It’s Friday. So why am I not thrilled? I’ll tell you why: I wrote this at the end of a looooong and hellish Thursday. After a week of no fresh content on G&G because there simply was no time. And I think that bites. Because I so love blogging. And I miss you guys.
“Are you OK?”
My lovely Sacramento, thank you for asking. I am OK, and then not. Nothing serious, just the most severe case of unintended lack of blog time I’ve ever experienced. The last seven days went kind of like this:
Stitch up NY hotel arrangements Publish post Hike in the snow 1.5 hours* Wake up take an hour walk Have a nerf gun shootout with my niece and nephew Discover the truth about people and loyalty Stressful family dinner Escape by seeing a movie Wake up take a 1.5 hour walk Draft blogger spotlight content Install activate and deactivate 20+ plugins Fight for the sheets Wake at 6:30am Drive to work 45 minutes Check email Do content dev on 40+ pages more than once Get approvals Update sharepoint site navigation and record Draft instructional copy with screen captures Calls Meetings Drive home 45 minutes Grab a snack Go to the gym for an hour Watch TV Try to help a fave blogger out with some tips Repeat day Spend four hours creating and launching a new blog header Tweet thanks and messages Respond to comments Try to visit other blogs but there is no time Repeat day Promise to watch a rented DVD and fall asleep through half Try to respond to questions and inquiries Google code to change template multiple times on multiple days Repeat day Hand-hold through the tough stuff Drive home 45 minutes No food in the fridge Order Chinese Draft a post…
Is that rundown authentic enough? Is my admission that blogging is HARD WORK—especially when you have a lot of other things to do—real enough? Because blogging with purpose and with quality really is hard work. I haven’t posted since Sunday, but in between all the other life stuff, I’ve been working frantically behind-the-scenes to try to find one decent sharing plugin that meets my needs (to be continued), the right code to change my template by myself (getting there), and wishing I could get an outfit shot in before nightfall (maybe next week). That’s hours of stuff that you never see, though I’m sure many of you feel my pain.
So I am authentically, genuinely, most definitely fried, people. A little burned out from life, and my blogging is bearing the brunt. But being fried is not this week’s Friend Friday** topic. It’s actually authenticity. So let us commence.
How would you describe blog/blogger authenticity?
How do you infuse your blog with that true/authentic feeling?
Blogger authenticity is nothing more than being yourself. It’s not about what you own, what you wear, or how you look—but owning who you are, today—not who you want to be or who you were. Authenticity is truth. Attempting to claim any truth other than the real truth will get you every time.
As far as G&G goes, as demonstrated above, I confess that I am a mere human and not a super-blogging-machine. I write very informally, and although I don’t share all aspects of my life, I think I share enough to allow my readers to see the real me. I think video is especially important in that regard. Photos are lovely, but can be contrived. Video is so much more revealing and a better representation of a person, in my opinion. There are aspects of me that come across in my vlogs that wouldn’t in print alone. My Friend Friday: Am I a narcissist? vlog is a good example of this.
I’ve written this a gazillion times before, but I also believe that genuine, frequent interactions with readers establishes authenticity better than anything else. When you write back to readers or visit their blogs, you share your voice and perspective even more informally. And readers can see that you actually care, that you are a real human being. That is huge to me. So many of us adore celebs and designers, but because we rarely interact with them on a personal level, sometimes they almost don’t seem real.
It’s human interaction that creates connectedness. Without it, we are simply photos on a page. Or worse, talking heads.
Have you stopped following a blog in the last three months?
What made you lose interest?
Yes, actually. I’ve stopped following several. I tend to lose interest in:
- Bloggers who don’t show the love back. One recently had the audacity to tweet me and ask for a contest vote when she never comments on my blog, tweets me, or interacts with me at all. I’m mean, not even a #FF tweet, for crying out loud. Nothing. I’m like, who the hell are you? I only vote for people I don’t know in political elections.
- Blogs that are more like online journals. Unless you’re Garance Doré, I don’t really want to read that stuff. No offense. Life is challenging enough. I prefer to escape.
- Cheesy outfits, mediocre photos, and bad grammar. We can all spell-check…that’s no biggie. But as far as the photos and outfits, I don’t have any more advice on this; I do think some bloggers excel in the composition and production of outfit posts. But the ones that don’t…gah. They are so bad. I don’t have to have the same style to appreciate a blogger’s shots; I suppose what I appreciate is the art of it, more than anything. You can be totally opposite of me, but if you are unique, fun, kind, and real, I will like you. And your blog.
We can’t communicate effectively on our blogs what we don’t live in real life.
What are some ways you try to live an authentic life?
I don’t know how not to live an authentic life. Seriously. I am who I am, and truth be told, people either love me or loathe me. That’s OK.
I’m a little bit of a lot of stuff. I’m complex and contradictory. I have to go out, explore, keep learning, travel, make mistakes, get dolled up, sweat like crazy in the gym, party hard, work hard. That’s just who I am. Part of my journey is documented here. The fun stuff, mostly. But even the things you don’t see inform me as a person. I’ve found that admitting my weaknesses and strengths goes a long way in establishing authenticity and credibility. Nobody’s perfect. People can’t deal with even the illusion of it.
Give a shout-out…which bloggers do you think are truly genuine and why?
Oh, there are so many I just love, that are so very authentic. Bella of The Citizen Rosebud. B of Beautifully Invisible. Brooke of Center Sage. Jemina. Sacramento of Mis Papelicos. Anika of By Anika. Christina of Profresh Style. Meg of The Jersey Gem. Kristina of Pretty Shiny Sparkly. Erika of Style Activist. Suze of Miss Vinyl Ahoy. And so many more!
*Yes, I really did hike in the snow…I told y’all I’m not all glam. (I survived, Anika!) Here’s a snippet of video, and it’s tiny because it was shot with my iPhone. You can hear Mr. Stylist’s Aussie-infused narration.
**The Friend Friday project by Modly Chic is a way for fashion bloggers to share more about themselves and create a friendly connection with other bloggers. Join the conversation by joining the Fashion Beauty Friend Friday Google Group.