Whenever I go on WordPress’ “Topic” page and see the “personal” tag, I always remember that article I’ve read about starting up a blog. Even if I can’t remember the exact title of the article, I can clearly remember what it said: write about a specific subject. It could be something really awesome like writing stories or something most people overlook like macrame, it would be narrow enough that a blogger would have a clear focus but also wide enough for that blogger to find new topics to post. It seemed to be under the impression that personal blogging has a lot of down sides.
According to that article, blogging about personal life is rather problematic. For example, it can be too random — so many things happen in a blogger’s life — that he or she would lose focus or get bogged down with so many things to say but not knowing what to post. On the other hand, a person might write just about anything that comes to mind, leaving the post rather random, unplanned, or plain old pointless. However, coming from the writing perspective, I do see that blogging about one’s life is very much viable if the blogger is writing in narrative form.
There are a lot of definitions for a narrative essay, but I almost always explain to my students that it’s an essay that presents a point through story form. As with all stories, it should have a beginning, middle, and end. However, it should be done in a systematic way for it to be clear and meaningful. It should have five elements:
- Backgrounder: details that lead to the conflict (e.g. setting, characters, events).
- Conflict: a problem, difficulty, or dilemma that needs to be resolved.
- Resolution: the actions taken by the person to resolve the conflict leading to the end of the experience.
- Point: the insight from the experience that makes it worth sharing (e.g. lesson or realization).
No matter how long or short each element would be, ensuring that these elements are in the post would make it more deliberate; not everything in life is worth telling, so the blogger would have the capacity to pick a suitable topic. Perhaps, it could be something that he or she feels strongly about like his or her own philosophies in life. It would also make the post sound structured. It would definitely from from start to finish, one event leading to another until the end is reached. Most of all, the post would also be relevant for both the blogger and the reader; the blogger would, of course, be proud of it since it’s his or her life, and the readers might relate to it, considering that it’s a life of another real person that’s just making his or her way through life and making a mark in cyberspace.
With all that said, I’d say go ahead with writing about personal matters. Seek the mundane and elevate it with the meaning of the experience. Start at the beginning, showcase an issue, tell of the quest towards the ending. Most importantly, share the meaning of it. This way, even if the writing is not subject specific, it’ll have a specific thrust, structure, and most importantly, relevant. That should give each blogger a sense of confidence in adding that “personal” tag, and hopefully, more readers would look forward to clicking that tag everyday.