In this weird world that is the blogosphere, deciding what to (and what not to) share is not an easy task. Well, I suppose it could be, but it’s not easy for me. I want to be open about my thoughts and feelings but sometimes, actually a lot of the time, I wonder “does anyone other than my parents really care what I say?” Don’t answer that question…
I go through high-highs and low-lows in life, as I know everyone does. I also write about a lot of them on this blog (here, here, here). As I’m maturing and growing and all that good stuff, I’m realizing more and more that I want to be relatable but not overbearing. By relatable, I mean I want to share the good and the bad. By not overbearing, I mean I don’t want to come across as complaining and venting.
The tough part for me is finding that middle ground.
It would be easy to talk about things solely after the fact (look, I got a job! Look, I healed my gut!) but I believe that being authentic involves not masking problems. This is not to say I’m going to start sharing every little thought as it comes, because a) can you say exhausting? and b) seriously, even my parents don’t care that much. I’m more referring to writing in a casual, open way, like I’m speaking with a friend. Because, I consider any readers to be my friends. I would never pretend things are great when they aren’t.
I understand this method of personal blogging isn’t for everyone and there CAN BE a happy medium (<–my goal, but the fact that I’m writing and sharing this post shows I’m obviously not there yet lol). There’s not a right or wrong way to approach this topic but I think it’s admirable when people acknowledge and admit struggles and successes. For example, I could share more about the highs and lows of my post-grad life because, to say it’s an emotional rollercoaster is an understatement. On the contrary, because I’m young, in a weird interim stage of life and relatively inexperienced, I struggle with finding merit and validity in my words.
Maybe this really is an age thing. Maybe in two or three years I’ll be able to better gauge what reflections are worth sharing and what are just the crazy
hormonal thoughts of a young 20-something. Sometimes I’m better at integrating “valuable” content within my posts, but other times (um, hello) I just ramble. Hopefully I can combine both types of writing, because I believe each serves a purpose. It seems to be a constant work in progress for me! Although I don’t mind the challenge.
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Phew. That’s a lot of thinking out loud without a concrete conclusion, huh? Sorry for the lack of photos. I seriously wonder if people, perhaps older or in a different stage, read and think “man, this girl needs to calm down.” I’ll go ahead and chalk this one up to young adulthood.
To summarize: I value honesty. I will never not be honest on my blog, but I also want to hone in on what is truly important and worth your time. I hope you stick with me on my journey :)
Join the conversation:
Bloggers: how do you decide what feelings/experiences are worth sharing?
What do you value in other blogs?
Thank you to Amanda for hosting Thinking Out Loud!
Susie @ Suzlyfe says
Again, #soulsisters. Providing valuable and evergreen content is a great thing, but the blogs that I keep coming back to, and the reason that people tell me they like my own blog, lie in the personality and personability of the blogger and their story. I can go manay places to get a recipe. But I can’t search as easily for a friend!
Gretchen | Gretchruns says
AMEN Suz! This is why I stop by your blog (and Emily’s) and not so much people that post recipe after recipe. Love my daily catch up with your blog over my morning coffee :)
Gretchen | Gretchruns recently posted…Seawheeze Half Marathon Training
“I can go manay places to get a recipe. But I can’t search as easily for a friend!” <---I just want to hug you! Exactly how I feel.
ACKTIVE LIFE says
I value other bloggers who write quality, honest, real, and no BS posts…They blog because they love what they do and say. It is not forced. You can sense that and it is what I strive to achieve, whenever I put together a post. I’ll say it again…you are one wise lady for you age and it’s AWESOME. XOXO
ACKTIVE LIFE recently posted…Give Yourself Permission
Perfectly said! And you always write so authentically :)
Gretchen | Gretchruns says
I think it’s important for you to be genuine and true to yourself. For everyone that’s going to look different. I have a hard time not looking at the positive side all the time (Dan calls me naiive sometimes because I only look at a good in a situation). So for me it wouldn’t be real to complain or vent in a post. I would have to force it which wouldn’t be good for me or genuine to my readers! I think if you write from the heart it’ll all work out :)
Gretchen | Gretchruns recently posted…Seawheeze Half Marathon Training
You’re so right- it does look different for everyone. I always appreciate your comments (and positivity :)).
I so love reading blogs that are much more than just food and recipes! I used to stick strictly to food, but found that I personally didn’t feel very fulfilled and if people didn’t want to hear about the rest of my life… well then my blog isn’t the place for them haha. I would say GO FOR IT! Being authentic and real is never a mistake.
Megan, that’s exactly how I feel with certain food blogs. I really love when food bloggers incorporate personal stories into their recipe posts. But, to each her own! I really appreciate your comment!
Alyssa @ Renaissancerunnergirl says
This is literally what I posted about this morning. How do you strike a balance of what to share and what to keep to yourself? If you ramble too much, will “friends” turn away? I like to think we find the people we can relate to, and that maybe it makes them glad to know they’re not alone in these feelings. At least that’s how I felt reading your post this morning :)
Alyssa @ Renaissancerunnergirl recently posted…Me and My Blog
LOVED your post today, Alyssa! I think about the rambling turning friends away too.
Brie @ Lean, Clean, & Brie says
I love reading your blog every day because I love that you share both valuable content and rambles (which I think both are valuable). Either types makes me connect with you in a new way and I can leave each post either having learned something new or understanding your thoughts on something. You kill it at being authentic and honest and that is why I love coming back for every post. Keep doing you girl!
Brie @ Lean, Clean, & Brie recently posted…Embracing Speed Work
Thank you so much, Brie! Means a lot :)
heather @Fitncookies says
This is such a dilemma. I definitely have had times where I share too much and then other times I hold back but feel like many could relate. I have been working on categorizing my posts for my new blog and it’s made me cringe with some of my posts back in the day, lol. Like why did I share? Ya know. I think it’s always a tough balance, but realizing it and sort of thinking through things can definitely help before clicking “post”. I’ve found even writing the post and just leaving it as a draft can be therapeutic :)
heather @Fitncookies recently posted…Thinking Out Loud 6/9/16
YES YES! I really should take that suggestion of writing and not publishing (or handwriting). I think I could benefit from implementing that.
I love this, and your thinking posts are ALWAYS thoughtful Emily. They make me think about being honest, and I truly appreciate whatever you choose to share, because you are you. You own who God made you to be, and you aren’t ashamed of it. We know your life isn’t perfect, but it makes me feel closer to you, because mine isn’t either. <3
Emily recently posted…Thinking Out Loud: Sugar Cravings
Thank you, Em <3 I hope others relate to the imperfections I share.
I think you have a great balance and look forward to reading all your posts. If every post was the same, it would get boring! :)
Thank you so much, Lauren! I agree, when I know what to expect from blogs it almost takes away the fun of reading.
Amanda @ ExploringLifeAndThings says
This is one of the reasons I love your blog so much! I love reading more conversational-style posts and I feel like I can relate to a lot of things. Being able to relate to a blogger is a for sure way that I’ll keep reading and connecting. And I totally feel you on feeling like no one cares about some things I want to write about except my mom:) haha.
Amanda @ ExploringLifeAndThings recently posted…Thoughts on Exposure to a Billionaire
I feel the same about your blog, Amanda! I often don’t return to blogs (or I skim posts) when I feel it becomes too generic and preachy.
Claire @ My Pink & Green Life says
I love this so much, Emily! It is definitely a struggle to find that happy medium between not feeling like you’re being open and feeling like the blogging world knows way too much about you. To be honest, and maybe I’m just a nosy person, but personal posts are my favorite kind of posts to read on other people’s blogs. It reminds me that there are real people behind all of the food/workout/beauty posts who I can relate to and connect with. :)
Claire @ My Pink & Green Life recently posted…Thinking Out Loud: My Last Full Year of School
I’m a nosy person too! I actually didn’t realize it until I started blogging haha. I think connecting with the blogger (and reader) is the most important part of this whole thing.
It’s no secret that I’ve connected with a lot of the topics you’ve shared. I really appreciate how much personal detail you put into your blog because it makes it sooo much more relatable. Keep doing what you’re doing, you’re obviously doing something right!
Your comments always mean so much to me, Sami. Thank you!
Meg @ The Compost Cook says
Amen! It is such a fine line between being sincere and genuine versus being TMI and sensationalist. Love this post! #thestruggleisreal
Phew! Glad I’m not alone :)
Amanda @ .running with spoons. says
I’ve never really been one to talk a lot about my personal life, which I guess is why I never really wanted to blog about it. That being said, I definitely know what it feels like to struggle with what kind of content you want to produce, and I feel like it’s all about messing around with it and trying new things before you find something that works for you and your readers. I’m all about the balance too, which is why I try to balance a couple of recipes with a couple more lighthearted fun posts every week.
Amanda @ .running with spoons. recently posted…this post is all over the place (ToL#186)
I think what you have going is ideal! A little “life/TOL” and great content :)
I really value honesty and a down-to-earth approach of writing. I like when bloggers show their struggles and dorkiness. We all need a reminder every now and then that we aren’t alone…and we certainly aren’t the weirdest person on earth :P
Megan recently posted…Apricot white chocolate oatmeal cookies
I like when bloggers show their dorkiness too because, really, no one is perfect and we all have our quirks :)
That line between transparency and politeness can be so blurry. Telling other people to “just do you” is way easier than applying that advice to yourself. I’ve been struggling with this question as well. Like, I’m tempted to document my marathon training but I don’t want to shove my mile splits down people’s throats. So yeah, also thinking out loud with no conclusion here. But if your conversational tone feels more natural for you, there’s no true harm in trying it.
Kathleen, thank you so much for your comment. “Just do you” is typically my go-to piece of advice but you’re right, it’s hard to apply to myself! Well, as someone who is marathon training too, I like to think that if people are interested they will read. Again, sounds so simple here!
Julia @ Drops of Jules says
Oh girl. i feel this post. Oftentimes, I feel like I post way too much about my life, but at the same time, I wonder if I’m being authentic enough for anyone to want to read my blog. I have this constant inner struggle about this, and while I don’t have the answer, I think all you’ve ever done is be authentic. That’s who I perceive your writing!
Julia @ Drops of Jules recently posted…Cultural Diversity Awareness – I’m Getting Better!
Yes, yes, yes! There is no right answer or rule of how or what to share. I think you have a fantastic voice and your authenticity shines through your writing.
Kristy @ Southern In Law says
I am SO with you! It’s tricky finding that balance. There are so many times where I’m writing something and I think “does anyone actually care about this? does anyone actually want to read this or do they just want a recipe?”. I guess a lot of times I just blab away because that’s how I am and it’s more cathartic for me than anyone else. If someone reads it or if it helps someone (which so often it does when I least expect it) that’s just a bonus!
Kristy @ Southern In Law recently posted…Recipe: Apple Crumble Oatmeal for One
Recipe posts are so tricky! If I’m searching for a recipe on Pinterest, I just want the recipe. However, if I’m reading a blog I follow regularly I definitely want more of a story. I’m never going to please everyone, but you’re right, if just one person connects it’s worth it!
Shannon @GirlsGotSole says
I hear you, it’s something each blogger has to decide on his/her own. As someone who likes to be more journalistic when I write (I wanted to be a journalist when I was in school), I’ve evolved on my blog with my writing. I feel that being open and sharing more has felt real and works for me these days. Sure, there’s always some things I wonder if my readers care about, but hey, that’s okay. As long as I feel comfortable sharing, I’m good with it. I feel authentic. :)
Shannon @GirlsGotSole recently posted…Magic Mile take 5!
I think my my “casual” heartfelt style of writing is what suits me best at the moment. I have no doubt that style will evolve with time and life-circumstances. I’m sure many of my readers skip over certain posts, but I do the same with other bloggers so I completely understand that :)
dixya @food, pleasure, and health says
this is an area of constant struggle for me. i go to blogs for stories and writing rather than a recipe, however, im not very good at finding that balance. i do virtual coffee date type post to share behind the scene/personal type post, which helps me and alot of my readers seem to enjoy it. since each blog is unique, you should share what you find is comfortable, perhaps something you think your readers might be able to relate to, and it is totally okay to rant :)
I love the “coffee date” posts and think they are a great way to incorporate personal stories and tidbits without going overboard.
Dani @ Dani California Cooks says
I always forget that certain people read my blog (i.e. colleagues) and I have to limit sharing all of my thoughts, especially if they are work related!
Dani @ Dani California Cooks recently posted…Shrimp Pasta Salad
Yes! I find myself typing things out and then thinking “wait, what if so-and-so reads this? I should probably delete that.”
I’m so glad to hear that I’m not the only one who struggles with this! I would love to share more on my blog and Instagram, but I’ve always found that opening up (even in person) is a really hard thing for me to do. I’ll definitely be working on this though! Being honest, genuine, and real with your readers is the only way you can connect and help others struggling with similar issues.
Meah recently posted…The BEST Way to Have Oatmeal
Meah, thank you for your comment! It’s become easier for me to open up in REAL life because of opening up on my blog. It gives me some confidence that I’m not alone in my beliefs.
This has to be one of biggest things bloggers run into, but just isn’t something we talk about. I know I continue to try to find the balance, and at the end of the day, I’m doing my blog for me and my ‘friends’ (real life, blog world, Instagram). Being authentic always feels better and that’s what I’ve been striving towards. Has it made finding my blogging niche easy? Not at all, but we all need to embrace our journeys in life and just decided what makes us work best and makes us most happy. I do think finding that balance, and trying to stay away from complaining/venting (within reason?) is always best because at the end of the day, I know none of us like to hear that. Thanks for sharing your thoughts – loved this!