I’ve been blogging for a long time. Not just since She Moved To Texas’ inception in 2010, but with my first domain (now a professional portfolio site) in 2001. This meant I blogged through high school and college and have made plenty of mistakes along the way.
My biggest takeaway from those mistakes is don’t be a drama llama. With blogs I read going private, standing dormant, or even ending up on Chronicle and then going poof – I can’t help but wonder if the drama llama caught up to them. For what it’s worth, here are the rules I remind myself when blogging so I can be as drama free as possible.
Don’t write anything you wouldn’t say to someone’s face.
People love to hide behind the anonymity of the Internet, and I’ve been guilty of this too but it doesn’t matter how hidden you think your blog is – it will be found. Don’t want that boarder to know she annoys you? Don’t want the farrier to find out you didn’t like the last shoeing? Don’t write it. It doesn’t matter if you use a fake name. It doesn’t matter if you don’t list your location or your barn… It will happen.
True story: my old barn owner’s good friend emailed her my blog because he found a post funny. He has no idea I was her client and she didn’t know I even had a blog until she saw the pictures. This was not a problem because I didn’t write anything I wouldn’t have told her!
Proof read your posts.
Not only will you find grammar or spelling errors, but if you’re fired up about something you can simmer down while you decide if you really want to drop the f bomb that many times on this subject.
A blog is not a journal.
Yes, it is your blog and you are entitled to write whatever you want. In that way, it is similar to a journal… But a journal isn’t published on the web for everyone in the world to access. A journal doesn’t invite comments. When you write something, remember that you are opening up your content to validation from others and that validation can come in a positive or negative form.
Predict how others may interpret your writing.
This is something I got myself in trouble with last year when I wrote this post on boarding which was later posted to Chronicle. They ripped me a new one. I still stand behind the themes in that post, but realize I could have written it much better so that it would not have been taken out of context.
What you write is open to scrutiny.
Some people don’t care about the drama llama – they usually post videos of them jumping 3’6″ without a helmet over a fence made of barbed wire. If that’s how you want to roll, so be it. If you don’t want the drama llama or the backlash to come, just think about your content a little bit before you write it. Being unsafe, being overly critical of professionals, being unfair to your horse or writing about cheating at shows in some way shape or form (yes, this happens) are all asking for people to beat down your blog.
I’m sure my run in with Chronicle won’t be the last time the drama llama visits this blog, but I keep these things in mind when I write posts. It’s important to me to both provide good content for all of you readers and have a good relationship with the real equestrian friends and professionals in my life. Have you had a dance with the drama llama that you’ve learned from on your blog?