Please don’t tell me what to blog

June 19, 2012

Last week I was a bit taken aback when a couple of people on Twitter told me they were surprised at a blog post I’d written. The implication was that it wasn’t the kind of post they expected me to write.

I don’t know either of these people, I don’t follow them on Twitter. I don’t really – how can I put this? – CARE about their opinions.

A few days ago a close friend – a very popular blogger – was told what she ‘should’ be tweeting about. And yesterday another friend- again, an extremely successful blogger – received a comment from a total stranger about something she’d written on her blog, basically telling her she shouldn’t have written it.


Since when did the fact that you read a blog or follow someone on Twitter give you the right to tell them what to blog, or tweet? To try to censor, or edit their content?

This is my blog. I write it, I own the url and everything on it. If I want to write 30 posts about my love for Colin Farrell, or about my dislike of Hob Nobs, I will. No one – not even my closest friends – can tell me how or what to write on this space.

Because the point of a blog, surely, is that it is your personal space, and as long as you’re not breaking the law, you can do what you like with it. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, of course, and there’s nothing wrong with debating a topic. But blogs are so personal to the blogger, that if you try to tell someone what to write you’re essentially telling the blogger how to think.

And you’re probably going to get short shrift.

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  • Lulu Campbell June 20, 2012 at 9:37 am

    Well. I do agree but looking forward to discussing this with you further on Friday. My blog is avidly read by my ex and his new wife. The challenges to not write inflammatory stuff can most certainly take away my sense of freedom of speech.

  • Ali June 20, 2012 at 8:57 am

    Perhaps people aren’t telling you what to blog so much as just expressing surprise at what you are blogging about. A blog being a personal space is an interesting angle as it’s on the internet for everyone to see, judge and share their opinions about. In fact, comments are encouraged. A diary is a personal space.

    • Liz Jarvis June 20, 2012 at 2:27 pm

      Hi Ali -as I said in the post, I have no problem with people engaging with the blog/commenting, but expressing surprise at what I’m blogging about is a different issue. This is a my personal space – the fact it’s public doesn’t give anyone else the right to tell me what’s on it.

  • Laura June 19, 2012 at 9:29 pm

    To be honest this is one of the reasons it took me so long to start blogging, as I know I value the opinions of strangers far too highly! May bookmark this as a reminder to myself 😉

  • Liska June 19, 2012 at 8:31 pm

    I had to comment as I have personally suffered this and it caused me to fall out of love with blogging, bloggers, and twitter.
    I am courting again, with all 3 but it will never ever be the same.
    Great post and you are right.

  • Mia June 19, 2012 at 7:09 pm

    Good for you! Those who want to, read, those who don’t, don’t!

  • Shell June 19, 2012 at 6:32 pm

    You tell ’em!

    I posted something the other day on mine and someone commented on Pinterest they didn’t like a word I used.

    I’m sorry but if I think the correct word is fat rather than overweight (to me there is a big difference between the two) then I will use whichever I feel is more appropriate in my blog post.

    Say what you feel or think – that’s what blogging is all about.

  • Janmary June 19, 2012 at 4:35 pm

    I have to agree with you here – although we share our blogs in public here are OUR personal space! Leave our blogs alone!

  • Kelly Wiffin June 19, 2012 at 4:24 pm

    I agree! No one should be able to tell you what to do on your own blog!

  • LittleMe June 19, 2012 at 11:16 am

    Absolutely right – your blog is personal to you and, within reason, you can write what you like.

    Can’t believe you don’t like hobnobs though. Do you mean the plain ones or the chocolate ones?

  • Crystal Jigsaw June 19, 2012 at 11:12 am

    Completely. I love blogging about blogging, mainly because it’s my favourite hobby, and I like to write about my hobbies. Someone once said, not too long ago, that blogging about blogging is boring and “soooo not cool” and people should simply not do it. That person needs to get a grip! No one, and I mean no one, tells me (and you) how to and what to, blog. Simple as.

    CJ x

  • English Mum June 19, 2012 at 10:51 am

    I agree with Helen about Twitter – someone else said to me recently that things you think are hilarious often just come across as crass or whatever. Plus it’s a massive melting pot of different people and hence opinions/religions/whatever. Thanks for mentioning me in this – I was gobsmacked when talking about NZ wine to be told that I SHOULD be talking about British wine. I don’t engage in bad mouthing on Twitter, but sent her a link to my recent post on English wine instead. But then again, why should I even care what she thinks? Oh, le sigh…

  • Helen June 19, 2012 at 10:03 am

    Twitter can be a dangerous thing. I have followed quite a few bloggers on Twitter, as well as other people I do not know but admire, and I am sure I am often guilty of feeling that I “know” someone because I follow them. It can make you more unguarded in comments, and I’m sure some of mine will have missed the mark in the past. Although I am not sure I have ever told someone they shouldn’t be blogging about something (I hope!)

  • mel June 19, 2012 at 9:55 am

    Love this post – yay you for sticking up for yourself!

  • Nadine Hill June 19, 2012 at 9:39 am

    Totally agree!
    …and loving your fab poster!

  • Claire June 19, 2012 at 8:45 am

    you don’t like Hob Nobs???

  • Kara June 19, 2012 at 7:35 am

    I am happy to say that I’ve not experienced that (yet). Still cannot understand why anyone would tell you what to write on your blog?!?