Today is the seventh day of my December blogging challenge. Though I should be celebrating a small victory, I’m worried about what lies ahead. The next twenty-four days tend to be the busiest of the entire year. How do I complete everything on my to do list, write a blog and still have time for fun? In addition to the logistics of getting the work done, what do I write about? I don’t want this to turn into thirty-one days of navel-grazing. It has to be more than words on a page. It needs to inform, inspire or entertain. It should leave the reader with something to think about.
The problem with a lot blogs is that they’re more about the blogger than the audience or the message. But writing is a transition between the writer and the reader. Both have to feel as if they have gotten something out of the interaction. That’s what keeps readers reading. So as a writer we have to ask ourselves, “Who am I writing for?”
Personal blogs can be tricky. Generally the purpose is to express your feelings, thoughts or ideas. They become our personal platform. But a platform with no one to listen, is like screaming into the wind. So knowing and considering our audience is important. As is the age-old advice of Strunk and White:
Write in a way that draws the reader’s attention to the sense and substance of the writing, rather than to the mood and temper of the author.
The Element of Style
All of that to say, it feels as if I have been cheating the last seven days. Each of my post have been sort of extension of my personal journal. I have been thinking more about me and my challenge than you and your time. And the reality is, that type of writing doesn’t isn’t interesting.
It’s got me thinking about how to shape the next twenty-four days so that readers look forward to my daily post. A tall order, I know.
The key to writing a reader-centered blog is to focus on one particular thing. That way the writer can zoom in on a specific audience and write for them. Also the writer doesn’t have to reinvent the wheel everyday.
One idea that came to mind for my particular blog is to use the next few weeks as a testing ground for a new book on grief. Another idea was to write inspirational/devotional post. And yet another idea was to talk exclusively about the writing and books. I thought it also might be fun to do a review of the books I’ve read this year.
This is one of those instances where I could really use your help.
What would you like to read? Would it be better to focus on one of the above ideas? Or is there a combination you might find interesting?
Before I sign off for the night, I want to personally talk those of you who are chugging along with me through this process. Knowing you’re out there, warms my heart and keeps my bum in the chair.
Until tomorrow. . .