How much or little does ego play a role in your blogging?

Jen Maidenberg ‏@JenMaidenberg: How much or little does ego play a role in your blogging? What about your thoughts on ego and blogging in general?

ANSWER:

There’s a saying: “if it doesn’t bleed it doesn’t lead” in the newspaper business. The same goes for blogging. The easiest way to bleed is to take something you don’t necessarily want people to know (“I hate kids”, “I failed school”, “I lost a million dollars”, “I killed a man”, etc) and start with that. Then we see your human. I’m human, you’re human, so we can relate.

When you have ego, “I’m great so I’m going to lecture you on the ten ways to be happy”, then nobody wants to read. Ego is a commodity. Honesty is a rarity.

I read recently someone saying, “Your knowledge is a commodity”. This isn’t true. Only ego is the commodity. Your deep, personal knowledge is unique to you. And if you can express it well and without ego, then people will want to read you.

There’s a new area of literature. It’s not novels, or short stories, or literary non-fiction, or magazine articles. It’s “blogerature”. Very few bloggers do actual “blogerature”. In blogerature every paragraph has to deliver value, even has to have a cliff-hanger. And has to be humble and self-deprecating to an extent (don’t be insincere about it) .

When I sit down at the computer I have enough ego to think “people are going to want to read what I am about to type” but then drop off the ego there. Nobody wants to read crap. Follow these “33 Unusual Rules to Be a Good Writer” and that will help with the ego.

The most important thing I do before I start writing is I try to be quiet. If my mind is filled with junk, then junk comes out. Ego comes out. If I try to just sit here, take deep breaths, relax, then I feel it helps eliminate the ego so real writing can begin. Don’t TRY to say anything. Just see what happens and start typing.

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