Ask Marzipan: Blogging 101

March 20, 2010

So a couple of days ago a friend of mine emailed me asking about how to become comfortable speaking your mind on your blog and not caring what anyone thought. She aslo wondered about whether or not I thought blogging was egocentric. I’ve been cooking on these questions since then, and it seems to me that they are pretty salient to this here blogging business, which I am chronically attempting to break into.

First of all. Blogging is egocentric. It is about YOU and you only. (And of course by only I mean you and your blogging community and readers and ultimately loved ones – because of course, you cannot “befriend” a writer of any variety and expect not to be involved in some manner.) It’s like that part in Julie and Julia where the husband tells her that her blogging effort is selfish and narcassistic, to which she replies, yep it is all about ME. I often think about that when I’m going about my bloggy business on my computer or phone instead of spending quality time with those around me, when I’m in the same room but not “socializing” because I’m checking stats, writing posts, or engaging in the myriad of social media networking that allows your entrance into the blogging community. I suspect this will only get worse.

The truth is, I love this blog. I love having a corner of the world that it ultimately at my every whim and point of interest. But that doesn’t mean blogging isn’t hard work. It is HARD work. Especially when it isn’t technically your job, when you have a trillion other obligations, including the real life way you earn a living. And the other truth is, the work often goes from hard to harder before it has a chance of becoming financially viable.

I love Medicinal Marzipan because it allows me to be a part of a larger dialogue with others who have the same interests that I do. I love the comments, discussion, emails of gratitude, and ask marzipan queries. This is what I find really makes blogging worthwhile, not merely the prospect of financial compensation. I love finding new blogs to read and add to my rapidly growing catalogue of inspiring people. I love the candid honesty.

So, it’s all about you. It allows you to make bloggy friends. Finally, it is hard to get used to. When I started blogging/writing, I worried endlessly about what people would think, or if they would like what I had to say. I used to keep it secret, slowly leaking information about it’s existance to a select few readers. Then, as has often been my style, I forced myself to become comfortable with it – quickly, and in one fell swoop. I posted a link in my facebook status update, thereby informing every single person I’d gone to high school with/smooched in college/members of my family that I was writing about my life and all of the sordid details about my relationship with my body. Sometimes graphically or tragically, and sometimes not very well, but always truthfully and to the best of my abilities.

Remember, it is YOU that your readers will come to love and trust. You are your own best brand. And be brave, because you are much more than worth your own little corner of the internet to call your own. Build relationships with other bloggers. Have fun.

Any other blogging tips? I’d love to hear them!