It can be a challenge to know how much personal information to reveal in a blog post. I have between one and a billion (plus) potential readers, technically. Each one will be looking for something different from me.
- Do they want to know more about my books?
- Do they want to know how to become a writer?
- Are they looking for validation that their own writing career is on the right path?
In that case, they have their own worries and issues. Maybe they read my blog as an escape. or in passing as part of a long list during a Sunday-morning-over-a-lazy-breakfast browsing session. Perhaps they just want pictures of my muse … Oh, okay then…
With that in mine, should I only celebrate the successes here, or can I divulge the low points, the bits people only whisper in dark shadows or perhaps keep silent about? (You know, that bad review you got three weeks ago which keeps popping into your head, the non-existent sales despite your best efforts and despite everyone else seeming to do well, or that tingling, niggling feeling of imposter syndrome.)
Now… I’m not saying that any of the above applies to me, and I’m not saying they don’t.
See what I mean? How many of the things I listed made you reach for the ‘next blog’ button?
If an author wails and thrashes around on social media about poor reviews/poor sales/a blank page that just isn’t filling up, would you really seek out their books, or would you run a mile? As an author, I’d probably take a look as an act of solidarity. As a reader, I probably wouldn’t.
And anyway. two days after a post is shared in that fashion, a sale, a 5* review, or a breakthrough in the WIP can flip all those negative feelings into something joyous.
I’m none the wiser. I haven’t answered my question. But I have written a blog post. Oh, and added a thousand words to my WIP, and sold a couple of books today 😊
Do you have anything to add to this? How do you fill your blog – are you truthful or do you edit your posts to sound a little more positive than you’re feeling?
Are you a reader? Do you really want to know if your favourite author has moments of doubts, or would you prefer them to be infallible?
10 thoughts on “How much does a reader want to know?”
I don’t think anyone wants a bunch of negative. IWSG day is a good day to voice concerns, but I lean toward the positive in all else.
They come to my blog, they better like movies!
You have such a great USP for your blog, Alex. We seek it out because we know we’re going to get some awesome recommendations!
I think readers want to know some personal stuff. But maybe not a lot of negative.
I was curious because I was reading a post that was quite negative but also compelling. If the whole blog had been like that it would have been another matter entirely.
My biggest pet peeve about writers/bloggers is when they only appear when they have something to sell.
Being human and expressing worry about something, I’m fine with. A constant rage against the machine that every writer deals with like reviews, story blocks, etc. makes me want to add click to the next blog.
The muse is perfect. I love pictures of furry muses.
It’s a fine balance between selling and sharing, isn’t it? I guess that’s why the IWSG is such a large community. I just can’t commit to the posting and reading at the moment, so I tend to shy away from it.
The muse was in his ‘why are the humans talking to each other and not paying attention to me’ pose. Otherwise known as The Superman.
I like to look at blogging as a way of connecting and sharing – whether over struggles or successes, great books, TV and movies, pets, etc. I don’t know if I’m actually succeeding in doing that, but I keep trying. 🙂
I think you do a great job, Madeline – it’s always fun to read your blog!
I think it is important to acknowledge (and understand) some of the negative aspects of this crazy work we all do, but I’d go for a balance of one part negative to two parts positive. I’d much prefer uplifting with a shot of reality rather than a constant lament that might grow to seem like a losing battle. (Is that too many metaphors?)
That sounds like a good ratio, Paul – I mean, this writing lark can’t be all bad if so many of us are doing it, right?