‘You know, I’d probably actually read your blog if you would just write it in Dutch. I just don’t get why you do it in English.’
I get people commenting on me and my blogging endeavors every now and then. Friends and acquaintances that wander in from my Facebook timeline or Whatsapp statuses and discover that I do what I do here. Which – is fine. Really. I mean, I share my new posts for a reason, right? (It’s a bit scary, but also awesome, knowing that people ‘know’ me in this way. It’s an introduction to me I might otherwise never get to make.)
And though feedback and criticism is a part of any creative outlet, some things make me just wonder at the proper way to respond. Like this. What am I supposed to say ‘Oh. Damn. I’ll switch my whole blog around then!’?
Sure. I am Dutch. Born and raised. Never lived abroad. Never imported a cute American cowboy hubby (sadly. I’d totally save all the horses if I could ride a cowboy) or spent my childhood with a live-in exchange student. I don’t particularly have any reason to write this blog in English.
Well. No other reason than: I choose to.
That’s a lie. I actually have plenty of reasons for blogging in English. But that one is the only one I would truly need, in the end.
Still, English, to me, has always felt more expressive than Dutch has, as a language. The rhythm and words always seemed to fit my own personal sort of ‘flow‘ better.
Dutch, I find, is a very choppy language. Heavy. Aggressive, in a sense, much like German. A lot of the words don’t really match their connotation for me personally, and thus I find it a lot harder to write something that I think is engaging and ‘smooth‘.
English, on the opposite of that spectrum, is a gorgeous language, even though it’s not my mother tongue and I obviously make the typical grammar and spelling (and things like sentence order) errors and mess up an idiom or two every now and then. It happens. It’s a risk I take.
And well, as someone that is slightly addicted to that little number of followers on the bottom of the blog, and the interaction with other writers/bloggers – English is pretty much the only logical choice as well. The increase it brings to my reach, and the added chance it offers to connect with people around the whole wide world is worth any stupid mistake in my texts AND the occasional loss of interest in someone that would ‘probably‘ read my blog.
My point is:
When you choose – choose for you.
When it comes to decisions about your blog, language, niche or layout – choose for you.
All of these ‘How to blog‘ guides might tell you to figure out what your readers want from you, and give them exactly that. I disagree. The more you find that genuine touch, the more you fit your blog to who you are as a person (or want to be) – the more you allow people to connect with the real you. Instead of a front that fits someone else’s mold.
And if that means that you’re that weird Dutch girl who writes a blog in English, even though her friends don’t get any of that? Go be that girl to the best of your abilities. Because in the end, it’s YOUR choices that make you you. Not theirs.
PS. Wanna read more about the ins and outs and hows and whys of personal blogging round here? Click on, brave warrior, click on!
* Personal blogging – Risky Business
* Personal blogging – Dirty little secret
* Personal blogging – To be recognisable or to be unique?
* Personal blogging – Out for the count
* Personal blogging – Listless
* Personal blogging – The science of stars
* Personal blogging – The personal touch
* Personal blogging – The Voice
* Personal blogging – Patterns
* Personal blogging – Art of repetition
* Personal blogging – Choices