FPQ106 with a Bonus Rory Question!

FPQ fandango

 

Fandango provocatively asks…

In the context of blogging and writing, what do you think is more important: what you say or how you say it?

I assume most are going to say HOW, so I’m tempted to say WHAT, just to be contrary, but the truth is… I think they are equally important depending upon the nature of the post. 🙃

Forex, I will not follow bloggers who jabber nonsense about conspiracy theories or offer links to stupid YouTube rantings, no matter HOW they say it. I do not wish to engage with anyone who defends the twice-impeached former POTUS in any manner whatsoever. I’ve been unfollowing those who post lies about the recent US election or jumbled mutterings about dark forces. I don’t care how nicely they fling these turds, it is the WHAT that matters to me. Same goes for most idiotic conspiracy posts unless they’re totally silly or benign.

big mood bitmoji

But if we’re talking about creative fiction, then it’s the HOW that matters more than the WHAT. Many of us begin with the same prompt words or images and come up with vastly different interpretations because our creativity flows down different paths. The interesting aspect to me is HOW someone’s mind works to create a piece of fiction or poetry, not the subject matter so much.

When I write, I consider both aspects, more focused on WHAT I’m saying when I’m ranting about something (The Monday Peeve) and diving deeper into HOW I’m saying it when I’m creating a piece of fiction or poetry.

bitmoji plan

Bonus Related Question from Rory…

Is it more important to you to be a good blogger, or a community player or… what?

Ideally, they both would collide in a beautiful explosion of fame and money, but alas…

Here’s the thing. I call BS on anyone who says they’re only blogging for themselves. Then why write in public? Have a private blog or keep your thoughts locked in a Word document. Every blogger/Tweep/FB poster, etc. is hoping for an audience, though some are more attention-seeking than others. That said, I am okay with only a little bit of community engagement, and I will continue to post writing I enjoy even if it doesn’t get as many views/comments as other writing. But if I find that a type of writing gets ZERO engagement? I probably would discontinue it or seriously tweak it ~ in this case adjusting both the WHAT and the HOW to attract more views/comments. Otherwise, why bother writing in public? This is a huge reason why I became disenchanted with Twitter and Medium: little to no actual engagement.

bitmoji me

I found that my whining about dating and relationships generated a lot of views and engagement. But was it “good bloggery?” I decided it wasn’t. I grew uncomfortable with those posts and have discontinued them, even deleting some of the whinier ones from the blog altogether. (Yes, I know people who received them in email may still have them, etc.) I kept the best dating stories however and gave them their own page.

So in that case, the community engagement was a negative, especially when people gave me unsolicited advice about how to be “better” on dating sites as if the problem was me and not the sites themselves with their scam accounts, liars, cheaters, and overall creepy men. It didn’t matter HOW I wrote about this stuff because people gravitated to the WHAT and responded by trying to “fix Paula’s issues” instead of giving me the commiseration I sought. When I find a particular subject matter isn’t working for me, I avoid it in the future.

Hope that clears things up!

bitmoji relax

~*~

©️2021 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

20 responses to “FPQ106 with a Bonus Rory Question!

  1. Brrr. That would be painful: … especially when people gave me unsolicited advice about how to be “better” on dating sites as if the problem was me and not the sites themselves with their scam accounts, liars, cheaters, and overall creep[s] …

    I haven’t participated in online dating, and I hardly ever engage in fiction [although I appreciate its worth] writing, but that’s a highly relevant observation that the how really becomes meaningful in fiction.

    I most identify with this part of your answer(s), of course:
    … no matter HOW they say it. I do not wish to engage with anyone who defends the twice-impeached former POTUS in any manner whatsoever. I’ve been unfollowing those who post lies about the recent US election or jumbled mutterings about dark forces. I don’t care how nicely they fling these turds, it is the WHAT that matters to me. Same goes for most idiotic conspiracy posts unless they’re totally silly or benign.

    However, I also deeply agree with you on dating advice.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. One thing that turned me off of Medium was that it’s so popular club-ish, and if you’re not in the cool kids Facebook group, people aren’t going to read your stuff. Blech.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Another cracking post Paula. It’s really strange l guess you are to blame but ever since you blew off steam about Medium that time, you have made me think very hard about things – l really admire your open honesty and the more l read things of late … the more l see things unfolding – about how l look at things and especially bloggers and their honesty. I will be penning a post about it – you made me think further today with the comments you made on my, this very topic in post.

    Bravo Paula 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I think that you’re right on both points of what and how. And to be honest, 99% of the time we write for the perusal of others.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I agree that those who say they blog only for themselves and don’t care about engagement from other bloggers are lying to themselves. Why have a blog if you aren’t, at least in part, writing to be read?

    As to the what and how, I like how you broke the question into two essential aspects: fiction and non-fiction. That said, when I express my opinions, observations, and perspectives on whatever is going on around me, I try to be cognizant of not only what I’m saying, but how I’m saying it. I try to be reasonably respectful do that my tone doesn’t get in the way of my words. That can be a bit of a balancing act.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Uh, you certainly put your points of view right out there! And you make some very valid points. But I’ll respectfully (emphasis on RESPECTFUL) disagree with your thoughts on those who ‘blog for themselves.” Is that phrase a matter of semantics? I think there’s a nuance in that phrase that might be misunderstood depending on who is writing/saying it. To you it’s obviously something one could do privately and probably ought to, am I right? To ME? It’s writing from my heart and saying what I want to say, and although it’s in a public venue, I still write my stuff ‘for me’. There’s the rub.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I’m totally here so everyone can tell me how awesome I am😝

    I use a lot of emojis cuz I want to make sure my tone come through. The HOW is important. If people are misconstruing the HOW, then the WHAT is totally lost.

    I did challenge myself with my Adventures to not use emojis. I still have to throw in explainers🤷🏼‍♀️
    I got completely obliterated as newbie on Twitter and I’m still wounded 😢

    Liked by 2 people

    • I like emojis! They’re fun. I wish they wouldn’t look different on my computer screen than on my phone tho…

      But seriously, you’re a good example of what I mean. You write about your daily life, but you address your audience and care whether they’d rather see pics or a video. If you were writing exclusively for yourself, those things wouldn’t come up…

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yep. Before the daily thing I spent more time in comments than on posts of my own.
        It started out as mostly for my followers then became more for me cuz it helped/helps with my mental health during these endless YEARS of no school😩

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Lately I’ve focused more and more on the idea that humans love stories, and stories are told, not just murmured into your sleeve as you sit alone in your house. The other thing, I think it’s the voice. I mean the writing voice, in this case. It’s the most important thing. It’s why when you watch Danny DeVito build up to a punch line that YOU KNOW IS COMING, you smile, and wait, and laugh, because he does it just right.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Even as a screaming economic right-wing capitalist nutjob with heavyweight minarchist/Libertarian leanings who almost always considers government the problem rather than the solution, I am 100% with you on cutting off the conspiracy nuts on BOTH sides, and have done a LOT recently — and particularly anyone who thinks Trump and his band of merry pranksters isn’t in the same “treasonous assholes that Supermax Florence was built for” category as “The Squad” and their hive of deluded, low-information Marxist boot-lickers.

    Other than that, not much of an opinion one way or the other.

    As to blogging, I always say that I’m writing for myself. But that’s only on a meta-level. Writing so other people might read it makes me smile and therefore IS writing for myself. But your basic point is taken. Fortunately, it doesn’t take much to feed the “meta” — my readership in a given week can probably be counted on both hands, and that includes what I suspect are repeats and the occasional spambot looking for a home. But that little dribble is enough — they’re mostly quality readers worth having. Well, not the spambots, but you know….

    Liked by 2 people

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