Thursday, July 16, 2015

Three reasons why blogging isn't for everybody

I'm giving a little talk on Sunday about my blogging journey and I hope you show up! Powerbooks and Enderun's The Study said all I need to do is talk about how I started blogging, how I got my following, and how I'm earning from blogging. That's the general outline, but they said I'm free to talk about anything I like as long as it's about blogging.

So this past weekend, I've been trying hard not to be nervous for Sunday haha. I'm deathly afraid, to be honest. I have horrific stage fright. I don't suffer from stage fright when I do presentations for other things, say the magazine I used to edit or a project for a company. I'm very good at presentations. But when I started blogging professionally, I found it so weird to sell myself. Does anyone feel the same way?

Anyway, so I was thinking about my talk on Sunday and I remembered that all my friends who wanted to blog asked if I recommend it. You know, they'll ask, "Do you think I should blog?" Which always struck me as a strange question. It's like, "Do you think I should get married? Do you think I should have kids?" I think if you need to ask people about it, then maybe you know within your heart that it isn't for you. Here are a few reasons why blogging may not be for you.

But before I discourage you, let me encourage you!  

Blogging exposes you.
Putting yourself out there attracts attention. Most of the time, it's a good kind of attention because you attract people who are interested in the same things you write about. Many of my friends today I met because of my blogs. They liked my humor, they liked my stories, they liked how I lived my life. And when I visited their blogs, I found that we were sisters from another mother—that's how alike we are!

But then sometimes, especially if you talk about things you believe in, you attract negative people. They will tear you down, criticize your beliefs, spread bad things about you, and basically find you so disagreeable, they can't help themselves. They just want to hate. Now, I have nothing against criticism. I'm not perfect and I'm not an expert. Plus, sharing how I live my life will invite opposing opinions. That's how life is. But I don't believe in hate. We can disagree but I don't understand why I have to be hated just because I don't live the way others do.

This used to bother me (like I would cry about it, and I don't cry easily!) until I realized that my blogs have brought me more love and friendship than hate. In fact, putting myself out there is one of the best things I've ever done! I have so many friends now. I have so many gifts from complete strangers who love my family! I gained work opportunities. My life is so much better all because I put myself out there.

But if you're the kind of person who can't deal with negativity, criticism and opposition, then think again if you want to blog!

Blogging may get you in trouble with your loved ones. Or your work.
This is mostly an issue with bloggers who talk about their personal lives or share their opinions on politics, religion and anything deemed controversial. So food bloggers, fashion bloggers and beauty bloggers are safe (correct me if I'm wrong!).

What you say online may affect your family or your employer. Both have happened to me. I had a big falling out with a member of my family because of something nasty that I said carelessly (the relationship is now healed). I also periodically get scolded by older family members for talking about my parents or for scandalizing them when I talk about sex (why does sex with my husband scandalize people?). So I'm more careful now, less reactive, less stupid, less emotional, less sex. At least online!

I also got in big trouble at the publishing company I used to work for because I gave a bad review of a product and the brand happened to be a major advertiser. I argued that my personal lifestyle and opinions shouldn't affect my professional life but I learned the hard way that, yep, they do.

I understand now that every part of my life affects each other, so I can't just blurt out everything in my head and heart. I must measure every word and judge how it will affect others, especially my family. I used to not care about these things because I thought that if I believed in it enough, then I must say it. It's my truth, and blogging is a terrific channel for expressing my truth. But now I understand my truth must be tempered with compassion, and sometimes compassion says, "Don't say it."

So if you're willing to ruffle feathers, go ahead and blog! But if that doesn't appeal to you, then start a blog that will be just fun but not personal. Examples are recipes, DIY, arts and crafts, home management tips, toy collections, and the like. These can still be incredibly successful!

Blogging can be incredibly intrusive.
Well, that's because when you share your life so publicly, you invite people into your life, whether you meant to do so or not. People who read your blog feel that they know you now and that they are your friend. In many ways, they are. I have so many friends now that I met online!

But there have been instances when a stranger came up to my husband and teased him about something I blogged about and Vince was smiling and all but inside he was uneasy because I'm the blogger and he's the private person so he felt invaded. My kids have also gotten weirded out when people will shout, "Hi Vito!" and try to pinch him. Oh, and I remember when someone blocked my way with a grocery cart at the supermarket and the woman greeted me happily. I was glad that someone I don't know was so happy to see me but at the same time, I felt, "Woah, you frightened me!"

I'm no celebrity. So I don't go around assuming I have fans. Oh haha that sounds so wild! But I do get thrilled when people say hi and ask for a picture or comment kindly about the kids. It doesn't go to my head; it goes straight to my heart! Thank you! So while I gave up a bit of my privacy (I don't reveal everything, you know!), the trade off is I allow more people to love me and my family. It's a beautiful exchange.

But if your privacy matters to you intensely, then maybe blogging is not for you.

Now if these reasons don't deter you from starting a blog, then you can drop by my talk on Sunday and learn more about blogging! I promise you it will be fun. And it's free! There will be a Q&A after so you can ask me anything you want about blogging!

Okay, I think I'll do a good job on Sunday. My nerves relaxed when I wrote this post. Now all I'm worried about is... What will I wear?!?

See you there!

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  1. All the best Frances! You'll be awesome! :)

  2. I really know where you are coming from. I got into blogging because I enjoy writing about so many things. I also enjoy meeting a lot of people thru my blog. IMAO the gains out weigh the losses. I heard you speak at a BDJ event and you did great! I am glad BDJ has a Mommy voice now. I regret I can't attend this talk. Good luck!

  3. Hindi ako nakapunta dito. :( I'm so sad. I heard there'll be a next time. I'll join then. :)

  4. I think I've said this to you before, but the reason I enjoy your blog so much is that you "go there." You talk about religion, sex, the "real" parts of marriage... and other things that I just don't see on other blogs. I wish I could personal-blog as well as you do. I think it isn't for me, though. Hanggang beauty blogging lang ako with the occasional personal post. And if you've ever seen any of those, you'll know why I don't post them frequently. Even when I'm happy, I come across all emo. I annoy even myself. Haha.

    I hope your talk went well! I really wanted to attend but I had something else set for that date na. Maybe next time? :)

  5. This made me laugh so much "...basically find you so disagreeable, they can't help themselves. They just want to hate." I hope these people can at least find the maturity to keep the hate to themselves or in their tiny bubble of co-haters.


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