Yesterday was a reminder of the sheer joy that I receive from blogging and sharing my life online. In this era of bloggers as businesses, I think it’s too easy to lose sight of the simple joys that can come to those of us who work more in the personal memoir style of blogging. I think until yesterday I was still feeling pretty discouraged and oh so close to saying good bye because I momentarily lost sight of what my original goals were for this space…to use my voice and to make connections. Sure money is great, hell I work in social services, I don’t exactly have a large stash of cash!
I met up with two of my readers for brunch, and ended up hanging out for hours. Reader one is a relative newcomer to Maine, who has big plans and I am looking forward to seeing her grow and showcase a side of Maine that people rarely see. So stay tuned! Reader two is a designer who actually advertises in this humble space and while not a blogger, I am hoping I might get her to throw her hat into the ring.
It’s always interesting meeting up with people who know a lot about you, yet you know little about them. I am happy to say though that to date; I have only met one local reader that registered on my creep o meter. Instead everyone I have met is someone who I could easily see myself sharing coffee or a meal with and that says a lot. I admit I am always nervous meeting people who are readers, outside of wondering will they be creepy, I often wonder will I measure up to their expectations though generally once conversation starts such thoughts go out the window.
The thing is I strive to be authentically me, no matter what. In the end if a connection is not made, it’s because sometimes people don’t connect but not because I stopped being me. Hell, if anything me offline is a lot more me than what readers see in this space.
It’s so important to be our authentic selves, even online. How can I trust you to recommend a product when I don’t even know who you are? I know that there are many “formulas” for online success and sure certain techniques may work for a time, but if you bring anything less than your authentic self how do you gain trust? How do you keep that trust? With so many bloggers coming off their post BlogHer12 high, I have seen a slew of writing run across my twitter feed that frankly reads like a cheap advertisement. In this world one of the few things that those of us who play with words has, is our words and we best be wise and discerning in how we use them. Once you lose authenticity, the trust is gone. Sure you may still get the “hits” or numbers but will they trust you when you hawk a product or when you start filling your space with empty words because you “need” to get the numbers? Most likely not.
So while money is pretty much king in this world, for those who deal in words, maintaining truth and authenticity is even better.
PS: If you are thinking haven’t you heard this before to some degree, remember sometimes I use this space as a public journal and yeah, I might even repeat myself, it’s my prerogative as Bobby Brown once said!