Writing True to One’s Self

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Do you have a gimmick? That’s how a lot of bloggers get noticed today. They choose their narrative voice and then they decide that perhaps sensationalism is the right approach. And judging by responses from other bloggers, I guess it works. I don’t know how big I am on writing with a gimmick in mind. Sensationalism is a good way to catch someone’s attention— I’ll give you that. I mean, some people are willing to let it all hang out.

I will at times be extremely frank or honest while commenting on a post, and recently I opened up my more “opinionated side” on my newest site, tvshowjunky.com. I mean it’s really new, as I only have three posts so far. Anyway, I suppose that particular site is written using more of an “in your face” approach. It might even be considered gimmicky to some folks, it’s not my intention but it very well can be perceived that way.

I always ask myself: How far do you push the envelope? Not sure exactly, as I am rather semi-neutral on lilpickmeup.com, but being too neutral on a blog isn’t necessarily a good thing either. I’ve read a couple of articles that advocate for writing to a theme, philosophy or perspective from where you can form a community that rallies behind you. This is how some people really can let sensationalism work for them. However, not everyone can be Jim Carrey, either. He can just say or do whatever and get away with it because it’s his style.

Not everyone has the same writing voice, style or need to write in a gimmicky sort of way. Regardless, it takes all sorts of people. And I truly commend bloggers that discuss extremely private experiences for all to read without fear of what employers or those in their lives think regarding the drug charges, various illnesses, suicide attempts, DUIs, child abuse, and etc. Some vlogs revolve around dressing skimpy and showing skin to get views. Some will do or say whatever just for the sake of getting hits. Hey, there are truly fearless people willing to write anything just to gain traffic to their site.

Perez Hilton, for example, began writing in a very sensationalistic sort of way where nothing and no one was off-limits. He’s definitely quite popular today and not the only one who is willing to let it all hang out. At the same time, the year he was developing his blog, it was rumored that he was actually unemployed and really risking it all to get his blog going. Well, it worked.

The Bottom Line:

Whether you are a conservative writer, write to more of a news style or you are extremely brash and couldn’t care less about who sees what you post, there’s really no rule to writing except that you should post and write what you are comfortable with sharing. Not every gimmick works, and like a fad they can sometimes fade away. But then again there is some gimmicky writing that if it doesn’t get you fired it gets you noticed in a big way, and maybe that’s your aim. Who knows? You might end up landing an agent, your own reality show or a book deal. That’s if you haven’t at the same time alienated family members, pissed off friends, and generated followers who both love and despise you. Yet even anger and controversy generates buzz. Haven’t you heard that there isn’t such a thing as bad publicity?

Regardless of your style, the one rule I’ve read from a lot of published authors is that you have to be true to yourself and to your style. Don’t try to write like someone else because what works for someone else may totally bomb at your attempt. Not everyone is meant to have a Howard Stern sort of personality and method. Look at Rush Limbaugh and other radio talk show hosts. Love them or hate them, their loudmouth rants actually get them a huge audience. It works for them, but again, it may not work for you because it’s not your personality. Like radio personalities, bloggers can be very similar. No matter the method to your creativity, own it: If you’re going to be stiff, conservative, spiritual, religious, atheistic, news-ish, loud, rude, arrogant, crazy, open, blunt, poetic, nonsensical, artsy, narrative-fiction, raw reality or no words and all visual posting only photography.

Whatever it is you do decide, flaunt it and don’t be ashamed of your style no matter what anyone else says. Share as much or as little as you’re comfortable with because if you don’t want the world to know— then don’t write it. Just be real. It’s that simple. Your only inspiration shouldn’t be to become a viral sensation or get a lot of hits. However, getting noticed has its perks and obvious benefits. If you’re hesitant and not sure how much to share on your blog, it’s best to not share until you’re totally comfortable. However, if your conscience is clear then by all means, write away.

Tennessee Williams



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