The Weil blogging challenge: shorter, more frequent and honest but not critcal


I’m a little nervous about publishing this post. My hiatus message has been up since the summer, and I’ve been avoiding taking it down.

First, because I wasn’t sure what to write about in this space any more. Then, because I had lots of things to write about, but I wasn’t sure how to say them without hurting anyone’s feelings. Third, because I knew that once I put up a new post, I would need to follow that with other new posts, probably more frequently than once every eight months.

I’ve adjusted what I want this blog to be about, in my mind, if not yet in practice.

I’m still working out how to be honest and forthright without causing a ruckus. Stacia Kane had a series of thought-provoking blog posts a few weeks ago that resonated with me. Her initial discussion was about whether or not to review other writers’ work. She doesn’t write reviews, for her own reasons, and her description of the hubbub a review could cause turned out to be a description of the hubbub her decision NOT to write reviews caused. She wrote:

And in fact I was/am seriously considering either giving up the blog altogether or going back to what I’ve been doing the last few months, which is basically just making the blog about me personally and not really expressing any opinions at all. Because quite frankly, it’s not worth it to me (which funnily enough was the point of last week’s posts, too)….Of course, what’s happened is the perfect example of why I said “Be careful what you say because people will misinterpret it/take offense when none is intended/attribute motives to you which aren’t yours/claim you’re ‘protesting too much’ when you try to explain that no, that really wasn’t your motive.” That reaction is exactly what I meant, everyone. Go ahead and tell me again why I’m wrong to suggest caution in your online dealings unless you enjoy being attacked. I don’t mean that to be rude, I’m just pointing it out.

Opinions are not always positive, if you’re honest, and a critical opinion–of a book, a company or others’ decisions–can sometimes come back to bite you in the butt. I have strong opinions. But I’m also inherently risk-averse. I was taught to practice what my mama preached: If you can’t say something nice, then don’t say anything at all. So, caution has had me sitting on my typing fingers not saying anything at all. The problem has become this: I want to say stuff. So I’m going to take the risk, I guess, and we’ll see how that works out.

Then today, I downloaded Debbie Weil’s free ebook about corporate blogging. And while mine is not a corporate blog, her tips were inspiring for us regular bloggers, too. The most important bit of advice, for me, was to write shorter and more frequent posts. (I knew it!) And the second most important was to have an opinion, but be polite about it.

I’m still figuring out how to be forthright, honest, vocal and polite. But, if everyone else is struggling with the same problem, then I figure I should stop worrying and just write. Shorter, more frequently and as nicely as possible.


2 Responses to “The Weil blogging challenge: shorter, more frequent and honest but not critcal”

  1. 1 Johnny Ray February 27, 2011 at 2:12 am

    I think being short and informative is the key. You have a wealth of knowledge to share. I belong to many blog sharing groups and thus read all kinds of blogs. Like a fantastic book, the ones who let you have a glimpse inside the mind of the writer are the ones most people return to. I know it can be scary to allow people to see that much of you, but in the long run I think it is worth it.

    I look forward to your post.

    • 2 Stacy Boyd February 27, 2011 at 12:30 pm

      Thanks for the vote of confidence, Johnny. I think you’re right, that showing yourself is what makes for good writing, whether in a blog or a book. But for a naturally introverted person like me (and like many writers?), that can be incredibly scary–even when I have the time to write, re-write and edit before publishing!

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I work as an editor at Harlequin, but the posts on this site are all mine and don’t represent my employer's positions, strategies or opinions.
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