The Problems of Being a Writer
Although I call myself a blogger, I’m actually also a writer. I consider myself a lifestyle blogger- I tend to write about a variety of topics ranging from silly things like fashion to deeper things like real-life issues. I write about things I love, things I hate and topics that are of interest to me because I’m a writer and well, that’s what we do. But with the title of being a writer, you are faced with a lot of bullshit.
One of the hardest parts about being a writer is the sensitivity issue of your content. To be an excellent writer, in my opinion, you need to let go of what others want you to write about and what others think. True and real writers aren’t afraid to write about an ex boyfriend who screwed them over, a teacher who inspired them or their rocky relationship with a family member. It’s those experiences- good or bad- that make interesting stories, articles and blog posts and make you a real writer.
The problem that us writers find is that people can become sensitive to the piece you wrote and may think it’s you “attacking them”. Yes, I write about girls that were mean to me. I write about crappy relationships. I write about things that bother me. And I’m never going to stop doing that because I like to be honest and open and write about what inspires me- the good and the bad. But just because I wrote about a girl (and you’re a girl), or a past relationship (and you’re my ex- wait, why would you be reading this?), doesn’t mean the post is about you.
Writing about things that I’ve gone through is not only therapeutic for myself, but it also helps others. My posts about dealing with anxiety, mean girls and bad relationships have helped so many of my readers. I love getting comments and e-mails from people telling me they love my writing and that they are glad I’m so open and honest to write about things that affect them as well. It confirms that I should keep doing what I’m doing and offer a mix of both positive and honest content without the sugar-coating.
My friend Lauren (who is also a blogger and an actual writer) and I talk about this often. She summed it up well saying, “I don’t think you should make things up about someone just to make them look bad, but a real writer doesn’t do that. He/she just writes about true events and uses them to provide insight/perspective for others.” Bravo Lauren, you nailed it!
I don’t think there’s anything wrong with writing about people in your life- that’s what being a writer is all about! You are inspired by the things, people and places around you. I don’t condone bullying or harassment at all, and I stand strongly by the fact that writing about someone or something in a light that might be negative or venting is a completely different thing than bullying. As someone who writes about how I’ve been “bullied” before, I don’t think it makes any sense to think otherwise.
What are your thoughts on writers and bloggers who write about personal issues? Have you ever read anything and thought it was about you? Has there been a blogger who has helped you by writing something honest?
You need different people deal with issues differently, some like to talk or write about and other just internalized everything. The fact that you can openly talk about your issues is admirable to me as this is something that I’ve always struggle with. I’m the kind to keep quiet when it’s really hell in my head lol. While I think it’s important not the attack somebody with your writing, you also have to right to talk about the things that bothers you and such. I don’t think anyone have ever written about me lol.
I couldn’t internalize my thoughts or opinions- I’d go crazy. I feel like that is so unhealthy. Luckily writing helps me and I’m good at it, sooo it’s a win-win 🙂
I think writing about a personal issues can really help you get it off your chest, as well as help the reader who might be going through something similar. I do enjoy bloggers that share personal things with their readers…makes it easier to connect with them!
Exactly- instead of being rude or mean, I just write about it and offer insight on the topics. I’m glad you enjoy those type of posts- I do, too!
I agree with Lauren, write about the things that you are passionate about! Hope you are having a wonderful day!
Very true- thanks!
I agree with your friend. You should write honestly and from the heart.. and I feel like if it happens to be about someone from your life or your past, then so be it. It’s part of telling your story, which is the point of this blog. Plus, it’s not like you are naming names!
Exactly- it’s the entire point of being a writer! I have much more respect for people who are honest and real than those who act perfect and nice but are not that way deep down. You nailed it!
I enjoy reading posts about personal issues – maybe not ALL THE TIME, but occasionally. It’s reassuring to know that everyone is going through similar situations, no one has a perfect life, and then also to gather advice and possibly learn something…how the writer dealt with the situation, etc. I absolutely loved your piece on The Everygirl – I thought it was the perfect example of how sharing a personal struggle can be so beneficial to so many people. And as long as a writer isn’t name dropping or being catty – sometimes reading about a pesky ex boyfriend can be pretty entertaining!
Thanks Olivia- it means a lot that you enjoyed my piece on the Everygirl. I love hearing that others go through the same thing and that I can help them (or maybe they can help me with suggestions as well).
I’m a writer too and I have always believed in writing what you are passionate about. I think that when people like you have been given a gift to express yourself through writing, which is an art in my mind, then you should do it! Not everyone can so eloquently put together words to describe real life situations and I HAVE 100% no 110% enjoyed your honesty and personal posts. Though I can see why some might take it personally, because sometimes touching on a certain subject and people are always going to react to that more personally than other things you write about. But I think that is what makes a good writer… someone who can challenge what others think while also relating to a large group of people.
Sometimes I wish I would write more on my blog, rather than just share outfit posts because I truly love writing and well I don’t always get to write about things I want to at work 😉 You are an inspiration! Which is why I also wrote my post on competition!
i knew you would understand this, Rachel! Not everyone is a good writer and others like to get their opinions and thoughts out via other things (painting, athletics, etc.) I love that you enjoy all of my life posts- I try to cover a good amount of those mixed in with fashion and that fun stuff.
You ARE a good writer and through our talks, I know you have a lot to write about! You should try it out more- I think people would love to hear more about your life or thoughts on stuff like relationships, friends, life, etc.! 🙂
I don’t really consider myself a writer but I do enjoy writing my blog, and at times I have felt pangs of nervousness around my posts. I always worry it’ll offend someone without me even realizing! I definitely think to be a great writer though you need to leave those fears at the door and just write authentically. =)
Aw I get that way sometimes, too. But you can’t really change someone else’s thoughts on how they view your writing/blog post. Thanks for your comment Bree!
One of the reasons I was happy I stumbled across your blog is because you talk about real life things. It’s nice to read a blog that’s not just a “highlight reel” as they say with Fb and other social media.
Thank you Alyssa- that’s a huge compliment to me! I enjoy blogs that post fashion and makeup, but also love ones that talk about real issues (even if they are silly things like boyfriends or being single). I try to do an equal mix of happy things and honest things that may not be 100% happy
I talk about myself and my life a lot on my blog. Sometimes it may be too much, but I need to get it all out!
I understand! I know you were worried about your anonymity, too which just adds to the pressure!
I think as a writer on your blog you have te right to say what you want, I think it’s important to make sure you’re not slandering another person in the process though. I think there are definitely times when I need to write and share to move on in a situation, but I always try to keep the person’s identity secret, as I’d expect the same if the situation was reversed. Just my thoughts 🙂
Very true Ginny! I would never slander someone by putting up an embarrassing photo or name (unless it’s a celebrity maybe and I don’t like their outfit or something silly) 😛
I love this post. I do consider myself a writer and a blogger and it’s hard because I know that I sometimes get sensitive about the personal topics I talk about. it’s important for me to talk about sensitive things even if it’s sometimes hard.
Very true! I think the more you do it and the more response you get from friends and readers, the easier it becomes. You’d be surprised how many people would enjoy those personal posts and how they could help them, too!
The whole beauty of having a blog is it’s your space to do with what you want. If you want to show pictures of an outfit, or talk about something serious that’s been bothering you it’s you decision. It’s part of keeping your blog real!
Exactly Dina! If someone doesn’t like what I write about, then then can unfollow me and go follow someone who isn’t an open and honest writer 🙂
I think there is a fine line about between oversharing and being personal and relatable!
Very true. There are topics I’d never post about because it’s just “TMI”!
I love reading about the good as well as the bad. I’m glad you’re open and honest and I really appreciate that about your blog and writing. I wish I could be a little more open!
thank you Ashley!
I love when bloggers share more personal stories. It helps me relate to them better. Plus, it allows me to get to know them on a deeper level. I’m not comfortable sharing lots of personal stuff on my blog, but I think if someone is, they should go for it!
Thanks! It’s definitely not for everyone, but as a lifestyle blogger, I like to do it.
This is a refreshing post because I find it so difficult to write about personal things because, well, they’re personal. Feeling a little too exposed is my fear and then it hinders me from being motivated to write and keep up with a blog. I’ve done a few and let them go after a year max–disappointing! This is my 5th try and I think I feel a little more at ease on blogger as opposed to WordPress where everybody seems so professional and put together.
And when you read human truth, it hurts since it can hit home. But we’re all human and we all feel, live, love, and breathe the same. Be encouraged Rachel, and know you’re not the only one struggling to pursue this realm in your blog. I look forward to reading it!:)
Thank you! There are certainly topics I wouldn’t write about that are too personal, but I find that writing about most of them actually helps me (and others!)
You’re definitely right, there’s a big difference in writing about the people in your life vs. ‘attacking’ someone in your writing. Writing about what’s going on in your life is definitely therapeutic.
I write about people and relationships all the time, and I think it is definitely part of being a writer. I think writer’s often process these moments via writing about them. I do try focus on how the person, incident, made me feel and not the person or the incident all that much. If that makes sense?
Yes, I agree!
You pretty much summed up my feelings on writing. One of the main reasons I had to take a break from my blog is because someone who read it (even though I did my best to keep it anonymous and keep topics general) got their feelings hurt and caused this huge drama in my life. But, honestly I did nothing wrong. She just assumed I was “attacking her” which made me even angrier. And I won’t lie, some of the posts were “inspired” by her, but put my fingers on a keyboard and I’ll be on the stairway to heaven saying stuff that even shocks myself. lol Not to mention a lot of my posts are more embarassing for me than anyone else. But, similar to what you said, if you’re going to take writing seriously then you can’t worry about pleasing everyone.
Ah that sucks! People need to get over it. I’ve definitely had the same thing happen to me- someone thought everything I wrote was about them and I was being rude by writing about it. I guess they were too self-involved and overly flattered because I wasn’t trying to attack anyone and my life doesn’t revolve around them- pffft!
I think part of being a writer is being honest and open. And guess what? If it weren’t for those people we write about, we might not HAVE that much material to write about! No one wants to read all about me, me, me. Keep up the good work!
Ya know, if you write about it and you’re a good writer, I think there is always some element of feeling attached to the piece. You are an emotional person, and that’s not a bad thing. You OWN your writing and aren’t ashamed of it. Keep it up!