I read a small number of blogs on a regular basis. They range in a wide variety of topics: Exercise, to musicians, to vegans, to other theatre folks, to writers, to bakers, to New York City explorers, to Disney, to small business entrepreneurs, to yoga. I like the personal window into someone’s life that a blog offers. More often than not, I think what’s going on in the spaces in -between the words is just as interesting as the words themselves. Some people don’t know the extent of what they’re sharing. But that’s the writer in me, reading between the lines.
I’m a fickle reader and sometimes my interest trickles away as the person writing changes their interests or goes off in a new direction. There’s a New York food guy who was way more interesting to me when he was a struggling student unsure of his future, than he is now. His blog created a fair amount of success and comfort for him and success and comfort are less interesting than struggle.
On the other hand, I’m absolutely riveted to one particular blogger because I’m almost certain she’s on the train to crazy town. And I’m not even being flip. She’s got her ticket and the train is pulling away from the station. Granted, the window to her world is purposefully left wide open. She talks a lot about her person life, her work life, but I’m not sure she’s 100% sure of what’s she’s saying in the spaces between the words. There’s a panic that seems to weave it’s way through, up and down the page. It seems all very much ‘too much’ to be reading about someone’s intense personal struggle, intense personal floundering. There’s interesting struggle, and then there’s, well, crazy town struggle.
Blogs can be tricky tightrope. If you’re using them as a selling tool it’s important to be personable, to show there’s a human being behind the curtain. There’s nothing worse than a blog that fails to hide it’s ad-like nature. And if you’re using them as a platform to shout to the world, what’s the balance between boring and bombastic?
When is sharing your personal life too much on a blog?
When I write, you’re getting a pretty close picture of who I am. I write in a very casual style, which mirrors the way that I usually talk. My writing lingo is almost identical to my speaking lingo. (Yes I’m 40, have no grammar to speak of, and yes I call people ‘dude.’)
If I’m being honest, I would say that everything comes across as perhaps a little boring because, well, I am boring. In a nice ordinary way. It’s not a put down. My boring life acts as an excellent and exquisite counterpart to my whacked out brain. I’m not sure I could handle having both an over-active life and an over-active brain. (Insert full body shudder here)
And besides, any personal struggles I might be going through are kept underwraps for the most part because this is a professional blog. Things stay pretty much professional, in a casual dude like way. If something personal finds it’s way in it always has to do with something theatrical, or educational, or both. We’re rarely calling people out, naming names, going down to city hall, standing on soap boxes, roughing up the waters.
Having said that, I don’t think our blog is stuffy. I like that. I think I’ve achieved in showing that there’s a person behind the words. Theatrefolk is people (are people? English degree anyone? Oh right, I got one of those… somewhere….) with hearts and minds and foibles who keep on striving. That’s the goal.
It’s important to know exactly what you want out of your blog, what persona you want to present, who you want to reach, and what you want to tell them. The internet is not an emotionless void. There is always someone, somewhere reading what you write. Always.