Blogging Authentically.

Blame it on too many years as a student, but any venture I take part in, I look for themes. The search for themes often takes place in subconscious gatherings, until my mind pieces together all the parts and comes to a new conclusion.

Recently, I’ve found some themes in the blogosphere that sit uncomfortably in my heart. Two major themes I’ve found tied together in the blogging world lately are: the fear of authenticity and the need to apologize for real life.

Authenticity Quote / from TheSirensTale.com

In the middle of 2013, I read several “exposé” articles from well-loved blogs. These posts shed the aesthetic perfectionism seen featured on most blogs today, and the bloggers unabashedly shared photography and stories from their real day-to-day lives.

You know, real life: messy life. The ‘I just got home from work and my make-up wore off hours ago‘ life. The laundry baskets are overflowing and the sink full of dishes are begging for soap life. The beautifully captured photo, but messy background life. And these posts were beautiful.

Sadly, this trend began to change toward the end of the year, and I began seeing apologetic bloggers crop up regularly.

Stop Apologizing / from TheSirensTale.com

I’m sorry I haven’t been able to post 2-3 times per week.
I’m sorry my pictures are in low lighting.
I’m sorry that I didn’t respond to your comment within 10 minutes.
I’m sorry that I’ve been a bad blogger.

In a blogging world that has turned so artistic and aesthetic, some people are feeling left in the dust, desperate to make everything look perfect, all the while losing the true focus of life (and blogging): to enjoy it.

Be You, Bravely / from TheSirensTale.com

I challenge you to embrace yourself and your real life. Accept the messes because they’re all part of the ride. You’re beautiful whether you’re fresh from a selfie shot, or covered in baby vomit after a hellish night of crying. Your life is perfect, just as it is, without the backdrops, the pre-arranged photography, and the need to “capture a moment”, only after cleaning everything else out of the frame and perfectly aligning decor in the background.

Be you, and be that bravely. Your strength and honesty may just become a guiding light for someone feeling alone, a welcomed voice for someone to relate to, or a sprig of hope for those feeling lost.

Do you blog authentically?
Do you feel pressure for perfectionism online or in life?

371 responses to “Blogging Authentically.

  1. I blog authentically because I don’t know how to do it any other way. SO MANY of my readers know me and/or my husband in real life. They know I’m a tell it like it is person, and my blog is no different or I’d be called on it for sure. Plus the fact that I just don’t get wanting to come off as perfect – it’s an illusion.

    • Steph, one of the reasons I adore your blog is how authentic and real you always are. It’s heartwarming!

      I’m with you on perfectionism. While I tend to be a perfectionist with some things (like my academics), blogging is not one of them. Sure I obsess over the edits on my writing posts or I hope that I’m choosing the best set of photographs from a recent trip to share, but I know I’m flawed. My world and life are flawed. And I love every minute of it! Thanks for stopping by & leaving a comment 🙂

  2. This question of authenticity has been on my mind lately. It’s a word that gets tossed around a lot, but can take on so many different meanings, depending on the person. I am a perfectionist, but I do tend to embrace my flaws and write out loud about them. It’s a lot less work to just be whoever you are and the people you draw in will be authentic as well.
    Nice, thoughtful post for a Sunday morning!

  3. What is perfection anyway? And why do we feel a need to attain it? To me, perfection isn’t real, and to make it a goal is a hindrance to true creativity. I think it was Margaret Attwood who said something to the effect that if she was trying for perfection in her writing, she wouldn’t produce a word.

    • Jennifer, these are such wise words and an important reminder for us all! It’s hard to not want “perfect”, then again as you said, what IS perfect? There’s no such thing.

      I really enjoy the thought that a strive for perfection reduces creativity. That’s a great motivating factor to let it all go 🙂

  4. Cait, you’re always a breath of fresh air. Keep it up, the world is bound to notice 🙂

  5. Your observations echo my own thoughts as both a reader and writer. It is understandably tempting in word and image to posture authenticity in a way that filters life’s imperfections, but it is far more beautiful to invite the uncomfortable margins of our stories into our telling. Brave, indeed.

  6. “accept the mess” is such a wonderful way to put it. I’ve been dealing with more of a “mess” that usual in recent months and have found myself feeling guilty (though not guilty enough to change my behavior) about neglecting my blog and networking in the blogging community. thanks for the reminder about what matters – my own happiness.

    happy to have connected with you. love your words.

    • I’m so glad to have connected with you too, Eileen! Your health journey is really inspirational for me and you are just the sweetest 🙂

      I struggle with feeling guilty about neglecting my blog as well. It’s hard to not want perfection and accept that our lives have bumps in them, but the beauty is found there as well!

  7. My thing is, who is to say what is authentic for another person or not or what’s proper in applying yourself to blogging. I liken this to children, they all have different personalities, likes, proclivities, and ways of communicating emotion, thought, etc., So do adults and adults in blogging.

    One of my favorite bloggers seldom appears on WP, but she has a family, and is a provider off WP. And she’s a perfectionist, but I don’t see that as wrong. I love her work, it moves me quite powerfully, and part of what creates that is the life she has along with the values.

    So I think we should just enjoy what people are putting out there, or not, be who we are as a reader and blogger ourselves. Not everyone can be on stage continually or at all, in the ways others are. And that’s fine, that is their expression. Besides, we all get different things from certain postings.

    Interesting post.

    • Great point about the varying definitions and perspectives on authenticity! I don’t think being a perfectionist is wrong; but I think having so much pressure to be perfect is wrong. We all are human, with flaws in life – why not embrace them and enjoy the ride? 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by + commenting!

      • I think you’re right about embracing flaws, and embracing them. But you know, there are no perfect people, and also how people engage with those flaws can be beautiful.

        I don’t mean to be the ‘but….’ girl, but I also think we as their supportive community should embrace however they do that. Cuz, requiring another way may be a part of that pressure called expectation for some.

        Okay, now I’m done being the ‘wait…but…’ girl. Lol.

        Just wanted to say, those people tarrying are getting there… that’s all.

        All the best Caitlin (and thanks for receiving my comment from before). 😉

        Take good care… xo

  8. Life is indeed messy…..I think that perfection is like a defence, it moves us away from and covers up our vulnerable spots….the ones we’ve noticed at least……but it also moves us away from the creative edge. To be creative is to be messy, but we have to feel safe enough to play and make a mess!

    • “I think that perfection is like a defense, it moves us away from and covers up our vulnerable spots”

      This is so, so true. I often try to hide my flaws and imperfections, but in reality, it’s just a defense mechanism. A fear of being vulnerable. Like you said, this fear drives us away from creativity! Better to embrace the messes and let the creative juices flow 🙂

  9. I love this post and the discussion it stirred up. I would say, I’m pretty transparent and my spelling isn’t the best and my grammar even worse but I don’t even care. It’s a release for me. I’m more of a listener than a talker so getting out via my blog just feels like a giant relief sometimes. I have talked to some gals who I think would make really wonderful bloggers and they will say things like, I want to make sure it’s well written etc. They have so much to offer but the fear of being perfect keeps them away. Anyway, I love the heck out of you and your blog. Love your friend Tracie

    • Thanks, Tracie! I really think blogging should be about expressing yourself honestly and creatively, no matter how that transpires. I’ve tried talking some of my friends into blogging, but I often hear a lot of the same that you do – ‘I don’t have a good camera’, ‘I don’t have time to make it perfect’, etc. It’s really too bad :/

      It was so good hearing from you, friend! I am on the edge of my seat with anticipation with how much goodness is on your horizon in 2014. I feel like something big and wonderful will happen for you this year!

  10. I’m right there with you on this! I long to blog authentically and to read other authentic posts. That way we truly can all build each other up!

    • So true, Susannah. A blog I’ve been reading for 2+ years recently had a post where the blogger opened up about several big issues she was facing. In the comments, I was surprised to see how many readers said they wished they’d known, her life seemed so perfect, and if they had known she was struggling, they would have supported her stronger. It goes to show how far authenticity can take you in relating to others!

  11. True words indeed! There are many times I’ve gone to snap a photo only to realize I have a ton of food wrappers or paperwork or dirty socks in the corner of the frame, then shy away from posting it because I don’t want others to see my “mess.” But our mess is the collective mess, and it is so beneficial — freeing, really — to just be yourself without the photo shoot. It’s refreshing to recognize that in others, too! We’re all human, after all, and blogging — writing — is all about connection for me. What better way to connect than through honesty?

    • Meg, I couldn’t agree more! During a date recently, I grabbed my camera and started snapping pictures. My guy said, “Please, not on Facebook or the blog, I look terrible” and it made me realize this strive for projected perfectionism affects so many people, not just bloggers.

      I love blogging because it can be real, raw, and honest. The connections you form with people all over the world are worth every bit of vulnerability, and we never know what our honesty is doing for someone else. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts! Love having these conversations going on over here.

  12. I love this! It is so true! I do not understand why bloggers -I’m sure I have done it myself though- insist on saying sorry for downright silly things like not blogging everyday. I went through all of October and November and only posted 9 times each month. It happens. It is not the end of the world. Kudos to you!

    • Thanks for stopping by, Nikki! I catch myself apologizing on the blog and in life constantly. But then you have to stop and ask yourself: What the heck am I apologizing for? Being me? Being human? It’s just silly the pressure we put on ourselves sometimes.

  13. I need this reminder for every day life, not just on my blog. I get really insecure about our home whenever anyone comes over and go on a clutter clearing rampage. Hide the laundry! Put away the dishes! Pretend like we never eat or drink or sleep because it’s messy! Our house ends up looking like a model home rather than our home and it bums me out afterwards. Thanks so much for the reminder that we all have messes and that the people that really count in our lives will understand, and maybe even help clean them up.

    • Kelly, I’m so glad the post was helpful for life (on and offline). I can relate to being self-conscious about home clutter/mess. It’s funny, we always say our place is cleanest five minutes before guests arrive. The amount of junk you hide/store away is amazing. But at the end of the day, that mess is all a part of our lives. Better to accept it and roll with it, than fight it every step. I love your thoughts that those we show our messes to can help possibly clean them up in life. So beautiful!

  14. Great post, Caitlin! The blogs that I adore the most are the ones that showcase the blogger as a real person by showcasing their vulnerability. I would rather read one blog that’s “real and messy” than a thousand that are seemingly perfect.

  15. Some days I don’t do my best on my blog but I do it 4 times a week. So if people are expecting perfection every time they have another thing coming.

  16. What a wonderful post, and such a great reminder for the new year. We all have the chance to start fresh and start 2014 with complete honesty and authenticity. Thank you for the much needed insight!

    http://6000milestohome.blogspot.com

  17. This is such a good post! I think that a lot of people struggle with this. I worry that sometimes I may come across as having it all together and everything being perfect when of course that is not the case! I try to only write about what is on my heart and hope that it comes across as authentic.

    • Tammy, I think you come off very authentic in your blog! You always include little inside stories that make you seem like a down-to-earth, friendly gal 🙂 I think we all worry and struggle with this aspect. Just last night, I fretted for over an hour about needing to switch to a self-hosted blog so I can have a “mainstream layout”. I caught myself talking about it, and just started cracking up! What a ridiculous thing to be worried about, but I think all bloggers struggle with wanting to put the best out there, all the time.

      Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing your thoughts 🙂

  18. Pingback: Freshly Pressed, Round 2. | The Siren's Tale

  19. I’ll admit that I’m not always completely authentic. I have my reasons for that, although I’m not sure if they are necessarily good reasons

    • I honestly don’t think any blogger is 100% authentic in their blog, just due to it being online. How many of us can say that they are 100% themselves online as they are in person? Many of us have words flow much smoother in an online context than in person. Not to mention all the awkward tendencies most creative people have in person!

  20. Lots of great stuff here Caitlin! I, as you know, struggle with perfectionism often leading to paralysis. But not this year! It’s because of lovely people like you that encourage me to embrace the mess and see the potential! 🙂

    -Laura ❤

    Ps congrats on FP number two!!

    • Thank you, Laura! It’s hard not to strive for perfectionism, especially when it’s a trait that’s inborn to so many of us (or is it learned along the way? Who knows!). But striving for perfection makes us lose track of so many beautiful parts of life, and places so much pressure on ourselves. Sometimes the messes are the best parts because looking back on them, you see so much growth, strength, and integrity. I can’t wait to see your potential grow and flow this year… good things are in store for you, I can just feel it! 🙂

  21. In thinking about this, I’d have to say that I like a variety. For instance, your blog is attractive, you have nice photos, it is easy to read, etc. Most of us want to put our best foot forward on our blogs, and we want to visit blogs that are friendly, have nice visuals, etc. Many of us bloggers have greatly improved our photography skills since blogging…I read people saying that everyday. So I like to see pretty photos. Having said that, I get bored quickly if it is the same sort of thing every day, day in and day out, which one finds quite often on the home decor sites. The blogs that I enjoy the most usually have a mixture of stories, and things going on, with some ‘real’ life thrown in now and again. I don’t think that any of us want to read about messes all day long….or sad stories, etc…any more than we want to read or see what appears to be an unreal life or home because it is so perfect that it appears that it is for sale, not for living in.
    I sew and quilt ( a little and never profess to be anything but a novice ) but the other day I was visiting a quilter’s blog who is what I’d call an expert, and there she was in a post telling how she’d messed something up big time. That is what to me is an authentic blog. Now how good do you think someone like me felt reading that even the experts make mistakes? That’s what makes a blog interesting. Would I want to go on there every day to hear about her mistakes? No, but I think that you know what I mean. And Humor..we all appreciate that. I saw your 2013 summary and the “Dead Wreath ” tutorial box which made me laugh because a few months ago I referred to a corner of a hutch cupboard as my dead-things corner, since it was dried flowers, dried pussy willow, and such. Is my blog truly authentic, though? Not really. I don’t pretend to have a fancy house, and I have shown that my ironing board IS up in my bedroom, lol…but it is more of an outlet for me to find the pleasant things in life …my grandkids, simple everyday things, gardening, etc. Meaning I’d rather blog about the fact that the sun is shining than I woke up with a crick in my neck and had to take 2 Advil, lol!

    Still, I like cozy, comfortable, friendly blogs the most, and they usually have a mixture of beauty and inspiration ( be it photography,nature, cooking, writing, etc ) and reality or what I would describe as being unpretentious..

    • Deb, I definitely agree that variety is fantastic! While I don’t want to visit a blog that is messy, has bad navigation, and is full of negativity, I also don’t want to spend a day looking at blogs that are picture perfect, every day, no matter what. It starts to feel detached to me, like I can never connect to the blog or blogger.
      Above all, I think blog material needs to be relatable. It needs to beckon readers to come, read, reflect, and then move forward through their day with a different thought, laugh, or idea. Some of these reflections come from knowing that other people’s lives have messes as well. That no one is perfect, and that no one should push themselves to attempt perfection (if it even exists). Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing your thoughts! I appreciate it 🙂

  22. Pingback: A Winner To End The Weekend | Defining Wonderland

  23. A big congrats, Caitlin! I knew when I liked and commented on this post it was a winner!

  24. Reblogged this on Jennifer's Journal and commented:
    I loved this post by Caitlin at The Siren’s Tale. A nice “authentic” read. 😉

  25. Hi Catlin, I come here via Jennifer’s Journal and am so glad she highlighted this post! Well written!
    Diana

  26. Wonderful post and well-deserving of a Freshly Pressed! No more apologies!! Gets in the way of living life 🙂

    • Couldn’t have said it better, Kenley! At the end of the day, I think most people would rather say “man, that was a great day” because they were just themselves, no excuses… instead of “oh boy, I did a great job today apologizing for my flaws”. At least for me, the choice is clear!

  27. Excellent post Caitlin… My favourite posts are when I grab a couple of old fotos and scribble down my memories they instill, good or bad 🙂

    • Thank you for your kind words and feedback, Spike! I’m headed over to your blog(s) to see your photos and memories! These are the best kinds of posts, I believe. The posts were we reflect or discuss something in our lives, authentically and genuinely. Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  28. Oh, yes! I blog authentically, with a side of humor. Life is messy. Blogging helps makes sense of it, but only by acknowledging and exploring the mess.
    Congrats!

    • What a great perspective, Kylie! I love the idea that blogging helps makes sense of messy life, and it’s so true. How many bloggers have ever written a post about something good (or bad) in their lives, and how they processed through it? Pretty sure most of us have at some point… which makes blogging a great outlet for our lives; the creative and messy parts. Thanks for stopping by and for your kindness 🙂

  29. I really appreciate this blog post. My goal in life is to be as far away from perfection as I possibly can and be completely comfortable with that. My own blog is very much about my messy far-from-perfect life. I embrace it, and find joy in the fact that there are others who are brave enough to relate (openly).

    • I’m so glad you enjoyed and appreciated my post. I really respect your life outlook and goals, and I think it’s beautiful. How wonderful to completely accept and embrace any/all flaws and to also share them with others. I imagine the community you build through your blog is a strong one! Thanks for stopping by and commenting 🙂

  30. All the good stuff lives in the nooks and crannies of life. Loved your post! I am all about being real! No apologies ever…it is your life!

    • “All the good stuff lives in the nooks and crannies of life.” Best line ever, right there. That is such a spot on way to describe life and how we should approach the bumps and gaps. Reality, although sometimes hard, scary, or sad, is still better than fretting over the details, any day! Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting, Tiffany.

  31. I try hard to be as real as possible. The point of my blog is to show people what everyday life is like while suffering from mental illness. I have caught myself trying to gloss over some of the darker times, as it can be hard to be that vulnerable.

    • Ryan, I appreciate your comment and your honesty! While blogging authentically should be a positive and open experience, we all have some parts of our lives we simply don’t put out there online. I don’t see this as not being authentic; it’s self preservation. In an age where we share 90% of our lives online through blogging, social media, websites, online portfolios, etc, we still all need some privacy to ourselves and within our lives. Never anything wrong with that, and by doing that you’re authentic 🙂 Thanks so much for stopping by!

  32. So good, so true. I apologize constantly, from walking in front of someone to asking a simple question. And I have guilt over how often I post to my blog, what I write about, etc. I am always chastising myself, when I need to remember what’s most important: to be myself, unapologetically, and bravely. And maybe some good writing just might come out of that. Thank you for this, Siren.

    • It’s all too easy to fall into the apologies cycle. I do it constantly myself. Saying sorry for normal parts of our lives seems innocent at first, but it can quickly snowball into feeling guilt over things everyone experiences. It’s so important to stand strong and just “be”, with no apologies attached. When we can accept who we are, without have to attach an apology or explanation to it, creativity flows, and happiness does too. I’m so glad you enjoyed this post, and thank you for commenting!

      • Thank you for your wise words, Caitlin. I look forward to reading more of your posts (and I won’t apologize to anyone for being on the computer too long).

  33. Great post! I wrote something around the same subject recently – hope you don’t mind me sharing it with you http://suzie81.wordpress.com/2014/01/20/blogging-worries-and-paranoia-are-we-limiting-ourselves/

  34. I’m new to this, but I started because I thought the anonymity would let me be brutally honest….I guess I’ll find out !

  35. Having been one of the apologists I find your honesty and self acceptance inspiring. I come late to blogging and it is important to me to get out of my own way when writing. I accept your challenge.

  36. I love this. I am new to the blogging world and have found that it has helped me deal with things. Insecurities, anger, grief. But I can say, I do feel like I have to be careful what I say, because god forbid strangers judge me for feeling certain ways or saying certain things. But because I’m new, I’m learning. Thank you for writing this and trying to help women like me feel comfortable in our own skin and in our own perfectly imperfect lives.

    • I’m so glad you enjoyed my post, Andi 🙂 The blogging world is a wonderful place to find communities, new friendships, and like-minded people. It also can be a platform for comparison and misunderstanding, so I can sympathize with your need to be careful what you say in certain situations.

      Above all, I think it’s important to just be honest and genuine to each of ourselves in any creative venture like blogging. We need to feel strong to say “this is me, and I’m completely okay with that”! The strength that comes from self acceptance can move mountains 🙂

  37. I appreciate this, and I’ve also written the apologetic posts (“sorry I haven’t posted in a while”), and the pre- “I’m gonna be busy posts”. But the reason I do it isn’t to appear perfect, or inauthentic. It’s actually because in my blog I made promises about posting certain times a week, and I want the readers who check regularly to know that I will be back. And the promises are to keep me accountable, so I don’t slack and keep writing. I don’t believe it makes me inauthentic, it probably makes me more real to my readers. “Hey look! I fail too!”

    • Heather, I think your style of blogging sounds extremely authentic! By following up on a promise that you’ve made to readers, you are being genuine and relatable. I’m sure your readers appreciate it and it develops a steady flow for them to look forward to.

      Authentic blogging comes in all shapes and sizes; some even with apologies attached! An apology is never a bad thing to give to readers, it’s just in situations when a blogger feels pressured to deliver some form of perfection and misses the mark – then an apology can be negative. That’s unneeded pressure on anyone to constantly deliver flawless writing, photography, “feel”, and posting schedule. We’re all human and we all err.

  38. I relate. and i agree. So often blogs are overlooked beacaus they dont look like a page (for lack of better wording) freshly pressed out of the pottery barn winter issue. I don’t shop at h&m, My life doesnt come from a catalog.. i dont have my collection of “5 friday favorites” or what have you.. and my kitchen is about the size of a thumbnail. no appologies here.

    • I love your attitude towards it and couldn’t agree more. Some bloggers don’t have the time, money, or resources to design their blog to look straight out of a Pottery Barn or Anthropolgie catalog, and they shouldn’t be discounted because of that. It should be all about content and what the blogger is connecting about with the readers!

  39. This is exactly why I never say “Sorry” if I miss a month or a few weeks on blogging. I acknowledge it but I’m not sorry. Although I do love my blog I have a life outside of it.

  40. Yesi think mines is not perfect . I guess all ametur bloggers blog authentically …but as u have to start bloggin.every week I feel.the creativity goes down due to the presssure of meeting a deadline . I believe that blogging is a very powerful free spirited expression tool . Also discussion platform . blogging a stronger emotional expresser n a silent emotional connecter . I dunno if I can explain …

  41. Great post and thank you! I have stopped and started my blog several times for various reasons and I always kick myself in the @ss because I enjoy it.

    I finally came to the conclusion that if I do it for myself and stop worrying about all the outside influences, my writings will be more genuine and I will have more fun with it.

    Great post

    • Thank you so much for your kind words and for taking the time to read my post! It sounds like blogging brings you a lot of joy, and embracing the genuine up’s and down’s of your life can actually improve your creativity and blogging. I’ve blogged about good and bad times, and it’s always amazing to see the support and encouragement of readers in both situations 🙂

  42. i blog like i talk. i use simple words, because that’s how i talk in real life. Most bloggers ‘talk’ like a dictionary, lots of big words and adjective. I understand them, i know their meanings, i just don’t use them in my own voice. So my blog doesn’t read like a well read book. It reads like me.

    • That makes a lot of sense… we should all write the way we speak. Some people speak like a dictionary and some speak straight-forward, as you do. It’s a nice blend in the blogging world because readers can “feel out” voices of bloggers that are most like themselves, and their own manner of communication. In the end, whether someone speaks with large words or not, a genuine voice is always sought out by readers! Thanks for taking the time to read and comment 🙂

  43. In my hiking stories, I focus on the good stuff, the stuff I want to share today and remember years from now, and I discard the rest. It becomes a Zen-like exercise in looking for the good in each sortie into the wild, especially when a hike was predominantly sucky or I wanted to kill someone.

    If I can extract enough joy from each experience to create a story that would lighten someone’s day, that’s the kind of post I want to publish, the kind of post I want to read, and the kind of life I want to remember. When I do it often enough, that’s the kind of life I end up living, anyway, so win-win.

    • Your process of sharing on your blog sounds really inspiring. It must be a nice experience to sort through all the photographs, memories, and experiences, then piece them together to tell a tale. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts here!

      • Yup, that’s exactly what I do. You get to hike twice that way–Ha, ha!

        Plus, when you edit out the bad stuff, you really do forget about it. You can get so good at it that you even edit your day as it’s happening so that you dodge the crappy and embrace the delicious on instinct. I only read certain blogs.

  44. Thank you for this, all of true. Living bravely and authentically is definitely my daily life and my blog (www.jlbf4.wordpress.com), although is scary as hell. You’re right, don’t apologize for being human! You may also want to check out the work of Brené Brown, she writes and speaks on vulnerability.

    • Authenticity can be scary, without a doubt. Being raw, honest, and authentic also means being vulnerable, which is a state most of us try to avoid for self preservation. But in being raw, honest, and authentic, we show our human sides and our errors which can be very inspiring and encouraging to others. I am definitely going to check out Brené Brown. Thank you for the suggestion and for taking the time to read/comment!

  45. I’m so glad I stumbled on to your blog post here! I have recently started my second blog and I struggle with not apologizing for everything in this blog where as I had no problem laying life out there in my first blog. Thanks for the reminder and the support to all bloggers. Congrats on being FP!!

  46. From an ink smeared page

    Lovely thought 🙂

  47. Reblogged this on Parbinva's Blog.

  48. As a new blogger, your post helps me to remain… authentic 🙂

  49. A lack of authenticity clearly shows throw in the voice of someone’s writing. But I have to say, since joining WordPress (less than a week ago) one of the things that I’ve found most impressive is how often I do and how easy it is to come across a good blog. The most interesting things to read are always the truth. At least that’s this humble blogger’s opinion.

    • Through* (I hate spelling/grammar mistakes, argh!)

    • Welcome to WordPress, Sara! It’s amazing how many blogs are out there filled with beautiful writing, ideas, stories, photography, projects, lifestyles, etc. There’s so much to see and take in, all the while trying to form some relationships with new readers/bloggers you meet across the web. Here’s to staying authentic in that journey! Thank you for stopping by and commenting 🙂

  50. Thank you for writing this post. It reminded me of why I started a blog in the first place: for me and my interests/ life. Other individuals connecting to it is just a bonus! Although it is scary as hell to write about my life in all of it’s realities (and find that line between over sharing to the point of discomfort vs. giving the appropriate and needed info.) I find this fear fades the more I find other bloggers who write open and honestly not just about themselves but about their work. So again, thank you.

    • You’re so welcome, Kyra! I’m glad you enjoyed the post. It’s a fine line between over-sharing and being authentic/honest. I think it really depends on the blogger, the readers, and the comfort level of the situation. We all want to hear good and bad, so it’s a fine balance. In the end, as long as we are being ourselves and letting the creative juices flow, we’re on the right track! Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting 🙂

  51. Reblogged this on Living To Be Remembered and commented:
    Well Blogged!

  52. Monica DiNatale

    If everyone was honest the world would be a better place. Too many people try to be something they’re not.

  53. There’s a lot of perfection pressure out there. But as a friend recently reminded me: Two out of three ain’t bad.

  54. I am guilty of deleting personal posts that deal with the reality of my life.. That revealed too much of myself.. Heck I can’t even name my blog and be happy with it.. I have no problem with my Book Reading Blog “Books I’ve Enjoyed , (And some I haven’t) and my recipe blog on blogspot: ONE MORE RECIPE. It’s my personal life blog I can’t seem to handle. I keep changing the name.. PORCH SWING EVENINGS is a piece of my life.. we sit on the swing all the time in the evenings when weather allows, but the name sounds too tame..Oh well.

  55. So very true, Caitlin! P.S I love themes too… I’m always looking for them as inspiration in my writings 🙂

  56. Enjoyed this blog…thanks!

  57. Very nice, it felt so…..velvety? Yes, that.
    I think I write authentically, because I write it like I think I’d say it; in less than stellar english, with structure that has no structure, from the dark recesses of my spotty memory. I’m very glad you wrote this.

  58. I hear ya. Sometimes it is a challenge to let the world see the reality of your life in your blog. After all, who wants to air out dirty laundry in public, right? For some, it’s just easier to let the readers know only the good bits about their lives. Then again, that is the beauty of blogging: it is the blogger’s prerogative how much he or she wants to divulge through his or her writings. 🙂

  59. “Be you, and be that bravely.” is my entire reason for blogging. I always want to remain true to myself. Thanks for the inspiration. I’m new to the blog world.and this post was great advice.

  60. I love this plea to be kinder to our(blogging)selves. I have to wonder why I blog sometimes, but I’m certain that beating myself up over how imperfect I am is not one of them (there are soooo many other opportunities in my frenetically paced life.) It’s to reflect and chat and share and capture. Thanks for this sweet reminder!

    • Jen, couldn’t have said it better myself! We have so many moments in life where we see our imperfections – it’s difficult to want to share all those while blogging. But it’s also a great tool to reflect and build communities during all the “muck” that comes up in life. Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting 🙂

  61. This is a great read! I think it was kismet to read your post this week. I wrote a very authentic post this week about dreading spending time with my children and got some backlash for it in the comments. . . it took some deep soul searching to be able to accept that, but I’m still glad I wrote the post because it did resonate with some other moms. Anyhoo. . . great post and congrats on being fp’d!

    • People like to be lied too. Keep being real. Motherhood is great, but it can be challenging

    • I’m so sorry to hear about the backlash you received from your post. I think some people forget that bloggers are real people behind the computer screen, with fears, annoyances, and limits in their life. I don’t know any mother who hasn’t said on some days “I just really don’t want to be ‘Mommy’ right now.” No one should beat you up for speaking the unspoken truth 🙂

      Thanks for your kindness and your feedback!

  62. this is absolutely true! in my case, there are countless times when i feel tempted to delete my blog since i feel like i’m baring my ugly self to the world, but then i would remind my self there’s nothing wrong about being genuine to your feelings. thanks for this!

  63. I see blogging as an extension of who a person is. Every word you write you have to be willing to own fully and have attached to your spirit and your name. I, too, think that too many years as a student can foster an unhealthy pattern of perfectionism; if a person is lucky, it that perfectionism doesn’t leave the classroom or the walls created metaphorically that house our academic endeavors.
    BUT. Thanks for the post. It’s a good reminder that we should all be as authentic as possible. Striving for authenticity and genuity in life is easier said than done. It requires vulnerability, which isn’t easy for most.

    • I agree with your sentiment that blogging is an attachment of oneself {as any creative venture is}. When we creatively put ourselves out there, we have to own “the product” we are delivering. Some decide to deliver authenticity, while others deliver a mix-and-match of posts.

      I’m not exactly sure what you mean about years as a student and perfectionism; not sure if that’s referencing the opening line of my blog post. However, I’ve been blogging/writing for well over 10 years and have seen this strive for perfectionism is every education category: people who dropped out of high school, GED recipients, all the way up to people holding several PhD’s or PsyD’s. I don’t think there’s an automatic association between patterns of perfectionism and academia; that seems to lie more within each individual student and their personality type.

      Thanks for taking the time to read and comment!

  64. As a blogger who knows she probably has a couple grammar errors in each of her posts, I really like this message.
    Blogging for me is sort of an emotional purging. I get annoyed with things and I write about them, cry about them, but never lie about them.

  65. This is something I was just discussing with a friend — and you nailed it!

  66. What a beautiful post and great question to present! 🙂 For me, one of the reasons I started blogging was to try and find (or rediscover) my authentic self. Although there is usually pressure to be perfect in this world, blogging helps me remember there is much more to life than being perfect. Thank you challenging us to embrace our real selves 🙂

  67. Your post is a reminder about the true essence of blogging. Sometimes I feel hesitating, unsure, then I would stumble to something like what you wrote that empowers me to stay true. It’s a work in progress but please continue to be awesome.

  68. I loved this post! And I agree with everything you said! We shouldn’t apologize for a busy life, and the messes life hands us. We’re all dealt different cards. We shouldn’t apologize for that. Thanks for an awesome post!

  69. Reblogged this on love and commented:
    Awesome

  70. My blog is an extension of myself so I have no other choice but to blog authentically. I chose to start a blog mainly because society has given me so much material! My blog title says it all…imperfect girl.imperfect world.

  71. For someone like myself who is new to blogging this is like a refresher course, definitely something I needed to read. Sometimes I forget that this is just a blog and I find myself going crazy because I didn’t post anything or didn’t take a picture that would’ve been post-worthy. This is definitely a reminder for why I started this in the first place. Thanks!

  72. I love that you offer no excuses for being anything other than youself to the bloggers of the universe! The theme (yes, I suppose I do have one) of my blog, is in my tagline- “Unplugged honesty while living in a wired world. Construct a life, not a profile.” I want to give my readers, and anyone in my physical world, the real, honest, messy, frazzled, funny, forgetful, imperfect me. That is my quest as of late. Anything less, just feels phony, and I’m done with phony.

    • Unplugged honesty sounds so great! In life (and in blogging) there’s too many times where we feel we can’t be ourselves, or we have to change our voice to fit the situation. While some situations require this, I think it’s so important for us all to have a voice and to be proud of that voice. Who has time for phony? Life is so interesting for each of us… it’s better to share that with the world. Thanks for taking the time to comment and read!

  73. I am an authentic blogger, particularly of late. You see, my brother passed away and all that will come out of my head & heart is real, honest, human stuff. No B.S. No perfect photos, no polished prose. Only shared pain and a desperation to connect with real people in a real way. I have been worried about posting too much grief, but the response has been amazing. It resonates because everyone can relate at some level.

    I had to laugh at your phrase about the perfect picture and the messy background. I took a picture of a vase of lovely calla lilies left over from the funeral. It wasn’t until after I posted it on Facebook that I realized my drying rack full of underwear was in the background!

    Congrats on your Freshly Pressed!

    • Melanie, I am so sorry to hear about your brother passing away. I’m sending you lots of positive thoughts and healing for your heart. Sometimes the hardest parts of life push us to be most authentic. My boyfriend passed away in 2008 and since that time, I’ve been (unapologetically) myself in blogging and in discovering myself.

      Thank you so much for taking the time to read/comment, and for your kind words! I bet the calla lilies were beautiful 🙂

  74. Reblogged this on Reviving Christy and commented:
    I love this blogger’s perspective on blogging authentically!

  75. I love this! I can relate to wanting to have a sort of blogger perfectionism, especially when it’s a blog that my face is attached to. The nice thing about my blog on wordpress is that it is more or less anonymous and for my own peace of mind, so I can be completely honest in my blogging. It is very freeing.

    • Years ago, I had an anonymous blog as well and loved how free it was. However, I started missing the community and friendships that are built when your face and life are attached to the blog. Both avenues are so wonderful for creativity and expression. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment!

  76. Lately I’ve been struggling with the question of being real on my blog or holding back. Thanks for the push toward keeping things honest, direct and real.

    • Kami, I’m so happy to hear you enjoyed the post’s message. One of my favorite quotes is: “If you do not tell the truth about yourself you cannot tell it about other people.” by Virginia Woolf. It’s always a push to strive for honesty and authenticity! Best of luck in your blogging adventures. Here’s to honesty, being direct, and being real!

  77. Reblogged this on sleekjeff's Blog.

  78. I believe in being just who you were created to be. Your blog is personal no matter what. I hate when others misunderstand and take things out of proportion. I was BLOG attacked the other day by a mouthy no it all who was looking for a blog war because of MY opinion . I sent him a cyber hug, blogging is about creativity. Have fun, perfectionist or creatively.

  79. No apologies here. If it weren’t for REAL LIFE, we couldn’t and wouldn’t be doing this… or anything else 😀

  80. Word.

  81. I think one reason bloggers apologise and make excuses is their readers’ expectations come into play. Whenever I have a few days off blogging, due to real world events being more important than blogging, I get a flood of comments, messages and emails demanding to know why I’ve stopped. Some of the messages can be extremely aggressive or absurdly needly. Also, many followers demand that the blog “stays on track”—they came to it for a specific reason and expect their needs should be met before anyone else’s. Again, I get quite a few messages demanding that I not stray “off topic”. In both cases, I simply delete the messages without replying, but I have a thick skin and will blog about what I want when I want. Many people don’t have the resilience to shrug this sort of feedback off, so they apologise, often in advance, for “failing” to live up to expectations (and, yes, in some cases those expectations can be their own).

    • I have to say, I’m really surprised by what you said. I’ve been blogging online for over 10 years and have never seen backlash from not posting like you said. I’ve seen care/concern from readers when a blogger goes MIA or doesn’t update for a few weeks, but emails/posts demanding more material from the blogger? That sounds like poor boundaries on some readers’ behalves. At the end of the day, our blogs are just an online place to share ideas/words/creativity/etc. It shouldn’t be a place of pressure or make/break someone’s day. Sorry to hear you’ve had these experiences… I don’t think they’re ordinary to the blogging world!

  82. delightful! true that! being oneself is the way. short and crisp. loved it.

  83. Reblogged this on wornsoles and commented:
    I am guilty of this; such a fresh reminder!

  84. Yes, I sure Do 😦

  85. Thanks for write this post 🙂

  86. I’ve heard it said that social media both fans the flames of our narcissism while punching our pride in the gut. We see everyone posting their “highlight reel” on Facebook, Pinterest, and WordPress… while we’re living and watching our “behind the scenes, uncut.” We’re all too aware of how our lives don’t measure up to that ideal.
    Great reminder of what matters, and what motivated many of us to start a blog and hit “Publish” in the first place.

    • Happy to hear you enjoyed the post and took something away from it 🙂 There’s too much fluff and lace going around the blog world lately, and people’s confidence in their writing/creativity is suffering because of it (and the ever-looming comparison of themselves to other bloggers). Too bad we can’t take all the clips of our lives and pick which ones we want to share… not based off of whether they’re “good/perfect” or “bad/imperfect”, but just moments that can help others find a new thought, reflection, or idea.

  87. It’s funny, because I tend to view those apologies as rather arrogant. My happiness doesn’t depend on someone’s self imposed blog guidelines.

    • Jill, I find those comments a little strange as well. I read hundreds of blogs, but would rarely feel like something in my day was missing or off because a blogger didn’t post. Hopefully people aren’t waiting around with held breath for blog posts in life.

  88. Thanks for a great post! I recently started blogging and I already feel the pressure to be “perfect” in order to be read. It was a timely reminder not to become just a clone but be unique and imperfect and proud of it. Thanks again!

  89. I would say my bog is authentic. I started it to help me get things out privately. Can’t say it’s worth reading but it’s there and I have no apologies for what I post. People should not apologize when they write from their heart and share their feelings and opinions. Nobody should feel bad for having feelings. Something I have to tell my parents all the time when they dismiss my toddlers feelings. 😛 I think the apologies come from bloggers who seek to have a large audience and blog because they want an audience so they feel they have to apologize to the audience for trivial things.

    • “Nobody should feel bad for having feelings.” – Couldn’t have said it better! We all have feelings, ups and downs, and challenges. There’s no point in pretending they don’t exist! And more importantly, we shouldn’t feel pressure to apologize for real life popping up in blogging. Thanks for taking the time to stop by and read!

  90. Pingback: Our Mess | Battle Cry

  91. I’m glad I stumbled on to this post. Thank you for the reminder…that the true focus of blogging is to enjoy it! I am new-ish to blogging, and I really do enjoy it. It has filled a void and given me an outlet that I am still trying to fully grasp. Although, every now and then, I find myself questioning how I am doing. Am I doing it right? I need to keep in mind that there is no right and wrong. And there is no perfect blog or blogger. Am I enjoying it? Yes! Am I authentic? Yes…I think I am. Not always bravely, but always me.

    • That’s wonderful to hear that blogging is giving you an outlet! We all need a place to express ourselves, literally, creatively, or any way. Blogging is wonderful because it can change over time as you and your life circumstances change. Just enjoy the ride, and have fun building communities! Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting. I’m sending some bravery your way 🙂

  92. I think I blog authentically because I don’t know any better yet. I just started. I’m not a photographer, and I don’t apologize for that. It isn’t something that interests me. My pictures are from my phone and my opinions are my own. However, like I said. I just started. Maybe that changes the more time you blog, the more readers you get, the more comments and criticisms you rack up…

    • R.J., I like how honest you are about your blog and your blog’s aim. Over time, a blog’s purpose/aim changes. Like you said, as you get more readers, comments, etc., it pushes you to be a different blogger. I’ve had blogs that receive no reader feedback, then I’ve had The Siren’s Tale since 2011 and my readership keeps growing. Both ventures are fun in their own way, and it’s best to just roll with the punches! Thanks for taking time to stop by and comment 🙂

  93. Coming into the blogging world now after there are so many established bloggers out there and despite what you wish, there are probably other people who have been talking about the topic you have wanted to talk about for years already. I want to be an authentic blog in the sense that the things that are posted, are there for a reason. That my posts always come out of my heart to just help people, to inspire them. I really appreciate this post because it helps give me a sense of peace knowing that people just want people to be real with them and that is all I have done since joining the blogging world. Thank you Caitlin!

    • Jeremy, what an awesome goal for your blogging – of brightening or inspiring someone’s day. While there are always going to be endless blogs talking about similar topics, I like to think of it as finding a needle in a haystack. Out of the blue, you’ll stumble across blogs that just “click” with you, all the while that blogger is wondering how to find readers to “click” with. Welcome to blogging, I hope you enjoy it!

  94. I love the quote you include on authenticity. Being authentic when it’s not coming from positive emotions (joy, excitement…) can really push comfort levels and is a great place for growth. I just started a blog for the first time and part of my intention is to put myself out there and push through my own limitations. I tend to be very reserved in sharing my thoughts and opinions but I hope that by keeping the goal of authenticity in my writing I can break through that limitation . Thanks for the post!

    • I love the idea that pushing comfort loves makes room for growth, and it’s so true. I think pushing your own limitations a little each day makes you a stronger person with integrity, who embraces vulnerability. Three cheers to your blogging experience! I wish you the best 🙂

  95. I do blog authentically. My audience demands it, and they have a bulls**t detector a mile wide. The thing I struggle with is more just HOW authentic should I be? How much detail, how personal, how vulnerable? There’s a balance their somewhere but damned if I know where it is.

  96. Thanks for this blog. One of the earliest commentators said that she couldn’t figure out how else to be, but authentic. I can’t imagine being any other way, whether I am writing or just relating with others. I am one of those, “I am what you see.”

  97. love this. I just set up a blog yesterday and used the lyrics “show me how big your brave is” as inspiration to really get down to it. I don’t know yet what direction I’ll go, but that’s the beauty of it. Carving myself out one blog at a time, and one thing I promise is reality. take me or leave me ;o)
    http://www.comingcleaner.com

  98. That’s so true. I spend so much time worrying that I haven’t had a chance to take any photos or upload any photos. And then I worry that people will think my blog is boring because of the lack of photos… I need to stop thinking like that and remember I’m a writer, not a photographer and to stay true to what I’m wanting to do! Thanks for the splash of realisation! Happy blogging 🙂

    • Staying true to you and what you do is so important. When I first began blogging, I barely used pictures but then heard to “grow your blog” you needed to have them. For me, it was a journey into realizing I love photography and I’ve been learning it ever since. However, I think it pushes many writing blogs to feel like they have to have photography included (which is so not true). Here’s to being yourself unapologetically! Thanks for taking the time to read + comment 🙂

  99. Hi I love your questioning and honesty. As a first-time blogger today (“a blog and wordpress” virgin if you will) 😀 I know that I put off blogging because I read a lot of blogs that to me were good and as you say lacked authenticity. I want mine to be an honest account, a reflection of my journey and how I am in my life or else what is the point??? For me the point is to inspire, question and motivate as I myself dare to step out and make mistakes, learning as I go. I look forward to continuing to read your posts. Thank you xx

    • Welcome to WordPress and blogging! Inspiring, questioning, and motivating is a great approach to blogging and building a community with your readers. Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment, and I look forward to you exploring The Siren’s Tale 🙂

  100. Wonderful about your love of authenticity. I just wrote a very courageous and important post and I’d love for you to read and share it if you inspired. Thx

  101. This touches my heart! I feel like the masses can make us feel inferior just by existing. I’m happy to see that someone else feels the same way I do! I blog for me and if someone else benefits from it, then so be it. Thanks and keep up the great writing!

  102. Hi Caitlin,
    I’m pretty new to the whole blogging thing (I only started in December), but I really liked this post. Thank you for sharing. Hopefully, my blog is shaping up to be authentic.

  103. I invite you to check out my new blog and find the “The search for themes” under my challenges tab. Came across your blog and thought the challenge may interest you. http://tracylube.com/challenges/ Let me know what you think

  104. This is 100% me. I needed to read this! Perfection might be found in the color coding of my closet but not on my face after a hellish 12 hour day and those are the days worth writing about

  105. I don’t spend much time thinking about whether or not my blog posts are authentic-me. They are but represent only part of me.

    That’s ok. And I hope my readers think so too.

  106. I stand behind your blog completely. I’m tired of people telling me how to blog. I blog to be myself completely, and it’s just that simple. I wrote a post about all the things I’m told to do as a blogger and how I break those rules. Here it is: http://wp.me/p2xGp2-oy

  107. congrats on being FP’d

  108. Blogging messes with my head. The minute I realise my writing could become a blog, it changes.

    • Interesting perspective! Keep in mind that blogging and writing are on a spectrum nowadays. Some bloggers are writers, and vice versa. Where does the line fall in the sand of writing versus blogging? I’m not sure – many of the writing blogs I read randomly have more informal blog posts sprinkled in. Thanks for sharing your thoughts here!

  109. I was honestly just thinking about this. I just started blogging. I hadn’t posted in about five days because I was very sick. I thought about saying, “Sorry I didn’t post anything.” But I didn’t, because I wasn’t. Life happens. Instead, I did what I always do, use humor and move on.

    xx Courtney from SheWearsManyCrowns.com

  110. Thank you so much for writing this. I have been known to apologize on my blog before for absences and my inability to answer comments all the time. I started blogging when I was pregnant, and now that my daughter is almost two years old, I’m just finding that I can’t keep up with the instantaneousness that people tend to expect from blogging. Thank you for reminding me that I don’t have to make excuses for having a life outside of the one I write about online.

  111. Reblogged this on Hedgewycket and commented:
    It is so refreshing to hear someone else say this!!!!!!

  112. Hi, there, Caitlin! I happened to stumble upon your site and decided to procrastinate a bit. But time spent reading is time well spent. 😉

    I don’t think it’s possible to be an authentic blogger. I mean, even as a being we’re a fusion of what and who we encounter in life. Our uniqueness and authenticity comes from a select of things and people that influences us the most. That’s my opinion anyway.

    And sometimes people just apologize because they do feel their posts aren’t good enough, or they feel people might misunderstand something. I guess it depends on the case, really. Or they don’t know how to be just polite enough.

    If I may rant a bit here (if not, please do skip the rest of this long comment), I find it hard to be real. Both in blogging and in real life. When we blog we type, and, like writing, it gives us time to think over what people want to see, and what we want them to see. Although I agree with you that it’s a shame some blogs are just so artificial or apologetic, there’s always another side to the story. They may want to explore something new by doing so. Besides, it shows what they want to project to the world. Personally, I find that interesting. 🙂

    I have more manners in the virtual world (except at Twitter) than in real life. I don’t always know who reads my posts and check out my status, so I’m more careful. And I honestly don’t want to offend people. Meanwhile, in real life, I’m bluntly honest. When my friends ask for opinions they get a look on their faces, like they’re preparing to hear the worst. I do get critiqued a lot because of things that I do, and being blunt is the way that works for me. People stop asking questions. I stop faking “me”. Meanwhile, in blogging, I don’t feel the need to explain myself to people unless it’s a serious issue, so I take precautions to be more, say, politically correct. I don’t know if that means I’m two-faced or anything, but I’m consistently like that in those two things.

    Anyway, thanks for the food for thought. And your time, whether you read this halfway or to the end.

    Great stuff, by the way. Keep on being as real as you can! 😀

    • Thanks for sharing your thoughts here! I’m interested by you saying “I don’t think it’s possible to be an authentic blogger. I mean, even as a being we’re a fusion of what and who we encounter in life. Our uniqueness and authenticity comes from a select of things and people that influences us the most.”

      From this context, do you feel like humans in general can’t be authentic? If we are a mix-and-match of life experiences and encounters, is that new identity authentic to us? I’d like to believe so, as we change and evolve throughout our lives.

      I’m sorry to hear you have a hard time being real online and off. That must be difficult, but something I imagine will get easier with age / more life experience. I think many people feel uncomfortable being 100% themselves until they accept and embrace themselves 100%.

      Thanks for taking the time to read + comment!

      • I’m not saying they can’t be authentic, but the probability’s small. Since most of us hang around with like-minded people, follow the (more or less) same trends, etc. Plus, I think if we know enough people, we’ll find that no two are exactly alike, but many are similar. In a nutshell I guess I’m saying that we’re all authentic, but no one that’s alive today is original.

        Nope, it’s not hard, really. The hard part’s balancing how much “you” I need to preserve in oppose to adapting to the culture around me. And yes, I still have a long way to go. 🙂

        Thank you for replying! 😀

  113. Pingback: Being Myself | theauthorwhoknows

  114. This is so perfect! Glad I stumbled upon this, it reinforced everything I’ve been thinking and posting about lately. Good to know I’m not alone. It seems like lately, everyone is trying to cover up real life and put on a facade… Which, in turn, makes everyone who isn’t living a life of glitz and glamour feel like they’re doing something wrong. It’s the ever growing struggle, it seems! Refreshing to see more people push back.

    • Couldn’t agree more with what you said and your feelings about it all! The more authentic bloggers are, the more authentic new bloggers will be. I can’t imagine starting to blog now in the midst of all this perfection… it must be difficult. Thanks for taking the time to read + comment!

  115. My kids like to tell me, “You git what you git and you don’t throw a fit.” Same applies for blogging. There is no alter-me. I AM the blogger’s experiences, life, and lessons — and, yes, messes. I blog for me and no one else, but those who follow and with whom I’ve connected understand. A nice small audience is intimate while still challenging. Great post! Congrats on the FP.

  116. Reblogged this on U-kit and commented:
    Just as I was going to apologize for being absent or for being unable to decide what to write or even for looking to other blogs for direction. I read this blog!

  117. Pingback: Freshly Riffed 63: If I Acted Less Like Me, Would I Be In The Clear? | A VERY STRANGE PLACE

  118. My life is currently messy. Most of the things in my life right now are not going according to plan. Like what you said, there’s perfection in the messiness of life. The same way I think that despite the confusion right now, maybe it’ll help me to make the most out of it and enjoy the changes. Maybe these changes will be better for me, right? Also, I do hope that I blog authentically as most of my photos are not really good but that’s not the important part for me. It’s more of what I was trying to say behind the photos or use those photos to highlight something important, beautiful or perfect for me. 🙂

  119. The Stephenson quote succinctly captures joys and perils of blogging authentically. More generally, it captures the joys and perils of writing itself and why, even the most experienced writers, find it difficult to share their work publicly. The internet, which allows trolls to flourish better than in any other medium, compounds that difficulty. Anyone can take on any guise they desire and trash a person’s work, solely for the purpose of negativity.

    • Vulnerability and exposure are never easy to face, accept, or work within. However, the long-term benefits can far outweigh the consequences in some situations. It’s unfortunate that there’s internet trolls along the way, but this is true for every aspect of life. No matter who we are or what we’re doing, we’ll come up against people who don’t believe, discourage, or attempt to take the wind out of your sails. I say, pity to them… it’s a sad life when you can’t live and let live. Thanks for taking the time to read and share your thoughts!

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  121. As very much a latecomer to the blogging world, but as a longtime blog reader, the perfectionism and “glamour” you encounter makes it all the more daunting to even think about starting. It’s so easy to judge yourself and wonder where you can fit in amongst so many idealised lives being presented on blogs. I suppose the difficult thing is finding a balance between being honest and still putting your best foot forward…

  122. Thanks for sharing. I never dared to share my blog on Facebook etc because I feel that I do not write as well as many of my friends, whom I think may judge me.
    Anyways, thanks for being being real (:

  123. I can see both sides to the need to show only the “good” side on a blog. Authenticity is always a welcome quality. I know that there are days when I am authentically grateful that my blog is one place where I can go and create beauty without turning around and finding an empty pop can or a fluff of cat hair stuck onto one of my posts. My home is authentic and a place of love and joy. Having a blog helps me to let go of the inevitable messes of living with four other people that I dearly love. When I walk into my kitchen in the morning and can’t find a clear spot on the counter to set my cereal box — it means my 3 teens found enough food for the night and I can retreat to my tidy little blog to eat my cereal in a place of a different kind of beauty. Messy families are beautiful and so are lovely blogs.

    Thanks for an interesting viewpoint.

    Blessings ~ Wendy

    • I really like your thoughts here, Wendy. It’s an interesting new perspective to the mix, and one that I don’t have. It’s always interesting to me how people with children and people without children view the world differently. What I see as a place for authenticity, some may see as a place for escape or serenity. No matter what blogging “gives” to us, let’s always hope it’s positive 🙂 Thanks for stopping by and reading!

  124. I like this article. Remind me to write what is on my mind instead of trying to clean up every post to be perfect. I journal and I often just want to transcribe my journal for my blog but hesitate because I don’t want to be judged. Better to be judged than fake, I believe.

    • We’re all judged in life, whether we are being fake or being real. The question lies in whether we are more comfortable being judged for what is not real, or being judged for who we truly are. It takes a strong heart! Thanks for stopping by and reading 🙂

  125. How in the world did I miss this I am a faithful follower and this one just got missed… I think this is why we read each others blogs… so i can peek into your world and you can peek into mine… great job getting freshly pressed my dear!

  126. I have in the past, but I may never do so again. 🙂

  127. Reblogged this on Bev Elle and commented:
    I have in the past, but will try to never do so again. 🙂

  128. Pingback: Clock Rewinders on a Book Binge 1/26/2014 | On a Book Bender

  129. I am new to the blogging world and am working on writing the stories of my life thus far. I write authentically but fear every day of repercussions from my family. By uncovering my past, I also uncover theirs by default.

    • J.E.S., that is definitely a hard situation to write about, but I think it still opens the door for authenticity and interesting conversations. Recently on my blog’s Facebook page, I post this quote and it seems to ring true for your comment: “You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should’ve behaved better.”

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting! Happy blogging 🙂

  130. I out and out refuse to blog any other way. :-). I feel like perfectionism can impede a person to the point they kind of lose themselves in the pursuit of perfection. I change it around for my own definition: perfection is imperfection, imperfect is perfect, because it can’t be done any better than that haha. I am perfect in every single one of my imperfections; they are after all, what make me, Me, and you, well, You. 🙂

  131. Yes! Yes! Yes! Yet again I have started another personal blog! Yet again I deleted a post on my old Book Readers Blog.. I’m ashamed of myself!

  132. An authentic write-up. Yes, I do blog authentically. If you are not authentic, that shows soon. Great post.

  133. I wrote my first blog post yesterday and loved this. I apologize for quite a bit in my life but my blog, not gonna happen. Its my story, my life and I refuse to apologize for being truthful with myself. Isn’t that the point of a life blog? To be truthful for who you are and what you believe. I may never have a reader of my blogged life but that wasn’t my reasoning to do this I do this because I need to look back and laugh at my life cry about the people I’ve hurt and learned the road I walk is paved in good intentions. I appreciate your writing this as it made me believe I am doing the right thing. Now I will apologize for my crappie spelling lack of punctuation and terror of my sentence structure but that’s all. Thanks again

  134. This is SO on point! I’ve caught myself apologizing a lot lately for just about everything. Maybe because I never feel like I’m enough for anybody or anything. I bare my soul in every blog post and I try to let people know that they’re not the only ones who feel a certain way. I’m learning that there’s no time to apologize. Just be authentic and carry on.

    • It’s hard to feel “enough”, in my humble opinion. With social media and print media constantly showing us ideals, it’s difficult to face the realities of our own lives because they never seem to measure up. I think this says a lot about how fake many social/print media sources are, and how drastic they are from real day-to-day life. Thank you for taking the time to read + comment 🙂

  135. The blog should be a journal of what you do, what you think, what you experience, what you see physically and in your mind’s eye. Just as your environment is not controlled, and you have random thoughts, so the blog should be a reflection of that. I am all for being authentic, of course being mindful that what you put on the internet, stays there forever. So… Be you but be careful!

  136. Yes! My ultimate blogging/life goal is to be unapologetically myself. Hard to do sometimes! Thanks for putting it so eloquently. 🙂

  137. I am new to blogging. still in the authentic life and not old enough to apologize (3 days) . Tips and comments appreciated.

  138. Thank you Caitlin, this is a thoughtful and encouraging post for a new blogger (and I guess old hands too) like myself. I’ve always been an apologist for small things and have to reign myself in. It’s nice to know that not everyone wants to be constantly apologised at! I don’t want to end up sounding insincere, or worse: fishing for compliments!

    I also tend to overthink things too. Thanks for the thumbs up for spontaneity. 🙂

    • Jessica, you and I sound a lot alike! I apologize constantly, worry about if I sound insincere, and also overthink it all. It makes it hard to step away from these patterns, but it also is fulfilling when we stop saying “sorry” for everything in our day. Thanks for the wonderful comment!

  139. I stopped striving for perfection when I realised no one is perfect and yet everyone is, in their own way. I just try to write things I hope people will find useful and then edit the hell outta them.

    Anyway I loved your blog and love most of life’s messes 🙂

  140. I’m a strong believer in finding perfection in our imperfections…and it’s only taken me 38 years of having impossibly high expectations of myself, self-doubt, self-loathing and all that those other warm, fuzzy endearing “isms” to get it. Love your work!

  141. I say it’s cool being AUTHENTIC! That’s reality staring at you to ur face. Have a good day !

  142. There is am AMAZING TED talk on this theme… http://www.ted.com/talks/brene_brown_on_vulnerability.html
    Watch & enjoy!
    momathomescientist.wordpress.com
    momathomepoet.wordpress.com

  143. I only just started mine and was originally planning on being as authentic as possible but this has inspired me to be totally real and resist the urge to ever become like that. You’re so right.

  144. So true. Sometime ago, I wrote a post on blogging and now after reading yours, I think I need to rethink.

  145. Reblogged this on laviededonny and commented:
    Reminders on how to run a blog

  146. Wow, I really appreciate this blog post because I literally just started this yesterday, and I was feeling just as you said apologetic and already worried about if I was blogging correctly! Your uplifting words and reminder of acceptance of life as it is, is exactly where I want to be. I look forward to following your blog!

  147. Thank You! I’m formerly super shy and very new at blogging so being authentic publicly is not always easy love the article, encouragement you give and leading by example 🙂

  148. I love this post! I am new to blogging and capturing the “perfect” photo to fit my blog has been my most time consuming aspect this far. Thank-you for your insight!

  149. elainechoi2014elainechoi

    Reblogged this on elainechoi2014.

  150. I write a sort of “inner” bucket list blog, so one of these goals is letting go of perfectionism and expectations. I think sometimes we place too many expectations on ourselves. Being this is the theme of my blog, it was so nice to see how this plays out to the actual WRITING of the blog. Life and blogging can be a bit messy-and it doesn’t have to be perfect to be meaningful. Thank for this reminder-it came at the right time toO!

  151. Pingback: The Real Lessons of Graduate School. | The Siren's Tale

  152. Yes I do and so should everyone else. Turn around and say sorry 🙂 A good start for us all 🙂 Let us all be happy and free. 🙂 Work together,

  153. Nice to meet you. Hope you are all well 🙂

  154. Thank you for writing this. Like many of those who posted, I have impossibly high expectations of myself. I have written – and deleted – more words than than are in oh, I don’t know, War and Peace.

    It can be very difficult to let go. Hell, it can be very difficult to get started!

  155. Reblogged this on eolny and commented:
    Live happy

  156. Beautiful and inspirational post.

  157. This is a great post! I just started blogging again and feel like the realm of blogging has changed so much. It’s almost as though you HAVE to have a niche or to make everything so perfect and “reader friendly” even if it you stop enjoying it, and I almost jumped on the bandwagon. I’m just going to keep blogging about the hilarious horrors of my life and hope people are interested.

    • It’s easy to feel pressure to jump on the bandwagon, but then the blog becomes just another “hip” blog. While I’ve come across many, many aesthetically pleasing blogs, I feel like I could follow them for a year and still know nothing about the blogger, have no connection (or response) from the blogger, and their blog begins to blend in with the other 2398420 blogs just like theirs. In a blogosphere swimming with millions of bloggers, I think being authentic is the real way to stand out in the crowd. A unique voice among the masses 🙂 Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

  158. Pingback: The Balancing Act of Voice & Respect. | The Siren's Tale

  159. Reblogged this on toxicmascara.

  160. Reblogged this on krismcarman and commented:
    Enough said! Doing just that.

  161. Pingback: Instagram, Revealed. | The Siren's Tale

  162. I really enjoyed reading this post… Personally, it has been hard to strive for perfection and I succeed to put less pressure on myself little by little. Your honesty is inspiring, it was a lovely read.

  163. Reblogged this on ifly70 and commented:
    Thanks for the insight, I have long given up on perfectionism but it sure is a nice goal to have. One blog at a time.

  164. Pingback: Instagram, Revealed. | belong with wildflowers

  165. Reblogged this on Trusting in Love and commented:
    Feeling the fear and blogging anyway.

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