Guest Post: Melissa Blake from So About What I Said...
Hello, everyone! My name is Melissa Blake, and I’m the brains (and the awkward gaffs) behind So about what I said. I’ve been reading Blair’s blog for awhile now, so when she asked me if I’d like to guest-post, needless to say, it was a huge honor.
I’ll admit that I probably should have started blogging sooner than I did, being a writer and all. But when I finally worked up the courage to “spread the good word” about my life with a disability and looking for love and all the funny, weird and just plain “huh”-ness my disability apparently brings out in guys, I was a bit scared. At first.
Did I really want people knowing my inner-most thoughts? Did I really want to make myself vulnerable in that way?
Apparently, I did because that was in November 2008 and since then, I’ve blogged some 1,230 posts about everything from my love of polo shirts (it’s a lifestyle choice, as I say…) to the hilarious moment my wheelchair just broke down in the middle of the sidewalk (ironically, I was wearing a polo shirt that day…) to the countless time I’ve made like an awkward dork in front of guys. I’ll admit, when it comes to love and romance and flowers and candy, I don’t have much experience, except for the whole buying-candy-for-myself thing. But that hasn’t stopped me - or my wonderful 1,942 subscribers – from learning a few things about love and myself over these last 18 months. If you’ve just started a blog or are thinking of starting one (c’mon, you know you want to, right?), might I offer these pearls of wisdom I’ve learned.
Online, as in life, people can spot you a mile away if you’re being fake and insincere. I’ve prided myself on being honest, sometimes brutally so, on my blog. It’s cost me one reader (my own mother!), but I don’t know of any other way of writing than being completely honest with every single word.
WRITE WITH PASSION
I suppose I should warn you now that blogging is completely addicting, but make no mistake: it takes hard work and lots of dedication. That’s why it’s important to choose a topic (and I can’t stress enough how important it is to have a FOCUS for your blog; people will lose interest quite quickly if you’re writing about random, nonsense things all the time…) that you’re extremely passionate about. In college, my journalism professors taught us to “write about what you know.” The same simple rule applies to blogging. If you find a topic that interests you, blogging will be one of the most rewarding things you could ever do. But choose something you aren’t interested in? Well, that will just make blogging feel like a chore and a job. Remember, blogging should F-U-N.
No one likes a mean person, and people hate a mean-spirited blogger. The big blogosphere is a community, and I’ve met some amazing people. I read countless wonderful blogs, and there’s no need to create tension of hurt feelings in a community where we’re supposed to support one another. The same rules apply when you’re commenting on other blogs. I’ve had people anonymously post some extremely rude comments, and honestly, what’s the point? If you don’t like a blog, don’t read it. Surely, you have some sort of life to get back to. Or maybe not, and that’s the reason you’re so jaded…? Bottom line: If you wouldn’t say something to a person’s face, save it for your diary.