friends, readers, bloggers: lend me your ears (and comments...or, better yet, don't)

by kellybakes in ,


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I have a bit of a confession to make. For the past 27 years, I've suffered a terrible, incurable affliction.

I want people to like me. I know that we all do to some degree, but ever since kindergarten, I've felt an overwhelming need to be in everyone's good graces. If there was a new kid in class, I felt a gravitational pull towards the spot next to them on the reading carpet. I was the first to volunteer to walk them to the office and I'd run to stand next to them in line in the cafeteria. This tended to either work in my favor or make the poor newbie feel smothered and overwhelmed, or just annoyed that I was so friendly and interested in them. In fact, it seemed that the less someone was inclined to be my friend, the harder I tried to make them like me.

It's no surprise, then, that when I got a blog, I thought it would be yet another outlet for me to try to be clever and charming and adorable and witty in hopes of winning people over and making friends.

Some things are easier said than done. 

It turns out, some people are just better in person than on paper [or on screen]. I can't seem to shake the 6 years of studying Lit from my writing voice, no matter how much I try to write like I speak. I have more blogs on my Google Reader than I can count, giving me plenty of insight as to what kinds of posts will generate comments from readers. Try as I might, I can't seem to fit my voice or my posts to the formula. In fact, in the occasions that I have, it's been about as successful as the time I tried to befriend the new girl, Janina, by giving her one of my prized rocks from my collection, only to have her cast it off across the kickball field before recess was even over.

Interestingly enough, despite my professed love of bacon and almost crippling dependence on eggs, butter and non-organic white sugar, I've received the most feedback on blogposts about vegan baking. Granted, one was a giveaway, but it garnered steady followers nonetheless. I've been told that, as a non-vegan, my recipes and posts are "refreshing" to read. In fact, they've even got me a spot guest posting on a vegan blog next month.

Perhaps we're at our best when we don't try to be the best. Though to have friends we must first be a friend, I sometimes get so excited at the prospect of getting to know someone that I forget that no one wants to be friends with a smothery someone who is a little too eager to please. Likewise, readers aren't as likely to connect when they know a post is just reaching for comments. When I read blogs, I want to feel as though I'm hearing someone's voice and getting to know them through their writing. Reading a good blog makes me feel like I'm catching up with a good friend. So, for my friends who know me well and my readers who are trying to, I promise to be true to myself and true to my voice [when it escapes the chokehold of Academia it's currently under] even if it means crickets in the comments section.