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Writing The Picture of a Personal Blog

By Edrei Zahari

Expanding on what I touched on in the beginning, I’ve mentioned previously that personal blogging is something that comes from the inside. It is dependant on our hearts, our thoughts and mostly our life. Our words are the verbal snapshots of moments in our life that means something to us. Yet, the question that most bloggers ask is an important one.

“Why write about your life when there is nothing interesting to write about?”

It’s true that niche blogs which have focus are easier to write, but by no means are they as interesting as personal blogs. It just means that whatever content they focus on are easily sought out by people that want to read them. Personal blogs on the other hand, have no specific topic to dwell on, but by no means does that mean they aren’t interesting. It just means that your content isn’t your topic.

Your content is the way you tell the story. Your story.

Let’s simplify things a little. Shawshank Redemption is a story about a man’s life in jail. Silence of the Lambs is about a serial killer. Each of them is something that we find in the news or in real life, but do we bat an eye at those? Not really. What makes those stories gripping and emotional? That’s what you have to pick up. So maybe you haven’t been to jail or be involved with brutal murders, that doesn’t mean that the story of your like that you tell has to be as “to the point” as a news update.

We’ve grown so used to the dry factual writing of niche-based blogs that we often temper our words with direct descriptions of events rather than drawing a picture of words. The failure of a personal blog then isn’t when you can’t think of a story to tell, it’s when you stop making it personal. You fail as a personal blog when you disconnect yourself from the perspectives of your own life.

To prevent things like this from happening there are a few tips I can suggest to spice up your writing.

  1. Emulate personal bloggers and writers you like – I don’t mean copy the things that they write. Every writer and successful blogger has their own writing style. Understand their perspective and try to develop the same writing style. This way, you learn the basics of expression. Something you can use to develop your own writing style later on.
  2. Learn to express without telling – There is a basic lesson that literature students go through. What you do is to describe something without using the adjectives for it. For instance, say that you’re cold without actually saying that you’re cold. Sometimes the most creative path isn’t always the most direct one.
  3. Grow with your readers – Your blog is the reflection of who you are. There isn’t a day that goes by that we don’t learn something new. Let that reflect in your writing. It can mean that it changes the way you write. Don’t be afraid of changes like that. Everybody grows old, but let your writing tell the world you’re growing up.
  4. Don’t overdo it – A lot of people seem to think that thoughtful philosophies make up for the heart of a personal blog. It can and it has, but only as far as a person’s writing would allow it. Allow yourself to keep things simple. Even waking up can be as interesting as you allow it to. As I said, topics don’t matter in a personal blog. How you write it on the other hand, does.
  5. Don’t hold yourself back – Let it out. Express. Most people tell you to cool off before you blog. I’ve often found that writing in the heat of the moment freezes it in its purest form. Emotions, thoughts and feelings are what connects you to your readers. It’s hard not to be able to relate to such raw emotions. Tempered with the way you write, you have the ability to reach and touch the hearts and minds of everyone. Just let it flow, experience takes care of the rest.

Now I have a feeling that the list here is incomplete because I know there are plenty of other ways to improve the way you write, the way you blog a personal blog. If you have any other tips to share on how you can improve your writing style, please, don’t hesitate to add them here.

Your story shouldn’t be held back with excessive self-censorship and dry writing. Let it out. Express. Your blog is the story of your life. It is you in a written mirror. It’s time to be proud of your story. It’s time to let the whole world know that this is you and this is where it all starts.

Personal Blogging Series

If you haven’t already, you can read the rest of the Personal Blogging series linked here:


Visit Footsteps in the Mirror TodayEdrei blogs on Footsteps in the Mirror, a personal and commentary blog. He often writes about his personal exploits, life philosophies, as well as tips on blogging and WordPress. Edrei is also an active member of the 9rules community network. You can subscribe to him via FeedRSS Feed.

15 Comments

  1. Posted August 8, 2007 at 4:52 am | Permalink

    Very well written post and I agree completely. These are some awesome tips and ideas. Thanks Ed!

  2. Posted August 8, 2007 at 5:22 am | Permalink

    I would recommend writing for prompts. Poetry or short stories. Photo prompts as well. By showing a personal style in writing the readers who do come will be interested in your life as well.

  3. Posted August 8, 2007 at 7:26 am | Permalink

    :)

  4. Posted August 8, 2007 at 7:46 am | Permalink

    Good post, good tips. How come I can’t develop my own writing style….damnit.

  5. Rafaela e Caldas
    Posted August 8, 2007 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    Yes! Sure!
    We love personal blogs, in contradiction to niche sites focused…
    Freedom rules personal blogs…
    Congrats for your post!

  6. Gimly
    Posted August 8, 2007 at 8:22 am | Permalink

    I tried so many times to write a personal blog and thought it was too hard. so I just settled for a niche blog instead. i wish i read this sooner.

  7. Posted August 8, 2007 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    Thanks Ed! It was simply written and made a lot of sense.

  8. lllredlll
    Posted August 8, 2007 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    A very good tips for new bloggers like me. Honestly, I don’t have any idea of what I should write down next. Now, at least I have guidelines. Thanks.

  9. Posted August 8, 2007 at 8:49 am | Permalink

    thanks for sharing. this is great and just at the time i needed something like this to read. gracias. :)

  10. Posted August 8, 2007 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    Great article! I think personal blogging is a little tricky, because there’s a fine line between revealing too much and revealing too little. ;)

  11. Posted August 8, 2007 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    LOVE IT! Thanks for the tips! (((((HUGS))))) sandi

  12. Posted August 8, 2007 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    I have been trying to emulate you for the longest time ever (#1) I’m still learning to express without telling (#2). Frankly, this baffles me. “Express without telling” is teasing! I think the problem with me is that I’m too straight-forward, LOL.

    OK, maybe that isn’t a problem..

  13. sbpoet
    Posted August 8, 2007 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

    I’m very pleased to see this topic continuing. It’s encouraging me to stick with it, after a long absence.

    Thanks.

  14. Posted August 8, 2007 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

    Daniel: Thank you for reading. :)

    Brian: In ways, every personal post is a form of a very short story. Most bloggers don’t know how to do this. That’s where this post comes in.

    Coaks: Time, curiosity and passion. The more you explore and connect with your favourite personal bloggers, the more you’ll learn about developing your writing style. I picked up my writing style from 2 great personal bloggers. It allowed me to developed my style after 3 years of blogging. Don’t give up.

    Rafaela: With freedom comes the wisdom to use it. Thanks for the kudos too. :)

    Gimly: No reason why you can’t write a personal blog. The key in your case would be to blog because you want to. Not because you need to.

    Ankur: Thanks!! I was scared that it would not make sense to people.

    lllredlll: Pick simply anything that matters to you and write. That’s what it’s all about. Your writing style will develop over time. Don’t over do it and let the word flow.

    Amethystlune: Thank you for taking your time to read then. :)

    Brian: Just so happens, that would the subject of my next “Personal Blogging Series” post.

    Titus2woman: Wow, thanks for the hugs as well. :)

    Pelf: No it isn’t teasing. A lot of examples can be found at my blog especially when I write about my life. You’re telling the readers what happened, but you’re leaving it to their imagination to picture it. Back to saying “You’re cold”. I could simply write:

    “Goosebumps rose over my skin as the night air blew across it. I shivered violently, silently wishing that I was in front of the heater that was always placed neatly under my seat at home.”

    Between saying I’m cold and saying all that. The second one lets you picture the event, much like a story does. That’s what draws people to your writing as a personal blogger. It can be simple, but your words have power.

    Sbpoet: I’m glad it helps inspire you to continue. I’ll be writing about this all throughout the month.

  15. Posted August 8, 2007 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

    “Goosebumps rose over my skin as the night air blew across it. I shivered violently, silently wishing that I was in front of the heater that was always placed neatly under my seat at home.”

    Wow. That paragraph almost gave me goosebumps!! Can’t wait for the next post.


7 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. [...] Edrei Zahari of Footsteps in the Mirror brought his expertise in personal blogging to Bringing Personal Blogging To Light and Writing The Picture of a Personal Blog. [...]

  2. [...] expression without telling – In the previous post, I mentioned how we should learn how to express without telling if you wanted to be good at writing [...]

  3. [...] someone they are not. I have mentioned before that to improve your writing, it’s alright to emulate the bloggers you like. However, some people push it one step further. They try and talk like the blogger they like. In [...]

  4. [...] Writing The Picture of a Personal Blog: In the second of his series on Personal Blogging, Edrei Zahari helps us understand how to create the verbal picture of you and your life on your blog. [...]

  5. [...] if you’re good enough to turn every part of your life into a tale that entertains your readers, one day you’re going to get tired, one day your readers are going to [...]

  6. […] Writing The Picture of a Personal Blog […]

  7. […] Writing The Picture of a Personal Blog […]

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