a personal style blog by Lauren Pfieffer

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Guide To Honest Blogging.


Something I've always wanted to be an essential element of Someone Like You is honesty. In my heart it's what makes a blog interesting and different; taking away that facade of perfection and instead revealing the imperfect life of an individual. Lives are much interesting that way and I find, more relateable. Anywho, I've been 'honest blogging' for three and a half years now and it has taken me far too long to figure out the do's and don'ts of it. I wanted to compile a little guide to honest blogging to help some of you not make the same mistakes I did a long the way! 

Do: Think about who's reading. 
With the internet, you never know who may be reading your blog. It could be an ex best friend, the boy you like, a teacher, or even a future co-worker. That being said, write with the thought in mind that anyone and everyone is reading your blog (I've been incredibly surprised to find out people in my real life who have found my blog), and that you should be discreet about some things such as:
♥  specific names
♥ confidential workplace details
♥ addresses, places of residence
♥ negative thoughts on a higher up (i.e. professor, manager, ect)

Do: Write without stopping.
The best honest writing comes from the heart when you aren't thinking, but typing what you feel as it comes to you. You'll get the most raw, honest depiction of your writing when you just write without stopping. That being said though...

Do: Re-read , re-think, re-edit before posting.
This is a huge one. Don't just type out your heart's desire and then hit publish. Countless times I've typed things out of angry feelings and hit publish without having a second thought. The problem? You hurt people and say things that are not meant for the internet. Once I re-read a post and felt like something didn't feel right about it. I went out of my better judgement and posted it any ways, only to greatly upset some people close to me. Listen to your gut when you feel something is too personal/too harsh. 

Don't: Force yourself to come up with content.
Life isn't always dramatic from day to day. You're not always graduating college, fighting depression, experiencing happiness, or getting over a break up. Don't feel the need to make every post about something honest and controversial. Write them when you feel it in your heart to do so.

Don't: Post about a situation while it's going on.
So.hard.for.me. When a scenario in my life is occuring, I feel the urge to write right away. Some topics are better left to sit for awhile and think about what you want to say, how you want to say it. I've found writing about something on your blog while it's occurring often only adds fuel to the fire and makes more trouble. By waiting, you can have a more clear view once you're out of the situation and not be just a bubbling mess of emotions. However...

 Do: Document those strong feelings.
  Document the very personal stuff in a diary because it's important to rememeber the moment in clarity. Not all life situations are meant for the blogging world, but documenting it in a diary keeps the option open to perhaps writing about it in the future. 

Do: Admit when you're wrong.
I've written some bad posts. Some mean posts. Some down right little-brat-stomping-her-foot posts. The point? Know when you're wrong and call yourself out on it, apologizing who you've hurt and improve in the future about being better.  

Do: Realize people have different opinions.
 Not everyone will agree with how you handle the situation and when you write honestly about your life, prepare for honest (aka harsh) feedback. It was hard for me at first to hear negative comments about my life and what I was blogging about but by putting myself out there, I acknowledge to being judged. It's not fair, but it's just what happens so be aware you could face criticism. 

 Do: Understand the power of your words.
  I never thought that my honest writing would help as many people as it has. I've gotten probably over 100 emails from different girl/women saying that by writing through my hard situations, it has helped or inspired them in some way. THAT'S INCREDIBLE. Realize how big of a difference (negatively or positively) you can make with sharing your life. 

Here are some of my favorite honest bloggers I read
 (and highly recommend):
 ♥ Deer Circus 

 Honest blogging is hard. It takes putting yourself out there, putting thought & time into your posts, and most importantly revealing things about yourself maybe you didn't know. I am no where near a perfect 'honest blogger' and am still learning on what works for me. I make lots of mistakes, offend a lot of people, and even cause more hurt than necessary for myself sometimes. I'm learning and growing every day in my writing though and I am grateful to the moon and back that you all still support + love me for revealing so much of myself and life to you all!

With much love, Lauren.


Sammi said...

I think these are great points, Lauren. I enjoy reading your blog tremendously and I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that you are incredibly thoughtful in the way you write your posts. Your genuine nature shines through and I think that resonates with a lot of people. I think there is a temptation for some bloggers to use their platform (and the fact they have regular followers) in ways that end up reflecting badly on them -- mostly because they skip the thoughtfulness stage and post in the moment of a strong emotion, etc. Even when you are going through struggles in your life and express them on your blog, you do it in such a way that it never comes across in a "woe is me" fashion; I have seen this with other bloggers, who maybe see their blog as a private journal as well, where they can air their feelings as they occur. This isn't outright wrong, per se, but I think you're absolutely right that you need to be conscious of your audience. I am always surprised when people tell me in person that they've read my blog! Anyway, this was a very long comment, but I wanted to tell you that I appreciate this post a whole bunch! :)

xox Sammi

Unknown said...

Those are fantastic rules for smart and effective blogging. Just like swimming, as long as you follow a few basic guidelines CPR will not be needed (In this case "Chasing-off Potential Readers." :)

You do a great job on here, both verbally and your amazing looks. Yours is one of the first blogs I ever started following and it is one I never miss.

Anonymous said...

I just had to comment on how great this post was, Lauren. It's insightful and excellent advice.

Hannah | The Outfit Repeater said...

In my early days of blogging, I definitely did the opposite of everything on this list. I'm so glad to have grown past that and can write my feelings out in a more mature manner now. I agree wholeheartedly with everything you wrote. Thanks for putting this out there so others can learn from your experiences!

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Sylvie said...

thank you so much for creating this post, i feel like it's opened my eyes to a lot of things. i'll definitely think twice before publishing in the future! xxx

Unknown said...

What wonderful tips. I wish I could write a longer response, but I need a little sleep before I have to get up for a final :( But, I totally agree with you here and you have great advice! Re-reading before publishing is essential!!!


Unknown said...

I love this post so much and I agree with so much of it. I would love to say more of my feelings deep down on blog but I can't- because like you said of potential employers! (I work as a freelance television presenter!) Which is hard because sometimes I just wanna say....HEY IM POOR! and today I came across someone who was sooooo mean to me! blah blah....and breathe!


Kezzie said...

Very good points x

Alexandra Marie said...

I really enjoyed this! Great post :-)

Teddi said...

dear lauren, your honest writing is a big part of why i enjoy your blog. the end. :)

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