I was working my way through a guest post tonight, remembering all the time a conversation that I’d had recently with Sister C:
C: “I read your guest post at [insert name of fabulous blog] today,” she said. “It was good. But…”
Me: “But????” (There may have been a hint of defensive paranoia in the tone. Maybe.)
C: “Your guest posts never sound as ‘you’ as your blog posts do.”
Me: “Hmmm.” Ruminations. “I think it’s because I’m writing in someone else’s space. So it feels more like a column or an article. So I immediately switch to a more professional voice. A magaziney voice, I guess.”
C: “Like a broadcast voice versus an intimate voice.”
Exactly. When I write here, I feel as though I’m writing in a room. One part of me is aware (always aware) that it’s a public room, but it feels like a live, unplugged gig.
As soon as I step into another room, I’m more aware of the audience, so I step up a little, put on my stage face and plug into some electricity.
On someone else’s blog, I feel like the support act, warming up for the show that everybody really wants to see (the blogger that they love), singing my heart out to a room full of people who are all talking amongst themselves and trying to time their toilet breaks so as not to miss the main act.
One of the first things I learned about blogging, via my endless, obsessive reading in the first few months, was about the importance of guest posting in helping to build a blog.
It makes sense.
A guest post introduces you and your style to a whole new audience. One that, hopefully, will like enough of what they see to follow you home.
For that reason, I always say yes when I’m asked to guest post. If someone is kind enough to put me on their marquee (and offer M&Ms (red only) for my rider), I’m going to say yes, thanks for having me, and do my best to deliver them a show-stopping post.
But I won’t say that I don’t get stage fright about it.