Nothing like your server having issue upon issue to make one scared to blog!

Life is slower but more hectic. I’m not exactly busy. Actually, I’m not busy at ALL. My morning consists of hauling my husband to work and then hauling our oldest son to school. The toddler and I come home where he proceeds to sleep until it’s time to pick his big brother up. I usually end up napping with him.

So during all of this downtime, I’ve been a bit stir crazy. I went ahead and purchased StarryMom.com which really just redirects to OSN, renewed the OSN domain name, I even joined a photography project, Family Joy, and purchased a new lens, the Nikon 35mm f/1.8.

I started thinking about how I’ve been blogging for over ten years now and the ten year anniversary of OSN is coming up in November and how I’ve gone from what I consider “Authentic Blogging” to “scared of trolls, scared people won’t like me” blogging.

As a lot of people can attest to, I cuss. A lot. A WHOLE lot. However I try and refrain from posting in my native naughty tongue because I worry I’m going to offend someone. Not to mention avoiding a ton of topics for fear of offending people or coming across like an uneducated dimwit. So am I being authentic when I write only sweet and lovely things? Or refrain from bitching?

I’m told to write what I’m passionate about. Well I doubt my endless morning road rage would be appreciated daily in your reader or my waxing poetic for my love of anything labeled “Pumpkin Spice”.

So how do I get back to the blogger I was ten or even five years ago? How did I go from open, honest, and rambling to shy, quiet, and only telling you how to make your blog suck less?

It all goes back to being your authentic self really. Blogging 101. Write as you speak. Just with better punctuation and shiny pretty photos. I just need to take my own advice.

Do you blog as your authentic self? Do you write as you speak? Or do you try and cater to your niche or to avoid confrontation?

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Penny
posted on September 13th 2011 at 8:35AM CST

I blog as I speak, most of the time. Occasionally I blog something, experience blogger’s regret, and then make the post private, so as not to offend anyone. Usually many many posts later I will go back and make it public again. LOL.

It’s AWFUL, just awful!

I don’t swear nearly as much on my blog as I do in real life, but I do swear on my blog because I do swear in real life.

There’s alot of things I won’t post about for fear of offending someone, but recently I have decided I just don’t care anymore and if they don’t like it they don’t need to be there, my blog is for ME and only me.

posted on September 13th 2011 at 9:55AM CST

I try not to care so much and then end up facing “bloggers block” and can’t think of a SINGLE thing to write about!

Caity
posted on September 13th 2011 at 8:55AM CST

I blog as I speak and I don’t think that I censor myself much at all. I am generally an optimistic person and I generally am quite a vanilla type of gal. I’m of the opinion that I don’t have anything to hide – online or offline. That being said, I must admit that I have been known to omit certain things that aren’t anyone’s business or that aren’t happy parts of my life. I don’t like to blog about things like that for the most part because I don’t do it very well and I don’t enjoy it and for me blogging is all about what you enjoy.

posted on September 13th 2011 at 12:56PM CST

I agree, some topics are just 100% off limit, like my relationship with my husband for example. Granted it’s a pretty gosh darn good relationship but it drives me INSANE when people go into detail about their sex life or every single argument then wonder why people tell them their partner is abusive/evil/sucks.

Ohhh mini rant right there!

I also refrain from doing a ton of not so positive posts in a row, no one wants to read only “woe is me” posts all the time.

Jenny
posted on September 13th 2011 at 9:30AM CST

Maybe it’s just the kinda person that I am but I write anything, everything, and say what I wanna say whether people like it or not. I never worry about offending, ’cause I personally don’t care xD But again, that’s prolly just me.

I say DO EET!! Be true be you! Fuck the rest of the world. Hehehe!

posted on September 13th 2011 at 12:58PM CST

LOL! I’m told often I need to grow a thicker skin. I worry wayyyy too much about what other people think!

Angela
posted on September 13th 2011 at 9:33AM CST

I like to think that I blog (and represent myself online) as I truly am. I do censor a bit in the sense of other people. My kids have control over how much I blog about them and have to approve of whatever is on the net that pertains to them. I have also begun asking people if I can post pics/stories with them in it just because some people do not want the online exposure and I don’t want to interfere with that. But when it comes to me and my feelings, I try not to censor myself. Even after some of the nastiness I have gotten from it, I still don’t. Because for all the nastiness I get, I inevitably touch someone. And that makes it worthwhile to me. As far as language goes, I am pretty much a sailor but I have tried to cut down on that. Mostly because I am noticing a correlation between my negativity and my language. My personal feeling is that this is YOUR space. Do with it what you are comfy with! You won’t please everyone because someone out there wants to bitch and point fingers. If you want to censor yourself, go for it. If you don’t, don’t. A lot of us that read you, read you because we like who you are. You must not be too bad to be going 10 years strong and still have readers!

posted on September 13th 2011 at 2:04PM CST

DS1 WANTS me to blog more about him LOL! I wonder if he will take up blogging when he gets older…

LOL I feel so old school, I really should bust out some of my old designs in honor of the ten years… I know I have them on a hard drive somewhere!

TheFeministBreeder
posted on September 13th 2011 at 9:37AM CST

I’ve definitely become afraid of trolls (I think that was their objective). I also feel (more like have been told) that what I say is read by so many people that I have the responsibility to state more facts than opinion. I try to do both. I try to relay what I think about the world in a way that is supported by evidence. I certainly cuss a lot less than I used to, and I’m terrified every time I hit “publish.” I hope I’m still authentic, but I honestly don’t know anymore.

posted on September 13th 2011 at 2:06PM CST

It’s almost like these people sort of pushed you into a specific niche and it’s hard to break out of it, even for a post or two.

Has making the comments register only helped?

I think cussing and Coke Zero are my forever vices. Tristan heard me say the innocent “shoot” the other day and sure enough, said it right back.

Danny, when he was a toddler, had a “I love my bitches!” phase. That was fun.

TheFeministBreeder
posted on September 13th 2011 at 2:11PM CST

Oh yes! Registered comments has totally saved my blogging sanity. I haven’t had a single nasty comment since I came back. Granted, that means people rarely comment, but honestly I don’t care. I don’t put any stock into the number of comments I get. It’s just less that I feel pressured to read and respond to – and then people only post something if they really feel compelled.

posted on September 13th 2011 at 2:13PM CST

I think it’s awesome that you went pro-active, I don’t think the trolls expected that, I always wonder what they are like OFFLINE you know? Especially these people with kids… makes you think NO WONDER the world is so screwed up these days if they have parents that find it appropriate to attack others and threaten them for a BLOG POST.

Erin
posted on September 13th 2011 at 9:37AM CST

I don’t really have a niche, as a person or a blog. So I mostly do what I want although there are a number of topics that I censor myself about. Usually this leads to me feeling less chatty and updating less, but I find that writing up a huge post on the THINGS I DON’T BLOG ABOUT and then saving it as a draft helps. Self imposed writers block. =)

For me, when things are getting harder in my day to day life, my writing is greatly affected. Perhaps some of your problems are more offline than online? Might be something to think about.

Blogging is more than just writing on the internet, it’s a part of who we are. I know I’ve been having trouble recently, perhaps you are too. Whatever the case, I hope you find your mojo. =D

posted on September 13th 2011 at 2:08PM CST

See at times I don’t think I have a niche but then find out people have me into very specific categories, photography and “blogging” or WordPress generally. It makes me feel odd posting anything PERSONAL because I feel like I’m not providing the content people WANT from me.

I don’t really have any offline problems with the exception of being a bit lonely friendship wise… but that’s a whole other post LOL.

Jill
posted on September 13th 2011 at 10:09AM CST

I’m not currently blogging anywhere, but I have bits and pieces of blog archives from the past ten years, and I hate rereading the posts I wrote for the audience. They sound fake to me. I love rereading the posts I wrote for myself. They’re real, and brought back fond memories. Write for yourself, Sarah.

posted on September 13th 2011 at 2:09PM CST

You should blog again! Ahhh I remember those glorious geocities days LOL.

It’s funny going through my archives, so many posts were titled like this:

Rambling
Rambling Again
Stuff
More Stuff
Things
Blah
Bleh
Sigh

I was very creative!

Joni Rae
posted on September 13th 2011 at 10:33AM CST

I can’t wait to see what interesting google searches result from the use of “naughty native tongue” LOL.

But really Sarah, I keep saying it:

Write passionately. Stomp on toes. Say what you feel and don’t care about the trolls. Make waves. This is a lull, but you will bounce back if you just write what you think and feel. And if some dumbass troll leaves you a bitchy comment, call me and we will laugh as we rip it apart.

Love ya sistah!

posted on September 13th 2011 at 2:11PM CST

DUDE RIGHT! I created a whole post around the Naughty Native Tongue or NNT for short just for the hits LOL! It sounds like a specific pose or move doesn’t it!

“Yeahhh husband and I tried the NNT last night…”

I’m trying to get back into writing more, creating situations where I have something TO write, even if it’s just me still saying how people need to fix their blog designs or code.

Tatter Scoops
posted on September 13th 2011 at 10:46AM CST

I blog differently than I talk because English is my second language :) But I type how I feel, there are times where I self doubt but too late it’s been published. I cuss sometimes but try to filter it on the blog. I think blogging is an evolving process, mine was once a happy-family-mommy-blogger type but things had changed, my niche changed.

posted on September 13th 2011 at 2:15PM CST

I would never have guessed English was your second language! I knew you were bi-lingual but I guess I just assumed you grew up with English speaking individuals!

I can understand that mommy to single mommy blogger change. I went from happy-go-lucky posts to how it was being a single mom, working full time with no child support and a dead beat “dad” to my kid.

In time you’ll find your happy spot and read your old posts and wonder how you made it through it all in one piece!

Carrie
posted on September 13th 2011 at 11:08AM CST

i’ve fluctuated over the years but i like to think that in this season of my life i’m doing authentic blogging. i quit the niche thing and am blogging about whatever i’m also talking about in my face to face conversations and researching with a passion in my free time. but i think we can all go through phases. maybe try keeping a private journal and working from that for ideas that can become blog posts without enticing the trolls.

posted on September 13th 2011 at 2:34PM CST

I’ve been working through my past lately and I’d like to blog about it but everything is such a sensitive topic (various abuses) that I’m just not sure how to write about it.

posted on September 13th 2011 at 11:15AM CST

I don’t really blog the personal stuff…it was easy to do that on Myspace, but on Blogger…I just can’t seem to. It does bother me that my blog isn’t very personal…I seem to have lost my “voice”.

posted on September 13th 2011 at 2:34PM CST

AHHH MySpace! It’s funny how MAJOR it used to be! I think they are trying to make it music-centric now?

I agree, I’m not sure where my online voice WENT but I think I just get overwhelmed at how so many blogs these days focus on giveaways and such so it’s almost like an artificial popularity?

posted on September 13th 2011 at 11:27AM CST

I try to write as I speak, but have found that I’ve lost my edge over the last several months. When I began, I didn’t have a niche, unless you count just trying to make people laugh a niche, but now that I do, I’ve started to grow bored with myself…which isn’t good for anyone.

I’m sick of bloggy me, and am working on getting back to me that blogs. If others don’t like it…they can go elsewhere.

posted on September 13th 2011 at 7:44PM CST

That’s a good way to look at it! Me that blogs vs “bloggy me”. I like that!

Veronica
posted on September 13th 2011 at 11:32AM CST

I am pretty authentic but very guarded. I do not want anything I say to ever result in a negative consequence for my spouse, family, etc. I steer clear of controversy mostly because I have a bad temper and don’t feel like fighting on the internet all day : )

I can get worked up to the point of violence over a mean bumper sticker so ya I dont want internet drama. I love you and think youre great and will always be one of your biggest fans. You have inspired me in a million ways and I know I am not alone. You are the fucking best.

posted on September 13th 2011 at 7:46PM CST

Ohh I have a temper too, I feel like people just have zero common sense these days (especially drivers, people do not respect the rules of the road!).

THANK YOU!!!!

posted on September 13th 2011 at 12:14PM CST

I also blog the way I speak, but I try to stay away from certain topics. I have friends and family that don’t share my opinion on a lot of hot button issues but we still have mutual respect for each other. To maintain those relationships, and avoid offending anyone, I generally stick to writing about lighter and trivial things. Every now and then I’ll throw in a controversial opinion though.

Also, when it comes to my friends, family and work, I am very careful about what I write.

posted on September 13th 2011 at 8:36PM CST

Do your friends/family respect you in the same way (avoiding the hot button topics)?

posted on September 13th 2011 at 9:07PM CST

I think so. It’s never been specifically discussed but I’ve never had any reason to think they don’t.

posted on September 13th 2011 at 12:46PM CST

I too find that I’ve become a little less candid (authentic?) with my blogging as my audience has grown, and as I’ve become more aware of the trolls that might target me. (Case in point: I STILL haven’t blogged about the fact that I’m planning a home birth. I eventually will, of course. But I have to sort through a few things within my own self before I “invite” a certain someones to come and shit all over my blog before I block her.)

On the other hand, I find that I can be more open with my weird and twisted humor on my blog than I often am with people who aren’t good friends or family. This is very freeing for me, especially since my “real life” personality is shyer than what you see on my blog.

This is such a great topic to post about (and think about). I will say that participating in NaBloPoMo last year really helped me to find a more authentic blogging voice again. Because I was “dedicated” to blogging every day, it gave me less time to worry and fret about WHAT THE PEOPLES ARE GOING TO THINK ABOUT WHAT I WRITE, OH THE HORROR.

posted on September 13th 2011 at 8:48PM CST

It’s so funny because I feel I’m the opposite, I am MUCH more crazy/hyper/weird offline than I am online. Probably because I can focus better in front of a keyboard where as in my day-to-day life I am distracted by… everything ‘OHHH SHINY!’

Every year I think about doing NaBlogPoMo but then I think how exhausting it must be LOL.

posted on September 13th 2011 at 1:27PM CST

My last blog site became so tedious and boring because I blogged about what I thought people would want to see. I just opened another one, and I’m doing whatever I want this time. Back to authentic blogging for me – it’s just more fun that way!

posted on September 13th 2011 at 8:50PM CST

YAY for you!! That’s awesome!

posted on September 13th 2011 at 2:08PM CST

Love the new blog layout! so fantastic!!! ^_^

As for the topic. I write as i speak. I’m also guilty of *netspeak* in my blog postings as well.
To hell with what others think. my current blog started because i needed a vent. If i find the matter pressing and no-one to really speak to on the matter.. it goes on my blog.
I’ve got no secrets..and pretty much anything is fair game.

be you. people will stick if they connect with you.

posted on September 13th 2011 at 8:52PM CST

Thank you!

I used to blog anything and everything that came into my head but over the years with blogging turning into professions, book deals, movie deals, more trolls, etc, it just freaks me out a bit.

posted on September 13th 2011 at 2:20PM CST

I got called out IRL by people who told me that my blogging and twittering was getting too negative a few years back and since then I have been super paranoid about anything I say. It sucks, but that’s just the problem with people you know IRL following your blogging and social media presence.

posted on September 13th 2011 at 8:54PM CST

OMG so rude of those people!

Yeah, the IRL aspect sucks sometimes. I get letters from my estranged mother on what I post, I see when Daniel’s bio-deadbeat-father (or his girlfriend/baby mama) stalks my blog, and it makes me uncomfortable to post, like why should they have ANY right to know anything about me or my kids?

Ohh hot topic for me lol.

Katy
posted on September 13th 2011 at 3:27PM CST

I do struggle with this as well. I am trying to grow my blog and at times stay away from topics that I think might turn off more people. And I cuss a lot too. I just wrote a post with a few swearwords in there and now I am all like should I take them out? What else would work? Who will this offend? And the irony of it, the post is about being confident in your parenting decisions and not letting other people get to you. sigh. Sometimes when I am writing and I am struggling with what to say I think about the scene in Center Stage where Charlie tells Jodie to just dance what she feels, and I will just repeat to myself, just write what you feel. I’ll keep trying and writing.

posted on September 13th 2011 at 8:57PM CST

It’s so hard finding that balance between WANTING readers and those numbers but not sacrificing your “truth”. I obviously struggle with that constantly!

posted on September 13th 2011 at 8:18PM CST

I do both I think. I do blog from the heart and write from a vulnerable place often. I would say the one thing I shy away from is my faith, not because I don’t want to stand up for what I believe in, but because I don’t want people to write me off because of it, because my blog isn’t about my faith but it’s such a huge part of my life that it does get in there sometimes. But I also definitely cater to my niche. I will deviate on occasion but I pretty much stick to the topics of weight-loss, healthy living, and my journey with both-which does get rather personal at times. I have on tap a post about menstruation for goodness sakes!Can’t get much more authentic than that ;)

posted on September 13th 2011 at 8:58PM CST

LOL! The joy of being a woman huh!

Do you find that having a very specific niche helps you be MORE open an honest because it’s dealing with ONE aspect of your life?

posted on September 13th 2011 at 9:55PM CST

I do, but because I am SO focused and obsessed on the weight-loss thing, it spills into just about every aspect of my life. I deal with so many deep issues that are related to why I am the way I am. It’s a very emotional process for me as my weight-loss journey is more about healing my heart/mind/emotions than it is about my size or the physical aspect of it. So that of course lends itself to deeper, more vulnerable posts. But I like to do silly ones too.

Another thing I don’t talk a lot about on my blog is my kids. Not because they are off-limits, but because that part of my life is more separate.

I don’t know-I tend to be a pretty open person IRL anyway, so while I don’t share every minute of my life or all of my thoughts and about everything I do, I still feel I am very open. And I need the openness for pesonal accountability on my part. I’m really just selfish. I love that my blog helps people, but I love that it helps me most of all.

See that was real too! ;)

posted on September 13th 2011 at 9:13PM CST

Another of your posts that has me thinking anew about bloggy issues I’m also struggling with.

So, here’s my take (wordy comment because I’m in the middle of writing about this issue myself)

I practice Ahimsa as my overriding principle in life. Ahimsa means not-harming in thought, action or speech. This goes for myself as well as others. In relation to this principle, there are others (the yamas and niyamas from the yoga sutras) such as always speaking truth, not coveting, cultivating contentment in self and others, and so on. So, the main one with blogging: how do I reconcile not causing harm to anyone and still speak my truth? I understand that my truth (and someone else’s truth) is not *the* truth. As long as I operate using non-harming, I am speaking (or writing) my most authentic self.

As you have recently made the decision to eliminate certain people from your life because of their toxicity, I also have made that difficult decision. Getting clear from my emotions has allowed me to slowly, carefully begin sharing my truths. It helps when a troll comes by. It helps when an irl person decides to try to shame.

I think this goes for the big and the small isssues. Get clear on what is authentically part of the Self and speak it. The only thing you can control is your own actions/reactions to things. As long as you operate from the principle of not causing harm, then whatever you write that is true and authentic is like armor against those slings and arrows (which are just other people’s issues anyway and really have nothing to do with you)

Curse like a mofo sailor, if that’s you. If someone doesn’t like it, you can always send them over to look at your pretty photos instead.

posted on September 14th 2011 at 10:17AM CST

It’s really hard isn’t it, making that decision to NOT let someone toxic take over your life just out of fear of THEIR reaction.

LOL I can totally imagine that “Fuck that! Check out these shiny photos instead!”

posted on September 13th 2011 at 9:19PM CST

I do. Mostly. When I’m quiet/don’t blog, it’s usually because of how my workload is bogging me down. OR it’s because I can’t figure out what I’m even thinking to make a blog anywhere near coherent.

We all go through ebbs and flows. Allow yourself that room. I promise that it is okay.

posted on September 14th 2011 at 1:04AM CST

Sometimes I have that issue, trying to form my thoughts into something cohesive and understandable to someone else.

Christina
posted on September 13th 2011 at 9:57PM CST

Is it sad that the words “pumpkin spice” are the ones I remember the most from your post? I love all things pumpkin. :) And I don’t know why you are worried about your blog or writing style. You have tons of people that follow you and make comments. Obviously we keep coming back for a reason.

posted on September 14th 2011 at 12:05AM CST

Because Pumpkin Spice is AWESOMEEEEE!

cole
posted on September 13th 2011 at 11:03PM CST

It’s interesting that you bring this up because I just refrained from blogging something related to the anniversary of September 11th. I thought it would be something that people would be offended by perhaps and I didn’t want to stir the pot but it’s probably far more rare than it once was. I’m not as.. offensive as I was when I was younger. LOL

posted on September 14th 2011 at 12:04AM CST

I find it hard to blog at ALL on the “sad” anniversaries / holidays, because I feel like people will think I’m being disrespectful.

cole
posted on September 14th 2011 at 12:33AM CST

Right, and I would have said “STFU you’re a faker” essentially. Heh

Brandy
posted on September 13th 2011 at 11:21PM CST

I just started a blog but more for my photography. I really don’t talk much in person and avoid people even my neighbors. I have very bad “potty” mouth lol and apparently have a problem with sounding rude or like a smart ass all the time. I find it very annoying that I can’t communicate like a “normal” person. But I LOVE reading others with foul mouths and being real :)

posted on September 13th 2011 at 11:57PM CST

YES! I was told OFTEN during my working days that I always sounded condescending to some customers which was never my intention but I would forget a lot of the time that not EVERYONE knows that that big E icon is actually called a browser…

I also know the older I get the less tolerant I am of people being rude. My husband probably has a nervous tic now because I’m forever going on about RUDE BEHAVIOR lol.

arvee
posted on September 14th 2011 at 6:53AM CST

I care a lot about what people say. I’m usually a quiet person, I had my share of family stories that I don’t talk about to someone. Ever. Except for the boyfriend who knows the situation I’m in. I don’t post too personal stuff – family and relationship problems. I posted some personal stuff before, which ended up getting deleted because I don’t want people I know reading them – thinking I don’t want to share them my stories, because they don’t know me that way. It would be just too awkward. I just keep things positive on my blog. I also blog differently than I talk since English isn’t my main language. ♥

posted on September 17th 2011 at 2:11PM CST

There’s a lot about my childhood/teen years I’ve never blogged about, not sure how to write what happened basically.

Michelle Potter
posted on September 14th 2011 at 7:45AM CST

My blog is pretty representative of the way I speak. In real life I’m shy and quiet, mostly listen to other people and don’t say much, carefully plan out my exact phrasing for things I want to say… and then randomly blurt out nonsense I didn’t mean to say and wish I could take back. That’s pretty much exactly how I blog. ;)

Oh, yes, and I speak with perfect spelling and punctuation, too. LOL.

posted on September 16th 2011 at 3:26PM CST

LOL! With winky smiley faces and everything too I bet!

I know I ramble in my posts… I am WAY WORSE offline.

Damita
posted on September 15th 2011 at 3:24AM CST

I have just started to post what I am thinking and how I talk about issues because I have been sugar coating a lot of things and now I juts don’t care anymore, I need to vent and talk about these issues and stop worrying what everyone else will think.

You shouldn’t worry I will always still visit whatever you write :)

posted on September 16th 2011 at 3:25PM CST

I sugar coat a lot too, partly because I don’t want to deal with my own issues and partly because I’ve tried opening up in the past (on my blog) and see how people can misinterpret things or if I present a problem, suggest things I am FIRMLY against doing (for me or for my family).

Stresses me out lol.

posted on September 21st 2011 at 3:07PM CST

I tend to blog as I speak and I’m pretty frank. It’s both a positive and a minus sometimes. With my personal blog, I was pretty open and, of course, that caused a host of drama and I found myself censoring my thoughts and writing and that just wasn’t good. Eventually, I made it clear to certain family members that I would be myself and if they didn’t like it, they didn’t have to read it, period.

posted on September 22nd 2011 at 2:26PM CST

I have no choice but to blog authentically – I have so many ‘real life’ readers these days I’d v. quickly get called out if I didn’t. That said, I’m outspoken (LOUD) and not easily held back offline so it’s not really that big a deal.

Lady Rose
posted on September 23rd 2011 at 6:40PM CST

I started blogging when I began my journey to regain my health – weight went down a bit but then back on then finally down and succeed – through the years I blogged the way I speak – even touched on a few topics other then health (i.e. politics) — haven’t blogged lately but will be starting fresh new blog shortly. I’ve been going through years of posts to see if there anything worth saving (rewriting or just using snippets of a “flashback” or starting off point for a new post) – it is interesting to review where I was then compared to now.

My only “self-editing” I do when writing is I don’t write anything that I wouldn’t want my husband or when she grows up my daugther to read. For the new blog I plan to write as authentic as possible – blending the main focus of the blog (wiccapaganismspiritual paths with posts about every day and personal things — since the premise of the blog is the secret life a modern day witch hopefully it will come together and be an interesting stop for blogger reads.

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