For my grad class we are supposed to be “living the blogging life,” which means following, reading, and blogging ourselves (that’s right, you are currently reading my homework). As part of our blogging, we are supposed to be determining our purpose and audience. This has been something I’ve struggled with since I started.
How casual or formal do I want to be? Is this a place for my take on pop culture or more lengthy discourse on societal, cultural, and literary trends? Am I writing as an educator or a writer? What I’m left with, I’m afraid, is a fairly directionless mess.
My favorite blogs tend to have a definite purpose. Joyce Valenza, for example, always provides relevant tools and ideas that I can immediately put to use in my library, with a focus on technology. Jennifer Hubbard writes gorgeous posts on the writing technique and psychology. Cynthia Leitich Smith keeps me up to date on happenings in the KidLit world. She is also extremely generous in her support of debut writers, using her platform to introduce them to a wider audience. Hannah Holmes teaches me something new about the world with each post. Malinda Lo writes cogent examinations of literature, movies, and television through the lenses of gender, race, and sexuality.
While each of these people occasionally stray from their primary focus, in general they stay on point. Melissa Walker has a blog that I admire that shows a few more sides of her: writer, fashionista, new mother, cat owner, and, again, a very generous supporter of other writers. Kate Messner, my role-model in terms of being an educator/writer/mother, also mixes her personal adventures with her ideas about teaching and writing. Balance like this seems very difficult to pull off.
Though I know what I think works, it’s very hard for me to pick a focus. I’m curious, fellow bloggers, how do you structure yourselves? How do you decide what is blog-worthy or not? And how do you maintain a consistent voice?