Breaking my own rules

I have a set of rules for myself when it comes to this blog.  I didn’t start out with all of them, but I spend a lot of time with the Tag Surfer feature on WordPress, and on StumbleUpon, looking for other writers whose posts I like.  I share these often in my semi-regular “great reading” posts.  However, the number of posts I skip right over or even sometimes get annoyed with is quite high.  I think about what I don’t like about the many posts I skip over, and those things sort of evolve into a list of things I don’t want to do here.  Now, for the irony.  One of the things I don’t like is writers who think they know it all and are openly critical of other people’s writing.  Yet what I’m about to do is share the list of things that drive me absolutely nuts in other blogs.  I’m breaking my own rules.

It’s not that I think I’m some expert on blogging or on what people want to read about.  I am just an average person who reads a lot of stuff online.  There are, however, lots of other average people who read stuff online, so perhaps by sharing my pet peeves, some other writers might avoid some pitfalls that would tend to turn some average people off from following their writing.  So, here goes.

I hate posts that start with something along the lines of:

Sorry I haven’t posted in so long…

If you don’t want to, or for some reason, can’t post often, you don’t really need to apologize for that.  It’s your life.  Write when you want.  When I began writing here, I had a goal of writing every day.  I haven’t met that goal, but I didn’t publicize it as some big promise to the world, either.  That way, when life interferes, I just have to get over my own frustration – I don’t really need to apologize to everyone else.

A lot has happened since the last time I wrote…

If you’ve been away from blogging for a long time, I think we can all assume a lot has happened to you.  Skip this wordy, uninteresting intro and just get to the good stuff!

I’ve been meaning to post for a long time, but…

I think if you’ve been meaning to post, you probably just should have.  If something kept you from it, I would think you’d be interested in diving right in to whatever stuff we readers have missed.  The stuff that gets in the way of your writing is generally not as interesting as your writing itself.  Those obstacles may be great fodder for posts – but presented this way, it feels a little like the dog ate your homework.

Hmm, I can’t think of what to write about…

Well, think about it some more then.  Or do this kind of writing in a notebook somewhere until you do hit on something you feel like writing about, then sharing.  Or, start your post this way until you get into a groove and then edit that part out later.  If you start by telling me you don’t know what to write about, I expect the rest of the post to have zero substance, so, on I go to the next blog.

– Here’s my to-do list for the weekend…

This kills me.  You may have something really interesting going on this weekend, but why not jump into a story about it, or a description of why it matters to you, so it might be relevant to people reading.  I’m generally not interested when you use your blog as a place to jot down notes.

Bottom line – get to the point and don’t apologize.  These are the kinds of things you can think to yourself as you ponder what you should write about – but to start your blog entries with things like this makes me go right past them.  I’m sure if I reviewed all my previous posts, I’d find other cases where I’m breaking my own rules, but I’ll leave it at that for now.

2 thoughts on “Breaking my own rules

  1. Do people really post those things? Wow. I guess I only read blogs from people who have something to say and actually say it.

    A to-do list blog? That slays me. You really don’t want to know my to-do list. Heck, even I don’t want to know about it. Maybe they think if they put it out there we’ll all keep them accountable. Yeah, not so much.

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