is an elephant – and I blog about pink ones, too.
I thought I was keeping it on the QT, but my daughter found it, one of my sisters found, and someone located me at the University. I want to start a blog related to my profession – the topic gets interwoven into this one – if I could only keep my dry humor in check ….
I think your dry humor is part of your voice, keeping it too much in check might void your blog of interest. 🙂
Thank you for your input! My concern is incorporating it into a blog I’ve been wanting to start related to healthcare and current issues. Most people who have been in the industry as long as I have develop the “dry humor” – cuz if you don’t laugh, you cry. Maybe an “optional” section for healthcare humor would work – the rest of the information, by nature of my training and personality, is researched and referenced to the nth degree. (Love the APA format and embrace statistics!)
I post the personal stuff, then suffer laptop trauma, take it down and re-post in 3rd person. 🙂
😀 I can understand that. That’s what most fiction is like– I sometimes give my emotions to my characters, even though they’re completely different people.
I think there is a line, and everyone who blogs must figure out where that is for them. I don’t blog under my real name, but at the same time, I am somewhat careful about what I say. I may change a few details to protect the innocent 🙂
🙂 As well you might :).
I blog under my real name, and photograph– so I guess that makes that line quite clear for me, lol.
I would have given her your short answer. But I would add that it also depends on what the blog is about. If the blog is a journal about the writers life, it should be more personal that if it’s about reviewing movies or fashion or literature or cooking, etc. — subjects that are not as personal.
Personal trauma and drama can be total turn offs or quite interesting depending on how the stories are told, the attitude of the writer and how the details are handled. I read one blog where the woman gave all the gross details about her traumatic sexual encounters (I don’t know if they were true, I read two entries, got totally turned off and never looked at her blog again). Another blogger I follow gets into gross and sexual stuff, and various traumas people find in daily living, but her blog is very readable and quite funny. How personal details are written and presented make all the difference.
Timothy, thank you for this. I think this is blogging gold: Personal trauma and drama can be total turn offs or quite interesting depending on how the stories are told, the attitude of the writer and how the details are handled… How personal details are written and presented make all the difference.
It’s an interesting topic for debate, and one I’ve really struggled with. My blog is a personal one, but as more people I know have started to read it, I’ve been hesitant to be so honest. There’s something about the internet and writing to complete strangers that I find really cathartic which I’m not as confident showing people I know in real life.
Having said that, there’s definitely a line with how much I find appropriate to reveal – I try and keep things light most of the time!
Helen, I’ve never had a personal blog– but i can definitely identify with your need to be less than honest if people you know are reading– complete honesty isn’t easy in fiction, and I don’t think it is easy in blogging.
Agreed. As much as you are comfortable with. Everyone’s mileage will vary. 🙂
I think you gave really good advice. As much as you are comfortable with.
Thanks, Diana. But I wanted to throw the question out there to many bloggers, so the questioner can get a variety of answers, not just mine :).
I struggle with this all the time. What I tend to lean towards is using my experiences as the basis for my writing and then adding enough pops of fiction in to make it less personal. I find that this creates a great balance in that I can tell “my” story but can modify it enough to not completely throw myself out there, exposed and raw.
Christina, I understand how you feel. I do this in my fiction sometimes, when I base a character or setting on familiar people or places. Thanks for stopping by to comment!
My blog is primarily about personal issues. Though my name isn’t officially attached to it, I freely link to it from my Facebook page. I’ve found blogging to be a great platform with which to discuss things that I used to be too embarrassed to share, and I’ve had lots of positive feedback from family and friends!
I think it’s a positive thing that your blog helps you.
But since you connect to it from your FB page, you have shed the cloak of anonymity. Do you ever feel vulnerable, at all, after sharing so much of your personal emotions with the general public? I’m only curious, and feel free not to answer this if it isn’t comfortable for you. Thanks for stopping by to comment 🙂
Thanks for the shout out, Damyanti. I am so honored!
You’re very welcome, Jacqui, and it is you who honors me with your visits.
I don’t talk much about myself or my personal life. Promised my wife I would keep our private life private. But in what I write and what I enjoy, I’m sure people can figure out a lot about me.
Alex, you’ve really kept that promise. Even we AZ cohosts know very few personal details about you 🙂
The majority of my posts lately are writing updates and, for the last year, I-Hate-College posts. So I’ve been quite guilty of constant personal posts, although I keep them light and away from all the proper personal stuff.
I try my best to stay away from it and I’m slowly bringing my blog back around to writing posts in general (as well as my updates). I’ve never actually enjoyed reading personal posts myself, unless I really like the blogger and know them quite a while, because then they are a friend. On the other hand, my girlfriend almost solely reads personal blogs.
I think most of all it needs to stick within your theme. In saying that, there’s been numerous occasions that I’ve stumbled across a new blog where the first post I read is a personal rant. I often like the post, follow the blog and comment for support, then keep an eye on how the person is doing. I’m often too caring for others, though…
I think most of all it needs to stick within your theme.
Agree. That’s what I try to do, too. Both my blogs are readings/writing blogs, this slightly more general than the other one, so I try and stick to writing-related topics, and bring in personal stuff only if it relates somewhat to my writing.
I personally put a lot of me in my blog posts. There are some things I don’t talk about, to anyone, but my blog is a personal effort. Like you, I would have told the new blogger to do whats comfortable.
You can find me at http://www.ahillbillyblogger.wordpress.com
I understand, Tim, as our take on the issue is the same.