7 ways to “write for yourself first” when blogging

Older woman celebrating "My blog for me me me"

It’s your own personal blog, so write for yourself first

A personal blog is written for your own personal reasons, and so surely, above all else, you had better write for yourself first. But what does that mean in your case?

  1. Writing for yourself does not automatically mean writing rubbish. Nevertheless, you are allowed to write rubbish. Imagine that!
  2. Writing for yourself may mean writing on a topic that absorbs and excites you personally — there’s that word again. (It may be something that most people find boring, but you find very interesting, such as the taxonomy of cornflakes, or Asterix puns, or roads that don’t exist: these examples come straight from an adorable BBC podcast, The Boring Talks.)
  3. Writing for yourself may mean keeping your blog private, never letting it be seen by another soul. A blog is an excellent receptacle for storing thoughts, poems, articles, drafts, budgets, quotes, affirmations—whatever data that you want to keep handy, private, searchable, and accessible at any time. A WordPress blog can be your personal diary or database, to share or not, as you wish. The technology is there: how to use it is your choice.
  4. Writing for yourself may be an issue of style. Do you spend your working day producing documents for a corporate or academic audience? Then you may yearn to express yourself in a more personal style. Maybe you are busting to use language that’s simpler or fancier than in your professional writing. A blog is a place to experiment with language and find a voice that’s truly your own.
  5. Writing for yourself may be a means of personal development. Many people want to write, but motivation can be a struggle. In the comparatively placid environment of a WordPress blog, you can practise the craft of writing. A blog gives you an incentive, perhaps a routine to carry on stacking up the hours of effort that are necessary to become a good writer, or at least a better writer. This process can bring great satisfaction and usually there are readers to cheer you on.
  6. Paradoxically, writing for yourself may mean writing for others. You may get your biggest thrill from your readers, those extraordinary people who like or comment on something you posted. They are talking to you! So you write with your readers in mind. That’s still, in my book, writing for yourself, because you find your delight in this online social life.
  7. Some people don’t need to be told to “write for yourself first” — we do that always, we can’t help it. Writing is our bubble of bliss. Writing is who we are.

The above examples are only a handful of the many ways to write for yourself first. I wonder whether that tip for personal bloggers works for you, and if so, in what sense?



18 thoughts on “7 ways to “write for yourself first” when blogging

  1. Katrina says:

    I have found that my first year of writing a personal blog was very much opinion pieces, with occasional forays into something a little more personal in the real world. Now, I’m finding that I want to ‘play’ with my writing a bit more, and have so far written a poem – after declaring since forever that I’m not a poet – called Ballad to Sensationally Sixty (I’m into exploring this aging thing, because I got a big surprise upon getting here that it wasn’t too bad at all). And now I have written a piece of flash fiction, after deciding that I didn’t have the imagination to write fiction, if previous efforts were any indication. Let’s put it this way, I tried writing a novel some years ago, and struggled mightily with having to create a story that long. As you say, because I write a personal blog, I don’t have to follow a format, so I can play and experiment as I choose just because 🙂

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      Glad to know that your blog serves this useful purpose and that you are writing for yourself in so many ways. I must read that ballad!

  2. JT Twissel says:

    I think a blog gives you the chance to see where your writing is going. Develop a style if you will.

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      Very true.

  3. “Bubble of bliss” – love that! After a career of writing for others, I love to be able to write for me.

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      I bet you do!

  4. LA says:

    I totally write for myself, but I do admit that when I get a topic in my head I do try to come up with the most entertaining way to put it across. Sometimes better than others

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      That’s what it’s all about.

      1. LA says:


  5. I’m finding I write better when I’m writing for myself and not worrying or wondering whether other people will like it. It certainly takes a ton of stress off!

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      Yippee, good decision!

  6. Erica/Erika says:

    I like your phrase “bubble of bliss”. I also believe that there is no right or wrong way to blog. For me, I like how I reach that flow, meditative state when I write. I know I belong here. Thank you for sharing, Rachel.

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      Waving from my bubble to your bubble!

  7. Sadje says:

    So right, write for yourself first. That works for me!

  8. Claudette says:

    It’s a Catch-22: If I was going to write brutally honest topics ‘for me’ on the blog which is not private (as I do like my community) then I’m not really ‘writing for me’ in the truest form. To write for me only, without barriers or the need to protect others or privacy issues or whatever else, there’s editing to be done.

    Doesn’t mean I don’t write for me in my blog. I do because most of my topics are about me. 🙂 Yet, it appears that almost 700 people like my daily drivel. And it suits me to write this way, for me, but by extension for my audience, because it’s a way to help me develop other avenues.

    For example, before my blog was as community oriented as it is now, I would have never had the courage to post some of my memoir (creative writing). Today, I have even more courage and started dabbling in fiction writing…and find I have quite a knack for the romantic side of fiction (which is hilarious because I’m probably the most unromantic female in North America)… 🙂

    So…yes. I write for me first, but it’s a nice surprise that it entertains others too.

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      It’s so interesting to examine the interplay of motives and the way they quietly self-adjust as we gain confidence, isn’t it?

  9. Margy says:

    Write for yourself because there will be times when very few people read, ‘like’ or comment on what you’ve written.

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      That’s a mighty good reason: we hardly need any other.

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