If there was a recurrent theme that seemed to continually materialise during the recent Aussie Bloggers Conference, it was the importance of unearthing your unique blogging voice.
And here in lies the rub… because everyone else seems so sure of their passion, purpose and plan. Yet I’m floundering like the US currency!
I used to think I was a “mummy blogger” (and proudly so) and that was all the categorisation that was required of me. Naively I now see there seems to be some sort of backlash against that term – no one likes to be pigeon holed I guess. I do also wonder if you can be considered a successful blogger and still hold something back? Because if you are not in the business of being confrontational or controversial, or painfully honest about some of your most significant struggles in life, can you still provide riveting posts to your readers?
Raw honesty abounds in blogland. It is quite a privilege to be invited into someone’s inner sanctum and have his or her experiences shared. My admiration for these bloggers who have the courage to tell it how it is, and refuse to paint with pastels any situation that might just be black and white, is endless.
How then, to be an engaging, insightful and entertaining writer, when you still keep some layers tucked away behind a wall of privacy? Offering the Gods of cyber space the sacrifice of any personal struggles for the whole world to see would not just affect me; and hence I am not willing to take that risk. Indeed the few times I’ve inadvertently pushed the boundaries and accidentally inflicted unintentional hurt its ended up causing me just as much pain.
Perhaps of late I’ve just lost sight of the reason why I blog. True, it was born for posterity; to hand to my Harrison a bound book; a treasure trove of memories that most likely would have gotten lost in the modernity of life.
But then a funny thing happened along this little journey – I reignited a long lost love of all things literary. I’d look at the world a little differently, and often stumble upon little triggers that would see me start to wonder “is there a blog post in that?”
And so I began to stretch my voice. Its malleability was a revelation. Perhaps I did have more to offer than stories centred purely on my offspring,
After my first “break-out” post, I started to receive comments from complete strangers. I discovered there was a whole other blogging community out there (stupidly I thought I was but an island!) and eagerly immersed myself in the business of becoming a regular blog reader. And whoa, what a realisation that has been. You suddenly realise that your words, which you humbly thought carried some polish, truly has nothing on some of the shining gems out there in the big black hole of cyber space!
But after almost two years blogging (which is no time at all compared to others) I have arrived at a point where I must make some decisions. Do I put my all into this and build it to be the best it can be, or distribute my writing energies so that my fiction and plans to tackle the freelance market also come to fruition?
Time to determine the purpose, passion and path I am on – hopefully that will then help the elusive “voice” I seek (like a Oprah “A-ha” moment) to shine.