Blogging Ahead

The rules of the blog are simple and they dictate brutal honesty. This is the third time that I have written this paragraph and unless something changes there will be a fourth and fifth time. This is unusual because I rarely edit my posts. I like to compose at the keyboard and just let fly with whatever seems to be on my mind. Rewriting is what I do when I allow others to serve as editor. Rewriting is what I do when there is a paycheck attached to the words I write. Here I share what I think and what I say without regard for whether it will play well or not.

After seven years in the blogging business I know a lot about this. I am well versed with many of the tricks of the trade and there is much that I could do to make this joint a hipper and more happening place. But that is not me. I don’t want to do anything that doesn’t sync with a feeling I have. It is kind of funny to me because I am one of the writers for a blog that helps to teach dad bloggers about blogging. I suppose that you could say that it is not much different from the father that says “do as I say not as I do” but than again maybe it is not. Maybe it is a logical contradiction.

I hate quotations. Tell me what you know.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

I prefer blogs that are authentic. I prefer blogs that are written by people who aren’t afraid to tear at the scar tissue and see what lies beneath. I think that this honesty provides a great foundation for building a community of like minded individuals. That is part of the joy of blogging, the chance to reach out and click someone. Critics call it narcissism but I call it introspection. Sometimes the posts make me feel foolish. Don’t think that it was easy to write Real Men Don’t Cry. A thousand years ago when I had complete anonymity that kind of post wasn’t a big deal.  Actually it is easy to write, the words flow write from the fingertips onto the page.

There is a plan and a goal, Writers Write. It is what we do.

I like that quote by Emerson because it is a call to action. There is a time to and think and a time for action. Now is the time for action and that is something that I take seriously. I am writing for as many publications as I can. The discipline of writing on deadline is healthy and useful. There is merit to the constant practice of pitching ideas and providing substance to support them. There are rewards that come to those who take risks and though I sometimes burn myself in the fire I find that I succeed more often than I fail.

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  1. 30ish Mama February 22, 2011 at 1:24 pm

    I think authenticity is vital to a blog, that is why I decided to do the 30 Days of Truth challenge. I thought it would help me open up a bit and in retrospect (I’m almost done) it has. I still struggle with finding the level of honesty that I’m comfortable with in respect to my personal emotions or in discussing details of situations that directly affect my family.

    • Jack February 22, 2011 at 9:19 pm

      I think that the 30 day challenge is interesting and a great way to test the waters of how much you want to reveal. For me it is something that has evolved over time.

  2. ChopperPapa February 22, 2011 at 10:51 am

    I wrote a post today titled Counterfeit Validation – The need to be followed.

    I will not write but not for the purpose of gaining readers, I think that far too many bloggers write for the sheer ‘shock and awe’ hoping that it will get a follower. I want to write something that makes people think, feel uncomfortable, maybe, and get into a conversation. If that sends readers packing then I guess I’ll be blogging to pixels, zeros, and ones..

    • Jack February 22, 2011 at 9:19 pm

      I enjoyed your post. If you write with passion your readers will pick up on that, but more importantly you’ll feel good about it.

    • Jack February 22, 2011 at 9:37 pm

      I enjoyed your post. If you write with passion your readers will pick up on that, but more importantly you’ll feel good about it. At least that is how it works for me, it helps to fuel the fire.

  3. Nina B February 21, 2011 at 12:09 pm

    I’m with you Jack. I’d love all my posts to hit a nerve somewhere with someone but I find it too exhausting to do those week after week. I’m so impressed with your volume of posts. Wow. I really find it hard to do more than two a week. Usually it’s just one.

  4. Abby February 21, 2011 at 8:37 am

    Great post, as authenticity is one of the things I value most in not only writing, but everyday life. There have been times I’ve felt a post is too personal or that it makes me vulnerable, but at the end of the day, I know that it’s authentic.
    Considering it’s a personal blog and not professional, I refuse to edit out things that might make me appear in a contradictory position to where I am. Am I sarcastic and sometimes edgy? Yes, but I that’s just who I am–blog or not.
    Ramble over. “Rewriting is what I do when I allow others to serve as editor.” Love it.

  5. Seattledad February 20, 2011 at 10:15 pm

    Very true Jack. I enjoy reading those types of posts the most as well. I always get that vibe from your writing.

  6. San Diego Momma February 20, 2011 at 3:44 pm

    Yes. Honesty and authenticity. I try to make those my guiding principles. Even if a blog post hurts me to write — and some have in many, many ways — I let it stand. Even if it casts me in a poor light. Because if I’m not “real,” writing has no point for me.

  7. Mitchell February 20, 2011 at 7:44 am

    Good stuff, Jack, as always. This really resonated with me. Still very early into my blogging life I am finding myself debating how far to go in terms of honesty and disclosure. It seems that I am most comfortable – and, as CKL said above, most authentic – when I fall to the side of brutal honesty. I’m sure that I will end up with posts that I regret, but that is ok. The rewards I have found thus far have, I think, been a byproduct of that honesty. I have learned about myself, my parenting and my writing because of that honesty. Funny how life works that way. Thanks for always providing me these opportunities to really think about the process.

    • Jack February 20, 2011 at 10:05 am

      Hey Mitchell,

      I am a big proponent of honesty and authenticity. Blogging has provided me with more knowledge about myself, my beliefs and what I want than I can properly express. It sounds like you are experiencing that too.

      The hard part is trying to determine what boundaries are most appropriate for you and your family.

  8. Clark Kent's Lunchbox February 20, 2011 at 6:38 am

    Very well put. I’ve got a bunch of blog posts that I regret, and some have even hurt me, caused me to lose readers, given people the wrong impression about me. But they were honest. I still squirm thinking about them, but at the same time, I know the people that stayed are the ones who appreciate authentic because they themselves are authentic.

    • Jack February 20, 2011 at 9:56 am

      You can’t please everyone and there is no way not to lose readers. The most important thing is to try and avoid hurting those we care most about. If people have any sense they’ll understand that the authors are people too, complex individuals who probably can’t be defined by one thing.

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