Monday, November 1, 2010

The 7 Rules: Part I

On August 2008 I started this blog. I didn’t have a clear idea what I wanted it to become, nor did I know how to reach out to others. Since then I’ve come up with rules/mission statements that have helped me keep my blogging time focused and meaningful. Now, everyone’s rules will not be the same, but as you read through mine, I challenge you to think of your own and to stand by them. It will help you from either a) being sucked in too much or b) so overwhelmed you quit.


1. Never spend more time blogging than you do talking to your significant other.
My family comes first. End of story. Specifically, I’ve noticed the more I date my husband, the stronger our relationship becomes. (We’ve been married for 11 years and yeah, I’m just now figuring that out.) Steve and I occasionally need to lavish undivided attention on each other and I don’t want blogging to take that time away.
2. Make every post have a clear purpose.
It may be that a post will only resonate with one person (even if that person is me), but I need to focus the post on the one message for the one who needs it.
3. Keep posts short.
At first I had a real problem with long-winded posts. (Get it? Winded Words?! So pun-ny!) Now I’ve seen the light and when it comes to blogging, less is more. Keep it focused, to the point, and others will be more apt to read it.
4. Participate in the blogging community with the goal of giving back.
Nothing about blogging brings me more joy than helping others. I post my email right up front so that readers know they can contact me anytime they wish. Then there are always the giveaways—(keep your eyes open for my 200th post giveaway, coming very soon)!
5. Writing comes before blogging.
If I let this outlet take the place of the stories in my head then the blog has failed me. I’m a writer reaching out to others interested in writing and reading. If I’m not writing then I’m no longer a writer—I’m a fraud who posts about the writing I’m not really doing.
6. A casual voice brings a friendly atmosphere.
One of the reasons I love LiLa and Elana Johnson’s blogs is because their friendly voices come out in their posts and you feel like you’re just a bunch of girls hanging at a party. I try to find my own brand of casual and convey it here. (At least I hope!)
7. Be yourself and be true to yourself.
At first I tried to make this blog funny, but sometimes my humor can come across as pretentious so I have to be careful. I love to laugh, but I’m not always so good at transferring the funny to paper. Now I simply post what is on my mind, what I’m about, and what I have a passion for. I write my essence here. If nothing else, my readers know my voice is authentic. (Along with this, I have to remind myself not everyone is going to come back again and again just like not everyone is going to become my BFF. We seek out those we resonate with and in some blogs that commonality is not as strong as in others. Besides, real life gets busy.)


So that’s it. The seven rules I repeat when blogging, the rules that keep me here for the long haul.


Q4U: Do YOU have any blogging rules of your own you’d like to share?


Next post: My 7 rules of writing time.

26 comments:

  1. Awesome post, Jackee! I agree with you totally! I've had trouble with number 5 this summer, because of all our weather related disasters...my bloggy friends are all that kept me sane...I'll get my writing priorities back in order soon. I have a sparkly new idea forming as we speak. :)

    Have a great week! I look forward to your next post...

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  2. These are great tips, Jackee - it's so important to keep your priorities straight! That, and keep your posts short. I'm all about short posts.

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  3. Remember, understand and appreciate the word opinion :)

    www.damselinadirtydress.com

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  4. Keep posts short. Keep posts short. LOL!!!

    And all the rest of your rules are good too.

    I've found my writing has improved significantly during my blogging time - I don't know if they're related!! It's really weird - blogging does take so much of my time but it's also made me realise how disciplined I need to be with my creative writing time. I hope that makes sense.

    But yes - I found that replying to everyone's blogs that I follow takes an average 2-3 hours of my time everyday!! LOL!!! But this is definitely reduced if posts are short and succint.

    Anyway!! have a great day!! Take care
    x

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  5. I agree with keeping the posts on the short side. If I open a blog to read and it is too long....I am sorry to say I will give it a miss. Mind you I sometimes do not practice what I preach. Take my last post for example.

    Great tips and I love your voice!

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  6. Your words are very true! I try to keep mine simple and funny.

    Jane

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  7. It is very important to actually talk to your sig. other. It's easy to get lost in cyberspace:)

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  8. I love Rule #1. My poor husband is always being neglected in favor of blogging. Luckily he's a good sport about it.

    I guess I try to be brief if possible. I generally don't read through super-long blog posts unless they're really interesting, so I try to keep my stuff short.

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  9. Great rules, Jackee. It's easy to see now why your blog is so good.

    I have one particular rule: Keep to the schedule. Sometimes it's so hard to restrain myself from blogging everyday but if I did that then I'd never get anything else done and those other things (ie.writing/reading/walking/eating) are very important.

    Jai

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  10. Good list, Jackee. I haven't written any mission statements for myself, but I pretty much adhere to what you do. I think bloggers also need to avoid spewing too much personal information. I stopped visiting a few, because, well, I actually was uncomfortable reading that much detail of their intimate lives. Being professional while also being personable is the key, I think.

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  11. I love this post! #1 and #5 are particularly important. I don't have a significant other, but I can't let blogging take away the time I spend with my family, either -- and yes, writing comes first, always. I need to learn this, because I've spent more time (100 times more!) this past year reading/writing blog posts than I do writing my novel.

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  12. Awesome rules! It is definitely good to have blogging boundaries. I'm trying to limit the time I spend blogging/reading blogs. But it's so hard! There is so much good stuff on here that I just get sucked in!

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  13. I love all of these, but especially the last one. It is so hard sometimes to remember that it is you, the real you, that draws people to you.

    Go you! :)

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  14. I love your 7 rules! And I can personally attest that you do answer emails when other bloggers ask for your help, because you came to my rescue when I needed you, and you barely knew me then! Thanks again, Jackee!

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  15. EXCELLENT! Keeping things balanced is hard for me (lemme read just one more post...)

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  16. Shame on you, wanting to spend more time with your hubby than on your excellent blogs! :)
    But you're right about short ones -blogs, that is, not husbands - some bloggers can get carried away, and some of us have the attention span of a ...

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  17. hi miss jackee! i like that you got rules for your self for blogging. i like 3 cause sometimes i get at a blog and its just got so much i just leave and its sad cause its probably got a lot of good stuff to say. im sorta in the middle cause im mostly never long but not real short. that 5 is a little hard for me cause lots of times i dont write cause of blogging. for sure i gotta do better on that. mostly i try to post stuff that got a little message. that how my stories are to. my only rule i got is posting just one time a week.
    ...hugs from lenny

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  18. Great rules :)
    I can hardly wait to see part 2!

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  19. Do it while it's fun. If it's not fun. Stop.
    I don't blog on a schedule and I don't make a comment unless I MEAN it!

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  20. Something I've never managed to get right, is to find a focus for my blog.

    I always feel there are so many other people who do it so much better, but I'm hanging in there and learning, hoping that one day I'll feel comfortable with it.

    Thank you for an informative and candid post.

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  21. These are GREAT rules! The only one I would add for myself is to stick to the schedule. I post every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday no matter what!

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  22. I have trouble keeping my posts short . . . I don't know why! I like the idea of short posts, but they just keep getting longer. :P

    But great advice! They're all important, both for blogging and for life.

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  23. Hello - I just came over from the haunting list! I LOVE your seven rules and I'd stay and chat, but I feel guilty now because 'writing comes before blogging'..... "must... go... write... *prises self from Blogger*

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  24. Great tips you enumerated here, thanks!

    A tip that I've found useful for my own blogging and writing is to allow myself some time for playing around on the web and hen disconnecting the wifi until I'm finished writing. :)

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  25. We just have to jump in and learn as we go! I've discovered the same things as you since starting my writer's blog last December. Hey, it's almost been a year!

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