Hey! How’s it going?
Today, let’s discuss what it’s like blogging in different contexts! Fun!
I have lots of experience blogging in different contexts, and I haven’t taken the time to sit down and think about how those contexts have shaped me as a writer. So bear with me as this post (like most of my posts, tbh) is going to consist of me thinking all of this out as I write it. Fun!
I think the easiest way to think about this topic is to go context-by-context, discussing the ways I’ve developed and the ways I shift style when I blog in different places.
1. Micro-blogging: or, who is even reading these posts? I started off on Tumblr, and I used that as a micro-blog in the sense that I would post mostly pictures of books or creative-writing related things. I also posted reviews, poems, and short musings and had a coherent theme around literature and writers. But micro-blogging is quite different than normal blogging because it is simply that: micro. Posts are shorter, and there is very little feedback or communication with the readers of those posts. No comments, no discussion. You know SOME people are reading your posts because you get likes, reblogs, and follows, but who are they? Who knows! I think this is the reason Tumblr ultimately fizzled out for me – it was stagnant. On WordPress I am always responding to the thoughts of others; people know me, and I know them. More on that later.
2. Blogging on a small public site: or, I feel bad that no one reads these posts. Once upon a time in college, I blogged for a local arts and entertainment site that featured content specific to the college town where I went to school (the site is no longer around, in case you were wondering). This was the “best” blogging experience I had in that it forced me to really learn my “craft.” Many of my best posts were on this site that no one ever read (hence why the site is no longer around). This was due in part to the pressure of feeling that someone might read it – after all, the site was part of the larger media company of the entire school, so people did know about it. But more importantly, I had a word limit that I had to adhere to, which forced me to contain my sloppy, long-winded tendencies into concise postings. Maybe I should start giving myself word limits again……
3. Blogging on a large public site: or, holy shit, people actually read these posts! So as many of you know, I write for MuggleNet.com, which is the largest Harry Potter fan site on the internet and gets A LOT of traffic. When I write for MuggleNet, there are many different standards that I have to adhere to (which I will not bore you with here). Typically, I feel like I have more freedom on MN than I did during #2, but I still have to control my voice a bit. I know that A LOT of people might be reading, and that is scary shit. I normally won’t post anything remotely boat-rocking because I fear potential backlash. I had 2 posts on MuggleNet that got a very large amount of feedback (both positive and negative), but guess what? Both of those posts originated here on Rose Read, where I am not as afraid to post my potentially boat-rocking opinions. (My boss read them and decided they needed to go on the site.) I was thrilled at the attention those posts got, but now I’ve toned it down and write about innocuous things on MN because the stress of those 2 posts was enough for me to realize that if it became a constant thing, I’d be driven to an early grave. People on the internet have lots of opinions.
4. Blogging for work: or, GOD DAMN, I wish I could swear in these posts! I also post blogs for my job at the library where I work. This is the most vanilla of blogging and it is not very fun. Mainly because I am a low-ranking position at my library and I’m afraid to let too much spunk show in posts or else get fired. One day when I’m a *real librarian,* I hope to blog with more personality (though still no swears) when I am in a position to feel more comfortable about that.
5. Blogging here: or, FEEDOOOOOOOM (in these posts)! This is the place where I feel the freest to blog whatever the F- I WANT. Yes, I have a theme, but that doesn’t stop me from saying anything in any way I want. Additionally, I actually know many of the people who read my blog because we have developed blogger relationships via this medium. I’m comfortable. Does this result in my best work? No. Probably not. Which leads me, I think, to my point here:
Constraints, depending on the level, make me a better blogger. As does the experience of blogging for different audiences. It has allowed me to learn about what works where and what doesn’t. I’m still trying to test boundaries and create within the spaces I have. I know the audience I have on this blog is incredibly generous, which allows me the comfort of being able to say just about anything I want, which is fabulous because that is exactly how I started this blog in the first place, and that has yet to change (I hope it never does). I have almost no constraints here (yes, yes, there are always a ton of invisible constraints regarding social norms and discourse, but I’m not talking about those here…I’m almost at 1000 words already….#apropos). This blog is first and foremost for me, whereas in the other contexts, the posts I write are for other people. But there is a drawback to this comfort. The lack of constraints and excess of comfort make for sloppy post writing, I admit. But does that matter? For me, it doesn’t. For you, it might! Because I blog in so many different contexts in which there are constraints, I need a place to just vomit my thoughts, and this is the place. Sure, it’s not exactly random vomit; it’s controlled. Controlled vomit. In any case, I’m not as concerned about the quality of my posts here because this is my free space, a space to breathe (and vomit). Apparently that can get people reading, too – people are reading. You are reading! Thank you for reading!
I’m curious if you’ve learned anything about yourself from blogging in different contexts. Let me know if your experiences are similar or different or *whatever!* Cheers!