When I began my blog a year ago, I decided to put in place some guiding principles to keep me in line with its vision and purpose (steps toward a thriving, flourishing life), as well as to keep me honest with myself and my readers. Internet etiquette is different for everyone since we all have different expectations of what’s appropriate and beneficial to “put out there,” and it’s so easy to get swayed by other people’s convictions of what your blog should be. Instead of taking on what someone else found appropriate, I put together my own set of rules for my writing. Here is what they were:
- Don’t try to mimic other writers. Be you.
- Be just as spiritual as you want and just as un-spiritual as you want. Fear no judgment, especially from the faithful.
- Be honest. But leave some things unsaid.
- Avoid sarcasm–it doesn’t translate well in writing.
- Cheesy metaphors from life, if used at all, must be accompanied by an authentic revelation of yourself.
- It is not a place to vent about or process your real-time conflict with others.
- If you’re going to use a swear word it better damn well be worth it.
- Do it for you. But consider how others may benefit from your process toward a flourishing life, too.
I try to walk the fine line between transparency and privacy, especially when writing about my shortcomings. Any self-disclosure is intended to be beneficial for the reader. Perhaps as I go along I will discover new or different guidelines to adopt into my repertoire. But for now, these are working out quite nicely for me in this leg of the journey toward a flourishing life. I hope that they help you get on a similar sort of journey for yourself and the people you love.