Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Bon's Thoughts on Writing {Meet Bon}

 
Today you get to meet Bon, from Life of Bon
I'm going to say your welcome in advance. 
Bon is hilarious, outspoken, and a great writer. 
So yeah, I'm sold. 
But what really gets me is her fearlessness
to actually post what's on her mind, no matter what. 
I find I'm not that brave. 
Today she is sharing how she writes her story. 
So thank you Bon for being brave and hilarious at the same time.
Happy Blogging friends!
 
 
 
Why hello there.

The name is Bonnie Blackburn Larsen and writing nonsense is my game.  Sometimes I get in trouble for what I write, but that's just the way the cookie crumbles.  The husband's name is Greg and I've been told I would be a fool for letting the internet Gods know my husband's name because now they can steal our identities and invade our home, GASP!  Therefore, to protect us from cyber devils and because it seems somehow hip I have named him Hubs.  I pride myself on originality.

This is me in my very sexiest form.  I look like this about 0.0021% of my life.  Maybe less.


This is me in my ugliest form- dressed up as Voldemort for midnight Harry Potter premieres. 
I just felt like from the get go you needed to know me in my best and worst forms.  Just know that usually I am somewhere in the middle of those two extremities, but creeping over more into the Voldemort side, no doubt.

If you are still interested in me, (oh this sounds so romantic!) you have a couple of options from here.

Option #1: Continue reading this post on Megan's blog where I will talk about risky writing and how somehow we have to write the stuff that is hard to write even though people might hate us for it, we must write it, dang it! 
Option #2: Visit my blog where you may read all my rambling to your heart's content.  You might wanna check out this post which will give you a very personal, loving tour of the blog and a guide to the greatest posts- the romantic ones about my Hub-a-dubs, the ones about teaching high school to bratty teenagers, and even the scandalous ones.
Option #3:  While at my blog, enter Monday's giveaway- the absolutely biggest giveaway I have ever done in the blog's history!  Option #4:  All of the above

(Pick #4!  Pick #4)

Let's dive right in, shall we?



Lately I've been thinking a little about writing and the act of writing and what we write about and writing what scares us even though we are scared.



You with me?

My theory is this:  You have to be willing to lose followers in order to really produce original, thought provoking writing.  You can't be afraid of the internet trolls, the mean commenters, the people who are going to disagree with everything you say.  You just have to realize that those people aren't who you're writing for and let them go find a nice blog where weekend recaps and Oh, so Pinteresting posts abound.



In May I sponsored a blogger who politey asked me three times to rewrite my post. My posts were too "controversial", "polarizing", and "inappropriate" for her blog. I had links to a post on birth control, a post about my students' threats to Justin Beiber, and of course, my favorite post describing my high school student who confused whores with horse.  The blogger stated that she didn't want her blog to be a place where these "kinds of things are hashed out." While I, of course, respected that blogger's wishes, I was also surprised and a bit saddened that she didn't want anything on her blog that could spark the least bit of controversy. Where was the fun? Where was the spark? Where was the risk?



In June I cried over a blog post. I had written a post admitting that I had parked in a handicapped stall to run in to the grocery store for five minutes.  I thought it would spark conversation, get some people to comment.   



Oh, I got that alright.  And a little bit more.  My readers tore into me.  They were merciless.  Wanted me dead.  The comments were fast and furious.  Some were posted anonymously, calling me a liar, classless, and rude.  One commenter even compared me to "bean paste." The post had only been up an hour, and already I couldn't take the heat.



I moseyed on in to the bedroom, where Hubs was dinking around on facebook, and with tears in my eyes I said to him, "You need to read the comments on the post I just put up. I think I went too far." We clicked on over to my blog and read through the comments together.



Hubs said nothing.



"I'm going to take it down," I said with a hint of panic in my voice. "People are crucifying me!"



Hubs kept reading in silence. Then he said, "I don't think you should take this down."



"Why not?" I was scared. And vulnerable. And was literally on the verge of tears. People hated what I had written.



"I think it's good. I mean, I don't think it's good that you parked handicapped. But I think this reaction is good. People who are going to stop reading your blog over this would stop reading within time anyway. You can't be afraid to post stuff like this. You can't be afraid of your readers."



And so, I kept it up. Not because I wanted to, but because I wanted to make Hubs proud and convince him that I was a strong girl even though heavens knows I'm not.



The next day I put on a brave face and lectured my readers via blog post: BE KIND, PEOPLE! IF YOU DON'T HAVE ANYTHING NICE TO SAY, DON'T SAY ANYTHING AT ALL.



And more people responded.



I had more hits to my blog in that two day period than any other time during the summer. I lost a few followers, but I gained many more.  And I had emails up the ying yang of people asking if they could sponsor me.



That wasn't the only time I was scared to post something I had written.



I was scared when I wrote about birth control laws in Utah.

I was scared when I wrote about farts. (Mostly scared of my mom, I admit.)

I was scared when I wrote about my religion. (Terrified is a better term.)

I was scared when I wrote about about gay marriage.

I was scared when I wrote about our culture's attitude toward breast feeding.



But guess what? ALL of these posts are in my top ten viewed posts of all time. They might have caused some readers to go, but they caused even more to come and stay.



Good writing does not succeed or fail based on its ability to please. Good writing suceeds or fails based on its ability to engage. And if I've got 66 people yelling at me for parking handicapped, well, by golly, I guess I engaged them.



Now come over to my blog and add your two cents!  Do you think bloggers should write about things that scare them or keep it to sweet, non-controversial posts?  Do you take risks with your writing?  What are your favorite type of blog posts?


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