Personal blogging Rules

And so starts a new year…

Does it look much different to the last one? Well, yes & no to quote my old friend Noel. Yes – in that we’d no idea at this time last year what we were heading for, and No – in that there’s already a lot which is familiar from the bulk of last year. For here in the UK, we’re back in another national lockdown. We’ve no clear idea yet for how long. The plan seems to be until a significant swathe of the population have been vaccinated – although as that swathe includes only my mother from the group of me-and-mine, it’s unlikely to change my day-to-day life significantly. As I welcome a new grandchild in February, I can but hope…

And that takes me on to my Word of the Year… for hopeful was a serious contender. Last year, the word I selected was Act! (and yes, the exclamation point was a critical part, it being a call to action).

Now, like the purchasing of diaries and planners for the year 2020, you could be excused for thinking this proved to be a wasted effort. Certainly, not much that I planned to Act! on could (or did) happen during the year, nevertheless it did prove useful as a focus. Where the opportunity to take action wasn’t restricted by pandemic regulations, I did so, rather than prevaricate as is my wont – and the outcome proved consistently pleasing. But I also decided to take action around mindset and reframing, which put me in a better place for dealing with pandemic enforced changes. As a long-time sufferer of Depression, my decision to Act! rather than adopting a wait-and-see attitude proved crucial for my mental health throughout 2020.

So I pondered over what word to chose for this year, and whether to simply repeat last year’s choice. But as 2021 has started with more than a small hangover from 2020, I decided a new choice had to be made. One word which appeared in several iterations seemed like it was becoming the chosen one, until I hit upon Productive. Productive feels like a natural follow-on from Act! with my tendency to ruminate and delay decision-making being addressed by 2020’s word, I want to harness that forward momentum. But I don’t want simply to Act! I want my decisions to be driven by the requirement to be productive. There is much that I try to do – too much in all honesty – and that invariably ends up with my being not as productive as I’d like. So, let’s see if this time next year, I look back and consider 2021’s choice of Word of the Year to be a winner (or not).

But to get back to the headline topic – personal blogging rules. I wrote a post late last year but decided to delete it – catching it it just as it published. I wrote it while feeling decidedly stirred up on the subject. The subject? No matter – it was my state of emotion when I wrote it which was the issue.

I made a decision some time ago not to blog when het up. There are a variety of reasons for this, but the primary one is this blog was only ever intended to be an outlet for me to write stuff, a light-hearted magazine column if you like. So, I try to avoid any subject that gets me hot under the collar, or which might be considered contentious. I do have strong opinions and can find it cathartic to type them up in the form of a blog post – before deleting it. Much like writing a letter to someone to express your feelings – only to burn it, or shred it, but certainly not send it – it allows the emotions to be released without reaction from another party. I’ve been very open in the past online and while I regret nothing said, I am comfortable with being more circumspect here.

This blog started as a place where I talked predominantly about books. To some extent that’s now moved to the fiction site I co-host, and I rather drifted into the current format. At some point, I’ll probably need to re-think my purpose in blogging here but, till then, I’m determined there’ll be no emotive posting happening here.

Do you have a particular purpose in blogging? Do you have Rules for your blog – about content or tone – which you impose upon yourself?


© Debra Carey, 2021

12 Comments

  1. alanj2

    Happy New Year Debs! May the Black Dog stay far away from your door (even if you don’t get to see the New Grandchild for some while).

    Many years ago I read in one of those column filler pieces in the Readers’ Digest that Abraham Lincoln once sympathised with an aide who felt he had been wronged, and advised him to write a letter explaining his feelings. The aide did and when he read it back to Lincoln he said “Excellent” Now file it because that sort of filing keeps it sharp but does not damage you or your oppponent.” If only more people on the various social media platforms heeded that advice the internet (and elsewhere) would be a happier place.

    Blogging rules? Maybe I ought to have one that says write a piece for your blog at least once a month! I fear that ‘Perigrinations and Pauses’ (http://alanj2.wordpress.com/) has been missing me for some time! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. LA

    My purpose is pure enjoyment. I like to blog. My goal is provide food for thought and get people to think outside the box that they normally find themselves in. We need to get the conversation started

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The Widow Badass

    Great post, Deb!
    I’ve not given much thought to blogging rules for myself other than to ask myself would I be comfortable if my (now late) mother read what I wrote? My blog is my outlet and when you read my blog you are stepping into my living room, as it were. I can say what I want in my own home, and I respect that other bloggers can say what they want in their own living rooms. People who don’t agree with my thoughts are free to leave my living room, and I will do the same when visiting another’s “home”.

    Deb

    Liked by 1 person

  4. scr4pl80

    Nice word. I like the ! with Act. It fits. Productive should be an easy one to track, too. Mine this year is Flow. I want to make some changes but I don’t want them to be dramatic or jarring, more like a smooth transition (where have I heard that before?). I haven’t given myself any blogging rules. I figure I write what I want and if people don’t like it they won’t read it. I do try to keep family problems off the page though.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Ally Bean

    My purpose in writing my blog is to keep my brain clicking and my heart open.

    I have blogging rules. No posts about personal finances or medical problems or sex. No disappearing from blogland without telling my readers I’m on a break. Make all my posts look pretty. Talk only about stories that are mine to tell. Share the comment love wherever I go in blogland.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. snakesinthegrass2014

    I completely understand the need to self-regulate anger or frustration on your blog. In my case, I’ve later deleted a few blog posts that were pretty transparent if the subject of them ever saw it (all of them were about my ex-wife!). I ostensibly have three topics about which I promised myself I’d post: Politics, “old man rants” about people (i.e. Victor Meldrew-type), and blogging itself. I’ve broken my own rule about politics so many times now I’ve lost count; so instead I try to just keep it down to a minimum. And I get around the not writing about blogging by commenting about it on other people’s blogs. 🙂 – Marty

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  7. debscarey

    Alan, thank you for your kind wishes on the Black Dog. Excellent story about Abraham Lincoln – if only I’d heeded it’s advice when younger. It’s been a salutary lesson in these days of electronic communication, how it’s far too easy to hit send/submit and live to regret it.

    And yes, it’s been *way too long* since you last blogged! But for now, I’ll simply say stay safe & well please m’dear.

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  8. debscarey

    LA, the fact that you manage to blog daily shows how much you enjoy it. I’d struggle to turn up that frequently without it feeling like a burden, so I take my metaphorical hat off to you. The subjects you choose are certainly a lively mix – it’s all too easy to lose *hours* following each & every discussion, but I do very much enjoy dipping in when I time permits.

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  9. debscarey

    Deb, sound parameters you have there. It’s such a wide ranging community and I agree wholeheartedly that what’s key is each of us maintains boundaries which are comfortable to us, in blogging as in other areas of our lives. Rock on m’dear!

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  10. debscarey

    Janet, glad you appreciated the import of my exclamation point! 😀 Flow sounds like a great selection – I hope 2021 does exactly that for you m’dear. I’m with you on keeping family problems off my blog. I mention Himself and family members from time-to-time, but aim to keep it light & not invasive of their personal privacy.

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  11. debscarey

    Ally, what excellent rules! I particularly love that alongside the more serious no-go areas, you’ve got making your posts look pretty 🙂 How very you – or at least the you that you share with those of us in blogland. Please do keep doing what you do m’dear, you give so much enjoyment to a lot of people.

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  12. debscarey

    Marty, you’re so right. Having a bit more freedom in commenting on other people’s blogs can provide such a useful and powerful outlet! 😀 That said, I try to keep in mind the views and feelings of the blogger in how I express myself. If you were ever to set up an anonymous blog to do your rants, I’d subscribe in a heartbeat for I’m sure they would be hilarious!

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