Naked Passion is Attractive in a Blog, Don’t You Think?

This year reminds me of a refrigerator magnet I have with a phrase by Zora Neale Hurston that says, “There are years that ask the questions and years that answer.”

Very rarely, a year does both and 2011 is shaping up to be that kind of year.

The following questions have been asked in my own life:

  • How to be a mom?
  • How to blog?
  • How to own a home?
  • How to balance work, home and family?
  • How to plant a garden and keep up a yard?

All of these questions share one common thread: the answers can’t be easily explained. You just have to forge ahead and try things out to see what works and what doesn’t. Sure there’s manuals, but it’s usually quicker to forge ahead and just try rather than reading 20 books first, especially with parenting.

I’d say the only exception to this “give it your best try” approach is blogging. There are a number of wonderful resources available for bloggers. However, I recommend a shortcut: the social media genius of Kristen Lamb (known affectionately to her followers as “The Lambo”).

Kristen’s books We Are Not Alone–The Writer’s Guide to Social Media and Are You There, Blog? It’s Me, Writer should be required for ANYONE who wants to blog, but most especially for writers.

If you have a blog, want a blog or just have the idea of one tickling the edge of your mind, I’d make fast tracks for Kristen Lamb’s Blog. (Maybe you can finish reading this one first…) Her current series on Sacred Cow Tipping is not only funny, it’s informative, and has sent some bloggers screaming into their pillows.

She says that your blog should…
OMG, I can hardly say it…
…MATCH YOU.

That’s it. No big hidden secrets of blog success (besides getting yourself on social media so people can find you and your genius). Your blog should be about the things you love and the things that interest YOU. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t interact with your followers, just that every blog starts with you.

I sum it up as: you need to be authentic.

The same way a writer’s fiction shouts, “This is who I am,” your blog will too. I’m pretty sure that’s why so many bloggers ran screaming for their pillows when Kristen posted this on what writers should blog about (hint: not just writing).

I’m sure many of them were thinking: You want me to be personal? To hang my passion out naked for the world? Are you kidding me? This is NOT Weiner-gate, this is MY BLOG.

Authentic is scary. It’s exposing and humbling and real.

When I paused to ponder wonderful real blogs that showcased who these bloggers are, the following came to my mind right away:

I realized last week that I’m addicted to all-things-blog.

It could be that, as a writer, I’m just innately nosy about other people and what they think, do and feel. Or that I’m interested in forming a relationship with the people I find intriguing. But here’s what I think it’s really about:

In today’s world, where “reality TV” is staged and we watch our public figures lie without qualm, our blogging pals to give us an important slice of real.

What do you like about blogs? Have you come across any lately that feel fun or different to you? What are the three things that make you bookmark or subscribe to a blog?

REMINDER: I’ll be sending an email to the winners of the June webinar this weekend so we can set up a time to party meet. The Let’s Meet Up contest continues through next month and I am still entering your names in a hat every time you comment to pick out 15 lucky winners for the July webinar. When you link back to this blog from your blog, I enter your name in twice. Now that’s some “blog love.”

See you tomorrow for some relationship fun! If you want to be prepared, here are some other dating/relationship posts.

Jenny

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About Jenny Hansen

Avid seeker of "more"...More words, more creativity, More Cowbell! My passion is finding those qualities that are unique in every person and every piece of fiction. Founding blogger at Writers In The Storm (http://writersinthestorm.wordpress.com). Write on!
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23 Responses to Naked Passion is Attractive in a Blog, Don’t You Think?

  1. Catie Rhodes says:

    Blogging has been a pleasant surprise to me. The Lambo’s advice inspired me to start blogging. I didn’t start out intending to put so much of “me” into my blog, but I do. I can’t get interested enough in a topic to write well about unless the topic itself is dear to me. Sometimes I wonder if I’m doing it wrong. Your post is proof I’m not. :D

  2. Timely post. The question of authenticity is one I’ve been thinking about recently. I write humor (mostly). I don’t share a lot of my dirty laundry in my blog. Does that make me less authentic? I do share the funny details (and epic failures) of being a parent. Anyway, that’s what’s ruminating in my head. And this post has made me think some more!

    What I look for in a blog is (a) good writing, (b) strong voice, and (c) a sense that community matters (the two-way street of blogs)

    Oh, and thanks for the linky love!

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      You are welcome for the “linky love!” Thanks for that snort of coffee your Inappropriate Books blog gave me.

      I don’t agree with dirty laundry airing either – it’s private and no one’s business for the most part. But I do believe that letting us shine in all our wonderful messy glory is important.

      Thanks for popping over. :-)

  3. Julie Musil says:

    I absolutely LOVE Kristen’s blog. It’s fun AND informative. And I love blogging. It seems that when I put out there what I’m struggling with, I learn that many others are going through, or have gone through, the very same thing. We are not alone!

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      I agree, Julie! There’s certainly magic in her actual posts but I find i have just as much fun in her comments section and #myWANA on Twitter is my second home.

      BTW, Julie (and Catie), I’ve been to your blog and it rocks!

  4. amyshojai says:

    Love this, thanks for the mention. I’m getting addicted to blogs, too. Whodathunkit? But DANG there’s so much good writing schtuff out there! Gotta check out those in your list.

  5. K.B. Owen says:

    Hi, Jenny, thanks for the shout-out! The thing I always feel cautious about in being authentic is that the blog doesn’t become some sort of boring ego-trip (remember that word from long ago?). I strive for what’s common to others and put it out there in a humorous (I hope) light, make it a voice that’s me and fun to read.

    That’s the goal, anyway, but I have lots of inspiration from you guys!

    Thanks,
    Kathy

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      I don’t believe that saying what you think is an ego-trip, it’s when you say that’s the ONLY way to think (which you would never do). I hope the other commenters will chime in on this.

      If you look at Leanne’s comment, the top things she lists are ability, voice and community. I think a good blog get’s people “talking amongst themselves.” Look at how much fun we have in Kristen’s comment section…BTW, I haven’t forgotten that it was you that coined “The Lambo!”

  6. Piper Bayard says:

    Hi Jenny. The “real” factor always gets me in a blog. The thing about the “real” factor is that it makes a blog an act of giving, and, like, everyone, I love getting gifts. Thanks for your gifts, and thanks for the shout out. You have tons of cowbell, and you can never have too much cowbell. :)

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      Thanks, Piper! I was thinking along those lines when I wrote it but it’s good to hear you put it into words (especially because my blog wants to be like yours when it grows up :-) ). It is like getting a gift to read a great blog.

      I discovered both Leanne and Sonia Madeiros’ blogs this week and they both have the real thing in spades.

      And of course, I think we ALL need to really “use our studio space” and have as much Cowbell as humanly possible.

  7. curiocat says:

    Kristen has helped me grow in my blogging and I expect to do even better as time goes on. I’m one of those ‘let me dip my toes in first type’ people. I love my new #WANA friends and I’ve learned a lot from you guys. I appreciate all you’ve done. Have a great day!

  8. Pingback: Moping Over My Melon…Can Anyone Help Out the New Gardener? | Jenny Hansen's Blog

  9. Shellie Sakai says:

    Thank you so much for the linkey love! And you are right, it is very hard to put yourself out there, naked to the world. I like Catie’s comment, that if the topic isn’t clear to her she can’t write it. I am the same way. I have tried to pull back from too much me in my blog and that’s wrong.

    You, Angela, Pamela and Amy have been so wonderful to me. I am honored to call you my friend. Thank you. >:)

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      Right and wrong don’t make much of an impact on how much something scares us. At least in my humble opinion. You’re doing great with your blog and, going back to The Lambo…we are not alone! :-)

  10. I won’t use the term naked passion when it comes to blog but I love it when people shared something intimate about their blogs, like Piper’s dog and Jess Witkins’ dad. Those tugged at my heart. What is reality tv anyway?

    My friend said that there are people auditioning to be part of Keeping Up with the Kardasians. Similar stories have emerged from other reality tv shows. It’s more scripted than most people realized.

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      I haven’t read the Jess Witkins’ blog…I’ll have to find that. Yes, I love the skills-based relaity TV like “Dancing With The Stars” as much as the next person, but the other stuff? Most of it makes me crazy.

  11. I recommend Catie Rhodes’ blogs – she has posted some excellent topics and done ample amounts of research to back it up. My two recent faves are about James Dean and Errol Flynn. Check them out!

    I’m addicted to blogs…. :)

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      You know I’m addicted to blogs too! I didn’t see her James Dean and Errol Flynn blogs but I’ve loved every post of hers that I’ve read. And her blog title ROCKS.

  12. I agree, Kristen Lamb’s books are a must-have for serious (and not-so-serious) bloggers. They are very helpful in the how-to as well as the what-for.

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