As I was checking how my Weekly Workout Round-Up for last week post looked on email and on my phone, I was a little surprised to see a phrase that snuck into the post: “…but I’m a bad blogger…” I caught my breath. Crap. How did that get in there? I often see this phrase in other blogger’s posts – and it always bothers me. Yet here it was, staring back at me, typed from my very own keyboard.
Why did I write this? Why did I spend time and wordage to announce to you all that I’m a “bad” blogger? What horrible, non-blogger, evict-me-from-the-club (which is as free-form and self-directed as any club could possibly be) thing did I do? You might want to sit down. Brace yourselves, because…I went for a run with friends, and didn’t take a picture.
Just stop for a minute, and let that sink in. I didn’t take a picture.
[Oh, the horror!!]
[First world problems, anyone?]
But I am not alone. Failure to Photograph (food, workouts, friends, clothes, etc.) seems to be a common reason to call oneself a “bad blogger”. Other reasons include:
“Had guests visit, failed to post for three days, bad blogger.”
“Chose random, rambling post topic(s) = Bad blogger.”
“Devoted an entire post to cute photos of kiddos…bad blogger.”
“Didn’t Reply to every Comment. Bad blogger.”
“Wore sweatpants instead of cute outfit: bad blogger.”
“Doesn’t care about hits/clicks/visits/SEO/etc. Bad blogger!”
I’d dig up specific examples, but honestly – they’re too numerous (and I’m tired). If you’ve been hanging out in the blog world for awhile, then you know what I’m talking about. In fact, Olive To Run provides a great summary of some in her post Confession: I am really not a good blogger, if you’re interested. [Please note that I’m not criticizing Olive, by any means – I quite enjoy her blog and her thoughts. And admittedly, she used “not good” rather than “bad”. But I was struck by how someone who is so unapologetically herself, so “tell it like it is”, and whose blog is so clearly popular – could still proclaim that she’s “not a good blogger”. I mean, if she’s not a good blogger, then what am I!?!]
So I paused for a moment and considered what I really, truly think would constitute a “bad” blogger (where “bad” means, you know, “not good”). Yes, this is subjective, but I see no way around that. I gave myself sixty seconds, and here is the list I generated:
A “bad blogger” is someone who….
1. Never posts (in which case he/she would hardly be a “blogger”, really, right?)
2. Writes false, malicious, or nasty things about people/places/things
4. Provides positive reviews in exchange for free products/services
5. Embeds links to malicious or pay-per-click sites, camouflaged as useful, interesting sites
I re-read my list. Yup, all of those things seem like they should qualify someone for “bad blogger” status. But gosh, wouldn’t you know it – “Didn’t take a picture” just wasn’t on there. Nowhere. Not anywhere on the list. And I checked. Twice. [Call me Santa.]
This little chit-chat with myself was starting to feel like a conversation I have so often it makes me want to scream. I’m going to use “X” here, but do note that “X” is almost always a female.
X: Well, I do jog. But I’m not a real runner.
Me: Hm. What do you mean?
X: Well, I’m not like you. I’m not a real runner.
Me: Well, do you run?
X: Well, kind of. I jog.
Me: OK, I think random pace distinctions are stupid. All joggers are runners, in my book. How often do you run?
X: A few times a week, maybe 3?
Me: Ah. And, how long/far?
X: Not long. Just about thirty minutes or so.
Me: You run for about 30 minutes, three times per week? Yup, it sounds to me like you’re a runner! So stop selling yourself short, and own the description: runner. Runner!
In some way/shape/form, most of us do this – likely, more than we realize. Broadly speaking, women are especially good at it, as are Asians in general. Under the guise of “modesty” or “not bragging”, we imply/suggest/joke/or outright state the we aren’t good, or aren’t good enough, or are actually downright bad. Somehow, this has become a socially acceptable, amusing, and often admirable, habit. But truth be told, I find nothing funny or attractive about it. Instead, I find it annoying at best, and depressing at worst.
Of course, I’m not suggesting we all start bragging about everything we can do. But maybe, just maybe, we should stop selling ourselves short and counting ourselves out of things that we are doing – and are doing well.
So I’m putting my foot down. There shall be no more “bad” blogger, or pseudo-“bad” blogger talk from this space any more. I’m a blogger. I might even be a good blogger. And if you find this blog’s content informative, interesting, and/or somewhat amusing, please do stick around. And if you don’t? Well, you probably weren’t reading this post in the first place. And that’s just fine.
So here’s my message for you today: Embrace who you are. Be real, be honest, be active, and be genuine. And please, whatever you do, don’t waste time and energy selling yourself short.
Let’s be warm and fuzzy for a moment. Finish this sentence:
“I (meaning you) am an AWESOME blogger because _________.”
Any blogosphere pet peeves? Come on, get ’em off your chest!