Setting The (Blogging) Record Straight

I began blogging during a very (!) rough period in my car accident recovery.  I knew virtually nothing about the blogging world, but I stumbled into it anyway.  Blogging provided me with a distraction from what I was going through.  It also gave me a creative outlet.  Writing and photography have been a part of who I am for as long as I can remember.  It's a joy for me to write Twenty Four At Heart.

Surprisingly, in time, blogging also provided me with an amazing community of readers, an online family (yes, many of my Internet friends are like family to me now), and many new wonderful "real life" friends.  

Twenty Four At Heart has been a bright spot in my life.  I love it here in my little corner of the Internet.  I love the people who stop by and spend time here.  I feel so fortunate to really, truly, have the best readers in the world.

But lately?

Lately …

I'm getting a lot of pressure regarding my blog.

No, I'm not talking about the deluge of PR people bombarding my inbox.  They're easy enough to ignore.

I'm talking about people who feel it is my responsibility to write about whatever topic is important to them.

"You have a voice, you need to use it for xxx," they tell me.

Sometimes I hear this from people who are friends.  Sometimes I hear it from people I know through the online community.  Sometimes I hear it from PR/Advertising/Corporate Types.  I've also heard it recently from Important Political Types.

Up until the past two weeks, it hasn't bothered me much.

Now, however, I feel like people are tugging on me, insistently, from all sides. 

Some people are getting outright angry with me if I don't write what they think I should write about.

"This is my second request for you to address this topic," one angry email, sent from a political/media VIP, said recently. 

Really, folks?

I think I need to, publicly, set the record straight regarding Twenty Four At Heart.

I'm not a spokeswoman.  Not here, not in this space.

I'm not a spokeswoman for people over the age of forty twenty four.

I'm not a spokeswoman for chronic pain patients.

I'm not a spokeswoman for beach lovers.

I'm not a political spokeswoman.

I'm not a spokeswoman for people who are horrified by health care in our country.  (If I had the power to fix it, don't ya think I would?)

I'm not a spokeswoman for people who are cutting unhealthy carbs out of their diets.

I'm not a spokeswoman for camera equipment or sex toys either … even though I enjoy both of them quite a lot.

(Um, but not together … I don't enjoy the two of them together.  Not that I care if you do, because whatever floats your boat is fine with me!)

I don't want you to pay me to "mention" the name of your product or company in one of my posts either.

—-

So let me tell you what I will do in this space.

I will communicate, as honestly as possible, to my readers.  

I will share pieces of my life – both highs and lows, as I see fit.

I will share my humor – snarky and sarcastic as it always is may be.

I will share my photos, which is often the exact same as sharing my heart sliced open on a plate in front of you.

I will share my disdain for the plastic, vapid, people I'm often surrounded by – and piss them off by doing so.

I will only mention products if I'm truly excited about them in my own life, or if they're part of a story in a post.

If I "get" anything for free and choose to write about it, my readers will know exactly what was provided to me.

I will never try to sway anyone politically.  Twenty Four At Heart is not a political blog.

I will never do anything to damage my integrity with my readers.

All of the above, doesn't mean I don't care about your "cause."  I may, in fact, care a lot about your cause.  I may even be willing to help you with your cause in a different place or forum.  What the above means is, this is my space and I won't be told by anyone what I "should" be doing with it.  

You can't shame me, guilt me, or buy me to publicize your thoughts in my space.

If I have a voice, at this point in my blogging career, it's because I've always used it honestly. 

I plan to continue to do so.

So?

With all due respect,

If you want it written,

Write your own blog.

© Twenty Four At Heart 

52 Responses to “Setting The (Blogging) Record Straight”

  1. Kristen

    Bravo!! I lovethat you are here to write YOUR story, not plug the latest cool gadget or place a company asked you to write about.

  2. Joanne

    you betcha!! Now, that little snippet about sex toys and photography….. that leaves entirely to many funny innuendos free falling into my sick little mind. how to focus with your rabbit on high, F-(dont)stop…. apertures , I’m sure you can find the thread!, smile, most of us love you just the way you are, the rest must be carb-starved crazy

  3. Christy

    I am a daily reader and have been for over a year now. I rarely comment, but read faithfully every post. I personally want to thank you for not shoving your agenda down my throat. There are too many blogs out there that start out feeling real but turn into either an ad machine or so P.C. it is hard to finish a post. You are neither. I get up at 4am daily and while enjoying a cup of coffee before work I read this blog to start my day off. Thank you for being who you are and writing what you write… Real experiences about real life.

  4. unmitigated me

    Are you serious?? I hope you told the “second request” person “Bite Me!” in big, loud caps! I think you need to copy/paste this post as your stock reply for people who try to tell you what you should be writing about.

  5. Jenny in MN

    ‘Squeal, giggle, snort’. Big SMILE on my face! There are some fantastic lines in this post.

  6. WebSavvyMom

    –>I think you should offer these people some Crackers and Jam.
    (Crack your knuckles and jam them up your *ss.)
    That’s an expression my husband learned in the Army and it’s a joke in our family now.
    I was thinking the same thing reading this, Get Your Own Blog!

  7. Kristan

    Right on, 24. I, for one, recognize and greatly appreciate the integrity of your blog. It’s clear to see that you actually CARE about the things you speak up for; shame on those people for trying to pressure you into pushing THEIR agenda.

  8. Kelly

    Amen!
    So sick of everyone shoving products and agendas down their reader throats. You’re the only blogger I read regularly now and this is why. Loved some of the lines in this post too. You should get it bronzed on a plaque.

  9. jenn in tenn

    Yay for you! Screw them, and you just keep bein’ you!

  10. Sandi

    Oh the Crackers and Jam!!!! I have to steal that one. I can’t wait to offer some to my kids!
    I love you 24!

  11. Laura

    No one could have said it better than you! Way to go! I love the way you write, what you write about, etc, and if you changed it would be sad! Hugs to you for what you are going through and for standing up against the “blogger bullies”. 🙂

  12. Tami

    Exactly the reason I come back here every day. Your REAL. Stand your ground and you won’t ever regret it. love you!

  13. Dana

    I just have to say I like your blog b/c you are YOU and have no agenda. That’s why I come everyday to read. Please tell those people to F OFF, and please continue to do what you do best. 🙂

  14. Jack

    I just wrote about blog bullies but I didn’t include readers in my post. Unfortunately it makes sense. People suck sometimes when they should just shut up and swallow. I hate that.

  15. Erica

    Politics. *snicker* Someone hasn’t read more than the last couple of posts. Although… I would LOVE to hear about your campaign on this blog!

  16. Kay

    Good for you! I enjoy reading your blog daily and wouldn’t want you to change anything about it!

  17. di

    YA… *places two fingers between teeth and whistles* GIVE ‘EM HELL!!

  18. Stephen

    Suzanne, you are so hawt when you get your principles all dandereed up. 🙂 There is a big difference between a blogger evolving vs. selling out their reasons for originally starting to blog. Good for you!

  19. Sandra

    “I’m not a spokeswoman for camera equipment or sex toys either … even though I enjoy both of them quite a lot.
    (Um, but not together … I don’t enjoy the two of them together. Not that I care if you do, because whatever floats your boat is fine with me!)”
    I’m glad you cleared THAT up. LOL

  20. Chantel @knowmeloveme

    I’ve read 24 for over a year now. I’m glad I got to meet you at BlogHer! I read your blog for all the reasons you listed! We love you for who you are! The topics you write about are things that are important to YOU! It’s your blog, your rules.
    To the people who want you to write about their agenda? Screw ’em!

  21. Kim

    I imagine after slaying blue cross you are in high demand.
    We come here for you. People who don’t understand that don’t understand you or us, your readers. Don’t do anything different than being true to yourself. Its why we’re here!

  22. Anonymous

    Was this directed at me? You could use your power to help other people and not just yourself you know.

  23. Dave

    I agree with the earlier comment. Your just plain hot when you get riled up.

  24. Jen

    Some people just suck. You are not one of them. I like reading your blog because it’s about you and your life – not a soapbox for whatever issue of the day. Stand tall and tell the idiots who try and pressure you to **** off.

  25. Amy_in_Stl

    Clearly I’ve been on Facebook too much lately. I really wanted to click “Like” after reading this. The last sentance was just priceless.

  26. Christine

    What. the. heck. I love that anonymous comment. SURE it was about YOU. Since signing as “Anonymous” is so specific and everything…
    “‘This is my second request for you to address this topic,’ one angry email, sent from a political/media VIP, said recently.”
    Really? REALLY?! Go write the damn thing yourself.
    24, I haven’t commented in a LONG time, but I really hope you tell them to f*** off.

  27. Fragrant Liar

    I’m with you, 24. Especially that part about sex toys and cameras. You write whatever you wanna write, sister. The rest of them can get their own damn blogs and do the work to maintain it the way you do. Ain’t easy, is it, dildos? (Oh, that dildo crack was for your pests, not you.)

  28. Joanne

    ANONYMOUS POST WACKO (five posts up)….. I’d like to kick yer a…. I mean would you like some crackers and jam???? Coward! cant sign your name? leave our friend alone, we think she is perfectly flawed, and love her for it.

  29. Michelle

    Yay! Keep doing what you do, and ignore those who want you to do what they want. We read you for you, not them.

  30. Neil

    One of the best things about blogging is that by writing online, we save paper, which helps the environment. I know you love the environment as much as I do. And as a resident of Orange County, I know how much the beauty of the Pacific Ocean means to you. That’s why I must beg you to write more “green” posts, particularly about recycling and “clean” energy resources, such as wind and solar power, which can help our country become a leader in making the Earth a better and healthier place for our children!
    Ha Ha!
    Give ’em Hell, 24. This is your blog. Your story. You write what you want. If you feel like writing for a cause, do it. If not, don’t. You are a writer first and foremost. The only spokesperson you are is for your own body, mind, and soul!

  31. Diana

    That first anonymous comment makes me so angry. You’ve helped me innumerable times in dealing with the pain I live with and my bet is you’ve helped many others too. You make us smile every day and if that isn’t helping people in this often crappy world then I don’t know what is. You keep doing what you’re doing. We love it and you are right on track. Love reading you every day!

  32. ocshannon714

    I loved this! Well written! Although for some reason it reminded me of “Green Eggs and Ham.” I will not, would not, could not …in a boat, in a moat etc..
    Your blog is one of the few that I consistently read. You don’t promote – you speak from your own life experiences. I can’t imagine anyone wanting it to be anything different!!

  33. Alan

    Ya know…you are becoming as popular as you are BECAUSE you post what is on your mind. It’s what got me to read your blog and it’s what has people coming back in droves. Stay honest and don’t cave to whoever is putting pressure on you. That’s bullshit and we all know it.
    You rock.

  34. Margaret (Nanny Goats)

    I have never had anyone try to insist on what I should write on MY blog and I can’t believe people have the audacity to ask you to do such a thing. What an outrage!

  35. Barb

    Amen sista, this is your blog, you can say or do anything you want and if the people reading it don’t like it then they shouldn’t be reading, they can write their own blogs…. HOW RUDE!!!!

  36. Lisa

    Good for you! Well written post. People who are telling you what topics they want you to write about obviously don’t understand the blogging world. Or you, for that matter! : ) Keep on keepin’ on!

  37. Linda M

    Excellent statements, and well written as always. You rock!! The nerve of people telling you what you MUST write in your own blog just astounds me!!

  38. Linda M

    Excellent statements, and well written as always. You rock!! The nerve of people telling you what you MUST write in your own blog just astounds me!!

  39. Suzy

    I’ve been going thru that with standup since 1983. No matter what I say in my act, there’s always someone who thinks I should be talking about what they think is funny. How do you tell non-coms their ideas are not funny enough for standup? You can’t. (Sadly) So I tell them the following, “You know, you should think about doing standup since you have so many great ideas!”
    That usually ends it.

  40. Freda

    Your honest, struggles and humour are so much a part of you, and I admire your determination to remain your own person. All the above comments show how right you are about the way you share your journey. Many thanks

  41. Alexis from the MN

    Which is exactly why I read you….so thank you for THAT!

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