My #1 Blog Rule

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I’ve been blogging for a few years now, and I think I’ve gotten better at it. I re-read some of my old posts recently, and they’re rather entertaining (a.k.a really bad). One benefit to blogging for years is that you learn what works and what doesn’t, what is bad content v. good content, and what it is that you really are willing to share in a semi-permanent, public space.

Does anyone else ever fear that what you write will come back to haunt you should you, for example, decide to run for public office in thirty years?

Something I’ve really worked at in the last few months is to share more about my real life here, instead of just facts. In general, that’s a really difficult thing for me to do. Not just online, but in person with my friends. My closest friends should (hopefully) be able to tell you that I’ve grown in this area, and that they actually know me, not just what happens to my life.

I think that’s pretty great.

It’s scary, though, sharing my real self. I mean, there’s not only the possibility of what I say coming back to haunt me later, but there’s the possibility of rejection. And when I say rejection, I don’t just mean that you might not like me, but that my readers (hi mom) will disagree so much with what I have to say that I’ll need a phone call of encouragement from Rob Bell.

So I have this blog rule, and it works for me.

I don’t post anything deeply personal online without testing it out with my closest friends, first.

Sharing life with my friends in real life, the friends that I eat dinner with and embarrass myself with and serve with, is really difficult. I decided at some point, that if I can’t share with those friends, then I don’t want to share here, in such a permanent and public place.

I know this looks completely different for other people. There are those of you whose blogs I read and love, who are able to put your whole self “out there”. Artists do this every time they create; they put themselves on the line for so many to see. Bloggers have entire communities of friends through writing and commenting. I am in awe of those of you who can do that, and hope to never discourage you from continuing.

For me, I have to stick with my blog rule. So as I get better at this and more confident in writing what I’m really thinking, you can be sure that my offline relationships are growing as well. If you’re my friend outside of the internet and you’ve read this, and at some point while we’re growing old you see that I’m spending more time on this blog than with you, come bring me ice cream and steal me for a road trip.

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