Slivers and Snapshots

 

slivers-and-snapshots-sig

 

As bloggers, we give readers, fellow writers, and online friends what we want to give them. We decide what we write, how we write it, when we publish it. We decide what to share and what to keep private.

Readers know tiny slivers of our experiences, snapshots of our lives.

There are some bloggers who share intimate details, revealing deeply personal events from their lives. That’s great. That is their choice and they are comfortable with it. But this shouldn’t be something we expect of every blogger who doesn’t have a niche.

For a lot of readers, personal blog equals personal information.

If bloggers have a music, movie, fashion, food, or book blog, they are excused. But if they have a “personal” blog, where they talk about life, they are expected to divulge all sorts of information about themselves. Because. Personal.

That’s not how it works.

Even if we have a blog where certain subjects would seem appropriate, it doesn’t mean we’ll necessarily choose to publish them.

 

I mostly write about roses and only occasionally share the thorns.

Know that, even if I talk about my insomnia or getting overwhelmed, I may leave out that Aunt Foofie is in rehab again, I fell off the kitchen counter and fractured my tailbone, or zombies attacked me on my way to work.

 

Do you have a personal blog? How much do you share with your readers? Do you expect other bloggers to reveal personal information?


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42 thoughts on “Slivers and Snapshots

  1. I have a personal blog, but there are a lot of details about myself that I wouldn’t share. My blog is personal, but it’s also professional, so I try to avoid rants and negativity as well as identifying details.

    I think a blog can be about a person’s life without being about their whole life. We share certain things with acquaintances, certain things with friends, certain things with family, and more (hopefully) with our partners. There are lines everywhere, so I don’t think it’s odd that there are also lines around what we say on a blog.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Personal and professional…hmm. I’d not thought of it exactly in those terms but that’s sort of what mine is. I mean…well…I don’t know. It’s conversational and full of fragments, adjectives, the occasional swear or two… So maybe not ‘professional’. You’ve got my mind spinning.

      That’s it exactly. We share certain things with certain people in real life so it shouldn’t be any different online. But it sort of is. I try to avoid rants. But we can’t be sunshine all the time. At least if we’re being genuine. On the other hand, constant negativity (even if it’s truthful) is not going to be enjoyable for readers. Lines. Boundaries. Yes. Those.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I have a travel blog but it’s kind of morphed into a personal one where I share snippets of my life. I guess I just write from the heart and from where I’m comfortable. We’re all different though.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I don’t share loads. I leave out my kids name, I even changed my name. I don’t expect anyone to share anything they don’t want. Sometimes I do wonder where u meet all these people that place so many expectations on you and your blog. It’s bonkers. Never happened to me either.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’ve cut way back on what I share specifically about my family (not that I shared much about them to begin with). It’s not that I feel I have to share things, it’s just that not having a “niche” and writing about my life leads people to believe that, if something were happening, I’d be blogging about it. Which I kind of understand. I’m making a bigger mess of this than it was. O_o Never mind. Carry on.

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  4. When I first started blogging it was for therapy only – I was in a bad place and talked quite openly about the issues I was having. Now, many of my friends and family members read it, so while I still talk about what I’ve got up to during the day, I have to be conscious of everything I say and often censor myself so as not to offend people. It’s frustrating, but unless I start another, anonymous blog (which I don’t have time for), I have to continue to be subtle in my writing haha!

    Liked by 1 person

    • That is a definite issue. We don’t live in a vacuum. (That would be weird…) Interesting you began your blog for therapy. Writing is an amazing therapeutic tool. But we do need to respect others. Well, we should. Subtle is good. 😉 You’re right…it’s not all about what we are comfortable with but also what we feel others would be comfortable having shared by us.

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  5. I edit a load but still share some stuff; I try and minimise the family though, other than the dead ones who can’t answer back. That said a post is going up soon about a party they held for me; it was just too good not to put it out there… As for others, hey, it’s your blog you decide what works. The only rule is that there are no rules.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, I stopped sharing about my family a bit ago. Not that I shared a lot to begin with but the parenting posts have sort of fizzled out – died a natural death. I’m glad because I would have cut them anyway. (The party post HAD to go up. That was brilliant!) 🙂 You know me…I’m always the one blogging about blogging rules and how I don’t follow them. In this particular medium, I feel like there are few rules that are necessary. (My top posts are about not following blogging etiquette/rules.)

      Liked by 1 person

  6. My blog is a reflection of where my headspace is at. That’s a pretty ample battleground and includes book, movie, music reviews, random slices from my brain, writing tips, and my takes on several things. A lot of people think I’m very open and to a degree I am. I do share a lot because I do think that sharing some experiences may help others see that they’re not alone. That said, there are parts about me that are not even reserved to the select few. In regards to that, I’m very private and when someone asks, I deflect. When I share, I do it on my terms, not on any one else’s terms and that’s all I expect from any blogger. To come from a good place, to write with their heart and look to connect. how they go about that is their business as is the way I go about connecting and sharing. I don’t expect anything from anyone because I’ve learned that the less I expect and the less I judge, the happier I am with everything. so here’s to embracing the words within and those we feel inclined to share with others. Cheers and thanks for all you share. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, exactly. My blog is the same. Where is my headspace? That’s what’s going up. But my head isn’t always in a good space, you know? And if we don’t want to get too negative or too personal, it’s kind of impossible to blog about rainbows and cotton candy when you’re in the middle of a shitstorm. Also, you mentioned the randomness of it all. Same here. But you also said “slices”. That’s what I’m saying. We share what we share. But when we share anything that’s considered personal, it’s kind of assumed that we’d share other things, too. Am I making any sense? Deflect! Deflect!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. You make a good distinction, Sarah. I try to focus my blog on writing and writers, but I do throw in personal things at times – mostly because my blog brain is grasping at straws! I rarely get personal in an intimate way and try not to be a complainer. We all blog differently. Just enjoy yourself and blog whatever you want. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I see your blog as a writing blog. If you happen to share something personal…eh. You already have a niche. I for sure blog whatever I want but I guess it’s the expectation of others when you have a blog (such as mine) that doesn’t have a real focus. You know, this post and these comments really have me thinking about a lot…

      Liked by 1 person

      • I follow a number of writers like you who share their writing journey, but also “write” about life. By that, I mean the writing is of good quality and it’s entertaining. But that’s only part of it. Successful blogging, in my opinion, is primarily about building relationships, and one of the best ways to do that is engage. Sharing personal stories that are well written invite engagement. Followers get to know you as a person, and we like that. I wouldn’t be getting email notifications of your posts, if I didn’t find you and your blog enjoyable. 😀

        Liked by 2 people

      • I have my own ideas of what a “successful blog” is and it doesn’t go along with what the gurus/experts say. It’s much more of what you’re describing. Bloggers are successful if they’ve fulfilled their own personal goals and are happy. Building relationships in this online community is key, too. 🙂

        And what a lovely thing to say. Thank you. ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  8. The whole idea of blogging scared me at first. I don’t like sharing too much of me or my life to the world, but I recognise some connection is needed. I tend to write about general topics sprinkled with my light opinion (mostly), or an objective eye. I hate that, like with the reading of magazines, bloggers can be made to feel like they are lacking something; like they should, could or they have to be doing X, Y, Z. Stick to what you feel comfortable with, I feel. I think trying to be someone you’re not, is not always good.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ah. Sharing vs connecting. Interesting. It’s difficult to connect without sharing a bit. Or at least being genuine. And being genuine is difficult to accomplish without sharing a bit. And…my head hurts. A lot of bloggers feel the way you do. I know I do. I’ve written numerous posts about doing what you want and being who you are. Here in the big, bad blogosphere, it’s individual comfort levels, definitely. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I started blogging to share “Goldfish Diaries” but have gone further with some of my life. I try to keep on the upbeat side when blogging. Although being human, I have the same problems, fears, pain, etc. as others, I try to focus on the good things. It helps to sort out and remember the things I’m thankful for.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes. There’s that ‘genuine’ piece again. We are human. While most people have commented they try to stay away from negativity, sometimes that’s where we are. Switching focus is always good. As is being grateful. 🙂

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  10. As you know, I have a personal blog. I try to avoid politics and religion, although I have written about those topics. The religion one got zero comments. A wind blew through that post.

    I also blog about anxiety, but try to do so in a humorous way, rather than dwelling in the darker aspects. I worry that a potential business client or employer will find my blog and think I’m truly nuts.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ha! I know! I’m an Online Bartender. I wrote about that two years ago. No politics and religion on this blog, baby. (I can hear the wind blowing through that from here…)

      Ah, yes. We can share what we’re comfortable with but must remember it is, after all, a public space. We always need to be aware of that and yet still be true to ourselves.

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  11. As a writer my blog tests new genres and styles but occasionally I disguise me inside; still hiding and hoping people can’t see. We all have experiences that go towards making who we are. But somethings are not shared nor should be.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Experimenting with new genres/styles/forms/etc. is great but we go only where our comfort level allows us to go. Our experiences make us who we are. Doesn’t mean we need to share it all. Though some people do. And that’s great. I admire their strength and courage to put it all out there but we all have our own boundaries.

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  12. There’s really an expectation out there that people must divulge all the intimate details if they run a personal blog? Pfft to those people! I tend to lean toward not sharing rather than over sharing. Not because I’m worried about people finding out more about me, but because I don’t want them recoiling due to TMI. Most of the time, my life is roses…trampled-on, wilting roses that need a bit more water and sunlight, but roses nonetheless. The thorns? Well, I’m not quite bleeding yet.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love your attitude. I sometimes wish I could be more like you, Loni. “Did I ever tell you…you’re my heeerooo…” Yeah, I don’t share too much compared to some. Compared to others, I share a lot. I’m always hyper-aware of TMI. But I see your blog as more of a writer’s journey than a personal blog, anyway, so don’t see an issue. Again, my mind is spinning with this post and the comments and what it all means. I’m bleeding from those thorns, alright. But there’s no blog on this blog. 😉

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  13. A lot of thought-provoking comments here.. I’m glad you brought this up! I think it’s given me a greater appreciation for what goes into a personal blog.

    As for me, a personal blog is not my thing. Sometimes I read personal blogs and I’m astonished at what commenters feel they can say to the author. I want nothin’ but fun from my blog. The biggest argument I want to have are about the merits of a 70 year-old film.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ha! Yes, I’ve read some of those comments, too. I really do like a back-and-forth discussion because it makes me think but, in general, I tend to stay away from…um…a lot, actually. And no controversial stuff. I’m an Online Bartender. No fighting allowed. Swearing is okay but no fighting. Them’s the rules. Nothin’ but fun sounds fab. I love your blog. But now you’ve challenged me. I feel like going over there and picking a fight. Let me think… Ah! Tell me you don’t like the version of A Christmas Carol with Patrick Stewart as Scrooge. Then we will battle. 😉 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  14. You said it Sarah, it depends what type of blog you run. I’m a nonfiction/memoir writer so I talk about real life things and write memoir posts occasionally that are relative to things I write about in my books. That’s part of being a real life writer, no sugar coating. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Interesting post Sarah. You nailed it when you say it’s up to us what we say or don’t say on our blog. Mine has been a share of snippets – through the view of my summerhouse – from day one. I didn’t want it to be all about my writing but I also never wanted to use it to divulge all kinds of personal ‘stuff’, other than on subjects I hoped maybe helps others going through similar – such as about Asperger’s Syndrome. My aim with writing about my dad has always been to share the love and all that was good between us, not ‘oh poor me, my father was an alcoholic…’ There is so much more I could share (about other subjects, not about my dad) but I choose not to because that isn’t what my blog is about. I have been blissfully unaware of the expectation on personal bloggers to share every and all intimate detail of their lives. No way!! I’ve come across blogs like that, in my early blogging life, and I steer well away. I read somewhere that a good thing to remember when writing for the public domain is never to share anything you wouldn’t shout across a bar…that could work both ways, depending on the kind of bar and how much the whiskey flows, but good advice nevertheless! 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha! “depending on the kind of bar and how much the whiskey flows…” Yes. 😀
      Some people do share very personal things. That’s fine. I’m not sure how many expect it but, when you have a personal blog, I think readers have a feeling that they know what’s happening in your life. I mean, it’s only natural, right? If you share about certain unpleasant things, they would have no way of knowing that there are other things going on or might assume you’d share it if there were. But it IS public. And we all need to remember that people share what they’re comfortable with and no more. Though I do agree sharing can be therapeutic and also help others who are going through something similar. ❤

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  16. I also have a personal blog and share some quite personal things (and judged for that), but I believe it’s up to each one of us to decide what they want to share and what not. There will always be critisism about what we do, so bo worries, let’s keep doing what we think is best for us!

    Liked by 1 person

    • One shouldn’t be judged for sharing personal things they are comfortable sharing. And, yes, I agree it’s up to each of us to decide what that comfort level is. Here’s to doing what’s best for us. Cheers to that. 🙂

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