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May 16, 2007

Nobody Likes a Grumpy, Codependent Blogger

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I’ve been called a whiny blogger, a complaining blogger, an annoying blogger who has no idea what she’s talking about and should just go away, but never a grumpy blogger. However, reading Darren Rowse’s post yesterday on How Not to Become a Grumpy Blogger I fear I may be on my way to becoming one. I give me another 6 months before I start firing things at Susan’s head for no reason. (No, see, it’s different because now I only do it when I have a reason. See? Different.) [Right now, I have warning and can duck. –Susan]

Darren goes in depth to explain all the ways not to turn out grumpy; here’s his list summarized.

  1. Your Personal Worth Is Not Tied To Your Blog Performance
  2. Don’t Believe Your Own Press
  3. Work Life Balance
  4. Be A Relational Blogger
  5. Get Thick Skin

Yeah. With the exception of number two, I’m so totally screwed.

I shouldn’t say that; I’m getting better, but I’m still in trouble. A few months ago, my self-worth was entirely wrapped up in this little blog and how my daily blogging turned out. The other work was fun, but at the end of the day, if I wasn’t able to express something genuine in this blog I went home and beat the cats. That energy and frustration had to go somewhere and it went straight into their little meowing faces.

This was less than ideal.

The problem was I was still blogging with my newbie skin. It was all thin, and translucent and scary looking. Hearing people say mean things about me or blog about how disappointed they were probably affected me more than it should. You can only assure yourself that they don’t know the real you so many times before you’re rocking back and forth under your desk humming.

However, as I mature into the totally awesome blogger that I’m growing up to be (you laugh, you die), I’m realizing that Darren’s right. There does need to be a balance.

Darren’s post caught me because it touches on the evolution that takes place in blogging. You start out wanting people to like you and crying when they don’t, to realizing that you can’t please anyone and all you can do is be yourself and speak your mind. It’s the same for corporate blogs. They start out trying to be people-pleasers, taking advantage of this new and exciting technology, and then they realize all their customers want is to learn about the company and the people behind it. And you can’t fake that.

You have to forget about all the other stuff and just blog. You have to let the good press and the bad roll off your back. And you have to form relationships.

I actually think it’s the relationships you make that will become your saving grace in preventing you from becoming an unbearably grumpy blogger. No matter what kind of blogging you’re doing, you have to interact with others in your industry in order to reach the blogging nirvana that Darren talks about. I know Susan gets somewhat freaked out by this, but it’s possible that I speak to my blogging friends more then my non-industry friends. I can say pretty honestly that Facebook and a group of four ladies and one stalker have ruined my life in a really good way. [I’d judge but my meatspace friends would beat me for the hypocrisy.–Susan] Ha! Look at you pretending you have friends outside of the computer box. You kill me.

But it’s an evolution. I know I’m still at risk for turning into a grumpy blogger. My skin, though thicker, is still too thin. I still care if you don’t like me or if you say mean things about me. And my balance isn’t totally ironed out yet, but it’s better.

I’m going to try and heed Darren’s advice. Maybe print out those five little principles and tape them to my computer monitor where my picture of Rand used to be. (Sorry, Rand, it just didn’t work out.) They’re good points to remember as you continue blogging. I think it’s hard to start out adhering to them, but over time, if you’re going to have any long term success in this space, or "survive in the rough and tumble", you have to listen to Darren.

Blog. Make friends. And have a life.

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7 responses to “Nobody Likes a Grumpy, Codependent Blogger”

  1. feedthebot writes:

    “Sorry, Rand, it just didn’t work out”

    Why do women always wait till you go to China to tell you stuff like that?

    You are hilarious and write so well it makes me puke. One of the most daunting tasks I face as a blogger is to be half as personable and funny as you are.

    Until I am personable and funny I plan to steal stuff from your old posts. I’ve only done this for a week you know, I need an “in” and have decided my “in” is recycled Lisa.

  2. Lisa writes:

    Ew. Recycled Lisa sounds totally disgusting. And painful.
    Disgusting and painful.

  3. Nathania Johnson - The SEM Zone writes:

    Wow, I can’t believe people have said those things. Cuz I think you have the best blogging “voice” in the seo blogosphere.

    Those other kids are just jealous.

  4. mooreseo writes:

    You are a great blogger and if nothing else, you make me laugh and look at this industry with fresh eyes. As a soon-to-be-blogger, this is such an intimidating topic for me. I am working on finding my voice and I love that yours is so unique. Best wishes.

  5. Janna writes:

    I too very much enjoy your blogs…great humor…hope the cats are enjoying you more now that you don’t beat them at night!

  6. Rebecca Kelley writes:

    If your blog implemented a voting system, I’d be willing to be you’d get less thumbs down than me (except for all the negative thumbs you’d get from Jane–she’s a cranky Kiwi).

  7. Lisa writes:

    Yeah, I’m striving a little higher than just being more likable than Rebecca Kelley. I can pull that off on my grouchy days.



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