9 Mar 2011

To Thine Own Self Be True - Word of The Week

(Integrity n: Steadfast adherence to a strict moral or ethical code, the state of being unimpaired; soundness, the quality or condition of being whole or undivided; completeness. Ety: From O.Fr. integrité, from L. integritatem (nom. integritas) "soundness, wholeness," from integer "whole.)

"This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.
Farewell, my blessing season this in thee!"

You may recognise that quote - it's from Shakespeare's Hamlet and it's said by Polonius. If you want to see more about what the quote means, check this out, but essentially Polonius is advising his son Laertes that you should look after yourself + your own interests first, before being able to counsel others - and to stay away from destructive behaviour and ventures. It's not bad advice on the whole - and seemed a good quote with which to start our WoTW.

The other day I was boring Husbando with my blog stats and waving the blogger charts in front of his face. Completely disregarding the exciting news that I had 3 visits from a Nickleback blog after this post,he said "What's monetise?", I duly explained what it was.

"Why don't you do that? And make some money out of waffling on about nonsense to people?" 

"Well, I don't want to compromise the integrity of the blog darling". He looked dubious but later on, when I was doing the washing up, I thought about what I meant.

I've talked before about why I set up this blog and how I write, but recently I've been wary of playing to an audience too much. It's hard not to - I know you guys are out there reading this. I see other blogs and think about how I could copy their ideas - but then I'd be writing a watered down version of their blogs - and not my own.  

I've realised that I need to careful to stick to the reasons why I set up this blog and why I write. So to that end, I've come up with some basic rules that I shall attempt to adhere to in the creation of future blogposts, so that I can make sure I am sticking to the essence of all that is stupidgirl - and avoiding all that is not. In that way I can be sure that my blog is `whole`and `complete` - not wandering down another path. Voila (or wallah as some of my friends know it as) - INTEGRITY!

1) I shall do my best to avoid sounding like a pompous ass/pontificating/being verbose/using long words. 
2) I shall try to ensure that a blog post reads as if I was saying it to you over the phone. (write how I speak)
3) I shall always try to amuse and entertain.
4) I shall endeavour to always make my readers feel loved and happy - that reading my blog should take their mind off anything that is bothering them (ie: take a load off and come and chat to me)
5) I will be as openminded, fair and inclusive as possible on this blog:
- to this end, are there any readers out there who can help me check that my blog is as accessible to those with disabilities (particularly people with visual impairments)
6) I will do my utmost to respond to all and any (non spam) comments that are posted as soon as I can.
7) I will follow back if you follow my blog - please comment below if you've done this and I haven't followed back.
8) At least once a month I will blog about blogs I am reading and RT on twitter for those tweeps too - so that I can give the love back.
9) I will keep my blog roll up-to-date so that you can see what I am reading!
10) I will not interview/promote/mention stuff/brands/companies on the blog unless I truly believe they are cool and worth blogging about (ie: I'm not being given stuff to mention them)

I, stupidgirl45, hereby promise to do my best to fulfill rules 1-10 whenever I blog. You can call me on this if I don't!

Going back to husbando and the monetise-ing, I don't want to have ads on my blog mainly because they look ugly but also because you don't visit my blog to be sold to! That's not to say I disagree with other bloggers having ads on their blog, I just don't like them on mine.  I have yet to make up my mind what I think about sponsors - should I ever be lucky enough to get some. Having said that, I should also point out that I don't plan to make money from this blog.

All of the above I think therefore conforms to the definition of integrity i gave at the top - I have a moral compass to stick to, and to ensure that my writing and blogging is whole and uncompromised.

Just quickly to touch on artistic integrity - there's a hell of a lot of advice about writing out there. But one thing I'm kind of feeling is that, at the end of the day, the only person who can write the damned thing is you. So no matter what the advice is, you have to do it the way you know best. I guess when I write I try to stick to the following so that I know that it's `my` writing initially (pre-editing) and I'm not just following someone else's formula.

1) Write it ALL down. Go on, just do it - don't self censor. You've got the thoughts, get them down on paper. Then, and only then can you edit (I know I don't specify how much to get down - but if you need to ask, this is the wrong advice for you). This is also kind of how Nanowrimo worked for me. It stopped me doubting myself
2) I try to `lose` myself. In that when I'm writing, it's like I'm watching a movie. `Stupidgirl`  no longer exists, I am just a vehicle for my story. What I think/like/do doesn't count for anything.
3) Believe in your story. Everyone has something to say. Don't worry about being published, or submitting it. Clearly that's a good aim but IMO you shouldn't write to achieve that.  Just love what you're saying. Love your characters, good or bad. Allow them to tell their stories - and be humbled by what you hear and discover. I think it's a bit of a privilege. Maybe that sounds stupid, especially from someone who's never been published!

And if I follow those rules, I know I am staying true to me and to my writing style - and to my book. You just have to figure out your own writing moral compass.

Thank you and good night.

Stupidgirl has left the building


  1. ha wonderful, my integrity would see points 1 & 2 reversed - not to use verbose words would be disingenuous cos that's what I do, take words to task in the quest for ever more precision and as I hate talking on the telephone (where you can't see the other person's face to judge their reactions) I hope and pray my writing isn't like a phone conversation, could it would be all umms and errs...

  2. there is a down side to monetizing. the writer's creation (blog) becomes the property of the 'publisher'. You work for them like a columnist on a paper. should u ever get an offer to write something similar elsewhere, it is VERY difficult to do so, since you sold the rights 2 your own creation. Some say its best touse a blog to draw attention of agents or others in the media. Monetising can work, but be careful. they would own the title (stupidgirl45) and u could not use it anywhere else, along with other blog regular features. Examine carefully before u sign. Could always check with 1 of the attorneys on twitter? thought provoking topic as always. Liked the part about losing urself in piece and proceeding as if it was a movie.

  3. Please don't leave the building, you are a beacon to me. You wrote exactly what I want to do in my writing so much better than I could have. I guess that means I need to work harder! All that you have outlined here is what I aspire to. Writing it out like you have done holds you accountable; I may very well do just that--bookmark this post and check my writing against it every so often. Thank you, thnak you, thank you!

  4. Ah...integrity. That thing you can have until you try to sell your work (unless your last name is Franzen or Rushdie, lol).

    I think it's really important to have a list of "rules" for yourself for your blog, and a good idea for a post. My rules are generally "stay on-topic," "don't blog about personal life unless related to writing" (in the interests of staying on topic) and "try not to insult anybody." Guess which one I fail at most...

  5. I've got rules as well which I mostly follow. And I'm with you on these ridiculous google ads that people put on their blogs. I find them offensive and annoying. I'm not coming to a blog to have something sold to me, blogging is one place to go to get away from all that.

  6. As the others have said, ads to make about 30p a month put me off blogs.
    Keep it up ;-)

  7. That is a totally AWESOME post :)

  8. I recently added monetise to my blogs. Don't think I'll make any money from it, but the ads that are on my blogs now are relevant to the topics. So that's nice.

  9. Hey wow, thanks for all your comments guys. It's been a thought-provoking post indeed

    Sulci/Marc - I think that's what my blog unique to me and yours to you if that makes sense, you have to write in your own voice and not someone elses. You sound amazing on yourself, if I tried that I'd sound like a total muppet!

    Michele - that's so very kind of you to say!!! I need to check out your blog :)

    Suz - how did you choose the ad topics? I didn't know you could do that, although I still don't want to LOL

    Thanks all


  10. Thanks for checking out my blog. I'm following yours, but I don't know why I don't show up here. It's on my blog roll, though. I still don't get all this blogging stuff!

  11. Great Advice, and fun to read. I think it also goes back to the old saying"write what you know"
    I'm sure Shakespeare would agree with that idea.
    Nevertheless, I agree 1000% with your reasoning

    Thanks for sharing!
    Sammy Sutton

  12. Thanks for your lovely comments. Sammy I think you're entirely correct, write what you know indeed!