We're away at the in-laws this week, so I can't be too anti-social and spend all my time blogging. A great tip from Charlotte Smith at Cybermummy was that if you don't have time to blog but read something you really like, take some of their original post and post on your blog (linking back to the original, of course).
Yesterday night I read the lovely Josie from Sleep is for the Weak's Blogging Manifesto. There seem to have been a few spats in the parent blogging community of late, most of which I am entirely oblivious to, but I have picked up on some of the hurt feelings and upset so her manifesto struck a chord. I for one wholeheartedly sign up to it, so thought I'd post it again here.
[Excerpt from Sleep is for the Weak]
1.People behind blogs are real, and almost without exception they are interesting, complex, unique people with valid, often inspirational stories to tell. Without fail they deserve to be heard and treated with respect.
2.The blogging community should be empowering people to tell those stories. It should be making people feel like it is ok to be them.
3.Blogging is about writing AND connection. It is about finding ways to express yourself, in whatever ways that feel right, and about finding ways to share that with others. This means not just writing and sitting back to let the world come to you. It is about seeking out people that you connect with, it is about not being afraid to make friends. Because there are PLENTY of friends to be made and people that will support you. It is about giving out, but not just to receive. It is about karmic blogging.
4.Good writing, good content comes with practice and with authenticity. Yes, that word. It is about writing from where you are at. It is about writing honestly about the things that matter to YOU. That means not being afraid to write about pain. It is not about being perfect. If you don’t feel like blogging, don’t blog.
5.Your blog is your space, no-one else’s. You have permission to make it anything you want it to be, without guilt or without obligation. Equally, though, understand, though, that people are under no obligation to READ your blog, and should be able to, or not, also without guilt or obligation. Welcome the people that DO connect with it, don’t worry about the others. And, as a reader, if you don’t like it? Politely go elsewhere.
6.If you haven’t met someone in real-life, I would probably hold off making too firm a judgement on them. Words are no substitute for face to face conversation, probably over a bottle of wine or six. You will probably find, like I have, that people are exactly who they say they are. But it’s worth getting to know the person behind the words.
7.If what you have to say someone is something you couldn’t say to their face, then you probably shouldn’t be saying it all. the people behind blogs are real and have feelings. They have busy and complicated lives. They do not need your hate. Veiled passive aggressiveness is cowardly and creates bad feeling. Don’t do it.
8.Indexes and metrics don’t define a blog’s worth. Only you do that, through the connections you make through it and the stories you have to tell. No metric should define how you feel about your blog. If it is spoiling your enjoyment of blogging or making you question your self-worth, you should withdraw from them. It is not worth it.
9.Blogging should be fun. It should make you feel good. It should be therapeutic and make you laugh and make you cry and make you feel. If it doesn’t, you need to change something cause you’re doing it wrong.
10.And, which is what I said in my talk and I’ll say it again here: blogging is ABOUT your life, it is NOT your life. Your blog will be soulless and boring if you are not getting out there and living. So switch off your computers and go and do something different and fun.