Is it not strange that we sound more original there and we also mostly write the way we talk?
I used to think that it was because of the length. After all, Facebook posts and comments are shorter than a blog post. Long years of ‘microblogging’ on Facebook and Twitter have conditioned most of us to be short bloggers.
But implicit in this line of thinking is the admittance of our inability to sustain our originality for a longer period of time. We ham and our thought process become chaotic when we are required to write longer.
So, the question is why we cannot write the way we talk in our blog posts.
We Forget to Chill
Part of our inability to write long in a conversational tone is because we stress ourselves in our attempt to assert our ‘authority’ and to prove that we really know what we are talking about.
We take too seriously when those experienced bloggers tell us to write valuable posts. As beginners, we tend to assume something as valuable only when it is long. So, instead of being true to ourselves and writing things that are close to our hearts, we become ‘someone else’ so that we are accepted.
We hide our insecurities behind a false persona in our attempt to send out the message that we are indeed experts.
But alas! This pretension becomes all too obvious in our writing and our attempt at connecting with our readers fall flat.
We are Afraid of Being Judged
Just observe the way you talk to your friends or spouse.
I’m sure you’re not too bothered about the correctness of each word that you utter.
Unless you’re trying to hide something.
You are more natural and remain your true self.
In front of them, you do need to prove that you’re smarter than you actually are.
So, instead of using intelligent-sounding words (like people normally tend to do in their blogs), you use simple, everyday words to drive home your point. And in most cases, you’re able to communicate your thoughts properly. The words come out nicely and not forced.
You are at your informal best and even have no qualms about using colloquialisms. And yet everything sounds fine.
Here, you’re not trying to impress anybody. You’re just trying to get your message through by being your true self.
But when you write a blog post, you are terrified of being judged and criticised. And so this program runs in your brain subconsciously, making it difficult for you to chill and enjoy.
We are Unsure of Who Our Target Audience is
The difference between writing a blog post and writing a comment (either on Facebook or in someone else’s blog post) is that, generally, when we write a blog post, if we think about our target audience at all, we do so impersonally, probably with an unconscious fear that what we write will not be good enough or accepted.
But when we write a Facebook status update, comment to a post or a reply to a comment, we know we are connecting with people in our friends’ list who are known to us or with one single individual, who need not be necessarily known to us.
So, what we write is directed either at an already known audience or at the person who wrote the post and connection with them is effortless and it is easier to be ourselves without any fear.
So, if you can stop viewing your audience impersonally, as a crowd of faceless judges, and rather think about connecting personally with one individual, it may change the way you write.
This is where creating different user personas assumes significance.
You cannot be writing in the same way for a group of bike enthusiasts as you would do for a group of executive decision-makers.
While it is true that anyone might read your blog, but a large part of your blog development is about correctly identifying the audience for your niche. It is also understanding how they like to be spoken to.
We are Afraid of Being Our True, Authentic Self
Some of us have this real fear of being visible.
I’m an unabashed Neil Patel fan and the other day I read one of his posts where he says he lists down a few questions that he asks himself every time he writes a post. One of the questions struck me deep, “Would you be embarrassed if a friend or a co-worker read your article?”
Some of us have a tendency to hide our dreams from our family and friends who can not be supportive of our ideas as they want us to be more ‘practical’ or ‘realistic’. This becomes a habit and as a result, we even end up covering up our true merits.
When you are afraid of being visible and being your true self, it changes the way you talk and act. You fail to properly transmit your thoughts on paper or in your blogs.
It’s strange that this fear even sabotages your dreams unconsciously.
How to “Not to be Someone Else to be Accepted”?
Coming back to why we are different persons in our blog posts and in our comments on other people’s posts, it mostly stems from our fear of being judged and our inability to come out of our little comfort zones.
So, if this is preventing you from fully becoming who you are in your writing, then it needs to be tackled properly.
Firstly, we need to identify and accept that we are faking it all up. The next step would be to take up a few “corrective measures”. Some of these are:
- Do Not Be Afraid of Being Playful. It’ll not be easy for some people, but you need not be afraid of being silly. Hence, they shy away from participating in fun events even if they knew they’re enjoyable. This refusal to participate and allowing yourself to become silly even for a few moments prevents you from being playful. This reflects in your writing which can sound distanced and stiff.
- Take a Small Step at a Time. Because of the way you had been all your life, you may not be able to suddenly become playful. It needs a conscious effort, in the beginning, to be able to loosen yourself, and that’s okay. Take a step at a time, even if it lasts for a few seconds. There are many people who are just their opposite selves in their writing. Meaning, those extremely private persons become the most playful people when they write. But for those who write exactly the way they are in their real lives, it needs a conscious effort to loosen up.
- Be Courageous. Do not afraid to write your take on a topic even if it seemingly is against popular opinion. If you honestly feel about it, you have already provided another perspective to the whole thing. And who knows, what you think is against the tide, maybe, there could be people who can easily relate to what you’re saying. Remember, there’s nothing right or wrong about a content. What is wrong for somebody could be right for someone else.
- Do Not Be Afraid to Be Vulnerable. This is what I just mentioned before. Just write if you strongly feel about something instead of holding back your opinion. Let it become a habit. You cannot please everybody.
The best thing about blogging is it allows to become your true self without any worries.
The freer you are the better you are at connecting with your audience. And the way to do it is to write as if you’re writing to a single individual who is representative of your audience.
You cannot be writing to a crowd of faceless people and expect to be accepted.
So, how are you trying to be true to yourself? Please do share your comments below.