You’re so Vain. Yes This Blog is About Me.

The Blog Police return!

The Blog Police (TM)  rear their ugly heads again (see ‘Kitty, Cat, Moggy, Feline Fest’ post for an earlier rant assessment of their practices).

Apparently blog posts should not be all about the writer. The standard advice that keeps popping up on t’interweb is to depersonalise your blog so that the reader doesn’t tire of you writing about yourself. Apparently they are then bestowed a more ‘pleasing neutral experience’.

Every blog has its place. Business blogs definitely benefit from a ‘me’ deficit. They  entice us by centering it all  around our needs. We know it’s not really that altruistic, but we play the game. We all want ‘the things’ every now and again.

It could be said that as this is a writer’s blog, set up by a writer, who will hopefully be published and sell books one day, that I am marketing myself. Sort of true.

Stop. Confession time*

* said with MC Hammer type authority, whilst jiggling about in harem pants and looking like I need the toilet*.

I started this blog because I thought I needed to rustle up future readers and that should be its sole purpose. I am ashamed to admit it. I will go to my room and think about my actions once I’ve finished writing this post. Please hear me out in the meantime.

I naively thought relentless self-promotion was what I was supposed to do. I didn’t know any better. I took the wrong advice. I apologise to those of you who signed up from the off and may feel somewhat hoodwinked. Please stay. I’ve changed!

As I contributed more and more to the blogosphere, I realised that I just wasn’t that kind of girl. I know for a writer there has to be some self-belief to lay your heart and imagination on the line, and into the hands of sometimes savage readers.

If I proclaim myself ‘writer’, it stands to reason that I must have some ego business going on too, BUT

I’m not great at standing in the spotlight, receiving praise or derision. I am a self-doubter. That may be hard to believe if you don’t know me. Do I come across as a confident and gregarious woman? Had you fooled then. If I didn’t, darn you and your honesty.

I can relate to others and string sentences together, usually after 10am. However, I am not comfortable in standing out, even less, shameless self-promoting. But there is a writery/blogging game to be played. In usual Lisa fashion, nowadays I am trying to do it my way, whilst taking the best advice.

I am sure there are people who have dropped by this blog and left because it mainly focuses upon my experiences with writing, and not disclosing the secrets to having a better life. To each their own. We all have the freedom to choose what we read.

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In my humble opinion, like any writer or blogger should, I’d rather have genuine followers and readers who enjoy what I offer than falsely boosting the stats like a possessed mathematician.

I want to meet writers and readers, and engage with, learn from, and have many. possibly inappropriate, laughs with you.

To my current and future folIowers and readers; I  love and value every interaction I have with you. I hope you’ve noticed that I take time writing my posts and treat them with the same care that I give to my fiction writing. I do this because I love to write. Blogging is writing, after all.

Engagement over shameless self-promotion

Rest assured that I do not take advantage of anyone who signs up to the ‘Lisa show’. You may read my books in the future, you may not *shrugs and pretends that’s not an issue whilst creating a future hit list*.

I always aim to treat you as human beings, not potential punters or numbers in a ‘Help me hit 1000/2000/1,000,000 likes by the end of the day’ manner. Sure, I’ll hit the target if I plead loudly enough, but I can guarantee that those people will eventually unfollow. Then it all gets very ‘Groundhog Day’ trying to draw the ‘numbers’, er people, back to hit the golden target.

‘The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.’

This brings me to the heart of where this post and my blog lie. It’s about the personal touch – not that kind of personal touch, you perv – in taking what is personal to me and relating it to you, so you might relate, writer or not.

I share my writing news via social media in my own little way, because that is what a writer must do. I don’t have an agency behind me. My husband, family and friends shake the pom poms, which is massively appreciated, but it doesn’t create wide ripples in writery world. Keep on shaking though people, you look fabulous.

Blog Police (TM), one size does not fit all. Some of us actively choose to be personal and ‘small’ bloggers and enjoy it. This blog is not vanity. It is what I do. I write.

No offence to my fellow bloggers, but I know nowt about the latest hot lipstick shade, how to be super mum, the uber-stretchy yoga pose, or 100 ways to make your life better. Kudos to those who do.

I just know how to write about my writing and my life shenanigans. What you see is what you get.

If you landed up here by accident or because you needed to fulfil a social media group’s obligation to like.comment or follow (I know who you are), Mac’s latest hue is ‘My Little Pony Puked Up All The Pink, the ‘Aargh, are you kidding me, this is creating a hernia’ pose is all the rage in yoga, lock your kid in a cupboard to ward off a breakdown, and there is only one way to make your life better; be you and learn that being you is the best thing.

See, all your needs have just been covered right here. Who says it’s all about me?

About Lisa Sell

Lisa Sell is a fiction writer and blogger. When not wrestling with words she can be found showing the love for chocolate, cheese, coffee, the cat, and the Husband. Not particularly in that order.

28 comments on “You’re so Vain. Yes This Blog is About Me.

  1. Lisa, thanks for brightening up my Monday morning. The problem with most of the advice on blogging and social media is it come from a starting point of selling business. The only advice I can give is be yourself, you will find the right people eventually (oh no use of adverb, the Grammar police will be onto me.)

    1. Monday mornings need brightening so I’m glad i was the source of yours!

      I agree with you. I’m bombarded in social media groups and on my feed with how I need to monetise my blog and be ultra successful with gaining thousands of followers. I felt a little lost at sea because no one was writing about the smaller blogs that legitimately don’t want that. There’s nothing wrong with pursuing the money and fame for those who blog for that purpose, of course. I don’t have the energy or will. I just thought it was time someone said that small blogs that concentrate on writing content and getting to know people are important too.

      Adverb away my friend. I don’t think Stephen King is reading this, do you?

      Thanks for commenting!

  2. Hear, hear!!! I agree. I love a personal blog, getting to know the writer behind the words, connecting on a personal level. It’s like reading someone’s diary, and I secretly ( or not so secretly now) like that. Just a quick note to say great post, but I do have to get back to being a super mum now (true!!) heheh x

  3. Ah, but you see, you’re a cool super mum with tangerine hair so you don’t fit the criteria!

    Glad you liked reading my ‘diary’. I’ll message you the more juicy bits some other time! x

  4. Mmmm, ‘pleasing neutral experience’ translated in my mind as ‘beige, beige and more beige’!

    Your blog posts are colourful, Lisa. Thanks for adding a splotch of colour to the beige landscape of blogging.

    But if you do find a uber stretchy yoga pose, you will write a post on it won’t you dear? I’m sure an uber stretchy yoga post is all I need to make my life perfect 😉

    1. Yes, too much beige makes for a very dull blogosphere.

      I see my posts as like that weird monkey art where some idiot gets a monkey to throw paint at a canvas and then sells it to another idiot who pays thousands for it because it’s ‘innovative’. Not that I’m calling my readers idiots. Oh dear, maybe the analogy isn’t quite there. Anyone would think I was a writer.

      As for the uber stretchy yoga pose? I’m old school. Do the ‘crab’ like we did in primary school PE lessons. Don’t blame me if you land up in hospital though. I’m no yoga blogger after all…

  5. Great post, and it reminded me of the reasons I blog too. I don’t know if it’s because I’m a writer as well (and therefore what you blog about is generally relevant to me), but even with writer’s blogs, I don’t always stay the course to the end of the blog post. With yours, I’m always interested right to the end, so you’re obviously doing something right!

    1. Thank you! I know what you mean, especially long posts! I try not to spout on too much but writers just love their words, eh?

      Thanks so much for your kind comment.

  6. On my blog, I call the pursuit of one’s self-improvement a “MeVolution”. Many a time, my Mom and I have gone back and forth hashing out whether or not that sounded too self-centered. She thought it sounded a bit egotistical whereas I loved it. We should rejoice in putting our heart and soul into our writing and embrace our ability to be vulnerable and authentic with the world. Thank you so much for writing this. I loved your sense of humor and perspective.

    1. I love the definition ‘MeVolution’! Writing is definitely about exposing yourself (hopefully in a non- criminal manner).

      Thanks for taking the time to read and comment. I wish you well with your writing.

    1. I’m certainly not a ‘professional’ blogger, but I’d advise writing as you’d speak to those who know you. Then it’s authentic. Hope blogging goes well for you and thanks for commenting!

    1. Thanks for reading Ian. I’ve checked your blog out previously and will do so again in the future. Remember what the post says? Thanks for your support.

  7. I feel the same way as you. I am not out to sell anything but to write about my experiences and if it helps anyone, great.

  8. Sometimes I imagine that I become successful (usually as a travel blogger, but sometimes as an author or artist). Like as successful as those blogs that inspired me to travel that routinely had 50-100+ comments. And I panic a little. How am I supposed to answer all those comments??? I won’t pretend I wouldn’t like being that successful. But I’d lose something in the process.

    This post inspires me too. I always love to read your posts. Every time. Tips and tricks? Totally scanning that post. But the personal, the stories, that’s where it’s at. You remind me that it’s okay to blog about what comes naturally to me, to keep the self-advertising to a minimum. To not presume I know all the things and must share them with all those lesser beings!

    But maybe I’m just terribly boring. I do wonder.

    1. There’s nothing ‘wrong’ with wanting to be a ‘big blogger’ if that’s what you set out to do. I wish them all well and I understand why they need to promote, buy the tech to get more followers and boost the stats. More power to them. They are ‘successful’ because they decided that was the kind of blog they wanted to be and made a business out of it.

      I was just growing tired of being in social media blogging groups that made me feel invisible as a ‘small blogger’. Nearly everything is geared towards your blog being your main job, source of income and driving in traffic. I thought it was time for those who don’t want to do that to have a voice, albeit my little one. I even did Google searches of others who have small personable blogs and their experiences and found little there. It felt like blogs like mine, like ours, were a dirty little secret in the blogosphere.

      I couldn’t keep on top of having a big blog. That’s not to say I don’t want more followers to engage with. Everyone is welcome here and I love meeting new people. But as you state, how can you answer all the comments and have the interaction if it becomes huge? I do make time to answer all my comments so that would be very time-consuming and then I wouldn’t be writing.

      I look for the tips and tricks posts too, mainly for writing. The odd blog-related one has helped and as my post states, I still take advice where it’s applicable to my blogging intentions.

      You’re never boring by the way, Alex! I love reading your posts and seeing how you are establishing a writing routine. If as writers we can’t write using our own voice, we’re pretty stuffed aren’t we? Keep on at it! I’m looking forward to the next post.

  9. My blog is almost all person or brought on by personal experiences. I started it as a therapy tool by the request of a therapist. I only know how to write about my own experiences so how am I supposed to write about anything else? What’s that saying….”write what you know?” You know yourself…so write about you all you want!

    1. Totally agree and relate with writing as therapy. I actually wrote a post on that a few weeks ago called ‘Cheaper than Therapy’ which covers just that. I hope you’re finding blogging a helpful process. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment upon this post.

  10. By the time I catch up on my blog reading for the week, you already have 23 responses. I think that’s saying something. I can’t imagine having half that.

    I’m the kind of person where if I’m trying to find out how to do x, I go to the top resource. If I’m reading directions and there’s something about a triple cross-hem over double loop stitch with a french flair, I’m going to find the top video of what exactly that is and how to do it. Which means I don’t follow most how-to and top this and that and professional in x thing blogs.

    I like reading about people, because people are different. After awhile the advice and so on blogs sound the same. But ones that are personalized are like wow, this is a real person who’s unique.

    You’ve got one of the best “blogging voices” I’ve read. There’s this dynamic to your blog posts that I’ll never be able to capture(color me jealous), but I can tell you that it’s working for you and of all the blogs I read, yours is always the most commented on. You’re doing something right. So don’t listen to the Blog Police. 😀

    1. I’d love to claim they’re 23 individual replies but I do reply to each comment, so halve that! I’m still very grateful even if I get one comment though!

      Thanks so much for such high praise! Coming from a fellow writer, that’s amazing. Clearly just being me is working for you. I value your regular reading of my posts. I love following your blog also and look forward to your posts.

      The Blog Police (TM) are gagged and bound. For now.

      1. Maybe not 23 individual posts, but even halved that’s amazing. I consider it a good post if I get half that number after I respond to everyone LOL.

        I get excited when you post your blog links, I’m like ooh, what crazy thing is Lisa going to blog about. I love laughing, so yeah. 😀

        I’m glad you enjoy my blog. I’ve recently wondered if I should knock it down to one post a month(and then realized with my one guest post a month that’d leave me out of a job haha). My mom(who doesn’t read my blog) reminded me it is the middle of summer and people are busy, so not to worry about numbers and how many times people interact. So I’m trying to not stress(until fall) about whether or not I’m interesting.

        Those darn Blog Police. They never go away forever. It’s like the Depression Squad and Your Book Sucks Picketers. They’re always lurking in your bushes.

  11. I agree. What makes a blog worth the read is either, great useful information or the personality of the writer. Both is event better. Loyal followers will be there because of who you are and how you tell your stories.

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