Darren Rowse, the Australian founder of ProBlogger and co-author of the book by the same name, recently wrote “his most personal post in years.” (You can find the article at this link on Medium.) It got me to thinking, what is the appropriate amount of sharing? Allow me to share my answer. Because sharing is caring, and if nothing else, A Dude Abikes cares. About some things some times. Right now, it’s about finishing this awesome blog to watch more Tour de France (yes, still, I know, it’s almost Vuelta a Espana time!). But all seriousness aside, this is a good question to ponder.
The Right (Amount of the Juicy) Stuff
If you don’t already know the answer to this, I’ll just come right out and tell you: it’s up to you. But also, not too much, and not too little. That’s because if you present yourself in your blog as Little Miss Perfect or Mr. Has It All Figured Out, you’re going to come across as less than authentic. And since people can smell fakeness from a mile away, they will quickly tune out. (Unless they’re also delusional about themselves in which case, they can all happily fool each other into believing this make-believe world. Certain Instagram and Facebook users, I’m talking to you.)
But you also want to share something to make yourself relatable. The question is, how far to go?
For example, here’s a ride I did tonight. It reveals that I developed an issue — a painful part on my tuchus — but also that I’m still able to ride. This goes to the core of my blog, that: 1) Bicycling is suffering; 2) There is a way out of suffering; 3) That way is more bicycling; 4) Except when it’s walking, blogging, swimming, or something else like resting, watching TV and movies, reading, etc.
Saddle sores are pretty common, so the fact I got one is not a huge shock. It is surprising it was from a ride downtown and back, but I didn’t wear padded bike shorts or use Chamois Butt’r either. But notice that I don’t go into gory detail or include a picture, either. (You’re welcome.) By the way, there’s no need for me to reinvent the (bicycle) wheel, so here’s a good article all about saddle sores from Cycling Weekly in the UK.
Also, here’s a nifty chart with my latest rides on Strava.
In the End, It’s Up to You*
Of course privacy is a big issue these days. If you use your real name in your blog and you’re looking for a job, but go into the specifics of some behavior that a potential employer might disapprove of, then maybe you’d want to rethink that. However, some of the best blogs I’ve seen have been completely honest about all manner of personal issues: addiction and recovery, loss of a child (or alot of them), mental illness, cancer, and the list goes on.
If you feel comfortable telling your story, and in fact have the guts to do so regardless of the consequences (or maybe hoping to make life easier for others), then more power to you, and by all means, go for it. Sometimes I wonder if I should go into more gory detail about whatever ailment I may be facing. Not having information from my scant but adoring (and adored) readership, I don’t know. So far, I think I strike a good balance between being real without printing my medical chart.
To me the moral of the story is this: Share what you’re comfortable with, but be sensible. What do you think? Write / Ride on!
*In the end is a pun about saddles sores being on one’s back side. Never mind!
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3 thoughts on “How Vulnerable Should You Be in Your Blog?”
As Shakespeare once said, to your bad self . . be true brother! Or something like that . . .
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I believe it was William Shakespeare who said, “To thine own self be true…. but to the internet, ’tis best to haveist thou a modicum of circumspection, lest the trolls set upon you wantonly with their gnashy, slashy teeth.”
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