One of my best friends who has also been reading my blog regularly since I started writing gave me some interesting feedback recently.
He told me that I was quirky and that I should be maximizing this more through my writing on the blog.
I was intrigued. My first thought as a writer was to check how the dictionary defines quirky.
Quirk means a peculiarity of manner or action.
The definition of peculiar – strange, odd or unusual.
Unusual I get but he wants me to be more strange and odd?
At first I wasn’t sure what to do with this piece of feedback so I gave it some more thought.
What is the real takeaway from his advice? The answer is simple.
How exactly do we do that? Here are some of my initial thoughts on how to be a better blogger by being yourself.
Don’t try too hard
After my friend said to be more quirky – I was like okay let’s do it!
When I sat down to write my next post that was at the front of my mind. Be quirky. Write something quirky.
You can probably imagine what happened next – absolutely nothing.
The more I tried to force myself to think along those lines, the more I couldn’t come up with anything to write – quirky or otherwise.
I realized I couldn’t force a particular blogging style, I simply had to let the ideas flow naturally.
On a side note this little exercise gave me a whole new respect for comedians, how they are required to be funny on tap amazes me. It might also explain why so many of them say they are not funny in their everyday lives. Sometimes it must be a relief to turn the tap off for a while.
Embrace your uniqueness
So what makes my friend define me as quirky? Just for the record he is not the only person who has described me like this over the years, so I might as well embrace and run with it.
For starters I don’t fit a lot of perceived female stereotypes (you can read what I think about stereotypes here).
I don’t have a wardrobe full of clothes, I hate shoe shopping, come to think of it I am not that fussed on shopping at all (New York is the one exception) and I don’t like shopping much with girlfriends. I prefer to shop alone. If I had a boyfriend I certainly wouldn’t drag him shopping with me (I see these guys hovering in clothing stores looking bored out of their minds and my heart goes out to them).
Add to that I don’t want to have kids (a big one for most people) and I have never been rushing to walk down the aisle (even when I was engaged).
I’m not sure I even believe in marriage though the jury is still out on that one and I have never dreamed about my wedding dress, wedding day or wedding reception. For me most weddings are a huge yawn.
Though I consider myself open on my blog, sometimes I wonder if I do hold back certain parts of my personality because I think people might find it unacceptable or not the norm.
I’m starting to realize that I could be embracing more of my differences here on the blog (as long as it stays on topic naturally).
Related post – What’s So Great About Being Normal?
Don’t try to be something you are not
Amazingly enough my friend thinks I am funny.
I do tend to use a lot of one liners particularly in general conversation so I think that is where his opinion comes from. He is also fairly conservative and I can be a little more out there, so I am sure that is a contributing factor.
Personally, I don’t think I am funny so I don’t try to be.
I have an offbeat sense of humor at best. Many things that other people laugh at leave me cold. Along the same lines, I will be laughing my head off at something while people just stare at me wondering what is so funny.
Clearly it’s the quirky factor again.
My take on this one is to just write how and what I write and if it gives someone a chuckle – excellent!
Related post – How to Laugh More
Avoid the standard blog script where possible
My friend pointed out to me that some of my posts sounded like the information that is already out there in circulation.
This comment certainly got me thinking.
With so many ideas floating around this big old world, it can be genuinely hard to come up with an original idea that has NEVER been thought of before. More likely we find ourselves taking an existing idea and putting our own unique spin on it.
His comment made me realize I’m probably not doing this as much as I should be.
I realize going forward I need to take a more personal approach to my writing.
This doesn’t necessarily mean writing about more personal topics, though I do have an interesting series of essay style travel posts planned for the future – it’s more about shaking things up and trying different formats, ideas and ways of looking at things.
Write like you talk
I write like I talk but naturally I spring clean and tidy up along the way. Let’s face it, we talk a lot of rubbish in general conversation so I don’t necessarily want that pouring out on the page.
I also censor my writing.
The trick as you can imagine is finding the right balance between censoring and leaving things be. Unfortunately sometimes we take out the parts we should be leaving in.
My thought is that this censoring/editing process is a constant work in progress.
Related post – Being Yourself Online – Let People Know the Real You
Don’t be defined
While I admit that I am indeed quirky, I know I am also so many other things. I can be serious, spiritual, effervescent, introverted, extroverted and about a thousand other things.
Don’t let people (as much as you may love them) define you as a person, blogger or writer. You are different things to different people and a myriad of amazing qualities in between.
Related post – Don’t Let Anyone Else Define Your Worth
Embrace all of your quirks, unique talents and personality traits and put them on the page.
As for me I am off to embrace my quirky or at least work out exactly what that means to me!
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