Dear Readers: Would you be willing to help me make a decision?
Recently, I viewed an online webinar about successful blogging by author Jeff Goins. (Yes, I have some small ambition that I would like my writing to make me a living, even if I’m never a big name.) Something I had never considered was a central point of his teaching: bloggers have identifiable personalities.
- Journalist – This blogger asks questions, is naturally curious, likes to present others’ ideas for people to absorb.
- Prophet – This blogger tells the truth about things as they see it in a painfully honest, dissatisfied way. “The system is broken, but we can fix it.” This blogger can be polemical, and will sometimes pick fights if it serves the truth.
- Artist – this blogger writes primarily to move an audience by an experience of beauty.
- Professor – Like the Journalist, this blogger loves facts, but will go deep, conducting their own research and synthesizing ideas; a love of teaching is plain to see.
- Star – This blogger has charisma, a likeable personality, and a compelling story. Often the underlying message is, “If I can do it, so can you.” Many YouTube personalities are of this type, and they have a strong skill of empathy.
Here’s the difficult part for me. Says Goins: Successful blogs have one or two personalities, like a major and a minor in an undergrad degree. Don’t spread out too thin.
My problem, of course, is that I regularly have three personalities on this blog: Professor, Artist, and (sometimes) Prophet.
It seems clear to me that I almost always operate as the Professor. Teaching comes out of my gills. I can’t help myself.
Artist shows up in my poetry and prayers.
My inner life–the conversation I have with myself in my head–sounds like the Prophet much of the time! But when I’m a not-yet-ordained boy who wants a job when I grow up, I often wonder if there’s a subtle fear that hampers my writing in this forum (though not always).
No, scratch that: I know that I speak much less personally about issues I care about because people I care about may not take me seriously anymore. I’m working on that fear.
I’ve been considering starting a new blog specifically for the Artist-type stuff, with this one remaining the Professor major/Prophet minor. (That would also make some sense given the title of this blog, though I can re-name and shuffle as needed!)
Now I am looking for feedback from my readers and communities. What kinds of stuff do you most enjoy seeing from me? What is most useful and moving to you? Would you enjoy more focus in my blogging, and if so, on what?
I am so grateful to have the time and space for writing like this, and for the wonderful people who feed so much of it. Pray for me that I may resolve my fears and writing from a place of joy–even if I express dissatisfaction.