We’re going to shake things up a little today. Today’s post is a guest post on Robin Lovejoy-Tolkien’s blog. Robin is the author of Banshee in the Well, which will be released in January 2012. You can read an excerpt from her book here. Enjoy!


I’ll go ahead and put the full text here.

Lessons from a Failed Attempt to Venture Outside My Comfort Zone

Huge thanks to Lara Leigh, writer at Antigone’s Clamor, for the following guest post: 

Yesterday, I thought I’d write something of a journalistic nature. Partially for fun and partially because I had made a few observations that I wanted to share, based on unique experiences I’ve had. I’ve written about homeschooling before, but not this candidly. It didn’t turn out the way I expected, and at the end of the day, I learned my lesson about writing sensational posts.

Although it’s fun to check stats, I’ve found I really don’t care about getting hits as much as I care about getting readers. Sensational posts, while fun to write, aren’t worthwhile to do just for the sake of startling people! That’s how a lot of things work, though. I’m reminded of watching people being different for the sake of being different, which usually ends up looking dumb and/or foolish. In my opinion, the best sensational posts I write tend to happen when an event or idea has affected me recently and personally. It gives a more authentic tone.

Speaking of authentic tones…there isn’t much more important than staying true to your voice. When I first started blogging, I did it as an attempt to sort out my thoughts and get my feelings out. Before I even thought about readership, I focused on finding my voice. It took a while, and I’m still experimenting some. Once I really started to get a grasp on my voice, readers trickled in. It got a little addictive and exciting at first, but I needed more and more to achieve the high that I’d gotten from getting new readers.

That’s where I found myself yesterday, wondering whatever happened to my voice. Call it a wake-up call. I got a criticism, which I wanted to ignore at first, but it caused me to realize that I was about to become unfocused in my writing and that I needed a bit of a reality check.

No matter how much I move around, meet different people, or browse the internet, I can never be fully aware of the different experiences and subcultures of others. That’s why writing about movements is challenging; I can’t attempt to know or describe the details of everyone’s lives. Journalistic writing isn’t for me, at least not the conventional type. I think I’ll follow up on my original post, but I’m going to do so with a different tone and attitude. We’ll see how this goes.

I’m back to writing for myself, primarily because I want to and also because I need to. It seems to work better that way. I don’t have a set group I’m trying to “reach”, which, according to most blogging advice I read, isn’t good. It seems that any slight attempt to do so on my part ends up failing miserably. In fact, I’m not even sure how I’d categorize my blog. At this point, I’m not worried about it. Why take the joy out of writing?

The Article that Sparked this Post