On Blogging and Narcissism

A reader asks:

How do you avoid being narcissistic when you blog?

Hmmm. I’m not entirely sure you can. (And--heh--why would you want to?) But in all seriousness, I try to ask myself two questions before I press the publish button on a new post:

1) Will this post help readers, or at least help them think differently?

2) Do I want this post to be a part of my overall body of work?

I still write narcissistic crap here at Casual Kitchen, but these two questions have helped me limit the damage.

Another thing I do is try to eliminate first person overkill in my writing. I try to cut out words like I/me/my/myself wherever I can, and replace them with you/we/us/ourselves. This is purely a mechanistic solution, but it helps. And then, I try to use other peoples’ examples and experiences to teach and share the ideas I want to communicate to readers. This forces me to talk about myself still less.

The problem, of course, is our worst narcissism surfaces whenever we’re not thinking about it. After all, if you knew you were coming across as narcissistic, you’d change what you were doing (or writing, or saying) so you wouldn’t come across as narcissistic. Right?

Therefore, if you are honestly concerned about sounding narcissistic, then by definition you are not. A true narcissist would never conceive of worrying about his own narcissism.

So be concerned whether or not your writing sounds narcissistic. The battle is won as soon as the idea crosses your mind.

Readers, what do you do to limit your narcissism in your writing?

Related Posts:
Best Practices to Raise the Level of Discussion on Your Blog
How to Write A Killer Links Post
Dealing with Trolls
On Writing for Casual Kitchen
On Writing for Casual Kitchen, Part 2: Keeping Track

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1 comment:

chacha1 said...

I am completely okay with the fact that my blog is the most narcissistic thing I do.

Everything else in my life either depends on someone else or has to serve (or at the very least consider) someone else.

So screw it, I'm going to write what I want about my thoughts, my feelings, my opinions, and my projects.

All that said, my blog is completely personal. It makes no attempt to be anything else. :-) If I were really sincere about using the blog to sell personal-training services and advice, for example, it would be a very different animal.