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?
- Writing for yourself does not automatically mean writing rubbish. Nevertheless, you are allowed to write rubbish. Imagine that!
- 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.)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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?