Recently I was participating in a discussion about blogging; how we present our posts as a writer, and blogs we follow. The question was raised about whether a blogger should keep the blog entirely informational, let it be a personal diary of sorts, or a combination of both. It made me think about the blogs I follow. Do I follow them for information only? Or do I enjoy reading them because the author shows a part of themselves and gives me a peek into their life? I analyzed the blogs I most look forward to reading and decided they were a combination of both.
I am NOT extremely interested in knowing what you ate for breakfast, lunch and dinner every day this week. But I AM interested in new recipes you tried and your opinion of them.
I DON'T care to see pictures of your pet every single day as he follows you around the house.
But I DO appreciate the occasional cute pet photo.
I DON'T want to hear you complain about every difficulty in your life.
However, I AM motivated by your positive outlook as you deal with struggles and the life lessons you learned and wisdom you can share as you overcome trials.
I have a friend who blogs about the daily struggles and trials of a family with a special needs child. You will never hear him complain about it. This doesn’t mean that he doesn’t take the situation very seriously or that his family doesn't experience some very difficult times. He understands the blessings his family receives through this experience and he manages to find the humor in each situation. You can read his humorous and touching stories at http://jymmebe.blogspot.com/. His posts help give us a better understanding of his child and educate us on what it means to live with this condition every day as well as how to best deal with it.
I then thought about my own blog and how it has mostly been informational, and my intention with that. My intent is to motive, educate and share great information. Being a person who tends to look at the positive side of a situation, I don’t enjoy being around people who are whining and complaining. I don't think others want to hear that either and I certainly don't want to be one who brings others down. Therefore, I don’t ever want to come across as one who is complaining about my lot in life. I do however, appreciate knowing when my friends are struggling, even while they are not complaining. We learn through each other.
As I look at my blog, I can see that the posts that have gotten the most feedback, whether from comments, emails, Facebook comments, or person to person, are posts in which I have shared something of a personal nature. It seems to me that since we all struggle with many of the same issues, it can be consoling to know that we are not alone. We may also be motivated by hearing how someone overcame or is dealing with an issue that is of concern to us as well.
By the end of our conversation my friends convinced me that by showing a little more of 'me' in my posts, it would not only add interest but give credibility to the things I write about.
Those who know me well know that I have spent a great deal of time researching health and fitness. I have experienced chemotherapy with Lupus and Breast Cancer and beat both. I have survived nearly three dozen surgeries and procedures. I have gained a great deal of weight very quickly with chemo and steroids. I have lost a great deal of weight with a personal commitment to eating less and moving more. I understand how difficult it is and I empathize with health issues and injuries getting the way.
I have had four surgeries in this past year and gained five pounds with each of them after not being allowed to exercise for weeks after surgery. I now struggle with losing that 20 pounds (again). While chemo helped preserve my life, it also helped destroy my joints. I now have osteoarthritis and degenerative joint disease in both knees, hips, shoulders and my lower back. Just three months ago I had my first hip replacement...there will be more joint replacements to follow.
This is something that I have to live with. It doesn't help me to whine or be negative about it. Please don't think I am complaining. I always joke that when you look at me I am the picture of health, but on paper I look half dead. I will not give in and give up. I will continue to fight for good health and fitness. I ask questions and learn from others who have gone before me. I hope my experiences can help someone who might travel the same road.
What motivates you to read the blogs you follow? Are you entertained or motivated? Do you think a blog should be informational, personal, or a combination of both?