anabanana bath and body treats, pauline baird jones, author, writer, science fiction romance author, romantic suspense author, project enterprise series, steampunk
I found this magnet while on vacation this summer. Made me LOL.

When I started blogging I did not realize how hard is was going to be to Resist The Urge To Blog/Tweet About some things. When you are trying to blog two to three times a week, the world becomes your blog inspiration. It’s worse with Twitter, because that’s instant. Once you send it out, you can’t take it back. And really, even if you delete a blog post, nothing ever really goes away on the internet.

Some years ago, we took a ride on a steamboat. I had a babe in arms, and it was chilly, so I was stuck in a small and rather smelly lounge at the top of the boat. We told our daughter she could be outside, but she had to sit in sight of me (while the hubs wandered around taking pictures and checking on her periodically). Well, she chose a seat near this couple. I could see her talk, talk, talking and then periodically, she and the couple would turn and look at me.

I never asked what she told them. I didn’t want to know. And hoped we never ran into each other. Ever again. Needless to say, we had a chat with her about what information is for sharing and what is for public consumption. And yes, the list had to be added to many times.

Pauline Baird Jones, author, writer, romantic suspense author, science fiction romance author, steampunk
This is where I craft my blogs. I get the ideas from everywhere else. And then kill some of those ideas, so I won’t get banished.

Fast forward to this brave, new world of instant information. And instant sharing. And being on the hunt for interesting blog topics. Let’s face it, the juicy stuff makes more interesting fodder than what I had for lunch. But it’s also the stuff that can cause offline family problems or bring out the trolls. I will admit I try to avoid controversial topics, both public and private. I’m not fond of trolls, haven’t liked them since some tried to eat Bilbo Baggins. And for the most part, I like it that my family will speak to me.

So I thought it might be instructive to make a list of things I won’t blog about and find out what’s on your list. We’ll start with mine:

  • Zits. (You don’t know how tempting this topic is for both blogging and tweeting purposes. Am I bitter it’s still an issue for me at 57? Oh yeah. But I fear blogging about it will offend Fate and result in more of the pesky things. So embarrassing at my age…)
  • Muffin tops. (I tried to talk about this at a party and it didn’t go well…)
  • Jowls (They are the curse of our family and I have some amazing pictures with the jowls hogging the spotlight, and while my jowls obviously LOVE the limelight, too much sharing of this one could get me banned from family gatherings forever.)
  • Other family business (I suspect most families have a certain level of dysfunction and, with a few exceptions, my family doesn’t seem to read my blog, but sure as shooting, if I posted some family biz, you can bet someone would chose that day to check out my blog and then, well, yeah. Banning.)
  • The hubs (he doesn’t actually read my blog that faithfully, but he might cut off my access to his awesome pictures if he found me blogging about him too much and I’m saving the really good stuff for a posthumous, unauthorized biography.)
  • The kids (I don’t think they read my blog either, but if I stepped in that pool, I suspect even they might hear the splash and there goes the Mother’s Day cards…)
  • Your friends (ditto all of above Β and bang goes the support network, though I think me and mine would make a wayΒ more interesting reality show…)
  • Hurling of cookies and other gnarly illnesses (While our symptoms are endlessly fascinating to us – boy could I tell some stories! — they aren’t actually that interesting to anyone not experiencing them with you, and then it becomes more a “who is the sickest” competition instead of sympathetic sharing.)
  • Politics or religion (While I’m interested and active in both, they tend to be equal opportunity offenders, no matter how careful you think you’re being.)
  • Writing (I sort of side-swipe the topic but am trying not to spend a lot of time on it since I took Kristen Lamb’s blogging course from WANA International and realized it’s mostly only interesting to other writers.)

So there it is, my top ten list of things I have to RTUTB/TA. What’s on your list? Is there any topic that’s off limits? If you go no limits, do you have some ‘splaining to do later? People who still aren’t speaking to you? Or do they like the moment of fame? Do share.

Because I reward those who share by entering all comments into a drawing for a $10 AnaBanana Card of extreme awesomeness! Winners are announced in the first blog post of the next month (which happens to be this blog post, btw, see winner below), but leaving an email addy also helps when I go a notifying.

anabanana bath and body treats, pauline baird jones, author, writer, science fiction romance author, romantic suspense author, project enterprise series, steampunk
Her zombie logo.

And because it is the first blog post of September, here is the August gift card winner is our first guy:

Allan Douglas!

Perilously (and blogging carefully) yours,


RTUTB/TA? What the heck is that?

18 thoughts on “RTUTB/TA? What the heck is that?

  • September 4, 2012 at 6:37 pm

    LOVE your list. I agree with most of them (but you can work the family/friends thing in there with a little creativity…make them a person at the grocery store, lol). I agree with you that bloggers should avoid a number of subjects, and mostly do. Though I jumped in with both feet yesterday. While I didn’t ‘choose a side,’ I did let it be known what I think of the current election…meaning all the ugliness and hateful, nasty campaigning (both from the politicians and their supporters) is getting pretty old. If it offends anyone, I guess that’s something I’ll just have to live with. πŸ™‚

    • September 4, 2012 at 11:12 pm

      Oooh, that’s a good idea. (insert evil grin here) It is too bad that we can’t agree without being disagreeable, but when you look back in history, well, the more things change the more then don’t. (grin)

  • September 4, 2012 at 2:44 pm

    LOVE your list!!!
    This is definitely a question that both hubby and I ponder on occasion. Especially when I set up the blog and asked myself if I wanted to post anonymous (so I could make fun of family and friends stupidity). But alas, I decide to put my name on it so I’ve tried to respect a few boundaries and not violate other people’s reasonable expectation of privacy. Hubby has wondered if a few of my posts perhaps would hurt my job prospects if a potential employer googled me and to that I replied…”well if my blog offends them, we should not be working together…” LOL!! I mean…I make fun of myself and hubby with little restraint and if you can’t laugh at yourself, who can you laugh at, right?!
    But when it comes to family and friends, even though they sometimes provide a WEALTH of blog post topics…I steer clear. It’s better to be safe than sorry…and to be honest, I don’t ever want a blog post to hurt someone’s feelings…even if I find it funny…
    GREAT post Pauline!

    • September 4, 2012 at 11:15 pm

      Any employer that didn’t appreciate your blog doesn’t deserve to get you to work for them, Natalie! But yeah, I don’t blog about the family. I did try to get the hubs to play along, but he was so resistant. The adventures of Jonesie are too fun, too. (grin)

  • September 4, 2012 at 11:49 am

    I really like your site. Your off-limit topics are definitely right-on. I only guest blog at this point–my bad–so haven’t been really tempted to stray into enemy territory.

    • September 4, 2012 at 2:45 pm

      I did a lot of guest blogging last year, to see if it would extend my reach, but I have to say that by regenerating my blog and focusing on it, I have seen more ROI. Ultimate numbers are still out there, of course, until I get my royalty statement for the first quarter and beyond, but I am seeing a steady improvement in my stats. Interestingly enough, my actual website stats are down. Not sure what to make of that. Might need to migrate the whole site here, or figure out more linking.Β 

  • September 4, 2012 at 10:36 am

    Pauline, I agree that voice is key in writing a blog. A few years ago, I read Denise Mina’s blog and immediately bought one of her books and became a fan.

    And, yes, politics is off limits, hard as it is to refrain sometimes.

    • September 4, 2012 at 2:43 pm

      Yeah, sadly tolerance is first casualty of an election season. I’d like to keep my friends.

      That voice thing was the hardest thing for me to figure out, but I’m working on it. πŸ™‚

  • September 3, 2012 at 7:52 pm

    It’s sooooo hard for me to not blog about politics, but I’ve heard over and over again that it’s best to stay away, lest you alienate 50% of your readership.

    • September 4, 2012 at 12:06 am

      It is very hard, no question. I saw a graphic on fb that said it all, though: Please don’t post political stuff so we can still be friends when this election is over. People have strong views and this one looks to be a bad one for polorizing people. It’s just better to keep your eye on your business and your brand. πŸ™‚Β 

  • September 3, 2012 at 6:31 pm

    πŸ˜‰ What was it our mama’s taught us…”If you can’t say nothing nice, don’t say anything. I try to remember that. When I blog (and I haven’t in a long while.) Now-it will always be something I find interesting and humorous if I can so write it or maybe I’ll just pass that day. πŸ˜‰

    • September 4, 2012 at 12:04 am

      Your mama and my mama learned the same thing and passed it on. LOL I do mourn some funny things that happen that would get me in trouble, though. There is much rich material in family interactions, but I come from VERY private stock. LOL! Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

  • September 3, 2012 at 11:01 am

    I know what you mean,, Pauline: I see some bloggers using their blog like a therapist’s couch, spilling all manner of guts into the internet. Back in the old days, that what most blogs were: personal diarys left open for the public to read. Today it seems most blogs I encounter are used for marketing and information dispersal. On these, most intimate details don’t belong. Although… I have to admit that I too have used a few personal moments to make a point. But I hope when the reader clicks away it’s the point I was making that they will take with them, not the peek into my life.

    Jowls… really? πŸ™‚

    • September 3, 2012 at 4:26 pm

      It does get pretty crazy out there! LOL! Um, yeah, jowls are the family curse. And they look awful on a webcam. LOL! Did you see that you are the winner of the GC for August? I was going to tweet you about it, but you commented before I was fully awake!Β 

  • September 3, 2012 at 10:51 am

    That’s a great list, Pauline! I agree that it can limit what you write about. I’ve killed a few topics as well. I have a teenage daughter who insists on reading my blog, so I have the added challenge of keeping it PG.

    • September 3, 2012 at 4:25 pm

      Yeah, when your kids read, it changes your focus some. I read a blog on the Suburban Jungle, sort of about this, but mostly she wished her family wouldn’t read her blog. LOL!Β 

  • September 3, 2012 at 3:55 pm

    Finding your niche in the blogging world is hard. Judging by my page views, people love my recipes, author interviews, and book reviews, but don’t care too much about the other things I post. What’s the Shakespeare line? Tempest in a teapot? That’s what most blogs feel like to me. To the author, they are huge issues that MUST BE DEALT WITH. To me, they’re just a side note. I try to keep that in perspective when choosing blog topics.

    BTW, what are all the awards on your office wall?

    • September 3, 2012 at 4:30 pm

      I have been taking a blogging class all summer on the topic of how authors should blog and what they should blog about. The theory is that blogging is an introduction to your writing style, your voice and way to connect with readers through shared interests. What I am trying to do is pick topics that interest me, that I feel excited about and hope that there are people who share that interest. I do like your recipes, btw!Β 

      The awards, those are a lovely thing my publisher does. When book releases, she prints up a poster with the book cover, release date and the first dollar you make on the book. So those are my writing journey so far. When I get blue and I look up and remind myself that I have made progress in my publishing journey. πŸ™‚

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