When you write professionally, people will tell you what to write about all the time. You are getting paid to produce copy they specifically want. But when you blog and people tell you what to write about, you have the option to completely ignore them. Sure, they might stop reading, but if they don’t like and appreciate what you’re writing about, is it worth it to change your style or your topics, just to suit them?
I have used my own blog as a therapeutic tool to sort through situations that trouble me. In writing, I tend to purge. I get it all out and then can go back and read the progress of sorting out a problem and perhaps changing my own life in a positive and healthy way and, if we are all lucky enough, the life of other readers too.
That is not a constant with me and I do tend to write about other topics.
A couple of years ago I was approached by a friend/reader and told that she was disturbed that I was fixating on a topic. My writing was not about her and wasn’t directed at her. At the time, I thought it had nothing at all to do with her. I listened to her grievances related to my writing anyway. She demanded (demanded, not asked) that I write about something else because she was “worried” about me. Really? She was supposed to be a friend, but instead of being a real friend, she opened up the “friend curtain” she had been hiding behind and showed her true self.
A friend might express concern about your subject and ask if you want to lean on them for support, but a friend will never demand that you write about something else, just to make them worry less. A friend doesn’t exhibit co-dependence when it comes to the topics on your blog. A friend that tries to control your writing voice and asks you to change the subject because it’s hurting them, is not in a healthy place. Beware. Your topics could be hitting a nerve that you don’t know you’re hitting and this could be a Red Flag waving to you.
I have another friend that has been reading my work for quite some time. She has seen all of the ups and downs and on occasion she and I have talked about topics I was writing about and why they bothered me. Not once has she ever demanded that I change the subject. Like a friend would, she gives me the creative self expression to make those decisions for myself and in my own time. She has never threatened to stop reading my blog if I didn’t change the subject. She has never once given me unsolicited advice about my topics. When she has expressed concern about my subjects, she does it like a friend would, but she has never tried to take control of my process.
Bloggers are unusual. They are writers, explorers, unique and adventurous. They are not bound by the traditional writing etiquettes that other writers follow. A blogger is just like the Wild West and their own little slice of the Interwebs is theirs to do with how they wish. They can write everyday, or they can stay dormant for months at a time. They can write about their trip to the supermarket, or they can write about serious political issues. They can be sarcastic, funny, genuine, thoughtful, poetic and sometimes they can be clueless, but at least they are out here having a say about something.
To try to control what a blogger writes about is tantamount to trying to make the wind change direction with a hand fan.
The next time someone tells you what to blog about, tell them what your hourly rate will be to write something just for them, and only for them. Remind them that your writing is something you are doing for yourself and they are under absolutely no obligation to read it if it becomes too painful (or boring) for them.
Have you ever been told to change the subject on your blog?
Exactly how did that work out?
- Call me the wordsmith (janaegoesrawr.wordpress.com)
- dear diary (thechanhandle.wordpress.com)
- My Journey as a Writer (parthasadhukhan.wordpress.com)
- where’s the Support? (madelinescribes.wordpress.com)
- I write this sitting in the kitchen sink. (onlysevenstories.wordpress.com)
- Censorship. (thescarletbombblog.wordpress.com)
- How to Write Like Me (blindvulture.wordpress.com)