Writing, Blogging, Trust

It’s so hard to trust in myself sometimes. I know I can write. I actually had that reenforced today with a proposal from my instructor. She offered to help me prepare my term paper for publishing. I’d never thought about having anything I’d written academically published. I certainly never expected my first publication to be something technical. Despite the affirmation today, I don’t feel qualified to write a blog post.

Perhaps I read too many blogs. I end up comparing myself to other writers too often. I read the lengthy posts about the wonderful lives and wonderful recipes some people come up with. Other times I read short posts with multiple photographs. Both seem appropriate and correct. Yet, my own feel just not good enough. They don’t fit the mold. Sometimes they’re not even me. I end up doing them the way I think they’re supposed to be done. I feel ashamed when I write that way. I should write with my own voice. The only times I seem to are when I’m mad at myself, or when I’m feeling bad for something as I am now.

One thing I really need to do is make a list of blog posts which need to be written. Then, I should write one of them a week. However, I don’t always feel like I have something to say that is worth other people reading. I have in my Omnifocus “Write a Blog Article.” It comes up once a week. I don’t always do it though. Perhaps you’ve noticed.

I’m a busy woman. I’m quite sure other bloggers will say, “Well, so am I!” I get that. I’m certain they are. I read about how busy their lives are every day. They get up and run many miles, or work full time jobs in and out of the home. Still, I’m not one of those people for whom much occupation makes for enjoyment. I’m growing utterly fond of the slow pace of life in Hawai‘i. Once all of my school work, my work in the home, and my social and volunteer activities top everything I just feel ready to be done.

Based on this post, you may wonder why I’m even keeping a blog. Well, I do enjoy it. I like writing down my thought and sharing the latest information I have with you all. Putting my honest opinion about restaurants and products out there makes me feel good. I want people to be sure they’re getting multiple points of view on an issue.

Speaking of which, I’ve been thinking about either creating a new blog outside of this one so I can write about my daily life, opinions on human rights and political issues, and more. In addition, I’m thinking I should lean toward the shorter blog posts with more photographs. I used to think more was appropriate, but with my little time and my new iPhone for photographs I am thinking it’s time for a change.

What do you think? Keep the personal separate from the gluten free website? How would I regather the people I follow on twitter, and the people who follow me? Would shorter blog posts, but more, be better than what I’m currently doing (which is sporadically posting and feeling bad about it)?

I respect your opinions and I hope to hear from you all.

5 thoughts on “Writing, Blogging, Trust”

  1. Though the post is old, I felt compelled to comment anyways, as I’ve just caught up on your blog posts from current back to this one. While I’ve been off gluten since our first trip there in 2008, I came across your blog in 2011 while preparing for our second trip to Maui. And now, we’re scheming & plotting (and getting gelato in Kihei instead of Paia) for another journey across the water, which has again brought me to you.

    I started a blog myself in…. oh, awhile back. But after about a year & a half after much debate I threw in the towel. Over the course of my writing time I had gone from “I’m doing this for me!” to “I need to write what people will find useful to read which will therefore get bigger numbers”. I myself read an embarrassingly large amount of blogs online and compare myself and my blogging skills to those “around me”. I still feel that my sucky photography skills are my weakest point due largely in part to lighting difficulties, but I wasn’t confident enough in my writing to do without. I felt that just writing what I wanted to write instead of what I thought I “should” write wouldn’t get me a bigger following.

    I abandoned my blog 6 months ago. Maybe I’ve had enough of a break away from it? Seeing yours is refreshing. It’s not polished “perfect” photos, it’s not full of sponsored reviews, it’s not smeared with ads. It’s not a moneymaker and that’s what makes it stand out. I didn’t buy into adsense despite friends & family insisting that I “may as well make some money at it” because it’s just not me. It’s okay for a blog to be a journal of living gluten free, it’s okay to talk about social (or not so social) activities, it’s okay to talk about health issues. And though I know this now, and knew it then, somehow I got caught up with my competitive spirit and got really down on myself when I couldn’t get my little website to look like the pros. Who can without spending money!?

    Anyways, I’ll wrap up the ramble with a kudos to you and a thanks for keeping your corner of the blogosphere alive. Maybe mine will have a little life breathed back into it sometime soon.

    -Kristin xo

    1. Kristin,

      Thank you so much for your comment. It’s so nice to get such a lovely comment out of the blue. It sounds to me like we’ve been in the same boat about blogging. We’re not sure why we do it, but we feel compelled at least a little bit. So, we’re doing it when we feel the most desire to write and share.

      There are definitely bloggers out there who are only blogging for the sponsorships, the recognition, and the perks that come from being a big name blogger. However, there are many wonderful people who run blogs that do end up getting sponsorships and write books. The commenter above, Pete, has a fantastic blog which is really down to earth. Yet, he and his wife have written fabulous gluten free cookbooks and lifestyle books. They were authors in other genres before their blog existed, so writing for them was not something new that they were setting out to do for fame. Similarly, if you go all the way back in Gluten Free Girl’s blog posts you’ll see how her site and all that it has become have evolved over time. In reality, they’re just family people over there like Pete’s family.

      It seems to me that for bloggers like Pete and Shauna (GFG), that blogging is more important than it is for you and me. And, that’s fine. I’m so glad they’re doing what they’re doing because people need consistent, dedicated bloggers like them. This is especially true when they’re new to living a gluten free life.

      But, we’re out here too. We’re just another resource available should they need us. My blog doesn’t have the possibility of ever hitting the big time. It’s far too specialized, and I’m far too opinionated to not alienate people now and then. So, unless I really work hard to beef up my skills as a writer and photographer, dedicate plenty of time and effort, and do all that it takes in the social media world to become part of the top tier…I just know it’s not going to happen. I’ve grown comfortable with that.

      So, why should I keep writing? Because of people like you who let me know how important this website is to you, and who let me know how much better their vacation or life on Maui was/is because they knew where it was safe to eat gluten free.

  2. Hi Amanda,

    First, never feel bad about how much you are or aren’t writing, or that you are or aren’t posting to your blog with sufficient frequency. Everyone finds a formula that works for them. That’s one reason why GF blogs are so excited and diverse… they express individual personalities, and you can search and find blogs that connect with your personal perspective.

    So… although it can be hard at times, especially when you’re comparing your blog to others, write in your own way, in your own style. Some people write longer posts, in flowery language, painting a picture and sharing personal stories. Others have posts that are succinct, to the point. Yet others go photo heavy, with not as much text. You’ve seen it all, I’m sure. It can be tempting to look at others and think, Maybe I should write my posts that way. But you have to be true to yourself.

    I think shorter posts with photos is a great way to go. People love the pictures. The average blog reader spends about 1 min 30 sec reading a blog post, so shorter is better, before you lose them. (I violate this rule sometimes, writing much longer posts from time to time…)

    If you decide you want to continue GF blogging on a regular basis, perhaps give your Omnifocus more focus. Instead of “Write a blog article each week,” set more discrete goals, such as “Blog four times per month. One recipe. One product review. One restaurant review. One roundup of other bloggers’ posts.” Or whatever you choose. That way you have more direction when the weekly chime pops up.

    And by the way, congrats on potentially getting your paper published. Exciting stuff!

    Cheers, Pete

    1. Thank you Pete. You’ve always been such a good Internet friend to me. I truly appreciate it.

      One question though, how personal should gluten free bloggers get? Should we get political and potentially alienate a portion of our readers? Or should we keep it to the surface stuff in our lives and the food?

      1. That’s a good question. Obviously, some folks stick to just gluten-free subjects in their blog posts. Others get personal insofar as the personal details illuminate some relevant gluten-free topic. Yet others cast a much wider net.

        I’m personally of the opinion that if it’s first and foremost a gluten-free blog, then the subject matter should remain in line with that. If, on the other hand, it’s a blog about someone’s life or lifestyle, then more wide ranging topics of blog posts may be appropriate, with “gluten-free” just one part of a bigger whole.

        The other aspect is your intended audience. Do you care if you alienate and lose some of your audience? Do you only want to attract those people who share your viewpoint? Are you interested in creating an inclusive environment that brings in a diverse readership? There’s not a right or wrong answer, but it will affect whether you choose to stick with GF posts or break out of that mold to explore other topical interests.

        Cheers!
        Pete

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