Today I want to talk about blogging, and, if you will indulge me and read all the way to the end, to extend an invitation to you to write a guest post for my blog.
Jennifer Chait, a freelance writer, says, “As a writer we need to take the position of the reader. We need to think carefully – when a reader reads my words, are they going to feel anything? Are your time invested words going to invite people to say, “So what?” Will your words matter to even one reader – counting yourself? If not, you shouldn’t write those words.”
When I was brand new to Planet Blog, I spent a lot of time mulling over the above, and trying to think up topics. In fact, I still do, which may be why I don’t blog as often nowadays as when I first began some years ago.
There are moments when I feel like a magenta, six-headed alien, as I immerse myself in some of the blogs of others. I stumble and fall over a proliferation of words with tentacles, waiting to grab and reel me into their worlds. Some that I read are downright fascinating. Some blogs are done by experts in various fields, so I actually learn something. Others make me laugh, which is a good thing, though probably not a Martha Stewart “good thing”.
Then there are blogs that just seem odd to me. Some use them as personal journals, yet make their thoughts available for all the world to see. The content of some blogs seems more appropriate as discourse between two gossiping dowagers chatting on an old-time party line. I can imagine Etta, the local Vermont switchboard operator who listened in, and spread the latest small town tales. Those of you who have no concept of what a party line is might want to ask your parents or grandparents!
I don’t mean to offend anyone. You may be a dedicated devotee of tomato canning, or perhaps you are the President of the local Society of Pickled Herring. Your mind may spin in fascinating circles, keeping you very amused, but perhaps not many others. Maybe you are putting up your adoption blog, detailing every conversation, milestone or setback you have during your adoption process (without thought of any legal ramifications, or of just plain embarrassing yourself, or your future child when he or she gets older.
I do recognize that people’s personal passions tend to consume them, at least for a while. Many have a burning desire to proselytize and to share their wisdom, and activities with the world. Blogging seems to them a good way to do that sharing. That applies to me too, at times. I guess that’s why Baby Boomers have fallen in love with Facebook and have joined all the Millennials. We Baby Boomers are known as a generation of emphatic opinions and passions. I just wonder why so many bloggers and posters feel the rest of us are stuck to our computer chairs waiting to clean up every last crumb of their latest brain eruption, both on our blogs, or on social media. (I can hear the voice on the loudspeaker! “Cleanup in paragraph three, word seven.”)
Sure, I am a woman of many interests and opinions and with enthusiasm for myriad things, but how many of these can be transformed into short, pithy blogatribes that will spark the reader’s interest, or even better, that will change lives? As a coach, I would love to be able to gift my readers with unique, profound questions leading to major introspection and great personal betterment. When I am part of a dynamic team with my coaching clients, these questions tend to flow with energy of their own. That is because I am fully engaged with them, and talking about things they need and want to discuss. Somehow it is harder to come up with eye-opening topics, questions or kernels of wisdom when sitting alone at my computer.
I suppose I could conjure up some great “how-tos” as everyone seems to do. I could pray for an inspiration so profound, that my readers will hire detectives to find me. They will then reward me for all of the riches and transformative advice they receive from me. (No need to hire a detective, if you are inclined to reward me. I gladly accept cash, checks, flowers, candy, and good wishes, too. I am not hard to find.) Then I go back to the quote that began this article. “Will your words matter to even one reader – counting yourself?”
I have to ask myself some good coaching questions, like “What really matters to me?” and “What is the legacy for which I want to be remembered?” Then the most important question, “What most matters to my community of readers and followers and how can I help them?”
My answers to myself would be simple. I believe I make a difference when I help others to access their own emotions, or to see things with a fresh perspective, whether it is through blog articles, coaching, posts on Facebook or through my poetry. I like to help by sharing observations and insights and by leading folks to their own insights. I want people to know I care about them, and get them to feel, to learn and to grow in the ways that are most needed by, and most important to them.
I value when people do the same for me. I love when they make me feel welcome to be who I am, and not who they want me to be. I most value genuine heartfelt human exchanges, rather than dogmatic, angry ones, though I do have some strong opinions. We don’t need to bore everyone with our own obsessions, but we also don’t need to search every mind cranny to find something spectacular to write about all the time. Honest words about the shared human condition are good, I think. Sometimes it’s true that this can take very simple and mundane forms. I hope I never start to blog about how much I saved on Tupperware last week, or which kids in my family are, or were, star students at their schools. I hope I don’t ever develop some kind of overblown blog-ego and come to believe everything I have to say is something YOU want to read. Frankly, as a poet, I also find it a disturbing trend that everything that happens in the course of an average day seems to be grounds for someone writing a poem! (This is one of my personal pet peeves lately.)
Of course you can always just stop reading, but I hope you will visit with me again and will find something to take away with you, however small, mildly amusing, or maybe even occasionally profound. I also hope that you will honor me periodically by taking the time to write me a comment on my blog, and to offer suggestions about topics you would like to see here too. That would be awesome.
Want to write a guest piece on my blog? Do you have your own following, but would like to expand it to people who may not know about you? I invite you to send me something for consideration. Tell me a bit about your own community of readers. Just send it to email@example.com. I reserve the right to screen and can’t guarantee your contribution will be accepted, but it will be appreciated and acknowledged for sure. Let’s see how our paths cross and where that leads us, and the readers of my blog, and the rest of my community.
Thanks much for reading.
Iris J. Arenson-Fuller, PCC, is a trained and credentialed life and loss transformation coach, focusing on tough life stage, family and relationship changes, with a special interest in loss of all types, and adoption issues. Iris helps people develop new purpose and zest for life and to create beautiful new futures, no matter what they have been through in the past.
Schedule a free consultation with Iris to learn more!