My guest blogger today is Robin, author of the blog Farewell Stranger. She is sharing her experience with us today about the power of brutal honesty in blogging – that sometimes, you will find an outpouring of support when opening up about your own struggles. She points out that of course bloggers have their own comfort level when it comes to personal sharing and should be used at their own discretion, but she also provides the benefits of where this kind of sharing may lead – to a community of support.
“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” – Plato
It’s true, isn’t it? We all struggle with something, whether big or small. Illness. Loss of a loved one. Even the ever-present thought that we’re not as smart/pretty/skinny as everyone else. The good thing with struggles is that they make great blog material.
The thought of sharing your innermost insecurities might make you want to shut down your computer and run away screaming. You might fear people will judge you. Or, “that’s not what my blog is about,” you might say.
I’ll tell you one thing from personal experience: sharing YOU is a good thing.
It can be cathartic. Empowering. Healing. It can help you feel less alone. For your readers, it can be reassuring to know they’re not the only ones who struggle. It can help them get to know you better. That’s not to suggest you should turn your blog into a gossip site with yourself as the target. I’m just talking about honesty. Brutal honesty.
I sat down on January 1st of this year and set up a blog. I wasn’t sure where I was going with it, but postpartum depression was slowly killing me and I needed to get it out. I needed to write it out. I didn’t really think about who would read it – I actually thought no one I knew would. But if you read my very first post you’ll see that my boss found my blog before I had even posted something. So much for that theory.
It didn’t matter. I wrote anyway, as though no one were reading it. And I do that still. We talk about authenticity in blogging and how important it is, and I believe that completely. Having said that, I will acknowledge that, yes, you can be your real self without sharing everything. We all hold something back, because it’s too intimate or because we’re not ready to share or whatever. And that’s totally okay. I do that too.
But I’ve also written about things I thought would never make an appearance on my blog. The posts I was most nervous about publishing were the two in which I wrote about my experience with postpartum rage. Those posts included two incredibly personal admissions – the kind of posts I never thought I would share. Ever.
But I finally decided I needed to – not for me, but for others. So I wrote, bawling, and then hit publish. And held my breath. As it turns out, those are the posts that have allowed me to connect most with other people. I got so much support, and I heard from others who have been there too – everything from “thank you for writing that” to “I thought I was the only one and that I was the worst person in the world”. (I know, I did too.)
I’ve also seen many people tell their hard stuff and get so much support in return. I think doing this sort of thing – to whatever extent you’re comfortable – is a great thing to do and can have a huge impact on blogging success (however you define it). I’m not saying you have to spill all your secrets or focus a lot on your personal story if that’s not what your blog is about. Just think about what you could share that will give you a personal connection with someone else. It might help you, and there’s a good chance it will help someone else.
After all, with all the benefits of blogging, isn’t “thank you” one of the best?
Interested in guest posting at Theta Mom® for the Network? I am currently accepting submissions. Full details can be found on the Network page.