How to Prevent Traumatic-Post Stress Disorder.


Hands collaborating in co-writing or co-editin...

Channel your energy to your writing and not to outside distractions.

Fads pass through the blogosphere faster than a toe-tapping politician can talk his way out of a bathroom stall while an unamused cop rattles a pair of handcuffs.

But fads are just distractions, as is stressing over frivolous stuff, like your subscriber count, which always changes, while your reasons for writing remain the same – passion and connecting with readers. The two are inextricably bound. You can’t make a connection with a reader if your heart isn’t in your writing.

And you only have seconds to make that connection. People have short attention spans. If a reader doesn’t fall in love with your content at first sight, he/she will leave your site.
  • How do you keep a reader from leaving your site?
    • By writing compelling posts.
  • What is a compelling post?
    • A well-written post that triggers an emotional response in a reader, which establishes a connection.
The word “connection” is the operative here and the key to maintaining a bustling readership but is like a slippery bar of soap that can easily evade your grasp.

That’s why you must be passionate about what you write while keeping the content in your comfort zone. If you’re squeamish about what you write, it will be apparent to your readers. In other words, don’t write about something if your heart’s not in it because you’re worried about repercussions from friends or loved ones.

Don’t write about stuff that can come back and bite you in the ass, like your husband yelling at you because you bought expensive whipped cream cheese (on sale) instead of the more affordable (less air pockets), slab of cream cheese – a huge difference according to dairy aficionados specializing in cream cheese cuisine.

Uh, omit that last passage (or not). In all fairness to my husband of twenty-five years, sometimes while in the throes of the after-work crankies, we spew insensitive nonsensical crap before we’re able to satisfy our irascible appetites with a cream cheese smeared saltine snack. It’s all good. He apologized. 
But I digressed. Back to the point on connecting with your readers. 
I just revealed a marital melee, thus providing a peak into my personal life, or minutiae me, not blogger me, or avatar me. 
Because the Internet is an intangible void, readers have an insatiable desire for intimacy and need to bond with the blog writer. The content must intrigue, surprise, engage, hold the reader’s attention long enough to form a connection with the brains behind the blog responsible for entertainment.
For colorless writing, readers visit websites with processed posts that feature news or “how to” and informational articles, or sites that provide solutions to problems. No emotional investment there. Just a quick information fix.
People are innate seekers of information even of the absurd. . .
Newman: I hear you’ve got some lip reader working for you. You gotta let me use her for one day. Just one day. 
Jerry: Can’t do it Newman.
Newman: But Jerry, we’ve got this new supervisor down at the post office. He’s working behind this glass. I know they’re talking about me. They’re going to transfer me, I know it. Two hours, give me two hours.
Jerry: Not going to happen.
Newman: (Sinister) All right, all right. All right you go ahead. You go ahead and keep it secret. But you remember this. When you control the mail, you control… information.
Larry David is truly the master of his domain. Because of great writing and quirky memorable characters, we still quote Seinfeld episodes twelve years after the show went off the air.
We relate to Seinfeld characters because they are flawed human beings like us.
Since the Internet is devoid of humanity (and only reflects images of human souls), it is even more critical for a blogger to establish a relationship with his/her readers.
But not every blogger wants to reveal sensitive personal situations that can leave teeth marks on the ass. 
So, what if you don’t want to write about your personal life? How can you still connect with your readers? 
By injecting your personality into your writing or as it is called among literary types, voice. 
What is voice?
In writing, voice is the way your writing ‘sounds’ on the page. It has to do with the way you write, the tone you take–friendly, formal, chatty, distant–the words you choose–everyday words or high-brow language–the pattern of your sentences, and the way these things fit in–or not–with the personality of the narrator character and the style of your story.
There you have it, the ingredients for creating your voice, the vehicle for your passion, and reader magnet.
If you’re still confused about voice, visit one of your favorite sites. Study the blogger’s style and tone inherent in each of the posts, and then analyze what attracted you to the site.
Experiment with different writing styles to see what best suits your personality and then practice, practice, practice.

If I miss one day of practice, I notice it. If I miss two days, the critics notice it. If I miss three days, the audience notices it.
Ignacy (Jan) Paderewski

Writing isn’t rocket science but it entails dedication and passion. To write compelling posts, you must enjoy the writing process, or otherwise it is torture. How can your audience possibly enjoy reading your posts if it pains you to write them? 

When writing becomes torture, it’s time to take a bloggy break and refuel the creative brain cells. No self-flogging allowed. Just some chill time on the observation platform, a perfect spot to seek information for inspiration even if it’s absurd.

Embrace your voice, write your passion, and have fun doing it!
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15 Comments How to Prevent Traumatic-Post Stress Disorder.

  1. Greg

    Great post and very aptly said. Although I don't write about my personal life I do write about the world I see around me, and perhaps exaggerate it a little but I write about things I see in the world, and how I interpret them.

    I enjoy doing the posts, whether my readers laugh or not I'm usually giggling at all the way through.

    Anyway really great post!

  2. ReformingGeek

    Wait. I'm confused. Do I use my inside voice or my outside voice?

    Hee Hee.

    Sheesh. I thought writing was going to be easy.

    I would have so much more to make fun of on my blog if I could write about Hubby's work.


  3. Lauren

    Thanks Greg. I always giggle or laugh when I read your posts.

    RF: Now you've got me wondering about your hubby's work.


    This is a very handy post Lauren! I hope I can use some of your tips to inject some clear blue sky into my recent blog fog. I often feel jealous of bloggers who get to show a bit of themselves. My blog doesn't always lend itself to that, but thankfully comments on blogs allow some of me to seep through. It's always fun to take a spin with you on your site. Have a great week.

  5. Lauren

    Thanks!!! I saw that you posted today. I'll be by to say hello. Your stuff is satirical, which as you said, doesn't really allow the personal side to slip through. I'm also jealous of bloggers that don't have a problem talking about their personal lives. I've always been a bit guarded.

    Commenting on sites is the best way to get to know people.

    Have a great week, too!

  6. Snuggle Wasteland

    This is great advice – especially the part about taking a break. I think trying to post everyday burns people out and saps their creativity.

  7. Sandee

    When I was in college I was considered a very good writer. I've lost that ability since I retired. I just don't write enough anymore, and as for the passion…well it's gone too. You are right on the money with this post.

    Have a terrific day. 🙂

  8. Leeuna

    A wonderful post and great advice, Lauren. I agree totally and I too sometimes wrestle with myself about too much personal information. You have a terrific writing voice and I bonded with your blog the first time I read it. (Also, interacting through the comments allows more of one's personality to show through and strengthens the bond between readers and writers)

  9. Lauren

    Thanks Tracie: We should always listen to our brains when it has reached the saturation point of no return.

    Sandee: Thank you. I think you're doing just fine despite what you said about losing your passion. I guess there are various degrees of passion.

    Really appreciate that Leeuna. Sometimes I think my writing is too distant, so I'm glad that it's not the case. It's hard for me to talk about personal issues.

    Definitely true about commenting.


    Absolutely on target Lauren. I have thought so many times, going back and forth why I started blogging in the first place. The original idea and what my blog is now are vastly different.

    A true blog does give the reader an intimate look into the thoughts of the author. These are the blogs that usually don't have huge followings, but very dedicated ones. I guess we choose what to make of our blogs and in the end what you do here, to me, is real blogging.

    There are so many variables that go into a blog, PR, traffic, monetize, time on site, on and on. Finding a great blog like yours is what makes its so compelling. You don't try to be everything for everyone.

    As long as you write posts like this one, I know I will always come back and read, not skim. Most people do just that now, skim. We see it everyday as magazines and newspapers fall to the wayside. We get our fast food news fix and on to the next.

    As long as the government doesn't decide to control what we have come to know as the internet, then there will always be lots of room for all kinds of blogs and sites.

    A wandering comment from a wandering mind.

  11. Lauren

    Well stated. "A true blog does give the reader an intimate look into the thoughts of the author."

    Great to see you, Glen. Thank you. I think people get sick of quick fixes.

    Because of all the extraneous crap, like traffic, PR, etc., we often lose sight of our purpose, which is to write.

  12. James MacAdam

    Nice post with a clever header, Lauren, and good advice for word herders. If I understand correctly, you are saying blog because you have to, not out of a search for acceptance. That is a healthy reminder, we writer-types love attention: if we posted it must be worth reading! The secret is discovering how to entice that response from our readers.


  13. Lauren

    Thanks James. I was speaking as a blogger/writer. The message applies to both. I was offering advice on how to avoid the stresses of blogging and to write your passion. I've noticed that when I caught up with all the external distractions like creating traffic, etc., it makes me miserable.

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