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Thursday, November 17, 2016

 

Authentic Blogging Doesn't Require Perfection

Years ago I read a fabulous article about blogging and perfection. I don't recall who wrote it, but it stuck with me. The gist of it is that a blog (unlike a book) doesn't have to be perfect. Typos are allowed and in fact they are encouraged! Encouraged? Wait, What? Yes, you read that correctly. In a day and age where being your authentic self is the key, making mistakes is the name of the game. For years I've had as part of my bio "failing forward" because that's what my road looks like. I've stumbled, I've fallen, I've been fired, I've been hated, I've been admired, and I'm still here. I'm still moving forward. I'm sure there are people who would tell you to sugar coat the failing part, but that's not truthful. People gravitate toward people they relate to. None of us relate to perfection. If you only publish a blog post that's perfect, you'll have a very empty blog and a frustrated following. It's ok to post a photo with a messy kitchen in the background. It's okay to write about things that are painful and you may just find that your writing is choppy and there's lots of spelling errors in your posts most filled with emotion. Guess what? People will love those posts even more, because we can all relate to feeling like a hot mess. We've all had those moments when we felt nothing we did was good enough. Sharing those messy moments makes you human. It converts you from words on a screen to a friend. If you include videos on your blog or in your social media, the same holds true...don't wait for the perfect moment. Being authentic means just getting your story out there, regardless of your messy hair, noisy children, or interruptions.

It's important to read and re-read what you're writing. You don't want to be completely sloppy or hap-hazard with your writing. Similarly, you wouldn't want to post a picture that will haunt you (or a member of your family) for years to come and you want to put some thought into your video before hitting the record button. What you don't want to do is overthink every little part of your message. It's the imperfection that helps make your voice unique and draws people to you. If you haven't heard of Glennon Doyle Melton, you should really look her up. She's an author with over a 1/2 million followers and she's far from perfect. She struggled with bulimia and addiction, her marriage endured adultery and she is currently separated from her husband and just this week announced (via Facebook) she is in love with two time Olympic God Medalist Abby Wambach. Glennon is a Christian mom blogger who has openly admitted to falling in love with another woman. Talk about being authentic and far from perfect. Her post about Abby is beautiful. There are sentence fragments. It doesn't matter. Love and beauty aren't perfect. Authenticity isn't perfect. The imperfect message, from the imperfect blogger...now that's perfection!

The next time you sit down and write your heart out and talk yourself out of publishing the message, I want you to think about this post. What you are doing is negative self talk. You are telling yourself that your message isn't good enough. That you aren't good enough. If you wait for the perfect moment, you are not only cheating yourself, but you are cheating your readers and your potential readers. Type through the tears and the mess and just get the message out there. Authentic blogging doesn't require perfection.

What's been holding you back? What does your self talk sound like? Are you fearful of doing a video on your Facebook page because you feel awkward? We want to hear from you. More important - those of you who aren't being held back, how did you push through those fears? What advice would you give others? How do you feel about imperfections in blogging?

Share you thoughts and ideas in the comments of this post - we love to hear from you!

PS - just for fun, let me know of any imperfections you can find in the above picture of my little fix it man! There are lots!

Hugs,
~Crystal

Crystal is a church musician, babywearing mama (aka crunchy mama), business owner, active journaler, writer and blogger, Blog Tour Manager with WOW! Women on Writing, Publicist with Dream of Things Publishing, Press Corp teammate for the DairyGirl Network, as well as a dairy farmer. She lives in Manitowoc County, Wisconsin with her husband, four young children (Carmen 9, Andre 8, Breccan 3, and Delphine 1), two dogs, two rabbits, four little piggies, a handful of cats and kittens, and over 230 Holsteins.

You can find Crystal riding unicorns, taking the ordinary and giving it a little extra (making it extraordinary), blogging and reviewing books, baby carriers, cloth diapers, and all sorts of other stuff at:http://bringonlemons.blogspot.com/






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3 Comments:

Anonymous KAlan said...

Nicely said, Crystal. As a fledgling blogger who still doesn't fully understanding the point, I am nonetheless finding myself being much more forgiving with what I blog than with what I 'write' (if I might make that distinction). Having said that, more readers in an audience who make comments would be nice, so maybe extra care and relevance is warranted early in the initiative.

12:40 AM  
Blogger Sioux said...

Crystal--I shudder when I see I made a typo--even in a blog post--but sentence fragments? That is a stylistic thing, when used deliberately. I love the idea of being authentic and writing from a vulnerable place... I guess I still would like my posts to be grammatically correct.

Does the little boy have three hands? And does the kitten only two (or three) legs? Or is my vision failing me?

3:30 AM  
Blogger Crystal Otto said...

Kalan,
You bring up an interesting point - if you're sloppy and new your message may get lost. People won't find you credible. I also think it's okay to publish and then fix your mistakes...I've actually gone back years later and found typos and fixed them. For me at least, when I'm "in the moment" I don't see the errors - when I re-read years later when the emotion is gone, I can suddenly see the mistakes.

Write on!!
Hugs,
~Crystal


Sioux,
I snapped the picture and posted it to Facebook - it was comments from friends that helped me see what you see! That 3rd hand is Breccan's helpful little sister trying to get a piece of the action. The kitty has 4 legs and I'm not sure how that ended up looking the way it did. I do however know that we don't have an inside cat. The picture is a mess - but it's still wonderful, isn't it? That's how I hope people view me - I'm a mess, but once you get to know me I think I'm a good friend.

xoxox
~Crystal

6:02 AM  

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